Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 3rd, 2012 at 11:20 am
Sunday Parkways needs our help. Yes, the transformative, widely loved, amazing community event that has endeared itself to our city since it first happened in 2008, is getting less love from the City budget these days. That means PBOT and their presenting sponsor Kaiser Permanente are hitting the streets to ask for donations from folks like you and me.
The new, "Every Dollar Counts!" campaign is looking to raise $18,000 by the first Sunday Parkways of the season on May 13. That's about one dollar for every person expected to attend or about 3.7% of the total budget for all five of this year's events ($484,000).
Even though events like Sunday Parkways really do pay for themselves and are a smart City investment, this isn't the first time PBOT has had to ask for donations to keep this event alive. However, with increased scrutiny on the Sunday Parkways budget, it feels much more urgent this time around. As you might recall, there was a dust-up in City Council over the Parkways budget back in January. City Commissioner Dan Saltzman argued that, while he likes the event, it's not a core mission of PBOT and unless more sponsors step up, "it may need to be scaled back to fewer events."
Since the events began in 2008, they've relied on the City of Portland for about half of their total funding. This year, the City will kick in only one-third of the costs. The remaining balance will be paid through a mix of sponsors, grants, vendors, and individuals.
So far, sponsors of the event include Kaiser Permanente, Universal Cycles, Portland Parks & Recreation, Metro and the Bike Gallery. If enough individuals step up to join them, we can ensure this year's five events will be just as awesome as we've had in the past.
Check out the new online donation tool at PortlandSundayParkways.org.