Over 50 food truck vendors showed up to yesterday’s SanTana City Council meeting ready to fight. On the agenda that night was the reading of an ordinance that would regulate loncheras out of existence from the most-Mexican big city in America. 20 of them signed up to blast councilmembers for their xenophobic, plain pendejo plan.
But they never had the chance. Once the item came up for discussion, Vince Sarmiento asked his colleagues to stay a decision for 30 days, drawing befuddled looks from the audience. The ostensible reason was that Michele Martinez, who has apparently worked on the matter for over two years, wasn’t present, and Sarmiento felt that the council shouldn’t vote with Martinez absent “out of a courtesy of her.”
Then Sal Tinajero jumped in. He has been talking to concerned loncheros over the past couple of weeks, and he announced to the audience that the vendors want to address their concerns with city staff, saying they “support the ordinance” and had some “specific but productive suggestions.”
“All of us want to come to some understanding,” Sarmiento added.
This was a marked turn from the past couple of weeks, when SanTana politicians and staff labeled taco trucks as a “special danger” to the city, and openly called for herding loncheras into food lots ala Portland and Chicago—because turning SanTana into a hipster paradise is the end game for Brave New Urbanists.
Tinajero mentioned that famed attorney Federico Sayre was representing some clients, and invited him to offer some quick comments. Sayre told the council that he wants to talk with SanTana’s city attorney because some of the ordinance’s points were “unconstitutional”—an awesome development, because Sayre was the attorney who sued SanTana last time they tried to pull this shit.
With Mayor-for-Life Don Papi Pulido recusing himself because he’s knee-deep in the lonchera game, the motion to stay passed by a 5-0 vote, drawing applause from the chamber. Loncheros were stunned—and thrilled.
“This gives us a whole month to organize,” one vendor told the Weekly. “A month to tell our clients, tell our fellow loncheros, to rally behind us. This is a gift from God.”