Street vendors lobby Speaker Quinn for help

Vendors say they are fined too much for small offenses.

Street vendors are turning food  carts into billboards — but instead of marketing to customers, these ads implore City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to lower fines.

The campaign, which starts today, features posters with a large photo of Quinn, asking her to push legislation lowering fines for infractions.

Vendors can receive fines as high as $1,000 for infractions like having a vending license in their pocket instead of around their neck, according to Street Vendors Project spokesman Sean Basinski.

A vendor near Penn Station told Metro he could be fined for not mopping up coffee spilled on the sidewalk by customers.

One of the campaign’s spokespeople is SoHo vendor Allesane Fall, who was fined $2,250 for his table being one inch too high and two inches too close to the nearest store.

The vendors behind the campaign say they hope that Quinn, an outspoken proponent of the interests of small business owners, will use her position in the City Council to advocate on their behalf and push legislation that they say is overdue.

That legislation would lower fines that they say can be so exorbitant they can cause them to lose their licenses and jobs.


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