Causes to Consider Supporting: CicloSDias, Messy Jessie’s Bicycle Academy and the Challenged Athletes Foundation

Tomorrow (Friday) is probably a day when you’re a bit flush with cash and thinking hard about where to put those well earned dollars to good use. We’ve got some ideas for you.

The city’s first open streets event, CicloSDias, is scheduled to happen on August 11th, 2013 – a mere ten days away.

CicloSDias Crowd-funding Campaign 2013 from Media Arts Center San Diego on Vimeo.

With this first event, San Diego will join the ranks of 90 other cities around the U.S. in an attempt to showcase an apparently wary San Diego that no disaster will befall our fine city if she opens her street to people and closes it off to multi-ton motor vehicles for a few hours on a Sunday.

This idea to introduce the city’s residents to the notion of reclaiming the public commons and experiencing it without fear of bodily harm that may come in the form of an automobile barreling toward them at high speed unfortunately costs money. Specifically this effort is going to cost $15,000. The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition has been put charge of raising the funds and putting on the event. According to Brittany Statt at the SDCBC, the funds will be used to pay for expenses “like getting traffic controllers, equipment needed to close intersections and supplies for the hubs, permitting fees, and marketing.”

Cities as large as New York City and as small as Fargo have managed to successfully put on an open streets event. We’d like to see the first CicloSDias succeed and ideally become a regularly held event simultaneously occurring in all council districts around the city. Closing public space for the public to enjoy the space shouldn’t cost money when the benefits far outweigh any perceived downsides. We want to see businesses open their doors, and residents get outside their homes and cars and enjoy our city and, well, our enviable weather.

In the words of our local placeshaker, “dare to live outdoors”. Let’s start on August 11th.

Jess Stephens is a familiar and friendly face that many of you have met either at the local farmers’ market or at your local bike shop. You probably learned some valuable lesson or came away simply inspired. She has launched a campaign to bring a long held dream of opening a bicycle academy to life.

The city’s Bicycle Initatives Program Manager, Ed Clancy, District 2 Councilmember Kevin Faulconer, and Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman are all raising money for the Challenges Athletes Foundation by committing to a 620 mile bicycle journey down the California coast. The challenge is called the “Million Dollar Challenge” and riders ride from San Francisco to San Diego to raise $1 million for challenged athletes.

On why the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) is important to Clancy, “as a military veteran, and knowing that I have this in common with CAF athletes, this project hits close to home.”

Hope you consider donating to all these very worthy causes.