California: AB 1678 Will Not Proceed Further in 2012

Matt Geller, CEO of the "SCMFVA" Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association

By Matt Geller | CEO SCMVFA

Matt Geller, CEO of the "SCMFVA" Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association

On March 28, 2012 Assemblymember Monning wisely decided that AB 1678 should not proceed any further in the 2012 legislative process. In a statement released by his office Assemblymember Monning said, “ The challenge before us is working with a diverse group of stakeholders to establish a shared understanding about the adverse impacts of these practices and the necessity of a statewide legislative solution.”

The sponsors of the AB 1678, The California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA) did nothing to reach out to impacted vendors or their advocacy organizations to include them in discussions. Additionally, the CFPA did very little to collect data on specific instances where mobile vending directly led to adverse student impacts. In fact, the CFPA, when asked, could not even provide the names of fifteen schools out of 10,000 in California where these issues existed.

As we have stated previously, many cities already have restrictions on mobile vending. These restriction focus on public safety impacts related to attractive vehicles near schools. AB 1678 would have criminalized selling a bag of chips from a food facility on four wheels while an adjacent liquor store could have legally sold the exact same bag of chips. AB 1678 was an ill advised bill that did not address the real causes of childhood obesity and looked to scapegoat a group of hard working entrepreneurs.

We object to the CFPAs assertion in their March 28th press release claiming that mobile vendors are “targeting children” as if they were some sort of pushers attempting to fatten up children. The CFPA should start looking into the root causes of the childhood obesity epidemic and stop targeting mobile vendors.

We look forward to working with the State to continue to further the rights of mobile vendors throughout California.