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'Town Up Tuesday' Brings Bay Area Hitmakers, Voter Participation to the Lake

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Kamaiyah plays Rolling Loud Bay Area in Oakland on Sunday, September 16, 2018.
Kamaiyah performs at Rolling Loud Bay Area in Oakland on Sunday, September 16, 2018. (Estefany Gonzalez )

Head down to Lake Merritt in on any given weekend in Oakland, and you’ll usually find a party: there’s almost always DJs, dancers, people kicking back or firing up the BBQ, and an overall good community vibe.

For Town Up Tuesday, happening May 17 at the lake’s bandstand, that vibe will be enhanced by a stacked lineup of Bay Area artists—hitmakers like Kamaiyah and Stunnaman02, as well and the Turf Fienz dance crew, DJs like the Warriors’ D-Sharp, and hosts D-Nas, Rocky Rivera and Goapele.

But the free event is also a chance to educate Oakland’s young voters on the importance of the upcoming elections, says Nicole Lee of Urban Peace Movement, the event’s organizers.

“We love the city of Oakland, and we love young people in Oakland,” Lee says, excited about offering entertainment and socializing after two years of a pandemic. “But the other reason for doing this event is that participation in local elections really matters, and especially the voice of young people in those elections.”

So, while attendees celebrate to “How Does It Feel” or “Big Steppin’,” they’ll also receive information about the upcoming Alameda County races for District Attorney and the Board of Supervisors. In November, voters will decide the Mayor of Oakland. QR codes around the event will lead to voter registration forms, and volunteers will be out in the crowd, talking to fans about the elections.

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As Lee says, it’s a celebration, sure. But with issues like housing and economic development affecting the lived experience of the next generation in The Town, “it’s also a place for people to get educated, in fun way, about why it’s important to get involved in local elections.”

Town Up Tuesday gets underway on Tuesday, May 17, from 3-7pm, at the Edoff Memorial Bandstand at Lake Merritt. Admission is free with registration. Details here.

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