We can’t be called Street Vendors
The word Vendors is used here as it is what is used by the industry. We operate within the City of Phoenix boundaries. The city currently has an ordiance that requires all street vendors to be individually certified with a large city fee, background check and finger-printing. Also, this ordinance significantly restricts the location, dates and times of sales. This is not feasible for our vendors as it creates more barriers to independence. More importantly, this ordinance should not apply to our vendors as we are not selling products.
What about Freedom of the Press?
We publish a community newspaper covering issues related to homelessness, housing, city government, law enforcement, community relations, mental health and a number of other related topics. We provide watchdog reporting on budgets, expenditures. We provide information on services, resources and opportunities. We provide a link between the housed and the houseless. We operate under the protection of the Constitution of the United States.
We are distributors of StreetLights Street Paper. We solicit donations to support the independence of distributors and the publication of the paper.
The donations collected also fund Outreach and Advocacy to the houseless and at-risk population in our community. This includes free water giveaway’s in the heat of the summer, food and clothing giveaways and special events directed toward serving those most in need.
Therefore, until the City of Phoenix changes their stance on this, we will refer to our street vendors as Distributors. We have asked that the city council acknowledge the mission and difference in our vendors from sellers of products on the streets and at fairs and festivals. We continue to ask that they eliminate the registration requirements along with the fees associated.
Requirements to become a Distributor
We do require all of our distributors to apply prior to receiving papers for distribution. The information collected includes their name, age, and location where they will be distributing the paper and general location of where they camp/sleep. As soon as possible, we will provide Safety Vests and Badges that identify registration with The Street Fairy organization. We will also track days papers are picked up to be distributed.
All applicants to become a distributor require agreement to and adherance to our Code of Conduct. This code is created in coordination with the INSP Charter. The back of the ID badge that all Distributors must wear states the Code of Conduct. Distributors are encouraged to work in conjunction with local business, gaining their permission to distribute on their private property. In other instances our Distributors will solicit on public sidewalks, easements and property. Strictly adhering to safety requirements.
Plans for compliance
This should be enough information for the city and will be provided upon request. We want to work with all the City’s in our Distribution Area. We hope to have a mutually beneficial relationship with city, county and state, leaders, councils, and law enforcement. When funding and support allows, we will be challenging the City Ordinance in a formal manner. Until that time, we will attempt to comply with all other safety requirements and common sense.
How you can help
If you are an attorney and would like to donate your services to help us express our First Ammendment Right to a Free Press and Free Distribution of that publication, please contact us at your earliest convenience.
We are also seeking sponsors for our Safety Vests, Badges and Lanyards. Your Logo, name or organization can be promeniently displayed as a Sponsor according to your request.
Thank you in advance for time, consideration and support!