Tacos Under Threat

Continuing with our Cinco De Mayo Mexican food coverage, we’d like to point out a developing taco truck issue in Southern California — Los Angeles County, to be specific. You’ll be hard pressed to find bigger fans of taco trucks, in general, than us, but they are out there, and they are taking to the Internet in droves to protest L.A. County’s proposed move to effectively legislate the trucks out of existence. From the Bon Appetit blog:

A few weeks ago, Los Angeles County supervisors passed a new law restricting taco truck vendors from selling their goods in any one location for more than an hour. Breaking the law means a $1,000 fine and/or six months in jail. Although taco trucks were already required to move every 30 minutes, the punishment was a mere $60 ticket, if any at all. The ordinance “protect[s] the health and welfare” of LA county residents, says Gloria Molina, the County Supervisor who proposed the new law.

Opponents say the move would make it next to impossible for the beloved lunch wagons to maintain any business, and would drive what they characterize as an integral part of Southern California food culture underground or off the streets entirely.

This being the future, pro-taco-truck activists have gained a lot of traction online, circulating petitions through a website called Save Our Taco Trucks and grabbing headlines in the L.A. Times among other publications. The Times covered not only the issue but it’s galvanizing effect on desk-chair activists:

Zane Selvans, 32, of Pasadena offers an explanation. “There are at least two distinct populations that visit the taco truck,” Selvans said. “There are the native Angelenos, and then there’s the kind of hipster population who think it’s cool.”

Both groups have organized – on the Internet, through blogs and social networking sites – to get the law repealed. In a way that issues such as homelessness and healthcare have failed to do, the taco truck seems to have galvanized residents who until now didn’t pay much attention to the workings of local government.

According to Save Our Taco Trucks, more than 6,000 supporters have signed on as of today. One called for a repeal of the ban on street-side bacon-wrapped hot dogs, but that’s a battle for a different day.

Save The Taco! [Bon Appetit]
Save Our Taco Trucks [Official Site]
For the love of L.A. taco trucks [L.A. Times]
The Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog: So Good It’s Illegal [L.A. Weekly]
Photo: Courtesy of saveourtacotrucks.org

Tacos Under Threat