Modeled on the Ciclovia – which started in Bogotá, Colombia, and has since spread to cities around the globe – this WalkOaklandBikeOakland sponsored event is the first in the East Bay. Streets from Uptown to Jack London Square to West Oakland will be thronged by walkers, cyclists, dancers and kids of all ages.

When we attend big civic events, we often take them for granted – someone else organizes and pays the bills. In Oakland, however, we know that fun has a DIY element. And Oaklavia needs your support.

“We’ve definitely been reaching out to all parts of the city since our initial planning process,” said Kassie Rohrbach, WalkOaklandBikeOakland – WOBO – Executive Director.  “Because of the budget crisis in the city of Oakland, they haven’t been able to financially support us.” 

Although several city council members are actively promoting Oaklavia, the cash-strapped city has only been able to contribute $3,000. Oaklavia has a budget of $29,000 in cash and $10,000 of in-kind donations.

But you can help.

Donations of any size can be made through WOBO. Businesses can still sign on as event sponsors and individuals can sign up to volunteer. If your business would like to make an in-kind donation, please contact WOBO.

“In terms of financial support, we are about $3,500 short of what we estimate our financial needs to be,” Rohrbach said. 

A recent estimate of the cost of services from the Oakland Police Department has pushed the event over budget. Though Rohrbach is confident WOBO will be able to make up these funds, “we could be doing a lot more with a larger budget,” she said.

WOBO also welcomes volunteers.

“First and foremost, if folks can help, promote it to all their friends and family.” 

Interested persons can sign up to follow Oaklavia on Facebook or twitter or distribute posters and flyer at farmer’s markets and other events. 

“The day of, we actually have almost 100 signed up already,” Rohrbach said. “We need about 150 to be successful. We’re very happy with the response we’ve gotten and we’re still taking names.” 

Volunteers will assigned to be Intersection Monitors, making sure that cars are diverted smoothly and courteously, or Route Rabbits, traveling to several intersections and helping out. WOBO also needs volunteers to help promote their Bike Broadway campaign.

If you want a taste of the fun, visit Sunday Streets in San Francisco’s Mission District on Sunday, June 20. Then come out and play in the streets of Oakland at the Oaklavia, June 27. 

And lend a hand, if you can.                                                     

About The Author

Laura McCamy, is a freelance writer, editor and researcher, and a contributing production editor at Oakland Local. Her work also appears in Momentum Magazine and the Intuit Small Business Blog. Follow Laura on twitter @lmcwords