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Seasoned crew steering school bond campaign

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Supporters of the Austin Independent School District’s November bond proposal have a seasoned team of political consultants to help them promote the $1.05 billion bond proposition. Greg Hartman, Seton Healthcare Family’s president for external affairs, is treasurer of Our Kids, Our Schools, Our Future, the political action committee supporting the bonds. Longtime political consultant David Butts is helping to guide the campaign along with Mykle Tomlinson, who is serving as campaign manager. Mark Littlefield, pollster and political consultant, told the Austin Monitor he is working for the bond campaign on a pro bono basis. Littlefield said Susan Harry and Laura Hernandez, who have worked on numerous other campaigns, are in charge of fundraising. Last week, members of the Austin Chamber of Commerce hosted other supporters, including members of the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce at a press event touting their support. Supporters say the bond will not raise property taxes but will provide the facilities students need. Trustees say every campus will receive improvements from the bond proceeds and point out that none of the money is subject to state recapture – the way property taxes are. Some residents are concerned that the district plans to close certain under-enrolled schools in East Austin. The Austin American-Statesman reported on Saturday that some community members, led by unsuccessful school board candidate Monica Sanchez, would be forming their own PAC, called Save East Austin Schools.

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