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Making policy public for NYC street vendors

Each poster doubles as a pamphlet. The folded pamphlet measures 8” by 11” and unfolds into a 32” by 22” poster.

The folded pamphlet measures 8” by 11” and unfolds into a 32” by 22” poster.

Even in the digital age, the printed pamphlet is still a charged communication tool. Last year, for example, GOOD magazine partnered with Starbucks in a series of newsprint fold-out infographics. Each “GOOD sheet” focused on demystifying a different issue — Immigration, Gas Prices, The Economy — and were distributed at Starbucks in the final weeks of the 2008 election. NYT called it “a double macchiato with a side of debate.”

How about your next falafel pita with a side of public policy? That’s what you’re in for with Vendor Power! — a how-to business guide for NYC street vendors. This is a new project from Making Policy Public, part of The Center of Urban Pedagogy (despite its academic name, this organization’s mission is simply to “make educational projects about places and how they change”).

Vendor Power! decodes the rules and regulations for New York’s 10,000 street vendors so they can understand their rights, avoid fines, and earn an honest living. Did you know you can get a $1000 ticket for parking more than 18 inches from the curb? It doubles as a poster on the rich landscape and history of vending in the City.
Making Policy Public

This is a great resource to explain rules and regulations about the local street vending business, which can be a very closed system and difficult to get into if you don’t have the right connections. (Unless you’re operating illegally, also addressed in the pamphlet.) A friend of mine wanted to set up a barbecue food cart near Pratt, but couldn’t get through the red tape of obtaining a license.

Also, the graphics-rich communication seems appropriate for an industry where foreign workers speak English as a language after Bengali, Spanish, or Arabic. (See the 2005 film Man Push Cart, about a Pakistani rock star who, after a fall from fame, works a street cart in New York City.)


My favorite carts:
any of the fresh fruit carts, any of the chicken and rice and mayo carts, the churros lady on the L line, and Hallo Berlin

Find your favorite cart:
2009 Vendy Awards

Other pamphlets from Making Policy Public:
Predatory Equity: The Survival Guide
The Cargo Chain: Globalized Shipping Networks


Written by @hellopanelo

April 22, 2009 at 1:06 pm