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Manny’s is a gathering space in San Francisco that combines a cafe, restaurant, newsstand, political bookshop and civic event space.
422 backers pledged $75,077 to help bring this project to life.

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Manny's: A Civic Gathering Space in San Francisco project video thumbnail
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$75,077

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Project Update: Final Stretch Goal: $72,000 by October 11th!

Stretch Goal Need: Bringing Other Voices to the Bay Area 

The response to the kickstarter has been incredible everyone! Thank you!

We've hit our first stretch goal of $54,000 and are now reaching for a big and final stretch goal of $72,000 in less than two weeks!

It's often said that we live in a bubble here in the Bay. There are incredible fighters and change makers doing the good work all over the country but we often don't here from them.

If we can get to this big and final goal - that will allow us to have the funds we need to actually bring some of these influencers to us! I never thought we'd be able to do this but we can.

I created a new reward level - the Mover - to help us get to this goal. $270 is about the cost of a roundtrip flight from SF to NYC. Help us help them come to us!

Imagine them on their way!!
Imagine them on their way!!

Project Update: Stretch Goal #1: $54,000 by October 11th! 

Stretch Goal Need: Equipment 

Hey everyone, 

The reception to the kickstarter has been unbelievable - raising over $42,000 in about 48 hours!!! 

I am so heartened and grateful to everyone who supported in the first 48 hours. Thank you so so much.

 We are going to keep going so keep on spreading the word about the space.

Our first stretch goal will be to raise a total of $54,000 by October 11th to help with the build out and construction of the event space and purchase all the necessary equipment.

If we get to this stretch goal we can purchase all of the equipment we need to operate the multiple aspects of the space effectively. 

That equipment list includes: 

1. Espresso Machine 

2. Coffee Maker 

3. Refrigeration and Freezer 

4. PA system for talks, lectures, and poetry nights 

5. Ice maker 

 6. Prep tables for cooking 

7. Temporary Stage 

8. Wifi ports and cables 

9. Point of Sale System 

10. Projector 

Help us buy the equipment we need to outfit this space properly so that when we open we can hit the ground running profiling change makers, unsung heroes, and civic leaders for the community! All rewards will stay the same you will continue to get all the awesome benefits of supporting the space. 

Thanks!!!

Manny 

Where can you go after the March to figure out what's next? 

Where can you go to meet and engage socially with civic leaders, advocates, public servants, activists, elected officials, unsung heroes, artists, and poets, and writers, the motivated and the marchers?  

Where can you go to plug in civically? To get inspired by your community leaders and hear about the issues that motivate them? To get informed on the fights being waged both here and abroad for a more justice and equitable society? Where can you physically go to take that first step and get involved? 

With the help of many people, I am building that place - building it at a bustling intersection in San Francisco, one of the most civically engaged cities in the world. The City of the Summer of Love, of the Beat Poets, of Harvey Milk, and of Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. 

I'm calling it Manny's. 

Manny's will be a civic social gathering space that will combine high-quality coffee, tasty food, great beer and wine, a political bookshop, and a large civic event space.

One half of the space is devoted to social: food, drink, and books. The other half will be devoted to civic: a fully functional event space that will hold nightly programming. The bookshop will be run by the 25 year old veterans of the book industry, Dog Eared Books. 

This is the floor plan of Manny's - note the coffee bar on the left, bookshop in the middle, and event space on the right
This is the floor plan of Manny's - note the coffee bar on the left, bookshop in the middle, and event space on the right

How did I get here? 

Two years ago I was feeling lost. I had been working on Hillary Clinton's campaign for a year, but had left the campaign early without a clear next step. After I left, I took a 12-hour train ride down the California coast and stared out the window the whole time. I got back to San Francisco and spent the better part of a year working on projects, consulting on political projects, and searching for what I wanted to do next as the 2016 Election season heated up.  

And that's me with the big boss herself! Don't ask about the hair...
And that's me with the big boss herself! Don't ask about the hair...

A couple months later I decided to spend some time before Election Day canvassing in my old turf where I had helped re-elect President Obama. Things were going to be okay because Hillary Clinton was going to be my President and the country would be in good hands... 

I came back to New Hampshire in 2016 to get out the vote - Charlotte from Sex and the City came to Visit!
I came back to New Hampshire in 2016 to get out the vote - Charlotte from Sex and the City came to Visit!

Well - it didn't quite work out that way.

After the election I started to hear folks expressing a desire to get more involved  - folks who weren't working in politics or activism but wanted to do more. There was a hunger.

I started to research physical places where people go to become better informed and more involved citizens and realized that so many of the places that used to exist for this purpose are gone, taken by changing economies and interests.  

Books Books Books
Books Books Books

I decided then to throw all of my energy and effort into building a space in my city in the legacy of these political social spaces that have been so core to a healthy civic life. 

I'm calling it Manny's.

I spent four months just doing research, two months writing the business plan, two months raising the first chunk of funds that I needed to get off the ground and then threw myself into finding the perfect space. I signed the lease on the future home of Manny's in April, received the necessary permits to start construction in early July and have been in active construction since then!

The space I sit in now is my way of planting a flag in the ground - my way to help answer the question: where do you physically go to become a better citizen? 

Me getting the keys to the space!
Me getting the keys to the space!

We're living in a once in a generation moment of civic engagement, with a surge of people, especially young people, paying attention and raising their hands.  

The incredible first Women's March. We are here and not going away!
The incredible first Women's March. We are here and not going away!

Whether it’s talks + Q&As with change makers, program nights hosted by local non-profits, advocacy groups, or campaigns, book talks, town halls with local and national elected officials, open mics, debates and elections watch parties, or just a place to watch the news with your friends and colleagues, there will always be a way at Manny’s to get informed and get involved. 

What will you do about it? This is our slogan.
What will you do about it? This is our slogan.

There have been two articles written about the space so far - one from Mission Local and one from Hoodline 

So why the kickstarter? 

The whole project has been people powered from the very beginning. I'm close to completion but I need the help of the collective  to get through this final hurdle.

I found the perfect location in the Mission - a 3,000 square foot space just waiting to be transformed -  but, in order to do this right, I had to tear the existing space down to the studs and completely reconstruct it. It's a big project but we are building something great!  

 The scale of the project has caused the construction costs to balloon to twice my original projections. In order to finish the build out and construction and open in time for Election Day 2018 I need your help. 

Why should I give if I don't live in San Francisco?

San Francisco welcomes roughly 25 million visitors a year. Part of what attracts so many folks to the city is our reputation as a liberated and engaged hub. Especially around major festivals like San Francisco Pride people come here from all around to get involved. This space will help activate and engaged those visitors.

We all need a place like this to come together and we need it now. 

Thanks for you help world! 

-Manny

 More photos below: 

the coffee shop area in progress!
the coffee shop area in progress!
down the hall
down the hall
the event space from the back side
the event space from the back side
Cleaning the windowsill for the first time
Cleaning the windowsill for the first time
The site of Manny's - at 16th and Valencia - from across the street
The site of Manny's - at 16th and Valencia - from across the street
The Logo
The Logo
Event space from another angle!
Event space from another angle!
Me with Alicia Garza, one of the founders on the Black Lives Matter movement at a Manny's Pop up event
Me with Alicia Garza, one of the founders on the Black Lives Matter movement at a Manny's Pop up event
With Jason Collins - the first openly gay NBA player at a one pop up
With Jason Collins - the first openly gay NBA player at a one pop up
Sitting on the windowsill at 16th and Valencia
Sitting on the windowsill at 16th and Valencia
Handing out stickers - my OG marketing campaign...
Handing out stickers - my OG marketing campaign...
The space in a peaceful moment
The space in a peaceful moment

Risks and challenges

The biggest risk with this project is potential surprises in the construction process of the space which would change the budget. The good news is that the part of the construction where that's most likely occur is with the electrical and plumbing side of things and those pieces are practically done! What's left is the rest of plumbing, sheet rock, finishes and fixtures, painting and equipment - all of which carry lower risk.

The biggest hurdle once we open will be to properly curate the programming in the space. Thankfully I have an awesome advisory board helping me think through the programming aspect of the space.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    The Foot Soldier

    March on Foot Soldier! And while you're at it come enjoy our food and drink. Manny's food program is inspired by the Otto Lenghi Jerusalem cookbook - think healthy contemporary delicious middle eastern cuisine. We'll be serving incredible Iraqi pastries from the only kosher bakery in San Francisco, Frena Bakery, high quality espresso drinks from Ritual Coffee Roasters, tea from Republic of Tea, beer from local breweries including Bare Bottle Brewery and Standard Deviant Brewery and wine on tap. Why $18? The number symbolizes life in Judaism.

    Includes:
    • One free drink at Manny's
    • One free Fabulous breakfast pastry
    • One big ol' hug
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    Limited 103 backers
    $
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $54 or more About $54

    The Organizer

    This award is for the food lovers, the event goers, the curious, and the interested - the organizer at heart or in practice. Programming at Manny's will range from talks + Q&As with change makers to book talks, town halls with local and national politicians, open mics, debates and elections watch parties, game and trivia nights, and issue advocacy nights. Most events will be ticketed so get in early with this pledge level. Meals must be claimed in the first three months.

    Includes:
    • One free meal at Manny's
    • One free drink at Manny's
    • One big ol' hug
    • Three free tickets to any Manny's event
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    Limited 126 backers
    $
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $118 or more About $118

    The Advocate

    This pledge level is for the advocate - the one pushing to get things done: to see and to do change. This level entitles you to a free ticket and entry into the biggest Election Night party in San Francisco as well as three free Manny's events! Don't live in San Francisco? It's ok! You can transfer your ticket to a friend or come to any future event.

    Includes:
    • One free drink at Manny's
    • One big ol' hug
    • Three free tickets to any Manny's event
    • Free tickets to Manny's Opening Night Party!
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    Limited 98 backers
    $
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $270 or more About $270

    The Mover

    The mover is the one gets from place to place and helps others along with them. We are all a part of a movement and this level will help sponsor speakers, change makers, poets, and prose writers to come to the Bay area for us to learn from. Help us help them come here.

    Includes:
    • Free tickets to Manny's Opening Night Party!
    • Three free tickets to any Manny's event
    • Name on the Manny's Donor Wall
    • One free drink at Manny's
    • Individual underwriting of an event that involves travel
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    Limited 6 backers
    $
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $486 or more About $486

    The Fighter

    The fighter - she pushes past boundaries with the radical imagination for a better world as her guide. Help me sponsor low cost programming for all with this pledge level. We are aiming to have programming every weekday night. With an average ticket price of $12 (no one turned away for lack of funds) this level has a $2,500 value. One year of free Manny's events as much as your heart desires - come to all of the lectures, discussions, town halls, documentary screenings, and poetry nights you can handle!

    Includes:
    • One free drink at Manny's
    • One big ol' hug
    • Free tickets to Manny's Opening Night Party!
    • One year of Free Events at Manny's
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    Limited 15 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $882 or more About $882

    The Hero

    We need our heroes to inspire us to do better. This pledge level entitles you to unlimited free events for life. Think of it as a long term investment in your active citizenship. Don't live in SF? You can transfer the free events to friends and colleagues! For reference this pledge level will allow me to build all of the bistro tables in the space. Your name will also be mentioned on the Manny's Donor Wall. Thank you Hero!

    Includes:
    • One big ol' hug
    • Free tickets to Manny's Opening Night Party!
    • Free Manny's Events for Life!
    • Name on the Manny's Donor Wall
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    Limited 18 backers
    $
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $4,986 or more About $4,986

    The Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    This level is named after the one, the only, the lioness of the Supreme Court - our lady Ruth. This level entitles you to one lunch or one dinner with the internationally recognized media personality, executive, writer, and journalist Kara Swisher. There are only two slots available!

    Kara Swisher is an Opinion Writer for the New York Times and Founder and Executive Editor of Recode. She is one of the most prominent writers on technology and its intersection with the world today and has been holding business leaders accountable for decades.

    Includes:
    • One big ol' hug
    • Free tickets to Manny's Opening Night Party!
    • Name on the Manny's Donor Wall
    • One on One Meal with Media Legend Kara Swisher
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    Limited 0 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $9,990 or more About $9,990

    The Founder

    This level will bring you into the Manny's Founder's Circle - a special high level membership to the space that will include free VIP tickets to all high level events, reserved seating, Founder's Circle only events with influencers and change-makers, free food and drinks in the space for life (that's right!) and one free rental of the entire event space for any organization of your choosing. Be a Founder and join our Circle!

    Includes:
    • One big ol' hug
    • Free tickets to Manny's Opening Night Party!
    • Free Manny's Events for Life!
    • Name on the Manny's Donor Wall
    • Free Food and Drink at Manny's for Life
    • One free rental of the entire Manny's event space
    • Founder's Circle only events with influencers and change-makers
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    Limited 2 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (29 days)