By David Taormino
I am satisfied that our Buyers’ Program is appropriate and supported by significant legal precedence. You recently read our attorney’s opinion which included case citations that were somehow omitted from the Vanguard’s article. If our program is challenged, we will defend it. However, the legal and policy foundation for the Davis Based Buyers’ Program is the mandate in Measure R which states in part:
(1) “The Purpose of this article… and an adequate housing supply to meet internal City needs…”
Measure R, Purpose Clause (1), (emphasis mine)
If our program is “unconstitutional” as opined by several Vanguard “legal experts”, then reasonably so too is its underlying foundation, Measure R. The courts, in reviewing preferences across the country, look to the underlying legal foundation or public policy in evaluating the basis for preferences and their constitutionality. Internal City needs is stating a mandated preference.
Local preferences are legal as long as the underlying policy is not intended to discriminate against a protected group. We were careful in describing our program’s categories and testing each against Measure R’s “internal City needs” mandate. Further, we included a 10% unrestricted category to avoid inadvertently harming some group.
If Vanguard readers think my program is not appropriate and following the mandate in Measure R, then they should postulate what they think the writers of Measure R meant when they put the words “adequate housing supply to meet internal City needs into the Measure”? That directive and those words means something!
Here’s an opportunity for Vanguard readers who obviously can freely criticize someone else’s effort to instead create. Measure J/R have been around 18 years. I didn’t read one (1) word in the Vanguard about Nishi and students not meeting internal City needs. Neither the words student nor UC Davis appear anywhere in Measure R.
Now’s your chance to show other Vanguard readers how you would comply with Measure R’s mandate: “housing to meet internal needs”. And don’t forget, make it enforceable on the developer and the public and not discriminating against a protected group. Go ahead and start with my categories and see if you can do better. I look forward to Vanguard readers creative and positive approaches to Measure R’s mandate.
Dave Taormino, a Davis housing provider