Ravenswood school board slate raises $4K | News | Palo Alto Online |


Ravenswood school board slate raises $4K

Majority of candidates expected to not raise, spend more than $2,000

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A two-person slate in the Ravenswood City School District Board of Education race, the only two out of nine candidates raising above a $2,000 expected limit, received about $4,000 during the most recent reporting period, which covers Sept. 23 through Oct. 22.

Tamara Sobomehin and Laura Nunez's campaign committee has raised just over $14,000 to date this calendar year, according to campaign finance reports.

The other seven candidates — sitting board members Ana Pulido, Marcelino Lopez and Charlie Mae Knight; special-education administrator Brooke Crosby, nonprofit curriculum manager Stephanie Fitch, paraeducator Julian Garcia and paraeducator and parent Nicole Sbragia — have signed forms stating they anticipated receiving and spending less than $2,000 for their campaigns.

A campaign committee formed by parents in support of the three incumbents, however, has raised $37,000 to date, primarily from companies currently engaged with the district.

Consuelo Kickbusch of the Family Leadership Institute (FLI) in Las Vegas gave $1,000 on Oct. 29 to the Parents for a Better Ravenswood City School District in Support of Pulido, Lopez, and Knight for School District Board 2018.

The school board approved spending $3,300 to send a parent representative, Marco Duarte, to a training conference hosted by the Family Leadership Institute in 2017, according to board minutes. Duarte is one of the parents who created the incumbents' campaign committee.

Family Leadership Institute has also provided workshops for Ravenswood parents in East Palo Alto, according to meeting minutes.

The campaign committee also reported four $250 contributions received on Oct. 31 from former state senator Richard Polanco and his consulting organization, Tres Es Inc.

Nunez, a teacher, and Sobomehin, who oversees development and strategy for youth technology nonprofit StreetCode Academy, received five donations during the most recent reporting period. The largest ($2,000) came from Jennifer Carolan, co-founder and general partner at Reach Capital in Palo Alto, which backs entrepreneurs developing education technology. Preston Butcher, chair of real estate firm Legacy Partners, gave $1,000.

Jenny Risk, who sits on the board of directors for charter-school network KIPP Bay Area schools, contributed $500 to Nunez and Sobomehin's campaign committee. Lucy de Anda, a Palo Alto school district teacher, gave $300. Deborah Lewis-Virges, a counselor at Gardner Health Services in San Jose and pastor at Saint Mark AME Zion Church in East Palo Alto, contributed $100.

Nunez and Sobomehin also reported about $340 in non-monetary contributions (edible goods) from Carolyn Bowsher, who volunteers with nonprofit All Students Matter, which works with Ravenswood students.

Nunez and Sobomehin have spent about $7,500, mostly on mailers and door hangers, with $4,611 remaining in their campaign coffers.

For complete 2018 election information, check out our voters' guide.


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4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Woodland Ave. area (East Palo Alto)
on Nov 1, 2018 at 11:02 am

This feels like another case of FAKE NEWS for the sake of getting readers. No one agreed to spend less than $2000. The subtitle of your story is inaccurate. All of the school board candidates checked a box saying they anticipated that they would receive and spend less than $2,000 for their campaigns. Then, when they raise or spend more than the $2000 threshold, candidates are required to file another reporting document. That’s normal. Ravenswood School District doesn’t even have a maximum contribution amount. Yard signs alone cost $2000. If you want to get information to voters, in addition to walking the streets, you have to spend money on literature and public signage. Hopefully your stories will be more accurate in the future.

4 people like this
Posted by Truth Teller
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 1, 2018 at 6:12 pm

There is no $2000 limit to campaigning. And no candidate agreed to not go over. Candidates had to guess how much they would spend for reporting purposes and the options are less than $2000 or $2000 or more. Do your homework, Elena. You’re spreading information that is false. Also, there are lots of candidates - school board and city council - who have not reported their cash donations and check donations that are under $100 since they are not required to. True reporting means addressing the facts, which you clearly are not doing.

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