Good morning & welcome to those of you who heard about us in Elaine Corn's piece this morning on Capitol Public Radio, and thanks very much to Elaine - we had a great time on our tour of a few local trucks. listen here:
For new visitors: while we are mainly about the map, lately I'm also trying very hard to get the word out about the Sacramento City Council's actions in regard to the taco trucks and other mobile vendors. While San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, Vancouver and many other cities are beginning to embrace gourmet and other mobile vendors, Sacramento has effectively banned the truck-based foodsellers. The City Council, which voted overwhelmingly for the ban, will tell you that it's just a regulation, not a ban - but a 30-minute-per-location time limit does indeed make your profitability nil when it takes 20 minutes to lock down the propane mechanism, heat up the grill and do whatever kitchen prep is necessary. And for many truck owners, who have paid months or even a year lease in advance on a private parking lot or other space to sell food from, it's just impossible to keep moving at all when your customers expect you in a particular location at a particular time.
I've written to every single councilperson asking them their rationale for putting these budding businesspeople in the poorhouse, and only two took the time to respond, giving me a line about litter and noise complaints - something that could not be substantiated by the Sacramento Police Department's own statistics folks. In fact, they said there was no evidence that such complaints were any higher around the trucks than when the trucks were not in those locations, effectively nullifying that argument. And, as some of you may have heard, the taco truck operators never got notice from the city before they were attacked. Luckily the County embraces them, as long as they pass inspections, and a few have a new lease on life/business outside of the city limits.
I've written to every incoming councilmember asking their opinion on the regulation; the only one to respond was Angelique Ashby, who said she'd definitely be in favor of more common-sense and less punitive regulation, like preventing a truck from setting up in front of an open restaurant. So - please do contact your councilmember and ask them what they can do to help these businesses and restore some of the richness to Sacramento's food culture!