By Howard Dyckoff
National Night Out (NNO) is happening tomorrow and Oakland is on track to establish another record for neighborhood get-togethers, according to Mayor Jean Quan and OPD Chief Howard Jordon.
There will be 605 BBQs, parties and gatherings this year across the city, up from 554 last year.
At City Hall, during their July 25th press conference, both the mayor and the chief spoke to the importance of these community building events and introduced
more than a dozen hosts and neighborhood organizers who were standing beside them.
“I want to urge everyone to sign up to host a block party for National Night Out,” Mayor Quan said after the event. “This is an easy, fun way to meet your neighbors and make your neighborhood a stronger, safer place. Participating in this event with so many fellow Oaklanders is one of the great joys in living here.”
The purpose of NNO is to get neighbors to meet and better know each other. In Oakland and many other large cities, the police and fire department help coordinate NNO and encourage the formation of Neighborhood Watches and Neighborhood Crime Prevention Councils (NCPCs).
Fostering neighborhood cooperation and reviving non-functioning NCPCs is in fact part of the mayor’s signature 100 Block Strategy. She has spent many weekends walking
through different parts of East and West Oakland and talking to residents about neighborhood cooperation and community building.
Last year, NNO events in Oakland rose from
less than 440 in 2010 to 560 events on NNO day, about a 25% jump. According to Mayor Quan, there are already 520 events scheduled, and the city was expecting to break 600 tomorrow.
Many NNO events grow form small potlucks to full block parties with entertainment for kids and adults. But the important part is getting to know and understand your neighbors.
To find guidelines for organizing your own event or find NNO events in your part of Oakland, contact Brenda Ivey at 510-238-3091.
Click here for a slideshow of the July 25th NNO press conference at City Hall.