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'A Cultural Disaster,' the Loss of Taco Truck Culture

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Photo by stevelyon via Flickr

C. Thi Nguyen, senior editor of Chow Digest at chowhound.com and a UCLA Grad Student opines in opposition to the County's move to put harsher regulations on Taco Trucks. It appeared in today's edition of the LA Times' The Guide:

... what the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has done terrifies me. On Wednesday, the supervisors passed a harsh set of regulations for unincorporated county areas. Parking a taco truck in one spot for longer than an hour is now punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, or six months in jail, or both. Developers and restaurant owners, particularly in East L.A., are pushing for tougher enforcement too. These changes, say some truck owners, will probably put them out of business. This is a cultural disaster. Forget the Getty -- it's the taco trucks, and their crowds, that are the true culture of L.A. Attacking the trucks is like New York going after its hot dog stands or Memphis banning barbecue pits.

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Los Angeles has always struck me as one of the most aesthetically democratic of cities. The beaches are public, half the museums are free and culinary glory is sold at every street corner for almost nothing. It's paradise for the impoverished food lover. So these new regulations don't just attack taco trucks, they hurt eaters, especially poor eaters. In a lot of places in town, it's the only meal you can get for three or four bucks. And in some places, it's a great meal for three or four bucks.

Last week, SaveOurTacoTrucks.org launched with the slogan, "Carne Asada is not a Crime." At the site, which was developed by York Blvd., taco lovers can take action by signing a petition and learning more about the situation.

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