Saturday 16th of November 2019 10:11:55 PM GMT

Oakland Measure AA Lawsuit Summary Judgment By Judge MacLaren: Full Text

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(Last Updated On: October 17, 2019)

Oakland, CA – On Tuesday, Alameda Superior Court Judge Ronni MacLaren issued a motion of summary judgment against the City of Oakland and for the plaintiff The Jobs and Housing Coalition, in the case of Jobs & Housing Coalition vs. City of Oakland.

Greg Mcconnell Of Oakland Jobs And Housing Coalition On Obot

Greg Mcconnell Of Oakland Jobs And Housing Coalition.

This is the case that resulted from the the November 2018 Election where Oakland Measure AA, based on a citizen’s initiative called “The Children’s Initiative of 2018”, needed two-thirds of the vote before the City of Oakland could impose a parcel tax to fund the opperation of the education-focused Oakland Promise organization. The Oakland Promise is a non-profit organization that’s mission is to raise money to send kids of Oakland’s low income families to college.

Measure Aa Loses In Court: Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Statement

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf

Instead of securing two-thirds of the vote, Measure AA only received 62 percent of the vote – four percent less than the legal requirement. The reaction by Oakland Promise’s main founder and creator Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf was to work to have the Oakland City Council ratify the votes as if the two-thirds threshold was reached.

Many Oaklanders were angry with Mayor Schaaf’s perceived attempt to bend the law to her liking. Regardless of the kids-focused reason, The Mayor’s directive was seen by some Oaklanders as anti-democratic. Earlier this year, Oakland Council President Rebecca Kaplan issued a motion that would stop the City of Oakland from collecting the parcel tax until the outcome of the lawsuit filed by Greg McConnell’s Jobs and Housing.

Judge Ronni Maclaren Alameda Superior Court

Judge Ronni Maclaren Alameda Superior Court

The Council President Kaplan motion turned out to be a work of genius because, on Tuesday, October 15th, 2019, Alameda Superior Court Judge Ronni MacLaren issued a motion of summary judgment, thereby stopping the implementation of Measure AA in its tracks before it could get going and collect tax dollars.

The reason for Judge MacLaren’s decision is summed up as follows:

..the court determines that the City is barred from enforcing Measure AA because the ballot measures prepared by the City unambiguously advised voters that Measure AA would require two — thirds of the votes to pass. Allowing Measure AA to be enacted with less than two-thirds of the votes would constitute “a fraud on the voters.”

What follows is the text from the summary judgment, gained via an online pdf-to-text converter. Where there may be differences between the pdf document and this post, Zennie62Media will work to correct the problem as soon as possible.

NIELSEN MERKSAMER CITY OF OAKLAND

PARRINELLO GROSS & LEONI LLP Attn: PARKER BARBARA J.
Attn: Skinnell, Christopher E One Frank Ogawa Plaza, 6th F1
2350 Kemer Boulevard Oakland, CA 94612i

Suite 250

San Rafael, CA 94901

Superior Court of California, County of Alameda
Rene C. Davidson Alameda County Courthouse

Jobs & Housing Coalition N0. RG19005204
F]aint1fi7Petitioner( s)
Order
VS.
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
City of Oakland Granted
Defendant/Respondent(s)
(Abbreviated Title)

The Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings filed for Proponents Measure AA and Gregory R McConnell JR. and Robert F einbaum and Bruce Thrupp and William T. Booker and Flynn Family Holding, LLC and 685 Scofield, LLC and Jobs & Housing Coalition was set for hearing on 10/11/2019 at 09:00 AM in Department 25 before the Honorable Ronni MacLaren. The Tentative Ruling was published and was contested.

The matter was argued and submitted, and good cause appearing therefore,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

The tentative ruling is affirmed as foIlows: The Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings by Plaintiffs Jobs & Housing Coalition; 685 Scofield, LLC; F 13m Family Holding, LLC; William T. Booker; Bruce Thrupp; Robert Feinbaum; and Gregory R. McConnell, Jr. (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) is GRANTED.

Plaintiffs’ Complaint seeks (1) a declaration that Measure AA is unenforceable, (2) to prohibit Defendant City of Oakland (“the City”) from enforcing Measure AA: and (3) a refund of any taxes co11ected pursuant to Measure AA.

Measure AA imposes a parcel tax for 30 years to fund educational programs. As a parcel tax, Measure AA potentially falls under California Constitution Article XIII A § 4, Article X111 C § 2(d), and Article XIII D 9′ 3(2), each of which requires a two-thirds vote prior to imposing such a tax. Measure AA, however, was place on the ba11ot as a result of citizen’s initiative, “The Children’s Initiative of 2018.” In the publicly circulated ballot materials for Measure AA, the City Attorney indicated that passage of Measure AA required approval by two-thirds of voters) (See Complaint, Exhjbit 1, pages 1-2.) Only 62.7% of the electorate voted for Measure AA. (See Complaint, paragraph 13.) However, the City Council subsequently passed a resolution stating that Measure AA had passed. (See Complaint; Exhibit 2, page 5.)

The City contends that Measure AA is not barred by Article XIII A §4, Article XIII C §2(d), or Article X111 D § 3(2) because it was not imposed by a local government, but rather was proposed by a voter-sponsored initiative. In support of this argument, the City relies on Califomia Cannabis Coalition V. City of Up1and (2017) 3 Cal.5th 924. In Upland, the Court held that a voter-sponsored initiative was not a tax imposed by a local government for the purposes ofArticIe X111 C § 2(b), which requires that voters must approve a general tax by a majority vote at a regularly scheduled general election (as opposed to a special election.)

Order

NIELSEN MERKSAMER CITY OF OAKLAND

PARRINELLO GROSS & LEONI LLP Attn: PARKER, BARBARA J.
Attn: Skinncll: Christopher B One Frank Ogawa Plaza, 6th F1
2350 Kerner Boulevard Oakland, CA 94612—
Suite 250

San Rafael, CA 94901

Superior Court of California, County of Alameda
Rene C. Davidson Alameda County Courthouse

Jobs & Housing Coalition N0. RG19005204

PlaintifUPctitioncr( s)
Order
VS.

Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

City of Oakland Denied

Defendant/RcspondenKS)
(Abbreviated Title)

The Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings filed for City of Oakland was set for heating on 10/11/2019 at 09:00 AM in Department 25 before the Honorable Ronni MacLaren. The Tentative Ruling was published and was contested The matter was argued and submitted, and good cause appearing therefore, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

The tentative ruling is affirmed as follows: The Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings by Defendant City of Oakland (“the City”) is DENIED, for the reasons set forth in the court’s order on the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings by Plaintiffs Jobs & Housing Coalition, et a1. (collectively= “P1aiutiffs”)= also heard on this date

As to Plaintiff’s’ Fifth Cause of Action for Equitable Estoppel, Plaintiffs adequately allege that they detrimentally relied on the ballot materials prepared by the City Attorney. Specifically, Plaintiff’s allege that if they had known the City would later contend (contrary to the information contained in the ballot materials prepared by the City Attorney) that Measure AA only needed a simple majority vote to pass: Plaintiffs would have had a pre-clection remedy to challenge any such statements in the voting materials.
The City’s Request for Judicial Notice is GRANTED.

a [1915′
Dated: 10/15/2019 Mm

Judge Ronni MacLaren

Order

SHORT TIT] in:
Jobs & Housing Coalition VS Citv of Oakland

CASE N1 EMBER:
RG19005204

ADDITIONAL ADDRESSEES

Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP
Attn: Olson2 Lance H

555 Capitol Mall

Suite 400

Sacramento, CA 95814

—— Third Party ——

Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP
Attn: Caplan, Deborah B.

555 Capitol Mall, Suite 1425
Sacramento, CA 95814—4602

Order

The court determines that Upland’s holding is limited to the specific constitutional provision at issue, i.e., whether a general tax (not a special tax) that is proposed as a voter initiative must be approved at a regularly scheduled general election. (See Upland, supra, 3 CalSth at 943‘) Upland does not directly address the proportion of voters who must approve a special tax, or whether that proportion differs depending on whether the tax was proposed by a voter initiative or a local government However to the extent that Upland discusses that issue, it appears to support Plaintiffs’ contention that special taxes require a two-thirds vote, regardless of whether they are proposed directly by local governments or by voter initiatives. Upland specifically distinguishes Article XII] C § 2(b) from § 2(d), recognizing that the voters “explicitly imposed a procedural two—thirds voting requirement on themselves” in § 2(d), in contrast to § 2(b), in which voters did not impose a procedural timing requirement on themselves. (Id. at 943.) In addition, Upland discusses the two-thirds voting requirement in § 2(d) as an exception to Elections Code § 9217: which would otherwise apply to voter initiatives. Contrary to the City’s argument at the hearing of this motion, Elections Code § 9217 applies to voter ballot initiatives only; the analogous statute dealing with propositions placed on the ballot by city legislative bodies is Elections Code § 9222.

Other cases; while also not addressing this precise issue: also support Plaintiffs‘ contention that special taxes placed on the ballot by citizen initiatives are governed by the two-thiIds voting requirement. See, e.g., Kennedy Wholesale, Inc. v. State Board of Equalization (1991) 53 Ca1.3d 245, 252: in which the Court held that AIticle XIII A § 3(a) (requiIing that an increase in state taxes be approved by a two-thirds vote of the California Legislature) did not preclude a voter initiative to raise state taxes based on a simple majority vote. The Court contrasted the language in § 3(a) with the language in § 4 (providing that special taxes can only be imposed by local governments by a two-thirds vote), which the Court stated ”demonstrates= unambiguously= that the voters knew how to impose a supermajon’ty requirement upon themselves when that is what they wanted to do.” (Id) See also Altadena Library Dist. v. Bloodgood (1987) 192 Cal‘App3d 585: in which the couIt denied petitioner‘s request that a special tax placed on the ballot by a voter initiative be exempted from the two-thirds voting requirement of Article XIII A § 4,

The City argues that because Upland determined that the phrase “no local government may impose” as used in Article XIII C § 2(b) excludes voter initiatives, similarly ”no local government may impose” as used in Article X111 C § 2(d) excludes voter initiatives from the requirement of two-thirds voter approval for special taxes. As indicated above, the court declines to extend the holding in Upland to a constitutional provision it did not directly address. But in any event, even assuming arguendo that the enforcement of Measure AA would not Violate Article XIII C § 2(d), it would Violate Article XIII D §3(a)y which provides that no parcel tax may be “assessed” unless it receives a two-thirds vote. Measure AA would result in the assessment of parcel taxes by the City, i.e., the City would list the property to be taxed and detemline the amount oftax to collect. (See, e.g., State Board of Equalization v. Cenieeros (1998) 63 Ca1,App.4th 122, 125.) Although the assessment required by Measure AA is not based on the value of the property, it is based on the type of property (Le, single family residential parcels, multiple residential unit parcels, and non—residential parcels.) (See Measure AA, Section 512.)

Finally, the court determines that the City is barred from enforcing Measure AA because the ballot measures prepared by the City unambiguously advised voters that Measure AA would require two — thirds of the votes to pass. Allowing Measure AA to be enacted with less than two-thirds of the votes would constitute “a fraud on the voters.” (See l-lass v. City Council (1956) 139 Cal,App.2d 73, 76‘) The court deteIInines that the cases cited by the City on pages 18-20 of its opening brief in support of its own motion for judgment on the pleadings are distinguishable Unlike in those cases, Plaintiffs here are not seeking to ”undo an election’I or invalidate the will of the voters. Rather, Plaintifi‘s seek to apply the California Constitution’s two-thirds voting requirement for imposition of special mxes – which the City ballot measures expressly represented would apply to Measure AA – to the election, Plaintiffs Request for Judicial Notice is GRANTED. The Court observes however, that opinions by state trial courts are not binding on this court and thus are not relevant to this court’s order. (See Plaintiffs Request for Judicial Notice, exhibits 1 and 3.)

Plaintiffs are directed to submit a proposed judgment, approved as to form, for the court’s signature forthwith.

Order

Dated: 10/15/2019 MW

Judge Ronni MacLaren

Order

Jobs & Housing Coalition VS City of Oakland

east; NUM BER:
RG19005204

ADDTTTONAL ADDRESSEES

Olson Hagel & Fishbum LLP
Attn: Olson, Lance H

555 Capitol Mall

Suite 400

Sacramento: CA 95814

-~ Third Patty —-

Olson Hagel & Fishbum LLP
Attn: Caplan, Deborah B

555 Capitol Mall= Suite 1425
Sacramento, CA 958144602

Order

NIELSEN MERKSAMER CITY OF OAKLAN D

PARRINELLO GROSS & LEONI LLP Attn: PARKER, BARBARA I.
Attn: Skinnell, Christopher E One Frank Ogawa Plaza, 6th F1
2350 Kerner Boulevard Oakland, CA 946127
Suite 250

San Rafael, CA 94901

Superior Court of California, County of Alameda
Rene C. Davidson Alameda County Courthouse

Jobs & Housing Coalition No. RG19005204
PlamfiflYPetitieneKs)
Order
VS.
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
City of Oakland Granted
Defendant/RespendenKS)
(Abbreviated Title)

The Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings filed for Proponents Measure AA and Gregory R. McConnell JR. and Robert Feinbaum and Bruce Thrupp and William T. Booker and Flynn Family Holding, LLC and 685 Scofield, LLC and Jobs & Housing Coalition was set for hearing on 10/11/2019 at 09:00 AM in Department 25 before the Honorable Ronni MacLaren. The Tentative Ruling was published and was contested.

The matter was argued and submitted, and good cause appearing therefore,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

The tentative ruling is affirmed as follows: The Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings by Plaintiffs Jobs & Housing Coalition; 685 Scofield, LLC; Flynn Family Holding, LLC;Wi1]iam T. Booker; Bruce Thrupp; Robert Feinbaum; and Gregory R McConnell, Jr. (collectively, “Plainti1fs”) is GRANTED.

Plamtiffs‘ Complaint seeks (1) a declaration that Measure AA is unenforceable, (2) to prohibit Defendant City of Oakland (”the City”) from enforcing Measure AA, and (3) a refund of any taxes collected pursuant to Measure AA.

Measure AA imposes a parcel tax for 30 years to fund educational programs. As a parcel tax, Measure AA potentially falls under California Constitution Article Xlll A § 4, Article X11] C § 2(d), and Article XHI D § 3(2), each of which requires a two-thirds vote prior to imposing such a tax. Measure AA, however, was place on the ballot as a result of citizen’s initiative, “The Children’s Initiative of 2018.” In the publicly circulated ballot materials for Measure AA, the City Attorney indicated that passage of Measure AA required approval by two-thirds of voters (See Complaint, Exhibit 1, pages 1-2.) Only 62.7% of the electorate voted for Measure AA. (See Complaint, paragraph 13.) However, the City Council subsequently passed a resolution stating that Measure AA had passed. (S ee Complaint, Exhibit 2, page 5,)

The City contends that Measure AA is not barred by Article XIII A §4, Article XIII C §2(d), or Article XIH D § 3(2) because it was not imposed by a local government, but rather was proposed by a voter-sponsored initiative. In support of this argument, the City relies on California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland (2017) 3 Cal.5th 924. In Upland, the Court held that a voter-sponsored initiative was not a tax imposed by a local government for the purposes of Article XIII C {j 2(b), which requires that voters must approve a general tax by a majority vote at a regularly scheduled general election (as opposed to a special election.)

Order

x 333:4
Dated: 10/15/2019 Mm

Judge Ronni MacLaren

Order

NIELSEN MERKSAMER CITY OF OAKLAN D

PARRINELLO GROSS & LEONI LLP Attn: PARKER, BARBARA J.
Attn: Skinnell, Chnstopher B One Frank Ogawa Plaza, 6th F1
2350 Kemer Boulevard Oakland, CA 94612—
Suite 250

San Rafael, CA 94901

Superior Court of California, County of Alameda
Rene C. Davidson Alameda County Courthouse

Jobs & Housing Coalition No. RG19005204

Plaintifl“/Petitioner(s)

Order

VS.
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

City of Oakland Dfimed

Defendant/RespondenKS)
(Abbreviated Title)

The Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings filed for City of Oakland was set for hearing on 10/1 1/2019 at 09:00 AM in Department 25 before the Honorable Ronni MaeLaren. The Tentative Ruling was published and was contested. The matter was argued and submitted, and good cause appearing therefore, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

The tentative ruling is affilmed as follows: The Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings by Defendant City of Oakland (“the City”) is DENIED, for the reasons set forth in the court’s order on the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings by Plaurtiffs Jobs & Housing Coalition, et a1. (collectively, “Plaintiffs”), also heard on this date.

As to Plaintifi‘s’ Fifth Cause of Action for Equitable Estoppel, Plaintiffs adequately allege that they detrimentally rehed on the ballot materials prepared by the City Attorney. Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that if they had known the City would later contend (contrary to the information contained in the ballot materials prepared by the City Attorney) that Measure AA only needed a simple majority vote to pass, Plaintiffs would have had a pre-election remedy to challenge any such statements in the voting materials.

The City’s Request for Judicial Notice is GRANTED.

\ Dill“
Dated: 10/15/2019 WW

Judge Ronni MacLaren

Order

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