It honestly didn't seem that wise or plausible to begin with, but Manny Yekutiel has officially said that his very hypothetical candidacy for San Francisco mayor has been put on the back burner for now.
Yekutiel, who previously did a brief, three-year stint on the SFMTA board, told the Chronicle's Joe Garofoli last month that he was toying with a run for higher city office — namely the mayor's job. Garofoli seemed to be encouraging Yekutiel, though Yekutiel's friend, Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, was less encouraging, saying that Yekutiel's talents may be better suited to other pursuits than the daily muck of politics — and indeed, it seems Yekutiel quit the SFMTA board because that was too rote and boring for him.
Now, the owner of political discussion spot, occasional music venue, and Mission neighborhood cafe Manny's tells Garofoli that he made up his mind, as promised, on New Year's Day.
He's planning to focus his attention on hosting political events during this election year, and on the Civic Joy Fund, which he co-founded with billionaire philanthropist — and announced candidate for mayor — Daniel Lurie.
"I love the impact that I’m making with Manny’s, with the Civic Joy fund — as a private citizen, and I want to do that," Yekutiel tells the Chronicle. "I want to keep focusing on helping the city get back on its feet as a private citizen, and this is just not the right time for me to run for mayor."
In a New Year's Day email to supporters of the cafe, Yekutiel elaborated saying, "In 2024 I plan on returning to a simpler version of myself, to put less on my plate, do the things I’m doing excellently, and to deliver more humbly for my community. I want to listen to people more. I want to leave my phone in the drawer more. I want to engage in more quiet acts of service this year."
Yekutiel, 34, had some publicly touted successes with the Civic Joy Fund in 2023, namely with the revival — in some fashion — of Halloween in the Castro, with the re-installation of those laser lights up Market Street for APEC week, and with the San Francisco Is a Drag weekend guerrilla drag event in early December.
He tells the Chronicle that he was flattered by reactions he received to the idea of his candidacy for mayor, but there will be plenty of time to run for office later.
Previously: Now Manny Yekutiel Says He Might Run For Mayor