DC City Council: Stop treating record stores and vintage stores like pawn shops
  • Petitioned State Sen. Tommy Wells

This petition was delivered to:

District Of Columbia-006
State Sen. Tommy Wells
District Of Columbia-007
State Sen. Yvette Alexander
District Of Columbia-001
State Sen. Jim Graham
District Of Columbia-002
State Sen. Jack Evans
District Of Columbia-004
State Sen. Muriel Bowser
District Of Columbia-003
State Sen. Mary Cheh
District Of Columbia-008
State Sen. Marion Barry
District Of Columbia-000B
State Sen. Anita Bonds
District Of Columbia-000C
State Sen. David Grosso
District Of Columbia-000E
State Sen. Phil Mendelson
District Of Columbia-000D
State Sen. David Catania
District Of Columbia-000A
State Sen. Vincent Orange

DC City Council: Stop treating record stores and vintage stores like pawn shops

    1. Frank Gómez
    2. Petition by

      Frank Gómez

      Washington, DC

  1.  
  2.   
June 2012

Victory

Following an appearance on the Kojo Nnamdi show (http://thekojonnamdishow.org/shows/2012-05-30/business-licenses-and-dcs-vintage-stores), Jim Graham and the DCRA announced that the city would permanently amend the rules governing the licensing of secondhand dealers like Crooked Beat, Meeps, Idle Time Books, and Miss Pixies. This petition was the impetus for the press coverage that kept this issue on the radar of city officials, so thank you and congratulations for keeping DC's independent businesses in DC!

Remember that old high school wardrobe you sold to Meeps? The beat up Styx record that Joint Custody took off your hands? That copy of George Orwell's "1984" you sold to Idle Time Books? Well, MPD wants to know about it.

On April 4, officials with the DC Office of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) raided a number of Adams Morgan and U Street-area businesses that sell vintage and used goods, threatening them with fines and closure for operating without a secondhand business license. This license is intended to regulate pawn shops, to safeguard against the selling of stolen goods.

The regulations would require shops like Meeps, Idle Time Books, GoodWood, and Miss Pixies -- as well as all the record stores in town -- to submit to MPD's pawn unit a detailed list of goods acquired each time they make a purchase. Additionally, MPD wants the stores to hold items for 15 days for police inspection before they can be sold. These requirements introduce a regulatory load which helps no one and threatens the existence of the small businesses that make DC unique.

DC's secondhand business regulations are outdated, unnecessarily burdensome, and overly broad. A lawyer working with DC's small business community has proposed amendments to the regulations that would bring them up to date and carve out exemptions for the businesses described above.

Please add your name to this petition to request that the City Council pass emergency legislation that would provide 90 days of relief and time to establish a permanent exemption for businesses that sell used and vintage goods. It's vital that this happen to re-establish a sense of trust between local government and the businesses that drive our local economy.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Victory!

      Frank Gómez
      Petition Organizer

      Following an appearance on the Kojo Nnamdi show (http://thekojonnamdishow.org/shows/2012-05-30/business-licenses-and-dcs-vintage-stores), Jim Graham and the DCRA announced that the city would permanently amend the rules governing the licensing of secondhand dealers like Crooked Beat, Meeps, Idle Time Books, and Miss Pixies.

      This petition was the impetus for the press coverage that kept this issue on the radar of city officials, so thank you and congratulations for keeping DC's independent businesses in DC!

    2. Reached 2,500 signatures
    3. I live *around* DC, but not *in* DC; does my signature count?

      Frank Gómez
      Petition Organizer

      I've gotten this question a few times, so I thought I'd post about it: I live *around* DC, but not *in* DC; does my signature count?

      The answer is an emphatic "yes."

      When you come into DC to patronize record stores or vintage shops, the taxes you pay on those goods are revenue for the city. So are the taxes you pay when you decide to grab a bite at a restaurant before/after your vinyl adventures and the parking meter fees or Metro fare you pay during your visits. It's all connected. If you spend money in DC -- and especially if vintage shops or record stores are destination points for you -- then your signature counts.

      If you live in MD or VA and you want to continue to frequent the independently owned shops that make DC awesome, please do sign, and please share the petition with others.

    4. Help Save DC’s Record Shops: Take Action Today

      Frank Gómez
      Petition Organizer

      The blogs and indie media are picking up the story, too. Thank you, thank you, thank you! If you write for a blog, please consider using your virtual megaphone to put this petition in front of more eyeballs. (How's that for mixing metaphors?) If blogging isn't your thing, please share these blog posts and articles in your social networks and help spread the word!

    5. Huffington Post picks up our petition!

      Frank Gómez
      Petition Organizer

      A mere four hours after this petition went live, the Huffington Post published a story about the burden the DCRA's unnecessary regulations is putting on local businesses. There's some great information in here from Meeps' Cathy Chung and attorney Robert Clayton, as well as a couple of quotes from Crooked Beat owner Bill Daly.

      Help make the most of this story by sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or whatever the kids are using nowadays. If we can keep the shares and the hits to this story high, it'll show up as a featured story on Huffington Post, further increasing the visibility of this issue.

      The fact that this story made it onto Huffington Post's radar at all is a testament to the community behind DC's small businesses. Keep sharing!

    6. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Graham Brouder HARRISONBURG, VA
      • almost 2 years ago

      Second-hand retailers are documents of a city's culture. I've shopped in multiple record stores in DC with the intention of learning about its people and finding records unique to the city's history. It's important that these types of stores are preserved.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Adriana Cordero WASHINGTON, DC
      • almost 2 years ago

      DC government - Please stop hurting small businesses!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Joy Patterson WINCHESTER, VA
      • almost 2 years ago

      The used book/record and Vintage market are suffering enough as is. Don't push down these wonderful small businesses with another hurdle. Thats somebodies dream that might be taken away.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • louis balla WASHINGTON, DC
      • almost 2 years ago

      I'm frustrated by how incompetent the DC council is and how clueless they are with respect to how difficult it is to start up a business in DC. For every agency you have to deal with in another state, you have to deal with at least 3 in DC. It's paperwork for the sake of paperwork.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • ROSS CUNNINGHAM TAKOMA PARK, MD
      • almost 2 years ago

      PLEASE KEEP VINTAGE SACRED NOT SACRIFICED. THESE THREATENED ESTABLISHMENTS WE LOVE ARE OUR WINDOW TO LIVING HISTORY!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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