Vendors called on the city Monday to raise its cap on the number of permits it hands out.
Dozens gathered on the steps of the Bronx Supreme Court house to ask the city to hand out more than the 3,100 vendor permits currently issued, and to demand that officials stop levying huge fines on vendors selling without a permit.
They said the fines, which can reach as high as $3,000, are outrageous.
Demonstrators said during these tough times that no one should be penalized for trying to make a living.
"These are working people, single mothers, fathers, trying to survive. Many have lost their jobs to the crisis. The streets are their last resort," said Rafael Samanez of Vamos Unidos.
"The permits haven't increased since the 1970s. I can't think of any other area of law where the law hasn't progressed to meet the demands. Especially in these times, it's really an economic issue," said food vendor advocate Karen Gargamelli.
The vendors focused their protest in the Bronx because they say vendors, especially along Fordham Road, are rapidly disappearing.
NY1 reached out to the Department of Health, which issues the permits, but DOH officials declined to comment Monday.