Santa Ana to weigh classifying street vendor attacks as hate crimes

For the first time in California, the city of Santa Ana will consider whether to classify attacks against street vendors as a hate crime, which could provide protections. complement the city’s mostly Latino street vendors.

Councilman Jonathan Ryan Hernandez, 29, said he’s noticed an increase in attacks against street vendors and that viral videos appear to show a pattern of verbal and physical attacks with Anti-Latin anti-racist theme.

“These are not robberies. These people do not have food stolen; Hernandez said. “They’re being beaten and spit on, and then these people go away.”

At Tuesday’s regular City Council meeting, Hernandez will propose an ordinance, which he says will let street vendors know the city is ready to fight for them. Growing up in Santa Ana, Hernandez was close to the ice cream vendor in her neighborhood, or paletero.

Hernandez, whose family is from Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico, said there is not enough support for the street vendors and the immigrant community in Santa Ana. He wants to change that with his proposal.

“We are in their corner,” Hernandez said. “They are not alone. And for anyone who thinks disrespectful street vendors are tolerable, we’re looking to hold them accountable. “

If approved by the City Council, the proposal will go to city staff to begin work on an ordinance, then return to the council for a final vote after 30 days.

Hernandez said he hopes it can be a model for other jurisdictions across California. Elsewhere in the region, cities including Anaheim and Santa Monica have cracked down on street vending, preventing unauthorized vendors from selling in certain areas.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Santa Ana Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on attacks against street vendors or whether there was an increase in reported assaults on people. Latino residents or not.

Last year, Cudahy resident Edin Enamorado armed Los Angeles street vendors with pepper spray, Tasers and in some cases personal security following a string of attacks in Long Beach, as reported by LA Taco.

Senior organizer Sergio Jimenez of Community Power Collective’s Street Vendor Justice said many of the recorded attacks targeting street vendors may be going viral, but mostly by street vendors. Street vendors are retaking several offices and recording their attackers.

Many street vendors, says Jimenez, are undocumented monolingual entrepreneurs who may not be familiar with their First Amendment rights. He hopes that support from law enforcement and educating street vendors about their rights can help build a safer community.

“A lot of it involves outreach, education, and social awareness,” says Jimenez. “What we’re telling them is, ‘Hey, you know what? You have to record these things, step out and record and narrate everything that’s happening to recount your particular point of view. ‘”

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-07-19/santa-ana-to-weigh-classifying-street-vendor-attacks-as-hate-crimes Santa Ana to weigh classifying street vendor attacks as hate crimes

Russell Falcon

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