This year marks the 9th Annual City Wide Block Party. This will be the first year that the Carbonera Neighborhood has not hosted one!
We do not have a group of neighbors on a street willing to step forward and volunteer.
Of the eight past parties, Jocelyn Court has hosted six and Carbonera Court has hosted two. They have done their fair share.
For the hosting street, there's a small inconvenience in hosting. For three hours, you cannot drive a car in or out. You are also asked to volunteer folding tables and chairs, so they do not have to be transported from far away locations (by people with bad backs or otherwise limited mobility).
Of course, this does not stop each individual street from hosting its own party with the residents of its own street. But we do lose the benefit of community outreach by key individuals.
Without a whole neighborhood block party our elected officials will not stop by, the fire truck and police folks will not stop by, and Chancellor Blumenthal and/or his staff will not stop by to say hello and chat for a bit.
In the past, we have been able to resolve common concerns from social interaction at the block parties. Through the efforts of Patti Souvey and many others, we got the speed bump on Carbonera Drive, and the flashing stop sign on El Rancho and Carbonera Drive. UCSC staff helped shut down "party houses" populated by UCSC students.
In addition, there were informal discussions with city council members on the importance of finding a home for Santa Cruz Shakespeare (before the organization began looking for a home). This resulted in mobilizing the city council to fast track the approval prospect for the new outdoor theatre at the DeLaVeaga Golf Course.
So yes, we think block parties are important. You never know who you might meet or how they might change your life.
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