Miami Area Street Vendors Fight Regulations

City wants to control when and where they can sell their goods


On a recent cloudy afternoon, Silvio Membreno traveled from one Hialeah street corner to the next with important news for roadside vendors.

The sellers paused a moment from hawking guava fruits and cold bottles of water as Membreno pleaded with them to join him Tuesday night at Hialeah City Hall, when the City Council is scheduled to vote on new rules regulating how and where the city's ubiquitous street vendors can offer their wares.

"I want them to see that it's not me alone, that we are many," Membreno told them in Spanish.

"You can count on me for that," responded Luis Mass Buchaca, 24, a newly arrived Cuban immigrant who hands out fliers to provide for his young wife and new baby. "If I left Cuba, it was to have the freedom to share my opinion."