June 10th CTTAB meeting minutes

City of Seattle Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB) June 10th meeting minutes.  Topics covered include: Public Comment, Tina Podlodowski on Mayor’s broadband strategy development & Net Neutrality, Acting CTO report,  intro of new Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Michael Mattmiller, Privacy Symposium planning, E-gov committee, CTTAB appointment status, responding to WAVE re: low-income broadband options.

This meeting was held:
June 10th, 2014, 6–8 PM, Seattle Municipal Tower: 700 – Fifth Avenue
Podcast available at http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/CTTAB/podcast/cttab.xml


Board Members: Ben Krokower, Dana Lewis, Brian Hsi, Phillip Duggan, Beryl Fernandes, Stacey Wedlake, Daniel Hoang, Rob Dolin

Public: Jon Madamba (Filipino Community Center, FreeGeeks), Sarah Trowbridge, Joan Burks (Ross Manor), Webster Olson (Spectrum Networks/Condo Internet), Margie Nicosia, Phil Mocek (Seattle Privacy Coalition), Michael Spindler, Sabrina Roach (Brown Paper Tickets), Christopher Sheats (Seattle Privacy Coalition), Karen Toering, Jan Bultman (Seattle Privacy Coalition), Lola Peters, Nancy Sherman, Dorene Cornwell, Mike Andersen, Ann Summy, Adam

Staff: Michael Mattmiller (new Chief Technology Officer – pending Council Confirmation), Sabra Schneider, David Keyes, Tina Podlodowksi (Office of Policy and Innovation)

Introductions by participants.

The May  13th minutes were approved with the following changes: .

  • Daniel Hoang was not at the meeting
  • Chris should be Chris Webster on Condo Internet discussion, Not Chris Lee

The agenda was approved with the addition of an item to discuss CTTAB’s letter to the Mayor concerning the selection process for a new Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Public Comments:

Joan Burks – She asked about the next step with Wave following CTTAB’s letter to them and their response offering to talk about low-income Internet service options.

Brian Hsi – We still need to respond to Wave and set up a meeting.

Conversation on how CTTAB and the Mayor’s Office of Policy and Innovation can work together

Tina Podlodowski introduced herself, mentioning her experience working with CTTAB when she was a City Council member and chair of the technology committee.

There are concerns over affordability and access.

Mayor wants to keep Seattle at the forefront of technology use and a hub for innovation.

Her focus is a broadband vision for the Mayor, which includes 3 buckets:

1)      Internally to the City, what can we do to make ISP’s more attracted to providing advanced infrastructure and services here?

2)      In light of #1, what can we do about access and affordability – including training people for jobs?

3)      Should we relook at municipal broadband: in different models, from Chattanooga to public utility to PDA?

She’s looking forward to working with the Board.

Margie: There are many smart people that would like to be part of the planning that would be interested. Do you have any plan for engagement?

Tina: We’ve gotten the 3 work areas (buckets) confirmed by the Mayor; we’re now ready to look at the larger action plan, including engagement.

Margie: Are you looking at more than fiber?

Tina: Yes, we’re looking at wireless too, starting with whether there should be free wifi across the city and moving from there.

Brian: What’s the timeframe?

Tina: We’ll be looking at obstacles and how the City can support ISP’s through October.

By the end of year, we hope to have looked at municipal utility options, models and factors, and governance options.

Public engagement starts tonight. We’ll also work with the CTTAB Broadband committee.

Rob Dolin: Have we asked wireless carriers to sponsor citywide wifi?

Tina: Yes, that is part of the thinking. That’s come up for pilots. We potentially have 1-2 in the works.

Rob: We should make sure we aren’t establishing too low an expectation for speed.

Tina: Free municipal Internet does not mean crappy internet, so we have to decide what our floor is and ensure it’s not too low.

CTTAB can be helpful defining what the floor is. Industry will be interested and provides one perspective. We also want other input.

Floor is probably better than what most people are paying for now.

Chris: Does CTTAB or the City have the ability to be the leaders for Net Neutrality?

Tina: The Mayor is working on a Net Neutrality position with other mayors that will be presented next week at the US Conference of Mayors. Companies probably won’t like it. We still have issues with the FCC rulemaking on Net Neutrality. She is writing the letter to the FCC about this.
It would be helpful to have CTTAB organize something to help engage others. People don’t realize this issue affects real people in many situations. Governor is also looking at this.

Ben: Do you have case studies on cities and broadband that you’re looking at?

Tina: Yes. Hardest time: Do we want to be in retail business, like Tacoma and Chattanooga

We’ve also been talking about where there are gaps here in Seattle.
Mayor doesn’t want what’s happened elsewhere with just let companies do it… There are other opportunities besides competition.

Adam: Why does it have to be a different model?

Tina: For the money that would be needed to build out under private equity model. Feeling is that in the end this it won’t pencil out, it may though, but we want to be sure that we are addressing

Biggest now is Chattanooga.

If we had 1 Gb to the premise, what opportunities would we enable – in education, etc.

Stacey: You mentioned training with affordable access. Are you looking at a broader strategy with it? Right now it’s pretty piecemeal in this area. Each company may or may not offer low income internet options and training. The Technology Matching Fund is not comprehensive strategy

Tina: You’re right, it’s not all building. We haven’t defined what should be in the comprehensive strategy or what training encompasses.

Is it training to start computer, or to do different model of education, or different economic development, such as ADA Academy that is teaching coding. What does coding education mean in terms of jobs and how do we define that for a very diverse population?

Daniel: Does that include what was presented in the City’s tech adoption report?

Tina: Yes, There is much that people don’t think about when they think of just tech access. The data is very important.

Tina: Thanks on behalf of the Mayor for all the work the Board does. And it’s great to see the diversity of those coming to the meetings.


Letter to Mayor on CTO: Phillip

The letter to the Mayor on the CTO selection process was great, but the timing didn’t work out.
We didn’t hear back by the time the announcement was made for CTO

Ben: Our letter asked about the process and that if it is going to be an open process, can we be involved.

Phillip: Regardless of the letter, it would be nice to have an open process for every position. Like the Police Chief, each position is an opportunity to increase engagement and get feedback, even if it’s what the public wants in the position.

Brian: He likes the sense of it, but how do we do something about it; this is a City hiring process.

Sabra: Of the current department heads, she thinks it’s been about half that have had open processes, such as SPD and SDOT. A number of them weren’t an open process.

Tina: She led the police process. Looking at future process, she thinks the Mayor is looking at more open process. She will take this back and would be happy to work with CTTAB to bring that feedback to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. It’s worth restating to keep that stake in the ground for the future.

Rob: We also need to be careful about misrepresenting a public referendum for a personnel hire.

Phillip: Agreed. Way to do it is to keep it limited to scope of role and criteria.

Dana: Would help to know what the start and stop period was.

Ben: His initial impetus was also to ensure the CTO hiring didn’t lag as an unfilled position, as it had last time.

Chief Technology Officer (CTO) REPORT – Sabra Schneider

Thanks to CTTAB for all the support given to her as the Interim CTO.

She’s still planning to be engaged with the Board.

We’re thrilled that we get to work with the new CTO. Michael helping with the incoming Mayor’s web presence and getting his office technology running. He brings ideas for partnerships, vision. She’s glad that we won’t be in an interim position for a long time.

Michael Mattmiller:

Thanks to Sabra for her leadership the last 8 weeks.

Hope she’ll still continue to be engaged; he knows she’s passionate about community outreach.
Michael currently works for Microsoft. He started as a developer. He went on to consulting, working with federal agencies on IT challenges, including security, privacy and management. He gained a greater understanding of what IT will do for the public. For example: a data project for health care. It was great when we can take expertise from the industry and apply it to citizens.

He’s excited to work with the DoIT staff to make us a leader and to experiment. It can’t just come from staff; ideas have to come from the community. He’s excited for people here, for developer community.

FindIT FixIT is exciting.

What are those ideas that we can tell more of a story about and what can we do to make sure people are leveraging the tools we have.

Rob: Are there any particular asks you have of CTTAB and its role?

Michael: He will be meeting with Ben and figuring that out. His goal is to make sure he uses the Board well and gets timely input from CTTAB on real projects.

The Board can help

Daniel: What are your priorities for next 90 days

MM: Getting to know the projects and staff. Most immediate are the Next Generation Data Center, and Office365 are two large projects underway. He’s very interested in the new collaboration tools and how, with training, staff can use it effectively to provide better services.

Beyond that: 1) Providing efficient IT, 2) Providing a great front door via Seattle.gov and mobile apps, and 3) Digital literacy and access to broadband

Thank-you and he looks forward to working with everyone.

Sabra Schneider:

Hack for Change event: About 80 developers attended and worked on about 9 projects. Great support from Socrata. Thanks to Bruce Blood on staff, and to Phillip for participating and Dorene and Phillip and others for promoting it.

She’s excited about Tina being on board to help from the Mayor’s office.

Rob: Can CTTAB participate with using Lync as O365 is put into place?

Sabra: Yes, she has encouraged let the O365 team know and that CTTAB would like to lead the way in testing and using this for Boards and Commissions. She will check timing and check back in with Rob as chair of e-gov.

Dana: It would be helpful to know that timing, so that we can get the word out to community.

Rob has used Lync and encourages a first test with the Board to troubleshoot and then pilot it a second time, opened up to public.

Sabra: She will see when it will be ready for testing.

Technology Access & Adoption Report (IT Indicators) Forum

Sabra: We had a great launch of the new report. Thanks to David Keyes and staff and CTTAB for their work on this.

Phillip: It was great to see how many people had a plan to use the data.

Sabra: There was great conversation on how to use the data presented.

We are interested in doing some internal outreach and education to City staff as well (including a presentation to staff)

Phillip: Is there going to be RSJI training for all boards and commissions?

David: Will check and get back to the Board.

Brian: Is there any plan to circle back on how the data gets used internally and externally?

Sabra: Yes, would like to do this. Michael and the Mayor’s Office are working on longer term plans, that could perhaps include checkpoints back.

Phillip: Suggest following up with those who were at the forum to see how they’re using it.

David: Seattle Public Schools’ Carmen Rahm, has been presenting the data.

We also presented it to the City Inclusive outreach and Public Engagement Committee. We’ve started to work with individual departments for their use on specific projects. So far this has included the Parks Department Race and Social Justice Change Team

We could gather the Indicators committee to look at this more.

Ben: It was very inspiring. There was a great roar in the room of people talking to each other about the data.

Michael Mattmiller: It was amazing to watch the event and synthesis take place, including the Seattle Schools and Public Library. Glad we’re going to have more conversations in the community to ensure the knowledge gets used and see it drive development of solutions.

Stacey: seeing people from different organizations raising what data they have and how that intersects with the City data was great to see and know there is other rich info out there. .

She knows that the library has already been using the data.

David: Thanks to Beryl, Stacey, Ben and Phillip for assisting in the event and others on the committee for assisting with the project. We had some from the tech and developer community there. We’d like to continue to market the data to the tech industry as well. It was interesting to see someone from Home Street Bank talk about his interest in the data and

Stacey: She really appreciates that the City of Seattle makes the investment and takes the time to get this detailed and rich a level of information from residents. Thank-you.

Privacy Panel/ Symposium: Beryl

In 2013 and 2014 we had briefings at CTTAB from Council and they’ve mentioned privacy issues. We weren’t able to do anything with this last year. We weren’t sure what specifically was intended. The word privacy is loaded with a lot of implications.

Where they’ve landed for an initial action item is to hold a panel discussion symposium that would focus on two criteria:

  • How privacy impacts Seattle’s individuals and businesses and others
  • What is actionable by the City

Also, what is the impact on vulnerable populations.  [At the July 8th meeting Beryl made a clarifying note that the symposium is not the full end goal of this committee, but an activity that’s part of the work.]

She contacted Mary Yu, the new State Supreme Court justice via email and she indicated interest in participating in the symposium.
September may be a good month to aim for.

Can we come out of the symposium with a simple list of actions to take, like 5 items?

She thinks a lot of good could come out of bringing tech folk together with vulnerable who are impacted.

Beryl cited Trayvon Martin case. If you’re a person of color that gets categorized in a certain way, it can turn your life upside down.

Hoping for a variety of people who can speak about privacy issues.

She’s hearing tremendous interest, including UW and Seattle Public Library.

Rob: Reach out to Dana Boyd: Sociologist who studies vulnerable populations and social media. She

Blown to Bits is a book he is using in his class at Franklin High School. It is a great primer on privacy in the digital age. May want to include Internet of things and location tracking.

Open Data and machine readable data creates very traceable trends.

Think about how long lasting data can be used. 1890 Denmark created census on religion. 50 years later Nazis used this.

Brian: FTC (Federal Trade Commission) just issued new guidance on how agencies use data.

PII: Privacy Identity Innovation offer conferences (See https://www.privacyidentityinnovation.com ) on privacy related issues in Seattle and Silicon Valley, rotating location.

Stacey: See all the Fitbits users in the room. We have made informed choice to use one and accept the data privacy implications. There may be people that don’t have as much of a choice, such as health monitoring that is stored in the cloud.

Local researcher: Kee Davis at UW on youth use of technology is a good resource.

Rob: As we talk about Net Neutrality, are there things that the City of Seattle could pursue for residents or partner with others on, such as do not track policies, citizen ownership of data. There is more we can do to ensure options for residents.

Follow up with Marina Martin, regarding Blue Button.

Ben: There was discussion on platform issues on the blog. If we use Lync, want to make sure it’s placing operating or platform requirements on users. Last meeting there was concern raised about the Google tracking.
Rob: Lync: Has some issues, but Lync works on many platforms.

Ben: There is a need to look at citywide policy.

Sabra: An interesting starting point may be for the group to look at the existing city web privacy policies. The analytics tracking is very useful to us to get measurable data on how people are using out posted resources.

David: The Board should also look at the cable customer bill of rights, where the City has taken an assertive position to ensure opt-in choice.

Chris – that’s an uphill battle to shift choices to citizen when they are using facial recognition is put in by the City. It’s hard for citizens to opt out of that.

Michael – Companies or others have gotten around some policies by restricting the effective use of a website to someone who has not opted in or signed up. Some sites will slow down. The Europeans have created a law that prevents limiting access when people opt out. Look at policy solutions too. Such as Canadian policy that utilities won’t share data.

We don’t make it clear info on who your info will be marketed to. City Light has strong policy about not sharing data. PSE got caught selling data to marketers. Smart meter data is encrypted on the way. City Light is good about data, but there is not a clear written promise that City Light won’t use aggregated data.

Beryl: The framework that I outlined for the panel with 5 areas (below),do you want me to proceed with the panel discussion event?

5 areas: legal vs ethic, Internet of things, vulnerable populations, privacy in government agencies, privacy in courts

Rob: looks like more than an hour or two.

Sabra: Suggests Keynote and then some small group panels in between. Gathering again at end has worked well. City Hall can work well for this, but have to reserve rooms far enough ahead.

Ben: Yes there is a lot of interest. Suggest having a scheduled Privacy committee meeting to solicit people to help plan and come back to next meeting for a discussion of the plan. .

Beryl: No meeting is set yet, but everyone is welcome. She has a list of people who are interested.
She’ll let David know when a meeting is scheduled for.


E-Gov – Rob Dolin

Noted he was out with the birth of his son.
Here are three project ideas:

  1. Open broadband performance survey: Can we get quantitative data about broadband performance and geo data be able to actually point to places and time where there are performance issues (eg some evenings on Capitol Hill)
  2. Tracking citizen interaction: When you order from Amazon, you get a tracking number. When you apply for a zone parking problem or report an abandoned car, can you track that through? And make sure those services are available to people with a variety of devices.
  3. Open Data Standards/Enhancements: Making data open and accessible in a variety of formats. Challenge is putting our data in a form that can be compared with other cities. There are open data standards. How do we make that data more useful and ingestible through open standards? Such as coding addressing or latitude/longitude in same format?

Beryl: Would it be possible to:

–          add terminology also (e.g. solid waste means something different than it did 20 years ago)

–          Also clear labeling of data collection dates and revisions (such as restaurant health info – if they got a bad report a few years ago, and then fixed it, there may not be a way to notate the data with this change.)

Sabra: Socrata is our open data platform host. Their next generation application may be of interest, initially to the subcommittee

Michael: It is very challenging to get everyone on the same standard and will take a while.

David asked how many have used the City’s current FindIT FixIT app? – about half.

Mike Anderson: Recommend not going to Microsoft. (CHECK TAPE)

Ben: Quality of open data: There are gems in there, but need a system to rate or to find ways to improve them and more easily interact with them

Brian: Puts in a plug for the Bband performance speed measurements.

Rob: Speedtest.net, and one from professor in Georgia,

Brian: Caution on limitations. Mobile vs non-mobile is a challenge.

Hackfest developed a use Speedtest with additional info.


Daniel is part of an NTIA (National Telecommunications Infrastructure Administration) pilot project testing bandwidth.

Rob: How do we get useful data from a broad range of users?

Brian: City defining a base goal would be a huge step.

Adam: What’s the point if you can’t change your provider or service.

Michael Mattmiller: Good point – that’s why

Referred to Committee and to link with Broadband committee

CTTAB Appointments
David Keyes: The application appointments was delayed. Hope to have a recommendation for the Mayor by month end.

Committee schedule: Please let people know when committees are scheduled for, even if done via Doodle poll, so David can post it. He can help set up a room if need be.

We had three Get Engaged interviews. There were 6 applicants.

Ben: There are three people reaching term limit and rolling off in 2015. May use the applicant pool to fill 2015 positions. There are 2 Council appointments coming up, as well as the Mayor’s education position.

David: We got off the staggered terms and the proposed cable code revision legislation would allow us flexibility to get back on track.

Wave low-income Internet

Nancy Sherman: Did we hear from Wave – Will go to Broadband committee.

Daniel: This will go through Broadband committee to respond to Wave.

Daniel: The current plans are also limited in speed (3-6 mb)

Brian: We’re not getting specific numbers from them.

Joan: some of us are in buildings that are restricted to one provider.

Daniel: There are some 4G service options.

Brian: Wireless doesn’t work in some buildings

Stacey: There’s an opportunity to keep this in mind when talking with Tina about the overall city strategy.

Close: Ben: Thanks to Sabra again and meeting is adjourned.