Washington, DC: Food Trucks Thank Committee for Rejecting Proposed Regulations

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By Che Ruddell-Tabisola  |  Food Truck Association

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WASHINGTON, DC – Food trucks today thanked members of the DC Council Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (BCRA) for rejecting Mayor Vincent Grays’s proposed new food truck regulations.

“We’re deeply grateful to Councilmembers Graham, Grosso, Alexander, Cheh and Committee Chairman Orange for their strong support,” said Doug Povich, Chairman of the Food Truck Association of Metropolitan Washington and co-owner of Red Hook Lobster Pound-DC.

“We’re ready to work with the District and community to make the needed revisions to the current proposal. We hope the Council will be able to consider an improved version of these regulations as soon as possible.”

If adopted as currently written, May Gray’s proposed regulations result in fewer choices, less competition, food trucks closing and food truck employees losing jobs.

“The committee is absolutely right to recommend that the full council reject these anti-competitive regulations, which contain harmful and unnecessary restrictions on food-truck entrepreneurs’ ability to serve their customers and earn an honest living,” said Bert Gall, director of the Institute for Justice’s National Street Vending Initiative.  “We urge the city to take this opportunity to create commonsense regulations that are focused only on the government’s proper role in protecting public health and safety, not the unconstitutional purpose of limiting competition.”

Mayor Gray’s proposed food truck regulations have little public support:

  • Thousands of District residents and workers wrote e-mails to members of the BCRA committee in the days leading up to the May 10 hearing.
  • During the April public comment period, nearly 95 percent of comments submitted opposed the regulations.
  • More than 50 brick-and-mortar restaurants, small businesses and community leaders have signed onto a joint letter calling for DC Council to reject the proposed regulations, including Jamie Leeds, Chef and Owner of Hank’s Oyster Bar, and Joe Englert, Restaurateur and Owner of The Argonaut, Granville Moore’s, Sticky Rice, and several other DC restaurants and bars.
  • Both the Foggy Bottom and Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commissions unanimously passed resolutions opposing the proposed regulations.
  • The Washington Post Editorial Board wrote the proposed regulations needed changes, noting that “Rules proposed by the city administration are problematic to say the least … Choices offered to consumers would be reduced; food truck mobility, and thus their ability to meet and create demand, would be drastically cut back.”
  • Additionally, a letter from food truck associations across the county submitted a joint letter to DC Council noting that no other city in the United States requires food trucks to have 10 feet of unobstructed sidewalk in order to vend, and if adopted the proposed regulations would result in some of the worst food truck policies in America being enacted in the District of Columbia.