Chicago: Food Trucks Get Tentative OK from Rahm Emanuel

by Jake Barnett | USMicroFinance

As Rahm Emanuel prepares to become Mayor of Chicago, he has identified several areas of Chicago public policy which he plans to change. One of Mr. Emanuel’s focus areas is food policy.

As part of that focus, Mr. Emanuel has tentatively outlined a plan to fully legalize food trucks in Chicago. Under current Chicago law, food trucks are not allowed to cook in the actual truck, although they may transport and serve their wares (as seen in the earlier blog post highlighting our customer, Tamalli Space Charros).

The restaurant industry has strongly opposed the legalization of food trucks because of the increased competition it would likely cause. In an article discussing his food policy in The Foodie, the soon-to be mayor said, “I know it’s a threat to restaurants, but I actually lean towards allowing rolling restaurants.”

A Chicago Sun Times article about Mr. Emanuel’s food policy proposals identifies rolling restaurants as one component of Mr. Emanuel’s planned efforts to combat food deserts in Chicago too. An estimated 600,000 individuals in Chicago live without convenient access to stores that provide fresh fruit and produce. The neighborhoods where these individuals live, nicknamed food deserts, are thought to make maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle more difficult.

Mr. Emanuel says that he will also be speaking to grocery store owners and examining zoning laws as part of his overall effort to combat food deserts in Chicago.

In the meantime, it appears we can look forward to a freshly made tamalli in the near future.