Manny was born and raised in Council District 31 and spent his entire K-12 educational experience in the public schools of the district. He grew up in the Rockaways and spent some of his adult life in Rosedale, where his wife grew up. Growing up in subsidized housing that was neglected by management, infested with pests, and often lacking the basic necessities, a level of empathy formed within Manny, that directs the work he does today. Dignified housing is what all New Yorkers deserve. When his older brother passed away as a teenager, he saw his mother have to navigate the healthcare system and the costs that were associated with it, and understood then that no one should have to be left in debt because they want their loved ones to stay alive. Healthcare shouldn't be a privilege for the wealthy. When he decided to go to college, he attended a local CUNY. He also married his high school sweetheart and began his career as a public servant before graduating. He started out as a volunteer for political campaigns and after being inspired during the Obama years, he delved deeper into community work.
When Sandy hit and devastated the entire district, Manny got involved in the relief efforts and was soon hired by FEMA to help our fellow neighbors as a Congressional Affairs Specialist. After leaving FEMA to finish college, he joined Community Voices Heard and led their efforts to organize youth throughout the City to participate in the Participatory Budgeting process. He engaged over 500 young people and worked with City Council offices throughout the 5 boroughs. He went on to work on the Worker Owned Rockaway Cooperatives project, where he was able to convert traditional businesses to businesses where the workers were the owners. The new owners were provided funding and technical support to help their businesses grow and thrive.
The WORCs project brought his work close to home and Manny never left after that. It was around this same time he started a 501c3 nonprofit called SuperMarvelous Society. Through this organization, Silva mentored young people and helped them get exposed to high wage careers. He went on to become the Project Manager of the Far Rockaway Arverne Nonprofit Coalition. He reinvigorated the organization when it was running low on funding. In a short amount of time, he increased organization participation, created new collaborations, impacted over 1,500 families, and increased the organizations membership. It was through this work that he caught the eye of Former Council Member Donovan Richards and was appointed as the Council Member’s Chief of Staff.
As Chief of Staff, Manny’s passion for community activism has truly come alive. Under his supervision, the office has successfully advocated for hundreds of residents, helped stop the closing of two schools, helped allocate over $30 million in capital funds to schools, parks, repaving streets, and St. John’s Hospital’s maternity ward, and organized town halls with NYC Mayor de Blasio and police Commissioner O’Neil where community members got a chance to speak to them directly. With Council Member Richards taking the lead he helped negotiate community benefits including a brand new community center along with 2050 units of affordable housing, coordinated the clean up sites for three nonprofit partners to ensure that abandoned lots and commercial districts in Laurelton, Rosedale, and Springfield Gardens is kept clean. He has created a mentorship programs within the City Council office, and every year he ensures that constituents participate in a process where they get to decide how $2 million are allocated. A few other notable accomplishments are listed below:
He's not just giving you a vision, I’ve been doing the job for quite some time. Under Council Member Donovan Richards' leadership I have had an opportunity to...
We could keep writing about the WORK Manny has done while working under Council Member Donovan Richards, but now is the time to imagine what he could do moving forward.