(Revised/Adopted March 7, 2019)
The Uptown Task Force is a partnership of organizations, institutions, community groups, residents, property owners and public agencies focused on implementing the Uptown/West Oakland EcoInnovation District Plan and providing a forum for collaboration and information exchange to improve and enhance the Uptown neighborhood.
The goals of this effort are focused on:
- Community – Invest in existing residents, attract and preserve affordable housing, promote diversity and an inclusive economy, build on Uptown’s existing character and identity, tackle blight, improve community safety, promote public art and expand institutional partnerships
- Development – Diversify housing options, create space for innovation, revive commercial corridors, and promote sustainable development
- Mobility – Calm traffic, improve safety, encourage multimodal transportation options, including bicycling, walking, and Bus Rapid Transit
- Infrastructure – improve community health; upgrade and create open spaces and green connections; manage stormwater; coordinate underground infrastructure improvements; promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, and thermal district energy; and advance waste management strategies to reduce trash to landfill.
Membership and Responsibilities
Composition: The Uptown Task Force is composed of 1-2 representatives from organizations in Uptown or directly adjacent areas as well as other organizations that are expected to play a key role in implementing the Uptown / West Oakland EcoInnovation District Plan. The goal is to represent the diverse interests of the community including residents, institutions, non-profits, service providers, businesses, entertainment venues, large landowners, and energy providers.
Convener: The Task Force is convened by Duquesne University. Core duties include convening and organizing each meeting including establishing the meeting agenda, writing meeting minutes, coordinating the location of the meeting along with other member organizations, and furnishing a public-facing website that describes the Task Force and provides the approved meeting minutes. The Convener will send out meeting agendas and the draft meeting minutes from the previous meeting at least one week prior to the meeting. Meeting minutes will be approved at the following meeting. See the “Meetings and Subcommittees” section for more details. Other organizations can request to become the convener and a majority vote by the Task Force members will approve the change.
Joining and Leaving: Membership is expected to evolve over time. Existing members can propose the addition of organizations consistent with the “Composition” section above. Members can remove their organization from the Task Force through a written letter provided to the convener on official letterhead. Members can also be deactivated for reasons as outlined in Participation section below. If members are deactivated from the Task Force, they may request to have representation on a Sub-committee instead and can also request to have their membership reactivated in the future with a commitment to adhere to Participation responsibilities as outlined in the Participation section below.
Participation: Active participation is required of all members including the ability to vote on behalf their organization in support or opposition to proposals. It is expected that organizational members will be present/represented at a minimum of six (6) Task Force meetings each calendar year. Resident members, who are designated by Uptown Partners, will be present at a minimum of two (2) Task Force meetings each calendar year. Resident members will be non-voting members, with Uptown Partners voting on behalf of residents. The Task Force can remove members by a simple majority vote if a member fails to meet the attendance requirement or is repeatedly offensive or ignores the intent of this framework.
Intent and Activities
Coordination: The Task Force meetings are called for by the Uptown / West Oakland EcoInnovation District Plan as a key venue for district coordination and action. Members are expected to provide thorough updates of their organization’s activities, particularly when they may impact others in the district. Specifically, this includes expected building work and demolitions, new programs and new projects. Government organizations must present projects to the Task Force at the outset of their public engagement process. The final project should be presented again at least 30 days prior to the start of construction or approval by a City commission. The Task Force should be informed as soon as possible for all emergency repairs and other urgent City projects that cannot follow a normal schedule.
Project Review: Organizations and developers are encouraged to present projects to the Task Force at the discretion of the Task Force. This include Task Force member organizations. Members will provide constructive comments and input on project proposals. Project proposals should be reviewed for consistency with the goals and recommendations of the Uptown / West Oakland EcoInnovation District Plan. The Task Force will review development projects, institutional master plans, construction projects and transportation projects that specifically occur in or impact the Uptown neighborhood.
Letters: The Convener will call for a simple majority vote for projects seeking a written letter of support. Governmental departments or agencies will abstain from voting or expressing support for or opposition to projects that are reviewed by the Task Force. If the Task Force votes to support a project formally, either at a monthly meeting or via email exchange, the Convener will draft a simple letter that includes a description of what the Task Force likes about the proposal and will send the letter to the Task Force members by email for approval. Task Force members have one week to approve the letter or provide comments before the letter will be considered completed and sent to the team proposing the project and posted on the Task Force website. If a Task Force member strongly opposes a project that the majority supports, said member is expected to communicate its lack of support or opposition to the project via its own separate communication to the appropriate governmental body or department.
Conflicts of Interest
Whenever a member has a real or perceived financial or personal interest in matters of requests for letters of support coming before the Task Force or any of its Sub-committees, the Task Force and its Sub-committees shall ensure that:
- The interest of such member is fully disclosed (either through self- or peer-reporting) to the Task Force and its Sub-committees, as appropriate.
- In the event that disclosure of such interest is not resolved to the satisfaction of the Task Force, members may call for a simple majority vote to determine whether a conflict exists.
- No interested member may vote on the matter at the meeting of the Task Force at which such matter is voted upon.
- The minutes of meetings at which such votes are taken shall record such disclosure, abstention, and rationale for approval.
Meetings and Subcommittees
Monthly meetings: The Task Force will meet from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on the first Thursday of every month, unless the meeting falls on a significant holiday or a majority of the members ask for the meeting to be canceled or rescheduled. Meeting locations are expected to change based on members offering up venues. The monthly meetings are where decisions by the Task Force will be made. The meetings are closed to the general public and to media representatives.
Meeting Agendas: Task Force members should send items to the Convener at least two weeks prior to the next monthly meeting. These items should be substantial projects, issues to address or other matters that cannot be accommodated by the “Member Updates” section of the regular agenda or where a vote / letter is requested from the Task Force. Developers should contact the Convener to be added to the agenda. Some projects may be forwarded to the Convener (in coordination with the project team) by the Department of City Planning’s Neighborhood Planner for Uptown. If audio visual equipment is required, the Convener and the host organization for the meeting should be informed. The regular agenda items are listed below.
- Approval of Minutes
- New Business/Presentations
- Sub-committee Updates
- Next Meeting
Sub-committees: There are many topics that will take more work and detailed discussions than can be accommodated during monthly Task Force meetings. For this purpose, the Task Force will convene sub-committees to work on specific projects as needed. The sub-committees will cover the topics of the Uptown / West Oakland EcoInnovation District Plan: Community, Development, Mobility, and Infrastructure. Sub-committee chairs will be selected by simple majority vote of the Task Force members. Sub-committee meetings can be convened by the Sub-committee chairs or can be asked for by the Task Force based on the need to address topics, launch initiatives, or respond to projects. In either case, the Sub-committee chair(s) will convene interested Task Force members and any additional experts that are called for at a separate meeting or meetings. Task Force member organizations should send representatives to Sub-committee meetings who have knowledge of the topic area. Each Sub-committee should develop and present an annual work plan at a monthly Task Force meeting for approval by the Task Force. Sub-committee chairs (as of 3-7-19):
- Community – Uptown Partners
- Development – Avenu
- Mobility – OPEN
- Infrastructure – Green Building Alliance