Happy New Year! I wanted to share some good news you may have missed.
In late December, the Street Vendor Project settled a lawsuit against the city for years of over-charging NYC vendors on tickets they receive for minor violations. Already, vendors have begun to receive a total of $228,000 in cash refunds, while having their aggregate fines decreased by more than $4 million.
Peanut vendor Mohammed Yunnus Ali, pictured below, got a ticket in 2010 for vending too close to a crosswalk. The fine should have been $100, but the city wrongly charged him $1,000. Including interest, Mohammed got a check for $970, which was a big help to him and his wife and two children (age 1 and 5) this holiday season.
photo: Robert Miller
While celebrating this big victory, we are continuing to fight to permanently lower the penalties by pushing for a City Council on Intros 434 and 435. I did not send a year-end appeal for donations, as I usually do. But expect to hear from me in the coming months for your help with this campaign.