The "Yes on A" campaign in support of the Palo Alto schools parcel tax measure raised $46,047 through March 21, with Parent Teacher Associations, community members and the California Teachers Association kicking in the largest donations, according to campaign finance reports filed with the county Registrar of Voters.
The campaign has been rallying support for Measure A, which would raise the $638 per-parcel tax that voters now pay by $120, to $758 per parcel. The tax would begin on July 1 and last six years with 2 percent annual increases, the same as the last parcel tax increase that Palo Altans approved in 2010.
According to the campaign's latest finance filing, which covers the period from Jan. 1 through March 21, contributors to the "Yes on A" campaign so far include numerous of the elementary and middle schools' PTAs Nixon, Barron Park, Hoover, JLS, Jordan, Palo Verde, Juana Briones, El Carmelo, Escondido, Hoover, Ohlone and Walter Hays as well as the Palo Alto Council of PTAs. All gave $999 each.
The largest donation yet, $1,875, comes from the California Teachers Association (CTA).
Former school board trustees Barbara Mitchell and Dana Tom have also contributed $1,000 and $365, respectively.
All five of the current school board members did their part: Terry Godfrey gave $750; Ken Dauber, $250; Vice President Heidi Emberling, $500; Camille Townsend, $100; and President Melissa Baten Caswell, $250.
Numerous community members made $1,000 contributions, including community volunteer Robin Reynolds, former Partners in Education (PiE) president Elaine Hahn, real estate investor James Baer, Kevin Elfrusy of Accel Partners, real estate broker Tim Foy and Adobe Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Ann Lewnes.
Several local and regional elected officials have jumped in to support the campaign as well, including Councilmen Marc Berman ($100) and Cory Wolbach ($100), former mayor Nancy Shepherd ($250) and Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian ($365). Match.com founder Gary Kremen, who won a seat on the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board in the November election, donated $375.
Local real estate agent Lydia Kou, who was edged out by Wolbach for a City Council seat in November, donated $146 for a "Yes on A" kickoff party.
The campaign has so far spent $13,565, mostly on lawn signs ($4,160), online and mobile advertising with this newspaper ($1,830) and office expenses.
Measure A ballots were sent to voters last week for the all-mail ballot election. The registrar is encouraging voters to return their ballots as soon as possible to allow enough time for them to be received by Election Day, which is May 5. Ballots can be mailed in or dropped off at various locations throughout Palo Alto on May 5.
The last day to register to vote in this election is Monday, April 20. To register online, go to registertovote.ca.gov.