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Offers support for food trucks

To the editor,

Food truckers, like all other entrepreneurs, deserve a fair shake. But a recent Ozaukee Now article (“Food trucks face potential ban from downtown Cedarburg,” Feb. 14), describes a series of regulations that would kill off this new and vibrant industry.

The proper role of government is to protect the public’s health and safety. But Cedarburg’s regulations, which prevent food trucks from operating in the historic district or within 100 feet of a restaurant, only protect brick-and-mortar businesses from competition.

Food trucks enrich communities and create local jobs. If these regulations are implemented, the common council will be signaling to small businesses that Cedarburg is not a welcome location for them. A food truck ban means fewer options and higher prices for hungry Cedarburg residents, too.

And the proposed regulations are not just bad policy; they are simply unconstitutional. Courts around the country have repeatedly struck down rules like the ones proposed in Cedarburg. The Wisconsin Constitution prohibits smothering one type of business model just to line the pockets of another.

The Institute for Justice’s National Street Vending Initiative has successfully challenged unconstitutional regulations like the ones proposed in Cedarburg because they restrict a vendor’s right to earn an honest living — also known as economic liberty. We have helped vendors in El Paso, San Antonio, Sarasota, Baltimore and Chicago fight city hall to bring more lunch options to hungry customers who are helping make the vending industry thrive.

Right now, Cedarburg has the unique opportunity to become a model city for food truck freedom and show the rest of Wisconsin how an industry can thrive if the government simply gets out of the way. It is time the members of the common council recognize their duty to all Cedarburg citizens and eliminate the anticompetitive restrictions.

Paige Halper

Institute for Justice

Arlington, Virginia

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