City Attorney Applauds State Appellate Court Reversal In ‘Care Not Cash’ Litigation

Vindication for City’s Position That ‘Right of Voters to Self-Governance Through the Initiative Process is Central to Our Democracy,’ Herrera says

The California State Court of Appeal today reversed in full a lower court ruling last May that key portions of Proposition N, the “Care Not Cash” initiative passed by voters in November 2002, were invalid because only county boards of supervisors — not voters — were lawfully entitled to enact amendments to general assistance (GA) programs.

In a ruling this filed afternoon, Appellate Court Justice Patricia K. Sepulveda, in concurrence with Justices Lawrence Kay and Timothy Reardon, wrote, “We liberally construe constitutional and charter provisions in favor of the people’s right to exercise their reserved power of initiative,” noting that “The reserved initiative power of the San Francisco electorate is extremely broad.”

“We are very pleased with today’s decision by the State Court of Appeal upholding the will of voters in passing Proposition N,” City Attorney Dennis Herrera said. “It has been the City’s position that the right of the voters to self-governance through the initiative is central to our democracy. That position was clearly vindicated by the state appellate court today.”

The case is Pettye et al. v. City and County of San Francisco et al., Case No. A103129, Court of Appeal of the State of California, First Appellate District, Division 4.