Attorney Marc Berman received a major lift in his fledgling campaign for a seat on the Palo Alto City Council, raking in more than $22,000 in early contributions, campaign-finance documents show.
Berman, who announced last month his intention to seek a seat on the council, received funds from a long list of attorneys, technologists, teachers and business executives in the reporting period between Jan. 1 and June 30, according to campaign-finance documents filed Monday. The infusion of cash gives him a major edge in the race for the four council seats that will be up for grabs in November.
Venture capitalist Steve Westly of the Westly Group kicked in the maximum $350 to Berman's council campaign, which also benefited from contributions from employees of Apple, LinkedIn and Palantir Technologies. Berman also received contributions from a long list of attorneys, real estate professionals, retirees and professors.
Contributors also included former and current public officials, including former Mayor Gary Fazzino, who contributed $100. Former school board member Carolyn Tucher also chipped in $100, as did current Councilwoman Nancy Shepherd.
Berman, who works at the Los Angeles-based law firm Merino, Yebri, LLP, also joined his 134 donors by chipping in funds to his own campaign. His $350 contribution brought the total contributions to $22,105 in the reporting period.
Berman, who was active in a successful school-bond campaign and who served on the city's Infrastructure Blue Ribbon Task Force, attributed his fundraising success to his local roots. In his email to supporters, he noted that his contributors are spread out throughout the city, including the neighborhoods of Fairmeadow, Midtown, College Terrace, Downtown North and Crescent Park.
"I've known some of the donors since my childhood here in Palo Alto, and others I met after entering the race," Berman wrote, calling the level of support "humbling."
Berman is one of two candidates, along with former Mayor Liz Kniss, to declare candidacy for the City Council. Mayor Yiaway Yeh and Councilmen Pat Burt, Sid Espinosa and Greg Schmid will all see their first terms expire this year. Burt and Schmid are both seeking a fresh term, while Espinosa said he will not run again. Yeh has not yet announced his intention.