Earlier this month, a locally focused civics organization, a Functional Democracy held their product’s launch party at our Gather Venues Monroe location. The event was strategically held just one month before Texas’s midterm elections and welcomed comedians, civic arts and crafts, and two of Austin’s own city council members; Delia Garza and Greg Casar.

Their latest product, A Beginner’s Guide to Local Government is a handy and interactive workbook filled with information on all things civic engagement in Austin. From finding out who your district’s representative is to how you can “level-up” your civic engagement by attending city commission meetings.

Read on to learn more about why A Functional Democracy chose Gather Venues as their launch party venue.

Why does a Functional Democracy exist? What is its mission?

A Functional Democracy aims to inspire residents to use local government to create the communities, country and world they want to live in.

What was one memorable moment from the event?

The highlights we've heard from folks are the interview with Greg Cesar and Delia Garza, and the Bond Store. The interview was a talk-show style conversation, which really helped people see that our elected officials are normal people, just like us.

When a guest arrived at the door they were equipped with a lanyard of their district representative as well as $360 in “cash.” We invited people to shop at the Bond Store - where attendees could learn more about what propositions will be on the November ballot. The Bond Store aimed to help people understand better where their money would go for certain bond packages. The store also included Austin local experiences like ACL Festival and needed expenses like car repairs, making the decision to put money towards propositions a tad more realistic for Austin locals.

Why did you choose Gather Venues?

We wanted a event space that was bright and airy but also a good party atmosphere. We needed to balance between this being a time to absorb information (kind like a conference) but also have fun (kinda like being at a bar.) Not a lot of places can do that! It was also a great size and a good location.

It was also amazing that this company is mission-based and connected us with other organizations who could support us in putting on this event.