M. Terry / SFVS

Mission Hills resident Joe Lozano, a veteran who served in the Marines, is known in the local community as a colorful guy who literally likes to wave the flag.  During the annual Cesar Chavez parade he dons his red, white and blue shirt and waves a large American flag as people march by, although the late labor leader was also a veteran served in the Navy.  While making his point, Lozano can be colorful, and at times a bit unclear but when it comes to his position about street vendors or people who are in this country illegally he is strident.

He thinks they should all be banned, and while he said he isn’t one of the people who takes photos of them, or harasses them, he regularly gets on the phone and calls the police and his local representatives to complain.  “If you want to see Tijuana all over again, go to Osborne and San Fernando Road.  Everybody is cooking out on the sidewalk there in the afternoon.”

“I have not taken any pictures, not even with a phone but I do report them for a simple reason: we are talking about health.  The food they’re selling isn’t regulated.  They sell garbage. Those vendors wouldn’t be in business if people weren’t buying their food.”   He carries around fliers from the health department with a telephone number for people to call if they have a food borne illness.

“Each year approximately 76 million people get sick and 5,000 die from food poisoning, ”  Lozano  points out quoting from the flyer. 

A member of the Elks Lodge, Lozano said he’s known for his killer salsa but knows that he can’t produce it from his house.  “All regulations apply to others, not the illegal vendors out there, if you get sick from a  restaurant you have recourse, if you get sick from an illegal vendor, who do you go to to?  There is no recourse.”  

“The other day I parked at the Shell station at Brandon and Laurel Canyon and didn’t see a  ‘no parking sign.  The ticket was $93.  It cost me a lot just to buy two scratchers, but I got to pay it.:

Lozano said when he got out Marines in 1957, he wanted to  be a cop but was a 1/2 too short .  “God knew what he was doing when he didn’t make me a cop, but when you break the law, you go to jail.” Lozano said.