Street vendors still selling on the streets despite poor air quality
Street vendors are still out despite the poor air quality, selling their products and serving their local communities.
"The air is really bad," said street vendor Tony Linares. "Yesterday I had a little problem breathing... I stayed for a couple hours and I left."
Fellow street vendor Marilu Yung said she also left her stand early on Wednesday due to the smoky air. The Street Vendor Project says their commitment to working despite the conditions is reigniting the conversation about protections for essential workers.
"They can't take a paid sick day," said Jennifer Salgado, lead organizer for the Street Vendor Project. "That's something that we have to address."
Salgado translated for vendor Vincente Ventimilla, who told News 12 that he is used to working in poor conditions from his experience working through the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have no other option but to work," said Ventimilla. "This kind of work requires us to be out here, risking ourselves."
The Street Vendor Project says vendors are sharing masks with one another and some are passing them out to shoppers for free.