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Latino/a Mobility in California History

Genevieve Carpio, Javier Cienfuegos, Ivonne Gonzalez, Karen Lazcano, Katherine Lee Berry, Joshua Mandell, Christofer Rodelo, Alfonso Toro, Authors

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The AVA Archives

The images selected for my second item were curated at the Southern California Library in Los Angeles, CA. They feature propaganda, images, receipts, among other physical allusions of the organization of street vendors in the city. I include anecdotes from Clair Weber’s writings to provide a comprehensive perspective of the Asociación de Vendedores Ambulantes (Association of Street Vendors, AVA). It is important to note that through its founding, the organization provided the first legal and official medium for street vendors to come together and address issues that transcended the right to sell goods on the streets of Los Angeles. The contributions of street vendors as incubators of a new industry was diluted into a perception of violators of a city ordinance (Weber, 219). Weber notes that “as the number of street vendors grew in the late 1890s, so too did police arrests, ticketing, and abuse” (Weber, 222). The intersection between local merchants, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the city in policing street vending only served to further organize vendors and transform street vending from a way to earn a living into an activist movement.

The formation of the AVA suggests a the conception of a movement of activism from a channel of physical and economic mobility to one that embraced and then became centered on activism for the Latino and immigrant community of Los Angeles.  The movement expanded from the initial coordination of street vendors to include grassroots organizers, lawyers, volunteers, etc.

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Posted on 11 January 2018, 2:24 am by dani denills  |  Permalink

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