Organizers believe "National Night Out" provides neighbors with a chance to get to know one another. And they say that's a key step toward reducing crime and helping people feel safe in and around their homes. More than 600 blocks hosted parties in Oakland alone.
Showdown over SJPD funding at 'National Night Out'
San Jose voters will not get to decide on any of three proposed sales tax increases this November, including one that would have raised more money for the city's downsized police department.
Backers say the special tax would have raised $34 million annually for public safety, if voters had approved it.
A showdown over police funding happened Tuesday night in the shadow of the annual "National Night Out."
The idea is for neighbors to organize block parties as a way of getting to know each other and band together against crime.
The event in East San Jose, at the Mayfair Community Center, is one of the larger "National Night Out" events. Families in attendance watched traditional dancers, listened to music, played games, and ate together.
Still, the larger goal is to get to know one another and build stronger communities as a way to fight crime.
But crime stats are climbing and there are fewer police officers on the streets now versus 10 years ago. That was a hot topic at the event. Residents are frustrated that things have changed in the city, and not for the better.
"The police officers aren't around, and they're not responding as much," said Joe Nieto with the Plato Arroyo Neighborhood Association. "They can't, there aren't enough of them."
"It's not safe for our kids at all," said resident Aaron Hernandez. "I wish they'd have programs like this more often to get kids off the streets, off gangs, drugs, period.
People at the event told ABC7 News that they would have been willing to pay for more police if the public safety sales tax measure had passed through council and come before voters in Nov
National Night out events in the Bay Area:
3 p.m.: The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority will be providing safety information at four locations: Bascom light rail station, Mayfair Community Center (2039 Kammerer Ave., San Jose), Seven Trees Community Center (3590 Cas Drive, San Jose), and Flickinger Park, San Jose.
3 p.m.: Safety fair hosted by the CHP and Diablo Street Smarts. Contra Costa County CHP office, 5001 Blum Road, Martinez.
4 p.m.: BART police officers will host National Night Out events at six BART stations: Fruitvale, Richmond, Pittsburg/Bay Point, Bay Fair, 16th St./Mission and Daly City.
4 p.m.: Community party in Novato. Grant Avenue and Fourth Street, Novato.
4 p.m.: Community party hosted by Target and the city of
Cupertino. Target, Stevens Creek Boulevard and Saich Way, Cupertino
4:30 p.m.: Community party hosted by Target, the Colma police department and other peninsula police agencies. Parking lot of the Serra Center shopping center, 5001 Junipero Serra Blvd., Colma.
4:30 p.m.: Community party hosted by Target and the Santa Rosa police department. Target, 1980 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa.
5 p.m.: National Night Out block parties throughout San Jose.
5 p.m.: San Francisco police department district stations will host barbecue events.
5 p.m.: The San Jose fire department hosts its second annual National Night Out celebration. Fire station 25, 1525 Wilson Way, San Jose.
5 p.m.: Neighborhood Watch events throughout Vacaville.
5 p.m.: Community block party in Rohnert Park. Rohnert Park
Civic Center Plaza, Rohnert Park.
5 p.m.: Block parties throughout Santa Cruz County.
5 p.m.: Napa block party sponsored by Target and local police and fire agencies. Target, 25 Soscol Ave., Napa.
5 p.m.: National Night Out event in San Francisco's Bayview District. Youngblood Coleman Park, 1398 Hudson Ave., San Francisco.
5:30 p.m.: Neighborhood Watch block parties throughout San
5:30 p.m.: Neighborhood Watch block parties throughout Walnut
5:30 p.m.: The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights' second annual
Night Out for Safety and Democracy. Lake Merritt Amphitheater and Park, Lake
Merritt Boulevard and East 12th Street, Oakland.
5:30 p.m.: community parties hosted by the Monterey County
Sheriff's department. Castro Plaza, Castroville. Also, 6 p.m. at Highway 1 and Rio Road in Carmel.
6 p.m.: block parties throughout Burlingame.
6 p.m.: Block parties throughout Danville.
6 p.m.: Community party in Gilroy. Las Animas Park, 400 Mantelli Drive, Gilroy.
6 p.m.: Community party and dance off. Target parking lot, 4500
Macdonald Ave., Richmond. Plus additional smaller neighborhood block parties
throughout the city.
6 p.m.: Parties at two Berkeley public libraries--Claremont Branch, 2940 benvenue ave. And central library, 2090 Kittredge Ave., Berkeley.
6 p.m.: Neighborhood block parties throughout Milpitas.
6:30 p.m.: Porch Light Neighborhood Watch events throughout
6:30 p.m.: Porch Light Neighborhood Watch events throughout Pacifica.
6:30 p.m.: Celebration at Concord's Todos Santos Park. Willow
Pass Road and Grant Street, Concord.
6:30 p.m.: Block parties and porch lights on events throughout Redwood City.
7 p.m.: Block parties throughout Oakland.
7 p.m.: Block party. The uptown place, Broadway Grand and other
7 p.m.: Neighborhood watch block parties throughout Newark.