Consistent with recommendations made by D.C.’s Police Reform Commission, Criminal Code Reform Commission, and Task Force on Jails & Justice, the criminal penalties for vending without a license must be repealed. Doing so will make District residents safer by reducing unnecessary confrontations between police and civilians who are simply trying to earn a living. Paired with the Sidewalk Vending Zones Amendment Act, which establishes licensing rules for vendors, the bill provides Black and Brown people safe and sustainable opportunities to build small businesses without fear of arrest or harassment by the police. More than 75% of the people convicted of vending without a license between 2010 and 2019 were Black.
Status: Decriminalization accomplished as part of Street Vendor Advancement Amendment Act – Passed and enacted in 2023.