PALO ALTO, California, December, 21, 2011 – Ash Pirayou, head of the Government Relations and Political Law Practice Group at Rutan & Tucker, LLP, one of California’s oldest and largest full-service law firms, recently assisted client CivicSponsor in the creation of a revolutionary public-private partnership with Alum Rock Union School District in East San Jose to build four state-of-the-art athletic facilities to serve students and the local community.
Pirayou guided the company through the creation of the partnership, which is considered to be the first of its kind in the nation, including advising on procurement rules and public policy impacts, and doing strategic government law work.
The partnership plans to raise $18 million in private funds from corporations and individuals interested in investing in their local community. No contribution of public funds will be required of the school district.
Investments will be used to construct new sports fields at four of the District’s middle schools: Joseph George, Ocala, Lee Mathson and Clyde Fischer. These state-of-the-art athletic fields will feature modern track and field facilities, soccer fields, restrooms and improved lighting and landscaping.
The fundraising deadline for the inaugural project, located at Joseph George Middle School, is June 2012. Once CivicSponsor has secured the $4.5 million necessary to develop the project, the district will complete construction in as little as 5 months.
“We are thrilled to move forward with this project, which will be life-changing for the residents and children of this community,” said Alum Rock Union School District Superintendent, Jose L. Manzo. “This partnership with CivicSponsor represents a new, effective and efficient way of collaborating with the private sector. We all win and the community and children will enjoy the greatest benefits.”
CivicSponsor will leverage a dynamic, cutting-edge mechanism known as “crowdfunding” to pool investments towards the purchase of public projects. The company will attract corporations and individuals interested in investing in their local communities to purchase a defined square acreage amount of each project (for example, $1,000 will purchase 65 square feet), providing the unique ability for investors to measure the tangible, positive impact made possible with their dollars.
In addition, CivicSponsor uses proprietary software and a network of local companies and vendors to provide an immediate and unprecedented level of financial accountability for both government agencies and investors alike.
“With Ash’s insightful legal counsel on this important project, we have fulfilled our mission to provide corporations and individuals with an effective, accountable way to invest in their local communities,” said Russ Wallace, CEO of CivicSponsor.
Pirayou is also a member of the firm’s Government & Regulatory and Land Use and Natural Resources Departments, where he has practiced since 2008. He helped launch the firm’s Government Relations and Political law Practice Group, a team of highly qualified attorneys who are experts in government and regulatory law, procurement law, land use and environmental law, and campaign finance and ethics laws.
To see the online project investment center, visit www.civicsponsor.org. Investments of all sizes are welcome and encouraged, with all payments tax-deductible.
About Alum Rock Unified School District
The Alum Rock Union School District operates twenty elementary schools and six middle schools, totaling a student population of 12,500. Serving the ethnically and economically diverse community of East San Jose, Alum Rock is a family-oriented district deeply committed to meeting the many needs of its students and families. Over the past four years, Alum Rock Union School District has earned a reputation for innovation and investment, both in its infrastructure and student and teacher resources. As a result, the district has transformed numerous once poorly performing schools into models of student achievement and learning. The success of this effort is exhibited in the districts rapidly improving API scores, which increased 24 points in the last school year alone, and its ability to narrow the achievement gap in a district where 78 percent of students are Latino. For more information, visit www.arusd.org.
CivicSponsor has leveraged a revolutionary crowdfunding model specifically tailored for public agencies to allow corporations and individuals to invest in their local communities, pooling investors together to purchase large-scale public projects that promise to make a significant impact in solving existing needs. CivicSponsor works with public agencies to gains access to budgets and timelines, offers additional auditing and assurances that the dollars are going where they are supposed to, and ensures that contributions are tax deductible. Corporations and individuals are provided an unprecedented level of accountability and oversight knowing their dollars will be used to generate tangible results they can see everyday. CivicSponsor’s CEO, Russ Wallace is a tax lawyer, serial entrepreneur and active volunteer. A graduate of Georgetown University and NYU School of Law, Wallace is currently a member of the Full Circle Fund, a longtime Big Brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area and a member of the One Percent Foundation. For more information, visit www.civicsponsor.org
About Rutan & Tucker, LLP
Rutan & Tucker is California’s largest full-service law firm headquartered in Orange County, California with offices in Costa Mesa and Palo Alto. Primary practice areas include corporate and securities law, business and real estate litigation, labor and employment law, intellectual property, real estate, government and regulatory law, land use law, bankruptcy, condemnation and property valuation, environmental law, and taxation and estate planning. Detailed information about the firm is available at www.rutan.com.