* Entire article, including photos, please see source: http://www.ugotrade.com/2008/11/13/freada-kapor-klein-and-mitch-kapor-incubat…
543 Howard is a large, child and dog friendly building South of Market. It is home to several organizations all connected with one another that Freada and Mitch founded. Some are non- profit and some for-profit, but all share a common kind of value framework – trying to make a difference in the world.
The picture above is Bettina Neuefeind (married to Larry Lessig – Change Congress). Bettina and volunteer, Roy Bowers, look as though they are feeling confident shortly before Barak Obama became President Elect.
Bettina, a photographer (see her election photoset) and attorney, took leave from her job as an attorney to work as Volunteer Office Manager for the SF Obama for America HQ back in September. Bettina organized an overflow phone bank at 543 Howard during the November 1-4 Get Out the Vote (GOTV) .
Freada encapsulated the mission of 543 Howard to me:
So it is about empathy, It is about building understanding and it is about building bridges between the non-profit world and the for profit world, between the geeks and the social justice types between lots of different types of groups. Everybody is smart, everybody has a big heart and everybody is working on great things. So we are really trying to work together and build community.
Mitch explained more about the organizations at 543:
There are several organizations all connected with one another, some non- profit, some for-profit but all efforts that Freada and Mitch founded. There is Level Playing Field Institute – an activist non-profit – which Freada started that runs scholarship and leadership development programs for underrepresented students of color and is involved in reducing bias in the work place. Also there is The Mitchell Kapor Foundation which has grant programs in education, the environment and voting access.
We did a whole big program this year to help organizations in terms of people’s right to vote. And on election day we have been hosting one of the National Call Centers for the Election Protection Coalition. We have room full of volunteer attorneys hooked up to phones connected to 866 Our Vote. So we are part of this national system where people can refer any problem they are having voting.
The Election Protection Center has been in the works for months. We had to get tied into their 800 number. There is a lot of set up for that. Election Protection is strictly non-partisan. As you noticed, when we were together there, I had to take off my Obama T-Shirt when I went in the room. It is like a polling place you can’t have any political signs.
Also for the last few days here, we have been hosting a call center phone bank. Obama For America ran out of room in their office space in SF and we had some extra space. So they have their own cell phones and charges, and we have been making the space available so they can make get out the vote calls in the final days of the campaign.
Everyone was quite nervous at the beginning of the night!
I went into Second Life (Mitch Kapor was the Angel Investor for Linden Lab) to find people were anxiously watching there too – on Capitol Hill. Capitol Hill was built by Steve Nelson from Clear Ink. Steve’s Interactive Polling Map is only one of a number of interesting projects he has pioneered in Second Life. See New World Notes for just how big the victory celebrations got in Second Life.
Located on Howard Street between First and Second in the South Financial District of downtown San Francisco, 543 Howard was built in 1924 as a three-story grocery warehouse.
Since 2003, the Kapor Center has supported an array of educational, environmental, high tech and social justice organizations and activities in our Howard Street offices.
In addition to our primary occupants— Mitchell Kapor Foundation, Level Playing Field Institute, Klein Associates, Kapor Enterprises, and Kapor Capital, we also currently house Carbon War Room.
Now recently renovated, 543 Howard Street embodies the very best in contemporary design and thoughtful engineering. Recognizing that progressive workplaces mean healthier employees, 543 Howard’s owners incorporated the use of environmentally sensitive, or “green” practices throughout the building’s remodel.
Please see source: