Sean Basinski

Street Vendor Project

Key Topics: Police reform, Economic justice, Community organizing, Grassroots entrepreneurship, Informal economy, Worker centers, Privatization of public space

Bio: Sean Basinski is the director of the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center, a membership-based organization that advocates for the 20,000 people who make a living on the sidewalks of New York City. Sean founded SVP in 2001 with a $15,000 grant from Yale Law School. Sean first became interested in vendors in 1998, when he spent the summer selling burritos from a pushcart on the corner of 52nd Street and Park Avenue.

Sean is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and the University of Pennsylvania. He is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University School of Social Work, where he teaches community organizing. Sean spent 2009 as a Fulbright Scholar conducting research on the informal economy in Lagos, Nigeria. He serves as a board member of the Food Chain Workers Alliance.

Selected Speaking Experience

  • Panelist, Van Alen Institute, “On the Street,” June 2015
  • Invited Speaker, World Street Food Congress (Singapore): “Why Foodies Should Care about Politics,” April 2015
  • Panelist, Just Food Conference, “From Field to Fork: Organizing for Justice” Just Food Conference, March 2015