Proposal would create fee for vendors at second lines, prohibit alcohol sales

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The Pigeontown Steppers second-line up Oak Street on Easter Sunday 2012. ( file photo by Sabree Hill)

A proposal on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting of the New Orleans City Council would create a new permit and fee for vendors at second-line parades, making them responsible for litter around them and stopping them from selling alcohol at the events.

Specifically, the ordinance would create a new class within the city’s “transient vendor” section of code for “Social Aid and Pleasure Club occasional vendors” for anyone who sells prepared or packaged food at second-line parades. It would require a permit from those vendors, prevent them from being at any given location 45 minutes before or after the parade passes it, prevent them from selling alcoholic beverages, and require them to post a menu, keep a trash can nearby and pick up all litter in a 10-foot radius from their spot.

The fee for the permit is listed as $50 in the ordinance, but Clarence Bickham, legislative director for Councilwoman Diana Bajoie (who is sponsoring the ordinance), said that figure is now planned to be reduced to $25. Selling alcohol, Bickham noted, requires a separate license from the city Alcohol Beverage Control board. Bickham said the mayor’s office drafted the legislation.

“He brought it before the council and our council person agreed with it,” Bickham said.

Tyler A. Gamble, a communications manager for Mayor Mitch Landrieu, confirmed that the administration created the ordinance, and said that vendors were included in its drafting.

This is a new ordinance that amends the existing Transient Vendor permit to include Social Aid and Pleasure Club vendors. Though the ordinance currently states a fee of $50, it will be amended down to $25. This is consistent with other fees and for the type of activity. It is not an ABO permit. Anyone who sells alcohol needs another type of permit from the City and from the State. We support this ordinance and have worked with the vendors to create it.

Other vendors have to pay a $500 fee, but the ordinance specifies that second-line vendors would not have to pay that amount — only the $25, said Scott Hutcheson, the mayor’s advisor on the cultural economy.

The City Council is slated to begin its meeting at 10 p.m. Thursday.

[Note: This article was first published at 12:59 p.m. Wednesday and updated at 1:42 p.m. and 2:26 p.m. to add the responses from Gamble and then Hutcheson.]

16 thoughts on “Proposal would create fee for vendors at second lines, prohibit alcohol sales

  1. i can understand an attempt to alleviate the littering issues, but maybe if this city would stop being half-in-half-out about recycling and just posted some people in a follow-along cleanup truck, or some glass recycling bins somewhere, this wouldn’t be an issue. I’m still going to drink at second line parades, and I’m still going to try to recycle what i can carry.

    stop wasting time and money on bogus laws when we have bigger problems.

  2. totally unnecessary. part of what make 2nd lines so awesome is the people just coming together. and when you’re dancing down the street, loving life, now there won’t be a guy with an ice chest full of cold ones to conveniently wet your whistle??? #antiNOLA

  3. just something to put more money in there pockets,,,what they need to be looking into is why the NFL maken it to hard on the saints ,, but thinks its kool to come here and have big party (super bowl) in our house (Dome) and not even want us at the party,,, are why they down there putn in new streets carlines,sidewalks fixing it up when the lower night ward still look like a a war zone ??? street look like a missile was droped there ,let fix this shit then we talk bout other things

  4. It’s simple. You have to have a permit to sell stuff on the street. This one’s $25 — that’s a lot less than the typical $500 vendor license. Get over it.

  5. Anyone who supports this change is truly not appreciative of our cultures and traditons that makes new orleans what it is. To put all of these stipulations fines and fees on a practice that is still around after all these years Is unthinkable. This comes from the heart and soul of both blacks and whites . Its the way we express ourselves when we celabrate and its done in only a way that we can do it , whether its us mourning our loved ones or vice versa. You mean to tell me that even our funeral traditions will also be slapped with rules and regulations . Its obvious the people who are pushing for this just dont want to see people who are predominantly african american joyously passing down there streets celabrating, period. They are hoping that it will deter or ultimately stop the tradition all together which is whats going to happen when we allow these type of changes. Its sad. They ve totally forgotten about the spontaneous way we spill out into the streets in joyous jubilation here in New Orleans. Here we celabrate everything ,even a persons death . And we do it like the old saying goes , “at the drop of a dime”. Thats new orleans thats our culture and once again they’re tryin to take it away. DON’T LET THEM!!
    Wanda Blackburn
    A Native New Orleanean of 44yrs.
    504- 307 4497

  6. I happened to drive by the corner of Claiborne and Washington last weekend after a secondline had passed by. The litter was massive and unsightly. I appreciate the city trying to put something in place to improve it.

  7. This would be INSANE. Let these traditions continue unaltered and unadulterated, for God’s sake. I do NOT want to live in Shreveport…no offense to my beloved hometown and all. But let’s not screw up what we’ve got here, folks. I mean really.

  8. It’s good to see our mayor and city council spending their time figuring out ways to squeeze more money out of the people rather than addressing real issues……This is a load of crap! Our so called “city government” really needs to focus on things that matter like fixing the streets outside of the Quarter and the CBD, and addressing the rampant crime on our streets in a meaningful and realistic way. You want to disrupt tradition? Get rid of the traditionally high crime and bad streets! Leave the rest of it alone!

  9. You don’t ever hear of anyone proposing permits and fees for yard sales in the Garden District. And which vendors are Clarence and Diana “working with” anyway? This is more racist, class-ist bullshit. If they want better clean-up after second lines, all they have to do is ask. I’m sure the communities involved would respond positively to respectful requests and meaningful dialogue, Creating onerous fees and permit requirements is just as much a slap in the face as restrictive voter I.D. laws.

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