When the City Council voted last December to certify Measure AA, the Oakland Children’s Initiative, as “passed” despite the measure not having received the required two-thirds vote, LWVO protested and asked the Council to nullify its action. The League’s request was never granted, but the Council did vote in April not to collect the $198 parcel tax for the first year because the matter was under litigation.
Last week, in a case brought against the City of Oakland by the Jobs and Housing Coalition (JHC), Superior Court Judge Ronni MacLaren ruled 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.'”
The court also ruled that the City’s rationale for certifying AA as having passed with only a simple majority vote because it was a citizen initiative was not applicable. That issue is also under litigation in other jurisdictions and will eventually be determined by the courts. Oakland is unique in having changed the rules after the election, and LWVO anticipates that the City will use Judge MacLaren’s decision to put an end to the saga of Measure AA.
LWVO just recently sent a letter to the City Council requesting they NOT appeal this ruling.