Why the huge spending on Mah vs. Baten-Caswell SCCBoE race?

Head shots of Baten-Caswell and Grace May
Written by lalahpolitico

Normally candidates in this Area 1 Santa Clara County Board of Education race spend less that $10 – $20K per candidate. But this year the challenger Melissa Baten-Caswell has raised about $140K so far, while the incumbent Grace Mah has raised about $80K.

Both the candidates campaign flyers talk the talk about all the education issues you ever heard of. But the pattern of campaign donation suggests charter school phobia is the seldom spoken issue that motivates the outsized donations. The familiar anti-Bullis Charter School voices are big donors to the challenger Melissa Baten-Cawell. Are they thinking they can buy her actions if she ascends to the SCCBoE? Los Altos School District ex-trustee Sangeeth Peruri is among the advocates attempting to oust the experienced incumbent, Grace Mah, a well-known champion for early education and for county programs that are helping close the achievement gap.


COLLAGE: 12+ years on the PA School board, Baten-Caswell is known for college entrance advising; 12+ years on SCC board, Mah is known as champion of early childhood education

Why the huge campaign spending on this obscure 2020 race?

Two candidates for the Area 1 seat on the Santa Clara County Board of Education (SCCBoE) are raising tens of thousands of dollars for their campaigns. As of Sept 19, 2020 Form 460 filing, 3-term incumbent Grace Mah has raised $79,885, while challenger Melissa Baten-Caswell has raised $139,723. 

You probably know or think you know what your local school board trustees do — hire and fire the district superintendent, approve union contracts, review the district budget, plan for enrollment changes, etc.

But you may wonder what do the SCCBoE trustees actually do?  About half its $292 million budget goes towards providing special education services to all the district-run schools and charter schools in the county. Much of the rest goes towards early childhood programs, parent education programs, and other programs intended to help close “the achievement gap.”

But the ‘whispered issue’ animating recent Area 1 elections – 2020, 2016, 2012 – has been charter schools

It’s considered impolite to say it’s a key issue because so much of the SCCBoE work has to do with Special Ed, Early Education, the Achievement gap, while charters are such a small responsibility. 

Yes, our SCCBoE is an authorizer and supervisor of twenty-one (21) charters in Santa Clara County. It has opened new charters and closed failing ones. Forty-five (45) other charters within Santa Clara County are authorized by their local school district, not by the County.

Yet there it is – charters, though a small part of SCCBoE business,  are THE KEY issue for many voters and 2020 donors on Form 460 paying attention to this obscure 2020 race. Area 1 includes Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos and Hills, and parts of Sunnyvale.

…charters, though a small part of SCCBoE business,  are THE KEY issue for many Area 1 voters and 2020 donors…


A peek at a Baten-Caswell
Form 460 Page
– see Sangeeth Peruri
among the earliest donors

Here is one page from Melissa’s many pages long Form 460 ending June 30, 2020. Sangeeth Peruri was an early contributor to the Baten-Caswell campaign with $10K. Baten-Caswell raised almost $80,000 by the June 30 reporting cut off. Melissa did declare her candidacy in May. But in May the Grace Mah campaign must have been expecting a normal election, not this supercharged one  – Mah raised only around $1000 per her June 30 Form 460.


So What Spikes the 2020 Baten-Caswell Campaign War Chest?

LASD trustees Speiser & Taglio are unopposed

In the Los Altos area this year 2020 – there is no one challenging the Los Altos School District (LASD) board trustee incumbents Steve Taglio, Jessica Speiser. Usually, the local Bullis Charter School community provides at least one challenger – Aaronson in 2012, Martha McClatchie & John Swan in 2014, Tanya Raschke in 2016 and Ying Liu in 2018. But this year in 2020, what with COVID, Shelter in Place, and a BCS-LASD 3-year agreement,  LASD voters are hunkering down, and no LASD challenger came forward.

The lack of any LASD school board election challengers in 2020  has freed up a lot of anti-BCS campaign money and activist time and energy too.


Sangeeth Peruri, trustee Los Altos School District, the night of LASD tenth site BCS decision to set some deadlines

Sangeeth Peruri, former trustee LASD

Former LASD trustee Sangeeth Peruri — who otherwise would have been working to defend the incumbents Taglio and Speiser against a ‘BCS challenger’ — is an early, large Baten-Caswell donor at $10,000. He is also a Baten-Caswell campaign advisor undoubtedly aiding her campaign with sophisticated campaign advice and digital technologies including Peruri’s Outreach-Circle software.


Second, as California charter schools’ share of total public school enrollment grew from 9.2 percent to 10.6 percent of public school students statewide over the last five years, California school boards have started to take more and more interest in their County education department and Sacramento state education politics as well.  Local school district board members have convened — using existing professional associations and some new ones. Besides providing professional development and networking, the associations now collaboratively strategize on how to stop charter expansion and how to burden charters’ innovative programs with new, improved, expanded oversight. 

This coordinated charter harassment is euphemistically called “ improving charter accountability and oversight.”

Third, the first two situations – unspent activist money and unspent activist time – creates a “perfect storm” for local LASD area Bullis Charter School antagonists to pile on and support a challenger to incumbent Grace Mah. Besides the LASD areas,   Palo Alto and the other parts of Area 1 certainly have some voters who don’t like charters or alternative programs in principal. Former public school teachers residing in the area are a large voting contingent.

In 2012, Mah’s challenger got, 33% of the votes, in 2016, the challenger got 38%, but with a great deal of money now?….xx%?

CHART 1: Increase in Campaign Money Raised, 2012, 2016, 2020
Hard Facts and some estimating!

Chart of growth of campaign spending on the Area 1 SCCBoE election 2020. Grace Mah. Melissa Baten-Caswell

Heuristic chart – 2012 to 2020 increase in campaign money raised and votes FOR the Mah challengers.


Untill this year, the SCCBoE Area 1 race has been small potatoes. Campaign costs ran $10-20k or less. For Los Altos City Council, people say its costs around $20k to run today.

In Chart 1 one can read that in 2012 Mah challenger David Cortright got 33% of votes, in 2016 challenger Sheena Chin got 38% of votes with low spending.  What will  Melissa Caten-Basewell get with this  high spending in 2020?

Melissa raised almost $80K by the June 30 Form 460 report date. The Grace Mah campaign must have been quite surprised to see the Melissa June 30 – 460 report with the big bucks $80K number. Mah‘s Form 460 shows she had just put $1K into her campaign as of that date, apparently expecting a ‘normal’ election. But by the Sept 19 report, Mah had matched the June Baten-Caswell June number, but meanwhile Melissa’s war chest had swelled to almost $140K in September.

Methodology for Chart 1: The historic votes are accurate and easily found. However, we were unable to find the 2012 and 2016  Form 460’s  for Dave Cortright or Sheena Chin campaigns. Their finances here are my estimates based on known Mah spending.  The bottom line here is Cortright in 2012 and Chin in 2016 may have raised much less than these estimates.  In my files, I do not have any mailers for the 2012 or 2016 campaigns of either challenger candidate. Did they send any?  One union did endorse Cortright and I remember a mailer from that union. Judging by Mah’s 2012 and 2016 spending, the challengers’ spending must have been small. The Mah campaign has shared some info about their 2012 and 2016 Form 460 finances so the Mah campaign money is accurate to the thousand dollars for those years. Mah’s spending was small. I estimate that challengers’ spending was small. I use the measure “money raised”, not money spent. Almost always those are nearly equal. UPDATE Sept. 7, 2020: A reader claims that per Cortright’s 470 form, he spent less than $2000 in 2012–$2000 is the threshold for filing a 460. The reader claims to have a Chin 460 showing $6000 in spending.


Mah’s early Mandarin Immersion activism…
Is Grace Mah actually soft on charters?

Grace Mah 2020 SCCBoE election

Grace Mah in 2020

No, Not really.

Contrary to popularly repeated misinformation, Mah was NOT on the SCCBoE board that originally authorized the Bullis Charter School.

When BCS first came up for charter renewal, she voted to NOT renew BCS because the school still had that admissions preference for the old Bullis-Purrisima school area – aka Los Altos Hills. At the same time, LASD and BCS were negotiating the “five-year agreement” that phased out that admission perference.  At that point, Mah then voted to renew BCS. 

Before Mah was appointed in 2007 to a vacated seat on the  SCCBoE, Mah had spent 6 years in the PAUSD as a parent advocating for the pilot of a Mandarin Immersion (MI) program for k through 5. There was already Mandarin in the Palo Alto middle and high school system.  At the start, the  Mandarin Immersion program would have been just for k and first graders. It was to be housed in an existing school campus. Eventually, that ‘neighborhood’ school could lose its mainstream non-MI offering. The proposal for a MI special program was resisted by many residents and by the PAUSD board again and again. 

Finally, after 6 years of PAUSD board refusals, Mah realized a Mandarin Immersion could be accomplished by forming a CHARTER SCHOOL!  The then PAUSB decided a MI was more ok than dealing with a charter proposal!!! Lalahpolitico: Funny about that.

From here is good 2013 article about Mah’s backstory. The title is clickbait though.

Similar to Mandarin in PA –
Los Altos parent activism
for an alternative program
then BCS is spawned

Marge Gratiot, Los Altan of the Year 1998

Marge Gratiot, Los Altan of the Year 1998, Los Altos Town Crier, nixed hands-on alt program

Meanwhile, in an overlapping time frame, there were parent activists asking LASD Superintendent Marge Gratiot to form an alternative program – it would emphasize nature and hands-on learning. Marge refused.

Then a botched LASD construction project at Covington and the 2000 tech crash put the district finances in the red. The LASD board voted to close the Bullis Purissima School.  It was the campus that needed the most repairs and had been ‘first in line’ to spend the money from the recently voter-approved bond.  More than a few of Bullis Purissima attendance area parents and residents were mad as hell.  The “alt program” education activists and the ‘betrayed’ LAH bond voters banded together to start a charter preferably to be located at the closed Bullis Purrissima site.  LASD denied the charter application twice, Bullis Charter appealed to the County which became the authorizer. 

Video Sept. 2020
Women’s Caucus Los Altos Area
Mah vs. Baten Caswell

– Identical on Charter issue?


Head shots of Melissa Baten-Caswell election 2020 forum LAWC

Video of Melissa Baten-Caswell election 2020 forum of Los Altos Womens’ Caucus shows a very similar stance toward the BCS situation.

Los Altos Women’s Caucus “SCCBoE 2020 discussion” starts ~ 41:00.CLICK HERE TO START AT 41:00

If you want to go directly to the question what is the “Role of the SCCBoE in the BCS situation?”  CLICK HERE TO GO to 57:50 . Both Grace’s and Melissa’s answers about the role are quite similar and quite tame –  work on healing, listening, try to find agreement, etc. Is there any discernable difference in their posture toward charters in general and Bullis Charter in particular?


Is Melissa Baten-Caswell soft on Alternative Programs?

Melissa Baten-Caswell SCCBoE election 2020

Melissa Baten-Caswell

Yes, maybe.

Melissa Baten Caswell was not yet on the PAUSD board when it approved the Mandarin Immersion program.  Melissa was first elected to the board somewhat after the Mandarin Immersion {MI) approval.  During Melissa’s election forums, she can be heard saying she would not oppose  continuation of the MI program.

  Lalahpolitico – That’s like a LASD board candidate saying they would not try to hinder or REGULATE or dismantle Bullis Charter School. 

The record seems to show that both Grace and Melissa can consider sharing or closing a neighborhood school to accomodate an ‘alternative’ program.

Yet looking at the impressive list below of  Baten-Caswell donors with long anti-charter histories, and the large sums involved, those folks must believe that Melissa will deliver anti-charter results if she ascends to the SCCBoE.


Pie Chart Methodology  – Definitions, Green, Grey

Big Donor Money from LASD Areas  is measured as donations till Sept 19  on Form 460 of  $500 or more AND from individuals giving a LA, LAH, MV city address. =GREEN

GREY = Other money includes named individuals donating less than $500 AND any size donations from organizations AND individuals donating $500 more giving a PA or Sunnyvale, or out-of-LASD area city address. AND any Small donations totaling <$100 by Sept 19  as these are not reported by name.

Green + Grey is 100% of donations to a candidate.


LASD area big donors have kicked in $77,000 so far

Here are all the top LA, LAH and MV contributors to Melissa Caswell from the California Form 460 as of Sept 19,  2020. Many started donating last May

Sangeeth Peruri $10,000 (former LASD board)
Steve Brown $10,000 (“Unintended Consequences” & LTE writer)
Mark Goines $10,000 (former LASD board)
Jennifer Carlstrom $7,500
Laura Gao $5,000
Alison Biggs $3,000 (LASD activist)
John Mahlmeister $2,500
Omar Ghosheh $2,500
John Mahlmeister 1$2,500
Duane Roberts $2,000
Anette Odello $1600
Jessica Speiser $1,500 (current LASD board and former president)
Vladimir Ivanovic $1,000 (current LASD board and former president)
Pablo Luther $1000 ( former LASD board member)
Joe Seither $1000 (former Huttlinger Alliance, ex-LAEF, ex-CACF)
Elena Shea $1000 (former Huttlinger Alliance)
Catherine Dellamaggiore $1000 (Community Volunteer)
Danielle James $1000 ( LASD activist, family ties professional Democratic Party)
Heather Rose $1000
Pankaj Gunsagar $1000
Becky Morgan $1000 (Retired Legislator)
Peipei Yu $1000 ( “Save Egan” activist)
Sharon Clay $1000 ( longtime LASD parent activist )
Ryan Brown $1000
Christopher Roast $750
Tamara Logan $500 (former LASD board)
Steve Apfelberg $500 (LAEF secretary)
Gary Hedden $500 (Community Volunteer)
Laura Teksler $500 (running for MVLA High school board)
Caryl Odnert $500
Gaurav Agrawal $500
Amie Wang $500
James Percy $500
Ken Branson $500
John Sellers $500
Kelly Berman  $500 (LASD activist)
Michael Kostow $500
Denise Padilla $500

Remember the $77,350 group above are just the LA, LAH, and MV ‘big’ individual donors $500 and up.

‘big’ Melissa donors in LA, LAH, MV = $77,350  or 55% of Melissa’s total raised

total raised = $139,723


Grace Man big donors from LASD areas







Kenneth Moore $15,000 – one of the BCS Founders
Kenneth Smith $1500
Benoit Schillings $1000
Hui Yang $901

‘big’ Grace donors in LA, LAH, MV = $18,401 or 23% of the Grace’s total raised

total raised = $79,885

Melissa Baten-Caswell SCCBoE election 2020

Melissa Baten-Caswell

Grace Mah 2020 SCCBoE election

Grace Mah in 2020


 Comparison of LASD Donor Pattern –
Baten-Casewell vs. Mah

SCCBoE campaign finance 2020 Melissa Baten-Caswell, Grace Mah

The gray indicates donors under $500 from anywhere in Area 1. And large donors from non-LASD area. See Methodology section above.


The gray indicates donors under $500 from anywhere in Area 1. etc. See Above.

Green indicates donors $500 and over from the assumed LASD area – namely individul donors who gave a LA, LAH, MV city address.

[Obviously it is possible them some of these >$500 donors with those addresses were from Cupertino Schools or MVWhisman Schools.]

Lalahpolitico conclusion – Mah’s big donors may wistfully believe she is fairer to charters and/or be animated by her work in early childhood education, etc.  In contrast,  Many Baten-Caswell LASD big donors seem to be motivated mainly by the hope she will be an anti-charter stalwart.

Who gave love to the 2019 AB 1505 anti-charter State bill?

What is AB 1505 you ask?  

It was a State bill passed in 2019 designed to prevent new charters from being authorized and to hamper existing charters. It tried to make the local school district the SOLE authorizer for new charter applicants. It asked to end the right of new charter applicants to appeal a district application denial to the county and the state boards of education. At the end of the day, as amended, it still did succeed in limiting appeals of denials to only the county level.

AB 1505 also asked to allow local school boards to consider facilities, fiscal, and academic impacts on the district when considering new charter school petitions.  At the end of day fiscal impact can be considered ONLY by districts that are officially in dire distress. This provision does not apply to LASD / BCS.

Read about the legislation as originally proposed.

Lalahpolitico:  Has either the incumbent or the challenger demonstrated reliably agressive anti-charter rhetoric or actions? Did Grace Mah or Baten-Caswell jump on the buses  to Sacramento in the summer of 2019 to march with the CTA for the anti-charter bill AB1505 ? Did they join their boards in writing letters to their state representatives in the Assembly in support of any version of AB1505? I can’t find any evidence.

Yet judging by the numerous very large donations involved, Baten-Caswell donors seem to believe she will work to erode the state charter laws in Sacramento and use the Santa Clara County Board of Education to block new charters and hinder existing ones. Is this an attempt to buy her? – Lalahpolitico


LosAltosPolitico Bottom line – Just Different World Views?

I’ve listened to a lot of parent/resident comments at many LASD public meetings and a few BCS public meetings. People just have different world views about how things work in the real world, about what’s fair, about human nature, whose welfare matters the most, the short-run vs. long-run, what facts are true and what facts are important, what facts are material, what is a ‘complete’ set of facts,  etc.

Here I distilled a set of points about which people say they differ. Are their remarks always sincere or just transactional?  I dunno. Probably some hypocrisy out there.

1 Taxpayer dollars for education BELONG TO the established Public Institutions, namely the school districts

VS. BELONG TO/ should follow the students/families.

2 Statewide, Public Charters have NOT IMPROVED educational equity for the disadvantaged – all they do is “cherry-pick” the most able among the disadvantaged from the local Institutions, lowering equity back in local Institutions.

VS. Charters HAVE LIFTED UP the disadvantaged in California.  [UPDATE Sept. 7: Mah 2020 is endorsed by the the Santa Clara County chapter Alliance of Black Educators]

3In the specific case of BULLIS CHARTER SCHOOL, the BCS students are bringing “backpacks of what should be LASD’s State Cash” to the charter, lowering spending per LASD student.

VS. BCS students increase LASD spending per student, because they receive only about 1/3 of the local parcel taxes, leaving more to spread around fewer LASD students. [BCS receives about $6,000 less than LASD receives in state property taxes and local parcel taxes per student.]

4In the specific case of BULLIS CHARTER SCHOOL, BCS (with 20% of the LASD enrollement) should have the EXACT same [or higher] Percent of  Groups of interest as the 80% at LASD – Low Socioeconomic, English language learners, Medium-Severely disabled, etc.

VS. the BCS Percents are close enough, and it might be higher IF,
IF LASD used the County Services for Special Ed like most small Districts and BCS instead of providing in-house luxury service – a service which was started about 10 years ago AND
IF LASD allowed BCS to participate in Kindergarten sign-up programs. Also maybe the better measurement is “improvment” among the groups of interest.

5It’s better for society when children are all taught pretty much the same way and pretty much the same things. No one gets an unfair leg up. It promotes harmony.

It’s better for society, when more kids can be taught in the ways that work for them. Diversity of teaching/learning practices and diversity of ideas is a good thing. Or else we have monotony and tend toward group-think.

6It’s better for society and children when publicly funded union teachers are carefully certified, tenured after 2 years and then protected from changes in job descriptions.

VS. A lot of things in the State Education Code overregulate our public schools. {Google Marshall Tuck for State Superintent of Eduation}. At the moment, charters still escape a few of of those regulations. But it would be better if there were fewer regulation for district-run schools too.

7It is better for my single-family home’s price appreciation, if my local neighborhood school stays open. No one should experience a situation where their exisiting school attendance area changes because of a alternative program or charter school. This applies whether one has children still in school or not.  The family that buys my house when I’m old will care deeply about the nearest public school they are entitled to attend. It’s the American Dream to walk to school. Keep the dream.

Its better to own a single family home in a school district which has some publicly funded alternative programs and charter schools,  even if I never use them myself. The family that buys my home may appreciate having more choice.  Admittedly demand for the “choice” may exceed supply, so that future family can’t depend on getting a publically funded spot. Yet people can’t anticipate what their future children might need to flourish. It’s potential path before having to choose private school. Besides, don’t we all know relatives and friends who changed schools for various reasons and went on to lead a normal life! And don’t we know people who continuously attended their neighborhood school and single school district and yet later had a turbulent life.

8Expanded publically funded early childhood education is a nice to have. Maybe not for my affluent family though.  Charters and alterntive programs only belong in failing school districts, not mine. It’s much more important to me to diminish the threat of changes to my neighborhood school attendance areas than to promote early childhood education. I believe Baten-Caswell will fight charters and alternative programs, even though she hasn’t said so.

Expanded Publicly funded early childhood education is a must have, if as a society we are going to narrow the racial-poverty achievement gap. Till that happens, charters – mostly in low-performing districts – also help. At the state level I favor funding for both. If a charter moves into a school near one of my properties, so be it.  It isnt all about ME. I believe Grace Mah is more experienced with early childhood education and closing the achievement gap and isn’t soft on charters; Baten-Caswell will need to get up to speed with early childhood education; She has a consultancy focused on advising families how to gain college admission to the colleges they would prefer.

Video Excerpt –  LWV 2016 Forum
Grace Mah vs. Sheena Chin
3 LWV questions on charters

LWV QUESTION 1: “‘What is the role of the County Office of Education with respect to charters schools? A lot of national research states that the schools have a very mixed record for student academic success.  What can the Office of Education do to improve charter school performance, improve their transparency of operation, and encourage them to be more integrated with the public school system?”

Lalahpolitico: Wow. That’s a whole lot of propaganda pretending to be a question! Enjoy the video excerpt. It’s pretty short!

click here to open video

click here to open video

Lalahpolitico: Among other things, listen to the 2016 challenger Sheena Chin say in ‘polite’ language that the County needs to supervise their charter schools much, much, much more closely. Who knows how dangerous charters might be.  [Lalahpolitico: Of course, we need sooooo many, many more regulations and reporting and inspections in the public school system. It is so helpful to charters and district-run schools as well!]

Another Video Blast from the past – 2012 Election.
The LWV BCS question… with David Cortright

To PLAY this video, hover over the left hand corner. You will see a white PLAY triangle. You can then drag the playhead to 38:10 for THE CHARTER question.

logo League of Women Voters

YOUR INVITED to the 2020 LWV forum Oct. 11 – via ZOOM

Maybe the LWV moderator will ask some ‘tough’ charter questions like they did at their 2016 forum.  See 2016 Forum video above.

Sunday, October 11


 SCC Office of Education #1 Candidate Forum
When  Sunday, October 11, 4pm – 5pm
Where League of Women Voters via Zoom (map)

Description Come listen to the Santa Clara County Office of Education #1 candidates and learn where they stand on the pertinent issues facing our county’s schools.

When you register for a virtual candidate forum you will have an opportunity to suggest a question to ask the candidates and will be sent a reminder email the day before the event. We will also livestream the forum on YouTube and have an indexed recording available on our website after the event.

Register for the SCC Office of Education #1 Candidate Forum

If we exceed our 100 attendee limit, we will provide a link to attend via our YouTube livestream video. The livestream video is the same recording as in Zoom.

For a complete list of all Candidate Forums and Pros & Cons.

The League of Women Voters sponsors these candidate forums to provide the public unbiased information to help inform their election decisions.



-An article from 2013 about Grace Mah’s past that seems to be accurate and balanced, IF you read to the end.  However, the headline seems like slanted clickbait though.”Champion for Charter Schools,

-An article about Baten-Coswell’s time in on the PAUSC, where parent/resident comments are less than kind. Lalahpolitico does not put put much weight on this kind of thing. The same chatter happens to the MVWhisman board.

-Partial list Baten-Caswell 2020 ENDORSERS you might have heard of –

  • Santa Clara County Board of Education President Claudia Rossi
    Los Altos School District Board President Bryan Johnson
    Los Altos School District Board Vice President Vaishali (Shali) Sirkay
    Los Altos School District Board Trustee and former President Jessica Speiser
    Los Altos School District Board Trustee Steve Taglio
    Los Altos School District Board Trustee and former President Vladamir Ivanovic
    Former Los Altos School District Board President Doug Smith
    Former Los Altos School District Board Trustee Sangeeth Peruri
    Former Los Altos School District Board President Tamara Logan
    Alison Biggs
    Joe Seither, former Los Altos Education Foundation (LAEF) President, LASD Citizens Advisory Committee for Finance
    Kelly Berman
    Peipei Yu
    Sara Kopit-Olson
    Steve Brown

-Partial list Grace Mah 2020 ENDORSERS you might have heard of – 

Sam Liccardo, San Jose City Mayor
Courtenay Corrigan, Los Altos Hills Town Council Member
Anita Enander, Los Altos City Council Member
John Harpootlian, Former Los Altos Hills Town Mayor
Jean Mordo, Former City of Los Altos Mayor,
Greg Tanaka, Palo Alto City Council Member
Gary Waldeck, Former Los Altos Hills Town Mayor
Leon Beauchman, Former SCCBoE, President of the Santa Clara County Alliance of Black Educations
Michael Chang, Former SCCBoE member, Former Cupertino Mayor
Joseph Di Salvo, SCCBoE member
Darcie Green, Former SCCBoE member
TN Ho, Former SCCBoE member
Jane Howard, Former SCCBoE member 

Grace Li Babian, Stevenson House Board Member*
Alfred Bay, Former Stevenson House Board Member*
Jade Chao, Former Palo Alto Family YMCA Board Chair*
Paula Collins, Former Palo Alto Family YMCA Board Chair*
Jim Fruchterman, Founder of Tech Matters and Benetech*
Dr. June Klein, Former Palo Alto Family YMCA Board Chair*
Ingrid Lai, La Comida Board Member*
Mark Levi, Former Stevenson House Board President*
Sally Mahoney, Former Stevenson House Board President*
Karen Neier, Former Palo Alto Family YMCA Board Chair*
Tony Putulin, Stevenson House Board Member*
Allan and Mary Seid, Founders of AACI (Asian American Community Involvement)*
Jim Stinger, Former Palo Alto Family YMCA Board Chair*
Dr. Albert Wang, Founder of Friends of Children with Special Needs*

*affiliation, not an organization endorsement

About the author


Norma Schroder is an economics & market researcher by trade and ardent independent journalist, photographer and videographer by avocation. Enthralled by the growth of the tech industry over the decades, she became fascinated with the business of local politics only in the past several years.