What is the Community Oversight Advisory Committee’s role on the project?

ODOT established a Community Oversight Advisory Committee in March 2019 with a focus on the project’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise/On-the-Job Training program. The committee provides constructive feedback and recommendations to ODOT that are essential to developing a successful program that maximizes utilization and aims to create economic and redevelopment opportunities. The committee consists of representatives of multiple interests including racial diversity, diversity of thought, private and public sectors, and members with lived experience, institutional history, a connection with the Project area, and diversity in contracting expertise. The committee facilitator is Johnell Bell.

Learn more about the Community Oversight Advisory Committee’s role on the project’s website.

How is ODOT ensuring project contracting and workforce opportunities are equitable, and in line with diversity objectives for the agency?

We are committed to doing business differently with Disadvantaged Business Enterprise contractors by providing more contracting and, in turn, workforce opportunities than ever before. Our top priority is ensuring minorities and women gain the benefit of short-term local workforce trade employment, but also develop the skills through apprenticeships for long-term wealth generation.

With a focus on restorative justice, the project is committed to leveraging deep ties with the historic Albina community to ensure meaningful involvement with Disadvantaged Business Enterprise contractors and using input from the community to help shape the project and outcomes for the community including supporting generational wealth.

The Construction Manager/General Contractor is expected to be on board and under contract in Fall 2020, with substantial work packages for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise contractors as early as next year.

We have also implemented strategies to hold the construction contractor accountable, such as small business capacity strengthening, technical assistance and robust performance metrics. Additional strategies include a clear vision and guiding principles, along with engaging a Community Oversight Advisory Committee to help ODOT in accountability and oversight of the construction team.

The Community Oversight Advisory Committee, convened March 2019, provides oversight and recommendations that will be essential to developing a successful program that maximizes Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and local minority and women in workforce utilization and aims to create economic opportunities by investing in local workers which results in reinvestment by those workers into the local economy.

How can the community continue to be involved in this project?

There is still a lot of work to be done. We look forward to continued collaboration with the community to design the project that is right for you.

We are committed to ensuring Black community members and leaders living, working, or with historic ties to the Albina neighborhood and broader N/NE Portland are able to participate in and actively shape the Project.

You will continue to see us online in active and meaningful conversations with people, with a focus on the Black community. We will use traditional and creative techniques, such as mailers and phone calls and working with community-based organizations and faith-based communities, to meet communities where they are. We want to foster a two-way dialogue that demonstrates how our conversations contribute to project decision-making.

Through our outreach, we commit to empowering our community with support of local, regional, and state government to influence project decisions and determine outcomes. We want you to hold us accountable for those outcomes. To do so, we are going to bring people with diverse backgrounds and expertise together to expand our community understanding. We will ensure the project addresses past harm with a present and future local, regional and state transportation system that meets community needs in a way that enables them to thrive.

We’ll be sharing information on the project and upcoming events in the mail, on our website, and in social media platforms. Stay tuned and please share these opportunities with your friends, colleagues, and networks – we need your help to make this a project for our community, by our community.

Join the project’s email list to get notifications about upcoming events and ways to stay involved: https://i5rosequarter.org/contact/

You can also find ways to stay involved throughout the project’s design and construction process by visiting our website at www.i5RoseQuarter.org, attending an event or contacting the project team directly at info@I5RoseQuarter.org or (503) 470-3127.

How is ODOT engaging with communities of color?

We recognize the role that ODOT played in the generational wealth and opportunity that was taken from the historic Albina community, specifically Portland’s Black community, by construction of I-5. I-5 and other public agency and private developments including the Moda Center, Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, the Convention Center, Legacy Emanuel Hospital, and other urban renewal efforts all contributed to the historic harm.

To address this, ODOT is committed to elevating the voices of the historically harmed Albina community. We will work to understand the needs of and provide benefit to this community. We will identify, encourage, and facilitate opportunities for agency and community partnerships. Together with agency and community partners, the project can support future development in the Albina community and support wealth generation through creating opportunities for partnerships related to land banking, workforce and business development, and other means.