SoCal Mobile Vendors Association Suing Another Small Town

Is the food truck mafia bullying its way into L.A.'s every nook and cranny?
Is the food truck mafia bullying its way into L.A.’s every nook and cranny? Photo: Ricardodiaz11/Flickr

We used to champion The SoCal Mobile Food Vendors Association, back when food trucks were the subject of police harassment in Miracle Mile, Gloria Molina was on her anti-taco tear, and trucks were targeted by politicians and sub-par chains crying about their newly knocked bottom lines. Last month, we caught wind of the Association suing cute little Monrovia until the place relented and made way for food trucks to invade the city’s quaint streets rather than serve a whopping pay-out. Now Daily Breeze reports that several food trucks have banded together to sue the city of El Segundo. Maybe it’s just us, but is this organization starting to sound like a bunch of dicks?

At issue is El Segundo’s set ten-minute limit on selling stuff from parked vehicles. The Association sees this an an unlawful ban of food trucks, as it takes more than ten minutes to set up a mobile diner, cook, and dispense with the goods. The group notes that the California vehicle code establishes that “no local government entity may prohibit mobile food vending,” which is violated by any legislation, most likely enacted long before lobster rolls came on four wheels, that slows down the free-wheeling nature of its mobile members. According to the story, this marks the sixth city the SoCal Mobile Vendors Association has sued in the last few years to get them to bend to its way.

We like food trucks–well, mostly taco trucks–and certainly support a businesses’ right to compete fairly. But forcing yourself on a small town by suing them just comes off as rather NARC-y to us, no less in a time when local governments are beset by financial strain.

Obviously, it’s hard out there for a truck when trying to get money for the rent. But with several cities in the L.A. area providing parking for the mobile vendors and food truck courts, and numerous weekly events providing an outlet for the trucks, does the Association really have to bully every its way into every nook and cranny until they reach ubiquity?

Of course, El Segundo took the issue up in its last City Council meeting in an attempt to appease this food truck mafia. Rather than be sued, it would rather try and work with the group to find a mutually satisfying solution.

Food trucks challenge El Segundo parking limits [Daily Breeze]

SoCal Mobile Vendors Association Suing Another Small Town