Dear friends,

Seventeen years ago, right out of law school, I launched the Street Vendor Project. I had been a vendor myself and believed that vendors were being treated unfairly, and that I could perhaps play a part in changing that. I found a home at the Urban Justice Center and started doing outreach to vendors in Lower Manhattan who had lost business due to the 9-11 attacks, but were being excluded from the aid programs that were in place. They were not "legitimate businesses," they said. Yeah, right!

That was a long time ago. Now, SVP has a staff of six and a budget of about $500k per year. I am incredibly proud of all that we have accomplished. Nowadays, vendors are trendy – but more importantly, they are respected. We still have a long, long way to go. Change is very slow, and half the battle is showing up every day and grinding away, year after year.
Yep, that's Mohamed and me. He's the youngster.
Now is the time for others to lead that grind. Over the next few months, I’ll be winding down my work at the Street Vendor Project. Taking the helm -- alongside our incredible staff, our Leadership Board, our 2,317 members, and our Advisory Board -- will be Mohamed Attia, who joined me as co-director this past spring. I am 100% confident that Mohamed, with his natural leadership skills, passion for justice, and deep roots in the vending community, will carry SVP to a higher level.

As for me, it’s time to discover new challenges. Right now, I’m not sure what those will be, but I'm excited to find out. Hit me up if you have any good ideas! I know I will always be a steadfast supporter of SVP.
 
The reason I am letting you know this now is because we need your help to keep SVP strong through this transition. During this holiday season, I hope you can make a tax-deductible contribution to SVP (click here ) in honor of me but to show your dedication to the movement which is so much greater than any single person.

I am so grateful for the solidarity and support you have given me over these years! This will be my last email to this list, so let me sign off the way we do at the end of every meeting, in a circle, holding hands together with people who have closed their carts and tables early and come to our office to help create a better city and a better world.

Vendor power!
Sean Basinski