PTA Launches Shop-Local Campaign

A brand-new program launched by the Pleasanton PTA Council aims to create a win-win-win situation for PTA members, local businesses, and the city's sales tax coffers.

Dubbed "PTA Shops Ptown," the new shop-local campaign marries the purchasing power of 5,000-plus PTA members with special discounts from participating Pleasanton merchants to encourage local shopping.

"We wanted to help our local businesses during these tough economic times," says Joan Laursen, Pleasanton PTA Council President, pointing out the twin benefits of price savings and exposure for members and merchants. Shopping locally "in turn helps our overall community," she continues. "Studies have shown that for every $100 spent at a locally owned merchant, $68 stays in the local economy. When you spend $100 at a chain store, only $43 stays in the area. When you buy online, nothing stays local. Further, choosing to shop in Pleasanton helps our city by retaining sales tax revenue for our city services."

Local PTA membership is required for participation on either side of the exchange. According to the program guidelines, "the business owner or manager must be a PTA member at (one of the eight) Pleasanton PTA schools. We encourage parents to join their child's school's PTA. If you don't have children in a Pleasanton PTA school, you may join any PTA in Pleasanton." PTA membership fees range from $10 to $18; there is no additional charge for PTA members to enroll in the Ptown program.

Exposure for the merchants comes in two forms: inclusion on the PTA Council's website, and dissemination of their business information to members through the community newsletters, email announcements, and websites of the individual PTA units.

The guidelines also point out that as a nonprofit, the PTA cannot endorse or ask members to buy products, and some types of businesses, for example liquor stores, are ineligible to participate in the program.

Brick-and-mortar businesses receive a PTA Shops Ptown window decal to display to indicate their participation in the program. Shoppers must present a valid PTA membership card to get their discount. To become a PTA member, individuals who have no school affiliation and parents of children at non-PTA schools can complete a special Councilwide Membership Form available at the web site.

As the largest child advocacy organization in the United States, the National PTA has a three-fold mission: to be a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for the education and well-being of every child.

To find out more about the Ptown program, email The Pleasanton PTA Council web address is

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