Skip to Content

Policy Committee Bylaws & Charter

Upstream Investments Policy Committee Bylaws:

  • August 12, 2015
  • Amended May 17, 2019
  • Amended July 21, 2022

For more information e-mail, or call (707) 565-8797.

Purpose and Functions


  1. The Sonoma County Upstream Investments Policy Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Policy Committee) is established by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to direct the Upstream Investments initiative and complies with the requirements of the Ralph Brown Act and the Maddy Act.
  2. The Human Services Department recruits members for the Policy Committee to fill positions recommended by the Steering Committee and approved by the Policy Committee Members.


The Upstream Investments Policy Committee is chartered by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. The Committee works to advance evidence-informed, prevention-focused approaches with the highest potential to improve education, health and economic wellness for all Sonoma County residents. In addition, the Committee monitors movement on shared community-level outcomes across a number of programs. Working with our partners in Sonoma County, the Committee addresses inequities and other social determinants of health by supporting research and policies that promote systems improvements using Results-Based Accountability as a principle framework. The Committee bolsters organizational capacity building and embeds a racial equity and inclusion values into our overall mission and scope.

The members serve as a conduit between the committee and the community (community-based organizations, local philanthropy, County agencies, and others) to increase the implementation and funding of evidence-informed and prevention focused approaches, policies and system change efforts to improve the well-being of all.

Back to top


The Policy Committee is comprised of up to 27 members that fill positions who are recommended by the Human Services Department, nominated by the Steering Committee and approved by the Policy Committee by a majority vote.

The 27 members represent philanthropy, community-based organizations, County agencies, Board of Supervisors, business community, school districts and others. The members are stewards of the “invest early, invest wisely and invest together” strategy. Member organizations actively participate on the committee, ad hoc workgroups and learning communities.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Committee aims for diverse leaders who implement or fund evidence-informed, prevention-focused approaches and represent multiple sectors. To ensure that the Committee can effectively fulfill its duties, successfully promote community-wide investments that center racial equity and cultivate a county where poverty is eliminated and residents are ensured equal opportunity for quality education and good health, the member representing each organization will have experience in a leadership role. We value leaders who inspire their community through lived experience, thrive by finding and nurturing potential in people and/or lead an organization in the traditional sense.

Terms of Appointment

  1. Policy Committee members serve two-year terms with the option to renew at the end of each term.
  2. Members of the Policy Committee shall serve without compensation but may, with prior approval, be reimbursed for authorized, reasonable, and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties.

Removal and Resignation of Members

  1. Resignation of Policy Committee members shall be affected by a written letter of resignation submitted to the Human Services Department one month prior to the resignation date.
  2. Members of the Policy Committee may be removed by the Human Services Department if they are unable or unwilling to fulfill their duties.

Back to top

Duties of Members


Members are expected to attend Upstream Policy Committee meetings. Consistent attendance is important and needed to advance the goals of the committee. Members who aren’t attending consistently can be considered for removal.

Notification of Absence

Members shall notify the Human Services Department of any absence for a meeting at least one week before the meeting to allow time for the Department to cancel the meeting if it appears that there will not be a quorum. Proxy attendance for members who can’t attend the meeting will not be counted towards quorum.

Champion Upstream Investments Policy

Members agree to champion Upstream Investments within their sphere of influence. This may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Promote and support the implementation of evidence-informed and prevention focused approaches, including use of the Portfolio of Model Upstream Programs
  2. Support the implementation of a Results Based Accountability framework to identify and track outcomes for effective programming
  3. Work toward uprooting poverty and advancing racial and social equity in their organizations and commit to collect and share data that is more thoroughly representative of our diverse community
  4. Promote and adopt upstream policies within their institution or sector and build awareness of the value of these effective approaches
  5. Serve as a thought partner to advance the implementation of data-driven approaches and evaluated outcomes to share knowledge, build capacity, and invest in what works
  6. Promote the impact and achievements of partner organizations to shift policies, funding, and programming toward upstream investments
  7. Host and promote coaching and trainings to support the community’s capacity to implement prevention-focused, evidence-informed strategies
  8. Participate in and promote impact of the Upstream Shared Outcomes Measurement System

Service on Committees

Policy Committee members are available to serve on committees when necessary and/or to delegate appropriate staff for committees. The following committees support the work of the Policy Committee

  1. Steering Committee
  2. Equity Centered Results Based Accountability Workgroup
  3. Ad hoc committees, as necessary

Policy Committee Chair

One member of the Policy Committee will serve as chair. The Chair will be nominated by the Steering Committee and approved by the Policy Committee by majority vote. The Chair will serve a two-year term with an option to renew.

Back to top

Meetings and Actions

Schedule of Meetings

The Upstream Committee will meet at times established by the Steering Committee. Additional meetings will be scheduled if necessary and approved by the Steering Committee.

Notice of Meetings

Notice of Policy Committee meetings, specifying time, date, location and agenda, shall be provided electronically to Policy Committee members in a manner that conforms with the requirements of the Brown Act (no less than three work days before the meeting). At the same time, the same information will be made available to the public as required by law.


For purposes of conducting a meeting of the full Upstream Committee, a quorum of the Policy Committee shall be the whole number more than fifty percent (50%) of the total number of members who have been duly appointed to the Upstream Committee.

Public Meetings

All meetings of the Policy Committee shall be open, public and noticed in conformance with the Ralph M. Brown Act, California Government Code 54960, et. seq., as amended.

Meeting Minutes

The Human Services Department shall record in the minutes: the time and place of the meeting, members who are present, official acts of Policy Committee, and the number of votes of members (ayes, noes, and abstentions), except when the action is unanimous. When requested by a member, his or her dissent or approval, and reasons, shall be recorded. When a member abstains due to a conflict of interest, his or her abstention and the reasons shall be recorded.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes shall be presented for approval to Policy Committee members by the Human Services Department via e-mail and approved at the next meeting of the Policy Committee. Approved minutes will be publicly posted as required by the Ralph M. Brown Act, California Government Code 54960, et. seq., as amended.

Majority Rule

Decisions and acts made by majority vote of the members at any duly-constituted meeting shall be regarded as acts of the Policy Committee except as otherwise provided by these Bylaws.

Rules of Order

The current version of Robert’s Rules of Order shall guide the Policy Committee in all proceedings, except as otherwise provided for in these Bylaws.

Back to top

Steering Committee

Because the Policy Committee meets only quarterly, the Steering Committee meets to make decisions between quarterly meetings. The Steering Committee complies with the requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act and the Maddy Act.

  1. The Steering Committee shall be comprised of nine members of the Policy Committee representing each of the following categories: philanthropy, community- based organizations, County agencies, Board of Supervisors, business community, school districts and others.
  2. Members of the Steering Committee will be recommended by the Human Services Department, nominated by the Steering Committee and approved by the Policy Committee by a majority vote.
  3. The Steering Committee will meet quarterly in the months prior to the Policy Committee meetings.
  4. A majority vote of the Steering Committee shall be required to take action on behalf of the Policy Committee.

Back to top

Conflict of Interest


  1. No member of the Policy Committee shall cast a vote or attempt to influence the Policy Committee on any matter which would financially benefit such member or any organization with which such member is affiliated.
  2. A Policy Committee member may voluntarily recuse himself or herself from any discussion or vote to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
  3. For purposes of this Article, “any matter that has direct bearing” shall include policy and funding decisions that affect any organization in direct competition for funding with an organization such member represents or that would provide direct financial benefit to such member or the immediate family members of such member.
  4. For purposes of this Article, “represents” shall include the following types of affiliation: director, board member, advisor, paid consultant or employee.
  5. Policy Committee members shall make every attempt to avoid personal conflict of interest in the fulfillment of their Policy Committee duties.


In order to avoid conflict of interest or the appearance of such conflict, each member shall comply with any conflict of interest code adopted by the Board of Supervisors.

Record of Abstention

Minutes of meetings shall record the abstentions of members who are prohibited from voting due to conflict of interest or who have voluntarily recused.

Back to top

Staff Support

The Human Services Department will staff Policy Committee and shall:

  1. Recruit members with final appointment by the Policy Committee.
  2. Orient and train new Policy Committee members.
  3. Prepare and distribute agendas and other materials, submit recommendations for Policy Committee consideration.
  4. Facilitate the Policy Committee meetings in partnership with the chair.
  5. Prepare administrative reports required by the Board of Supervisors.
  6. Take minutes, and prepare and maintain records of all proceedings.
  7. The Department will consult with County Counsel as necessary.

Back to top



An affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Policy Committee, a quorum being present, shall be required to adopt or amend these Bylaws.


Any member of the Policy Committee or the Human Services Department may propose amendments to the Bylaws.

  1. Proposed amendments shall be submitted in writing and made available to each member of the Policy Committee no less than three (3) days prior to consideration before a vote can be taken.
  2. An affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of those voting, a quorum being present, shall be required to amend these Bylaws.


As needed, the Policy Committee shall review the Bylaws for appropriateness of language, content and possible amendments.

Standing of Bylaws

Nothing in these Bylaws may, nor shall they be construed to, take precedence over Federal, State, County, or other local laws or regulations.

Back to top