LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A coalition of community groups rallied Wednesday on Twitter as part of an effort to legalize over 10,000 street food vendors in Los Angeles.

Members of the Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign are calling on the City Council to pass legislation that would establish formal regulations – and legal protection – for sidewalk vending operations.

The campaign’s online “Twitter party” included proposals to create public food courts using vacant lots throughout the city as a way to accomodate city vendors without threatening to lure business from brick-and-mortar establishments.

Supporters say licensing the vendors would also increase accountability in the event of any health violations or food quality issues.

Janet Favela with the Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that the city should act to protect street vendors from potential harassment from police or neighboring businesses.

“They can be hustled away, they can be arrested, they can be fined up to $1,000 every time or just [be] continuously harrassed,” Favela said.

An online petition urging the City Council to act had garnered just over 750 signatures as of Aug. 21.

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