This document is adapted from Code for America’s Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment Policy.

OpenOakland’s Code of Conduct

Our Code of Conduct aims to produce an environment that is inclusive and collaborative by guarding each person’s dignity and sense of security.

The OpenOakland community expects that OpenOakland activities, events, and digital forums:

  1. Are a safe and respectful environment for all participants.
  2. Are a place where people are free to fully express their identities.
  3. Presume the value of others. Everyone’s ideas, skills, and contributions have value.
  4. Don’t assume everyone has the same context, and encourage questions.
  5. Find a way for people to be productive with their skills (technical and not) and energy. Use language such as “yes/and”, not “no/but.”
  6. Encourage members and participants to listen as much as they speak.
  7. Strive to build tools that are open and free technology for public use. Activities that aim to foster public use, not private gain, are prioritized.
  8. Prioritize access for and input from those who are traditionally excluded from the civic process.
  9. Work to ensure that the community is well-represented in the planning, design, and implementation of civic tech. This includes encouraging participation from women, minorities, and traditionally marginalized groups.
  10. Actively involve community groups and those with subject matter expertise in the decision-making process.
  11. Ensure that the relationships and conversations between community members, the local government staff and community partners remain respectful, participatory, and productive.
  12. Provide an environment where people are free from discrimination or harassment.

OpenOakland reserves the right to ask anyone in violation of these policies not to participate in OpenOakland network activities, events, and digital forums.

OpenOakland’s Anti-Harassment Policy

This anti-harassment policy is based on the example policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers.

This policy is based on several other policies, including the Ohio LinuxFest anti-harassment policy, written by Esther Filderman and Beth Lynn Eicher, and the Con Anti-Harassment Project. Mary Gardiner, Valerie Aurora, Sarah Smith, and Donna Benjamin generalized the policies and added supporting material. Many members of LinuxChix, Geek Feminism and other groups contributed to this work.

All OpenOakland network activities, events, and digital forums and their staff, presenters, and participants are held to an anti-harassment policy, included below.

OpenOakland is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of staff, presenters, and participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any OpenOakland event or network activity, including talks. Anyone in violation of these policies may be expelled from OpenOakland network activities, events, and digital forums, at the discretion of the event organizer or forum administrator.

Harassment includes but is not limited to: offensive verbal or written comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion; sexual images in public spaces; deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; unwelcome sexual attention; unwarranted exclusion; and patronizing language or action.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from OpenOakland network activities, events, and digital forums.

What to do if you have a Code of Conduct concern

If someone’s immediate physical safety is at risk, do what you can to remove yourself from the situation and call 911 if needed.

Code for America provides guidance on managing conflicts and complaints. Assuming the situation is not an emergency, we encourage members to consider these guidelines first.

If you do wish to report an issue, there are several ways to do so:

  • Send an email to This goes directly to Code for America staff and not OpenOakland.
  • Send an email to (note that this goes to all members of the OpenOakland Steering Committee).
  • Reach out to any individual member of the Steering Committee directly in Slack (Steering Committee members include elected co-leads and project leads, listed on
  • If you’re attending an event, contact the event organizer directly.

Email Template for Anti-Harassment Reporting

You can use this email template when submitting a Code of Conduct report but it’s not required.

SUBJECT: Safe Space alert at [EVENT NAME]

I am writing because of harassment at an OpenOakland event: (NAME, PLACE, DATE OF EVENT). You can reach me at (CONTACT INFO).

Image and Video Policy

OpenOakland respects members’ and event attendees’ privacy—online and offline. Creating a safe and comfortable space for all people to participate and contribute fully is our first priority in OpenOakland spaces. When capturing video, photographic, or audio images in all OpenOakland spaces, consent by subjects is paramount.

To this end, OpenOakland’s official photo and video policy is an opt-in model, meaning it is the photographer’s onus to gain consent from all individuals being photographed/filmed. Images and videos captured officially to be used on OpenOakland promotional materials are captured and used at the discretion of the Communications Leads.

Any OpenOakland member capturing images on behalf (meaning they are capturing images, video, or audio that will be posted or used on official OpenOakland channels, websites, or social media accounts) of OpenOakland must follow the opt-in policy. If a photo shoot (meaning a pre-arranged event specifically for capturing images, video, or audio for the purpose of being used for promotion of OpenOakland events or projects) is being arranged, consent should be provided in writing by each “model” signing a waiver that stipulates that the images taken are only for OpenOakland promotions. At events, name badges that clearly state opt-in or out should be worn by all attendees. When events are held in public spaces where photograph or videotape anyone is legal, the rules stipulated above still apply. Our goal is not to simply meet legal requirements, but to foster a space that is comfortable for everyone.

In the event that name tags are not available, anyone capturing images, video, or audio must acquire verbal consent of all those persons whose image is being captured ideally before any image, video, or audio is captured, and definitely prior to making any collected content public e.g., before tweeting, or distributing through other social media platforms. Any complaints could result in a take down of images on media channels. If repeated complaints are filed, OpenOakland steering committee members may take disciplinary action.

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