Charlotte is not the only community cracking down on taco trucks. Similar efforts have taken hold in Los Angeles, Houston, Des Moines, and Hillsboro, Ore.
The Los Angeles Times reports today that as the Latino community has grown in the United States, so have the number of taco trucks catering to them.
We reported in March that dozens of taco trucks in Charlotte have shut down since the city passed an ordinance curtailing hours and where they operate.
Read the Observer story here.
In the LA Times story, Kevin Johnson, dean of the UC Davis law school and a professor of law and Chicano studies, says the fight against taco trucks in Charlotte and Des Moines is another way to express anti-immigrant views.
"It's hard for me to see how this whole taco truck controversy is separate and apart from the continuing clash of cultures in the U.S.," Johnson told the paper.
Here is an excerpt about Charlotte from the LA Times story:
In Charlotte, which has a fast-growing Latino population, residents complained last year that taco trucks were camping out in office parking lots past midnight, bringing crowds and crime to nearby neighborhoods.
"They were transitioning from a place for food to a place for folks to congregate," said John Lassiter, an at-large city councilman. "A lot of these neighborhoods are older, struggling with the changing demographic, so they perceive the taco truck and the related use as negatively impacting their quality of life and potentially impacting the value of their primary asset, which is their house."
The City Council responded by passing an ordinance forcing taco trucks to shut down at 9 p.m. and ensuring that several of them could not gather in the same parking lot.
Photos: DIEDRA LAIRD/Charlotte Observer