Gara Lamarche, president of the Democracy Alliance, reads the Mueller report.
Gara Lamarche, president of the Democracy Alliance, reads the Mueller report.

Some in the audience followed along with their own copies. Some worked on laptops as if it were soothing background music. Others seemed to straight-up meditate to it.

“It” is the so-called “Mueller report,” and around 40 local notables — including California Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Supervisor Hillary Ronen, and Christine Pelosi (the Speaker of the House’s daughter) — stopped by Manny’s at 16th and Valencia Thursday to read aloud from the book-length report for 15 to 30 minutes at a time.

“This is the most important document in our politics right now — and almost no one has read it,” said Manny Yekutiel, the cafe’s owner and organizer of the event.  

That’s true: The 448-page Mueller report, officially titled Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election, details the conclusions of a two-year investigation by (now-retired) Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III into Russian interference in 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, and obstruction of justice by the president.

“When Special Counsel Bob Mueller did his press conference, he told the American public to read it,” Yekutiel said. “So we’re following his direction and reading it.”

Kounalakis reads: 

The 16-hour reading was still going at the time of publication. Other local notables slated to read include City Attorney Dennis Herrera, former state Senator Mark Leno, Supervisor Shamann Walton, and author Dave Eggers. 

Yekutiel said he started reaching out to guest readers on Monday, and local politicians, activists, and academics responded with enthusiasm. “Lt. Governor Kounalakis asked if she could join,” Yekutiel said. “She heard about it and wanted to be a part of it.”

Read more about the report’s findings here. Read the full report (silently or aloud) here.

Christine Pelosi reads.

Here’s the full list of readers:

Morning:

7:00-7:15: Manny Yekutiel – Owner of Manny’s
7:15-7:30: Cary McClelland – Author of Silicon City
7:30-7:45: Edward Wright – Aide to Supervisor Gordon Mar/Harvey Milk Democratic Club
7:45-8:15: David Campos – Chair of Democratic Party of San Francisco and Former Supervisor
8:15-8:30: Myrna Melgar – President of the Planning Commission
8:30-9:00: Susan Solomon – President of the United Educators of San Francisco
9:00-9:30: Allison Arieff – Editorial Director of SPUR, New York Times Columnist
9:30-10:00: Hillary Ronen – San Francisco Supervisor
10:00-10:30: Dr. Hadar Aviram – Professor of Criminal Law at UC Hastings College of the Law
10:30-10:45: Jupiter Peraza – DACA recipient and Latinx activist
10:30-10:45: Jose Antonio Vargas – Pulitzer Prize Journalist and Undocumented Immigrant
11:00-11:30: Karla Monterrosso – CEO of Code 2040
11:30-11:45: Gara Lamarche – President of the Democracy Alliance, Former CEO of Atlantic Philanthropies
11:45-12:00: Del Seymour – Activist, “Mayor” of the Tenderloin and CEO of Code Tenderloin

Afternoon

12:00-12:30: Christine Pelosi – Hamilton Elector, Daughter of Nancy Pelosi, Activist
12:30-1:00: Susan Pfeiffer – Activist
1:00-1:30: Norma Garcia – Director of Policy & Advocacy, Mission Economic Development Agency
1:30-1:45: Annalee Newitz – Writer, Editor-at-Large at Ars Technica
1:45-2:00: Jupiter Peraza – DACA recipient and Latinx activist/student
2:00-2:15: Broke-Ass Stuart – Journalist
2:15-2:30: Amy Farah Weiss – Activist
2:30-2:45: Amanda Machado – Writer/Educator
2:45-3:00: Kate Conger – New York Times Columnist
3:00-3:15: Ann Stoner – Actor
3:15-3:30: Rudy Gonzalez – Executive Director, SF Labor Council AFL-CIO
3:30-3:45: Dennis Herrera – San Francisco City Attorney
3:45-4:00: Kim-Mai Cutler – Journalist
4:00-4:30: Mark Leno – Former State Senator
4:30-5:00: Buffy Wicks – State Assembly Member

Evening:

5:00-5:15: Scott Wiener – State Senator
5:15-5:30: Cleve Jones – Activist
5:30-6:00: Caleb Smith – Office of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
6:00-6:30: Dr. Carol Queen – Good Vibrations
6:30-7:00: Caille Millner – San Francisco Chronicle Columnist
7:00-7:15: Shamann Walton – San Francisco Supervisor
7:15-7:30: Sarah Souza – President of the Latino Democratic Club
7:30-8:00: Peter Gallotta – Member, San Francisco Democratic Central Committee
8:00-8:15: Stephen Bruce – Visual Artist, Former American Steel Studios
8:15-8:45: Evan Gelfand – Activist/Community Member
8:45-9:15: Rafael Mandelman – San Francisco Supervisor
9:15-9:30: Leif Dautch – Deputy Attorney General, State of California
9:30-9:45: Dave Eggers, Author, 826 Valencia, McSweeney’s
9:45-10:00: Lucia Obregon Matzer – Mission Community Activist, MEDA
10:00-10:30: Rachel Marshall – Deputy Public Defender, Alameda County
10:30-10:45: Manny Yekutiel – Owner of Manny’s
10:45-11:00: Cary McClelland – Author of Silicon City

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Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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3 Comments

  1. What is the goal of these 16 hours of reading?

    Was anyone listening or is this just a political stunt? Did they organize anyone to take notes and make a “cliff notes” version for us laymen that don’t understand legal jargon and have to work during the day?

    I wonder how may of the “40 Notable people” read more of the report than the 15 minutes they had to read allowed?

    I think Manny has great ideas and I like how he brings community/political events to his cafe, but this entire exercise is just a way for those participating to feel better about themselves while accomplishing nothing. How many people did they inform over these 16 hours??? Did anyone have an “ah ha” moment and find out something new? ANy particular material in the Mueller report that they want to shed light on?

    I ask again, What is the goal of these 16 hours of reading? Did they accomplish this goal?

  2. One big co-ed circle jerk (let’s not even go there to think some have most assuredly participated in such). A veritable who’s who of the swamp–as in drain the swamp. Who were they trying to impress with this poetry reading? And we wonder why the people of Frisco and all our major cities here in California are roiling in human feces, i.v needles, trash, homeless, transportation centers millions and millions over budget, rat-infested schools, an affordable housing crisis, gidlock on the streets, unreliable public transportation, dams that break, forest fires one after another that destroy whole communities, etc, etc, etc? Nero fiddles while Rome burns. Should I continue? What did I forget? What am I missing? Are we supposed to be impressed with this empty, meaningless gesture? Anyone else notice almost every single one of the esteemed speakers are public servants, getting paid with our tax dollars and most certainly thinking about nothing more that their next election? David Campos actually has the nerve to come back into the hood–the worst Supervisor the district ever endured? Hey Hillary–you’re a podunk district Supervisor. What are you doing to expedite business expansion here in the Mission, ‘cuz I tell you businesses are dropping like flies. And Nancy Pelosi’s daughter: now there’s a power broker if there ever was. What are you bucking for, mommy’s seat? But to the point, all these collective minds put together are clueless on constitutional law. Absolutely clueless. This group sees collusion between clouds on an overcast day. Conspiracy if the fish aren’t biting. As far as obstruction of justice: go for it. Bang the drums, but don’t be surprised if the Dems give back the House and your presidential candidate gets whacked. I only wish the RNC had a camera there and could put the clip on a continuous loop in the battleground states. How’d that play in flyover country? A bunch of Frisco pols at a poetry reading. What they should have been reading is Cornelius Ryan’s Longest Day. I’d be much more impressed if they’d have all grabbed brooms for a collective clean-up of the 16th and 24th St BART plazas. I’d be much more impressed to know the pols that politely declined the invite. Wow, our fearless leaders sure are smelling their own perfume.

  3. What a great idea! Manny’s is the best thing that’s happened to the Mission District in A LONG TIME!
    Keep it up!

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