Street Vendors Remember One of their Own — an Advocate who Fought for their Rights — at Candlelight Vigil in Queens

Street vendors and advocates hold a candlelight vigil in Queens to mark one year since the death of a churro vendor.

Claudia Lopez was forced to work as an unlicensed vendor due to citywide limits on permits.

She advocated for more of them in the city until she died of cancer last year.

The vigil was held at her former spot for over 20 years on Roosevelt Avenue in Corona.

Organizers say Lopez was a beloved member of the community for both her churros and her advocacy.

"She used to love to work a lot so she was here every day and I think she had a positive impact because not only did she go to rallies and events, but she also invited other people in the community to help out with the cause as well," said Cesar Boc, a community organizer with the Street Vendor Project.

Currently there are only 3,100 food permits available in the city due to what advocates call an arbitrary cap put in place in 1983.

Legislation to increase the number of permits was introduced at City Council in October.

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