After more than four years with the Sunday Streets program, Program Director Liza Pratt returned to her home state of North Carolina to be closer to family and help grow fantastic organizations in the Charlotte area. Katy Birnbaum has capably assumed the Program Director role, and Event Coordinator Jeff Jelsma will handle event logistics and activity partner relationships.
Liza has had her hands in nearly every aspect of Sunday Streets evolution, from beginning as a volunteer coordinator, to handling logistics, to overseeing the entire program. We recently sat down with Liza to chat about her experiences with Sunday Streets and our amazing community – you!
Sunday Streets: Tell us a little about your experiences with the Sunday Streets program.
Liza Pratt: After I attended Sunday Streets for the first time, I started volunteering because I thought it was so amazing and wanted to be a part of the magic. I’ve been fortunate to grow into different roles with the program as new opportunities became available.
SS: How has Sunday Streets changed during your time with the program?
LP: On the surface it may not look like much has changed, in terms of activities and schedule of events, but behind the scenes I think the program has grown and strengthened a lot. For one thing, the number of staff has doubled, so there’s more capacity to do more meaningful community engagement, strengthen partnerships, recruit activity partners, and support volunteers. Sunday Streets is well-poised to step it up to the next level!
SS: What is your favorite memory from Sunday Streets?
LP: Too many to choose from. I did love talking to people attending Sunday Streets for the first time. So many would say, “Oh, this is amazing. Is this every week?”
SS: You helped grow Sunday Streets’ volunteer program into a 400+ person team, now lead by Joelle Burila. Are there any volunteers or volunteer moments that stand out for you?
LP: Again, so many. I won’t list them all because there’s not enough space. I have met many amazing people through Sunday Streets over the years. It’s been a privilege to work with and learn from so many fantastic people. That said, the team from my first year in 2012 will always hold a special place in my heart, especially those who are still volunteering four years later.
SS: What is your vision for the future of Sunday Streets?
LP: To be able to say “yes!” when those people discovering Sunday Streets for the first time ask “is this every week?” There’s such demand for it. I’d love to see Sunday Streets even more just a way of life in San Francisco. It’s there for you every week. It’s how you get around town, it’s where you go to exercise, play, meet people. It’s Sunday in San Francisco.
SS: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
LP: Thanks to everyone who’s been a part of my time with Sunday Streets, and thanks to everyone keeping it going! If you want to help grow the program, there are so many ways to get involved or donate. I can’t wait to come back and visit.