For Immediate Release//
December 10th, 2020
Contact: Armando Carmona, firstname.lastname@example.org, (951) 966-6500
San Bernardino, CA – On Wednesday morning, the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice announced the IE Tamal Challenge that invites street vendors and home cooks that cook the best tamales and champurrado for a chance to win $200.
This challenge comes as a way to elevate the stories of hard-working street vendors in the Inland Empire who are struggling to survive during the current political climate and pandemic. In September of this year, the City of San Bernardino passed an ordinance to update chapter 8 which extends to all staff with authority to cite, which includes the San Bernardino Police Department.
In order for street vendors to participate in the challenge, they must ensure they are following the correct health guidelines. This means wearing gloves, a mask, and ensuring they are being safe during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Lyzzeth Mendoza, Policy Manager for the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice said the following:
“We have been asked to stay at home and that is easy for some of us, but this pandemic and government support has been in a wave of uncertainty, we cannot ignore the most vulnerable small businesses in our community. Just like some restaurants, vendors depend on every day sales to make ends meet, the difference is vendors do not get relief. Therefore, this holiday season makes a true effort to support your community street vendors in the IE. This challenge is an opportunity for folks to be recognized and supported, we are thinking beyond this pandemic and will strive to bring effective policy change.”
The Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice is working with other organizations in the IE to work on a COVID messaging that will reach all communities to make sure they are all staying safe. Some of the work includes creating commercials and graphics that will be shared throughout the IE. These tactics are now being incorporated into the street vendors campaigns.
The decision to use the police to enforce code regulations is an alarming move from the city as they continue to harshly punish these local vendors which are also small business owners. Street vendors have been left out of financial support from the state, many risk losing their source of income, and their investments during the global pandemic when police seize their equipment.
This Tamale challenge is one way our community is recognizing our skilled vendors and elevating the need to support vendors from their own pockets as a form of mutual aid.