Farmers Markets Threatened by New Special Event Fees
On the heels of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's announcement about a locally grown food policy, a move by city council has some farmers markets concerned about their survival. On September 1, the L.A. City Council passed a special events ordinance, changing the rules about how and which events are eligible to have fees waived for expenses like street closures. Some community events such as block parties get a break, but farmers markets do not under the current language.
"If non-profit organizations that operate Farmers' Markets are forced to pay these fees, it could result in market closures while severely limiting the ability of Farmers' Markets and other community events to operate in Los Angeles," explained the Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles, a group that runs seven local markets, in an e-mail urging people to call Villaraigosa and councilmembers to request for an ordinance amendment.