Nadeau Statement on Final Passage of Street Vending Bill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau released the following statement following the final passage of the Street Vendor Advancement Act of 2023. The bill decriminalizes street vending, sets up vending zones and spaces, and streamlines a costly and complex licensing process to be more appropriate to how street vendors have operated for many years. It recognizes street vending as a livelihood that contributes to the culture and economy of the city.
“It’s an emotional moment that this day has finally come, and I was glad we were joined by all of the vendors in the chamber today. This legislation would not have come into existence, and likely would not have gone very far, were it not for their tireless advocacy.
"Street vendors contribute to the vibrant atmosphere of Columbia Heights, Mount Pleasant and diverse neighborhoods throughout the District. Their presence reflects and enriches the diverse culture of our city. I often say that, for me, it is an essential part of what makes Ward 1 so energetic and beautiful.
“From the start, we have wanted everyone in compliance and accountable, everyone safe, and everyone successful. Thanks to Councilmember Henderson and Chairman Mendelson, this bill is better – I hope we can continue working together on the next steps of funding and implementation.
“I’m excited that even while this legislation is not yet funded, it allows for immediate decriminalization of street vending when this passes mayoral and congressional review. If a business owner with a storefront has an expired license, police don’t come and arrest them. The same should be true when a street vendor is out of compliance.
“I will work with the Chairman and colleagues to fund the legislation in the FY24 budget.
“I have one more thing to look forward to: Just last week, the Department of Parks and Recreation held its first public meeting on the design of a triangle park at 14th and Oak in Columbia Heights, one of the areas included in the new vending zone. I was happy that vendors were represented at that meeting, and I’ve advocated to DPR myself that this space should be built out with vending in mind from the very beginning.
“That park project underscores that this bill is not just about who is allowed to do business in the District, but who our public spaces are for, and who gets to participate in their future. The answer to all of those questions includes street vendors and the residents they serve.”