Question to Chicago Mayoral Candidates: Food Trucks in Chicago?
Thanks to Time Out Chicago, food truck fans and followers in the Chicagoland area, now know where the candidates stand on the issue of allowing food trucks to operate within the city. Under a proposal by Aldermen Daley and Waguespack food trucks would be authorized by permit and regulated by the city to work on the streets of Chicago to sell their cuisine, and at the same time, be able to prepare the food on-site, unlike the current legislation which prevents anything but prepared food to be sold from trucks on private property.
Of the candidates running for Mayor of Chicago, an election that will be held on the February 22, 2011, 92% support legalizing cook-on-site food trucks. This is a good sign for voters and those of us who frequent the city, but do not live within their limits and thus cannot vote in this election that food trucks may be closer than ever once the new mayor is elected. Here are what the candidates said.
Carol Moseley Braun: “Support, and I applaud Ald. Waguespack’s leadership on this issue.”
Cynthia Plaster Caster: “Well, if they allow it in cities like Chicago, then they’ll have to legalize it in other great cities like New York and Los Angeles…oh, wait!…they already have! It’s ridiculous that cook-on-site food trucks are not allowed. Especially when you see them for movie-set catering.”
Gery Chico: “They need to be held to the same health and safety standards as bricks-and-mortar restaurants. As long as the source of the food is safe and the equipment used to store and sell the food is safe, I believe it will enrich our experience as citizens to be able to taste foods and have culinary experience from other cultures throughout the city.”
Annazette Collins: “I didn’t know that was an issue because I see those food trucks all the time but I didn’t know they couldn’t cook on them. So we’d have to hire more city inspectors to license them and inspect them. That would give more people jobs. I’d probably be okay with that.”
Christopher Cooper: “I support it. I am a native New Yorker—raised in New York City—one of the things that I miss about NYC are the sidewalk pushcarts on which food is prepared.”
Miguel del Valle: “Cook-on-site food trucks represent healthy competition and open up more entrepreneurship opportunities in a city in need of job creation. These food trucks could also be used to bring more food access—including nutritious options—to underserved neighborhoods.”
Rahm Emanuel: “I do not believe cook-on-site food trucks should be illegal. The ordinance proposed by Aldermen Daley and Waguespack takes a good first step by allowing for preparation of fresh foods on mobile food facilities and commissaries throughout the city, while maintaining stringent health regulations and protecting local business owners. I believe we should be doing more to promote access to fresh foods throughout the city and encourage innovation in our food industry.”
Rickey Hendon: “I’m not as familiar with cook-on-site food trucks, but I wouldn’t necessarily be against them as long as they are licensed.”
Rev. James T. Meeks: “Food trucks overall have the potential to create new employment opportunities and small-business growth, so it’s definitely a boost to the local economy. If they obey the health and safety rules, I’m in favor of it.”
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr: “Naturally, I am in favor.”
William “Dock” Walls: “I am in favor of cook-on-site food trucks. Cultural events are made better when participants , attendees and others have an opportunity to taste the local fare. The trucks will enable vendors to achieve their dreams.”
Fredrick K. White: “I am against it. It would be wrong to have trucks sitting outside established restaurants competing for customers. It would also be very hard to enforce any type of health codes.”
As you can see, other than Fredrick K. White, it appears most of the candidates will provide their full backing of the food truck industry in Chicago just as other major US cities currently do. Apparently Mr. White hasn’t left the city to visit other metropolises like Los Angeles, New York, or Washington DC to see how mobile cuisine is helping provide jobs, additional tax revenue and fantastic foods to population in these areas.