March 7, 2023 | Press Release

Street Vending Bill Passes First Reading 


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The D.C. Council passed a bill on first reading that decriminalizes street vending and recognizes it as a livelihood that contributes to the culture and economy of the city. 
With dozens of street vendors and advocates in attendance, the Council passed the Street Vendor Advancement Amendment Act 12-0, with one councilmember voting present. The measure was introduced by Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau and co-introduced by Council Chairman Phil Mendelson. It ends criminalization, creates a pilot program in Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant with a vending zone manager, makes it easier for vendors to get licenses, and creates an amnesty program for unpaid licensing-related citations so that vendors can restart with properly obtained licenses. 
“We are changing street vending from something just tolerated to recognizing it as a fundamental part of our economy, a pathway to economic empowerment for residents, and indeed, an economic development engine itself,” Nadeau said. 
The legislation has been four years in the making, with Nadeau first introducing legislation on the subject in 2019. If passed, D.C. would become the third major city in the U.S. to reform its vendor licensing regulations, following New York City and Los Angeles. 
In her remarks to the Council on Tuesday, Nadeau addressed the vendors and advocates from Beloved Community Incubator and Vendadores Unidos who were present.  
“You have raised your voices, shared your experiences, and kept me and my fellow council members accountable for moving this forward,” Nadeau said. “Government works best when it’s a partnership with residents and you have made this very much a partnership.” 
Read Councilmember Nadeau’s full remarks