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!
Project Update: Stretch Goal #1: $54,000 by October 11th!
Stretch Goal Need: Equipment
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
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
More photos below:
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)