New Orleans food truck operators like Rachel Billow of La Cocinita are hoping to form a nonprofit association that would serve as serve as a unified voice for mobile vendors as they try to hack through the city's jungle of outdated regulatory red tape. Chief among this as-yet-nonexistent association's priorities would be increasing the number of annual permits that the city grants to mobile vendors, extending the time a vendor can park in one spot and expanding operating hours so vendors aren't forced to pick up stakes before feeding the hungry masses, reports the Times-Pic's Richard Thompson.
On Sunday, Thompson detailed that the latest rumblings within the mobile food operating community to apply for a nonprofit association under 501(c)(6) status closely mirror steps taken by other food truck groups across the country to navigate their own local regulatory bodies. Groups like the Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association, which helped correct some misinformation about food trucks and ameliorate some of the health code restrictions that hamstrung most mobile food operators, provide a model for New Orleans' burgeoning community of local vendors. The California group, for instance, requires members to pay monthly dues, which are used to help challenge unfavorable rules like those constricting New Orleans food trucks.
With enough members, a mobile vendor nonprofit association could start seriously challenging the city's mobile vending restrictions. Metairie lawyer Andrew Legrand is helping Billow and some of the others file the nonprofit paperwork. Once it gets rolling, this nonprofit caravan of food trucks will first ask city officials for an"official interpretation of the laws"governing food trucks before requesting meetings with members of the city council. No word on whether members will get cool t-shirts, but something that reads, "Don't tread on my treads" seems especially appropriate.
· Food truck operators to form nonprofit association [Times-Pic]
· NOFTC [Tumblr]