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City Council candidates evaluated on friendliness to small business, food truck regulation

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With this year’s extremely crowded playing field, it becomes increasingly important to examine Council candidates’ positions on a variety of issues. Trade groups, meeting organizers, advocates and others can’t do an analysis of every candidate’s position on every important subject facing Sacramento, but we can zero in on on particular areas dear to our hearts. In this vein, SactoMoFo has put together this chart to illustrate candidates’ support – or lack thereof – for food trucks, and what role they see restaurant owners taking in the regulation of their competition. A copy of the chart is embedded below, but the full version is eaiser to read and be found here.   

Many people see support for these small entrepreneurs as a signifier of a larger issue: that of support for small, just-starting-out businesspeople over the public subsidy of the wealthy and of established, successful, large businesses. Whether that is justified or not, certainly a city councilmember who gives a disproportionate amount of attention to a restaurant owners’ association that is run by and for a small group of wealthy restaurant group owners and their investors at the cost of attention to Sacramento’s struggling local small business community is not something that a reasonable person could argue to be democratic or an appropriate use of public office.

At its core, we see this as a simple equation: if you support rich, established businesses taking a hand in the stifling of their competition, you must also support these new, struggling, yet more agile business models in having a hand in the regulation of their competition as well. That is, if a candidate or voter wishes to maintain a semblance of ideological consistency, they cannot support a small group of restaurant owners attempting to regulate food trucks (in a way that specifically violates the State Vehicle Code, which only allows local governments to regulate the trucks for purposes of public health and safety – things that are not served by enforcing short time limits, dusk curfews and similar arbitrary rules) without also supporting food truck owners’ being involved in the regulation of restaurants.

A high-resolution version of this chart is also available.

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