Support Buffalo's Food Trucks
  • Petitioned Joseph Golombek, Jr.

This petition was delivered to:

The City of Buffalo Common Council
Joseph Golombek, Jr.
Mayor of Buffalo
Byron Brown
The City of Buffalo Common Council
Michael J. LoCurto
The City of Buffalo Common Council
David A. Rivera
The City of Buffalo Common Council
Bonnie E. Russell
The City of Buffalo Common Council
Demone A. Smith
The City of Buffalo Common Council
Richard A. Fontana
The City of Buffalo Common Council
David A. Franczyk
The City of Buffalo Common Council
Darius G. Pridgen
The City of Buffalo Common Council
Michael P. Kearns
Executive Director, Buffalo Place
Michael Schmand
Press Officer, Mayor Brown's office
Mike DeGeorge

Support Buffalo's Food Trucks

    1. Jeremy Horwitz
    2. Petition by

      Jeremy Horwitz

      East Amherst, NY

  1.  
  2.   
January 2012

Victory

After nearly 5,000 people signed a campaign on Change.org, Buffalo's Common Council enacted regulations that legalize food trucks in the city! Here are a few words from the petition's creator, Jeremy Horwitz:

"While the regulation isn't perfect, it's a good faith effort by Buffalo's Common Council to encourage the responsible growth of food trucks -- and a more reasonable solution than what was suggested by opponents. 

There's no doubt that the huge collection of signatures gathered by our Change.org campaign -- and the resulting e-mails directed towards the Common Council -- influenced the regulatory process in a positive way.

My hope is that Western New York's food trucks will use this opportunity to bring more and better food choices to Buffalo's citizens. This petition wasn't about putting yesterday's restaurants on wheels. It's about increasing the diversity and quality of every neighborhood's dining options."

Update: 9/29/11: Advocates delivered nearly 4,000 signatures to the Common Council today! An advisory committee will now be formed to draft regulations that will be presented to the Common Council by Nov. 1st. Please keep signing the petition to urge Council members to enact regulations that would allow for a thriving fleet of food trucks in Buffalo!

Before taking office, most politicians hope to "make a difference" for their constituents. After taking office, many politicians are so mired in small debates that actual "make a difference" opportunities seem rare. Today, you have a chance to make a big difference. The food truck regulations you are currently considering will impact more than a single neighborhood, and go beyond even the City of Buffalo. What you do will have ripple effects across all of Western New York, and possibly national consequences. 

Other cities have welcomed food trucks as dining pioneers, benefitting from an expanded variety and quality of foods. As evidenced by strong citizen support for these trucks, they undeniably generate good will and contribute to a city's culinary discussions: when the food's great, people literally follow the trucks from location to location, forming lines to support the new businesses. Some trucks, such as Los Angeles's Kogi BBQ, have received international attention and become tourist draws in their own right, while bringing crowds of new people to help generate additional support for existing businesses. These trucks generate precisely the sort of public excitement and improvement that a city needs, particularly in challenging economic times.

Today, Buffalo has five food trucks. Lloyd was created to bring more authentic tacos to Buffalo. The Whole Hog Truck sells outrageously good gourmet pork sandwiches. Roaming Buffalo serves Western New York specialties, RNR BBQ Truck offers barbecue, and Rolling Joe is a coffee house on wheels - plus a Buffalo favorite, loganberry. These trucks are trying to deliver better food and drinks to the people of Buffalo, while celebrating some of this area's culinary traditions.

Delays in food truck permits and regulations have already quantifiably hurt Buffalo. Limited in its area of operation -- and forced to fight when it could have been reaching out to additional people -- Lloyd fell just short of winning a national competition that would have guaranteed it a place on television and a $10,000 cash prize, half of which it planned to donate to a local charity, providing 25,000 meals to needy Buffalonians. Another truck, Fork on the Road, planned to diversify the food truck scene by offering Vietnamese dishes that could not be found elsewhere in this area. The owner is a locally well-established chef who scuttled his food truck plans specifically because of the regulatory uncertainty surrounding the business. Other trucks have been threatened, not by angry customers, but by local landlords and mediocre businesses that have called city police away from actual crimes to chase away permit-holding competitors.

Your prompt action is needed. It is important. The regulation you will pass is not just about protecting the pockets of a handful of your wealthiest constituents. It is about helping the tide to rise such that all boats in Buffalo will be lifted. Your actions will directly affect the ability of a truck such as Lloyd to receive national television attention while making direct contributions to our community. It will help a truck like Fork on the Road to improve the variety of foods available in this area. You will inspire or discourage the next generation of Buffalo small businesspeople.

Since most of your constituents will not be present at the public or private meetings that are held regarding this legislation, it is up to you to act in Buffalo's broader interest, and consider the unspoken needs of the many rather than the loudest shouts of the few business owners who are afraid of competing with these trucks. Like other cities that have embraced and seen tangible cultural, culinary, and economic benefits from food trucks, Buffalo will grow and prosper as these small businesspeople test new models on their own dime, infusing our streets with long-awaited energy and excitement.

We urge you to expedite regulations that enable licensed food trucks to operate with minimal interference from established businesses. In thriving cities, food truck regulations and permit processes are designed to encourage healthy competition. Buffalo should follow their example -- immediately.

As much as private landlords may want to lay claim to our public spaces, these individuals need to be reminded that they can control their own property, but they cannot preclude access to the surrounding streets and infrastructure our tax dollars paid for and maintain. Existing businesses cannot and should not be able to stop new, law-abiding competitors from offering higher-quality products at different or even nearby locations. Let the market decide the victors and reward them for their quality and innovation.

Respectfully Yours,

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Buffalo Common Council Still Waiting

      Jeremy Horwitz
      Petition Organiser

      We're making another push for signatures! The Common Council needs to vote in support of the proposal advanced by the food truck operators. Please tell a friend to sign this petition, as it helps to fill the email boxes of Councilmembers with words of support. Your signatures are making a difference, and we appreciate it!

      Jeremy (@horwitz on Twitter)

    2. Reached 1,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Jessica Gostomski ALDEN, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      The food trucks are a part of city culture...it is a nice option for some one like me that works downtown and may not always have the time to sit down and eat. Plus they have good food!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Christina Bosilkovski LACKAWANNA, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      Food trucks are a part of free enterprise and a competitive market economy. It is unjust to stifle this entrepreneurial opportunity and to deprive the people of Buffalo from great, locally-supported food and service.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Joy Crawford KENMORE, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      How can we NOT support Food Trucks????

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • B L VANCOUVER, CANADA
      • over 2 years ago

      I support your cause. If you could also take a moment to check out my cause it would be greatly appreciated! http://www.change.org/petitions/minister-of-public-safety-and-solicitor-general-increase-octips-budget-to-750000-annually-and-rehire-robin-pike

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Aimee Woodward ORCHARD PARK, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      When I was on a jury downtown, I was in a hurry and had NO IDEA where to go to eat at lunch. I was unfamiliar with the food offered downtown that WASNT a sit-down restaurant. I would have KILLED for a food truck back then. Food trucks are a great addition to downtown buffalo and should not be seen as a threat!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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