Save Temple University Food Trucks

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Temple University's Office of Community Relations issued a memo on April 17th, 2019 informing all of Temple's Street Vendors that on April 29th, the City of Philadelphia will begin enforcement of ordinance 150498. This requires "all vendor vehicles to be moved nightly from their designated locations." 

It is common knowledge that many of the vendors at Temple do not move nightly, and the increased costs in maintenance, labor, and lost business due to the more limited hours of operation is likely to cause many of these vendors to close. 

The people who own and operate these Food Trucks are members of Temple's community, some having been here over 30 years. These businesses are owned locally, many by minorities and immigrants. Food trucks create a sense of community on campus in ways the various Aramark-run food halls cannot. 

Therefore, this petition is specifically directed at Philadelphia City Council and Temple University, who we demand work together to amend Sections 9-203 and 9-206 of the City of Philadelphia Ordinance to allow vendors within the Temple University District (as defined in S9-206) to remain at their licensed, designated street-side parking spot overnight. 

Additionally, we demand that Temple University President Richard M. Englert make a decisive, public statement in defense of the food truck owners on campus. He should acknowledge the immense value and ineffable qualities our rich food truck culture creates for the Temple University community, and most importantly, that it is the priority of Temple University to support the families who own and operate these local businesses. 

Although the ordinance in S9-203 may originally have been intended to ensure safer food preparation, the specific exceptions outlined in S9-206 - which establishes the Temple University District for Street Vendors - requires vendors to take specific additional steps to ensure safe operation. Accordingly, due to S9-206's additional requirements, the food trucks at Temple University are already able to operate in a safe way. Specifically, each vendor is required to "furnish and install permitted electric utility connections required for power" (e.g. they have to have a direct power line connection), meaning that the food trucks on campus have 24/7 refrigeration. This allows vendors to more quickly open for operation (instead of waiting up to 3 hours for their refrigerators to reach safe temperatures). This also means vendors do not use power generators, leading to cleaner, quieter air on campus. Allowing vendors to stay on campus over night will allow them to continue operating safely while keeping air pollution due to transit down. 

In order for the City of Philadelphia and Temple to act, it is important that every member of the Temple Community take steps to protect this fundamental part of the TU experience. It is impossible to imagine what this university will feel like without these amazing members of our community, we must work to help save this important Temple University cultural institution.