City of Seattle Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB) 12/9/2014 Minutes
Topics covered included: Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller report; committee reports and summary of 2014 accomplishments; election of officers for 2015; selection of committees to develop work plans for January drafts; wrap/next steps.
This meeting was held December 9. 2014; 6:00-8:00, Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2750
Podcasts available at: http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/CTTAB/podcast/cttab.xml
Attending: 22 people
Ben Krokower, Nourisha Wells, Daniel Hoang, Brian Hsi, Dana Lewis, Beryl Fernandes, Sarah Trowbridge, Jose Vasquez, Joneil Custodio, Rob Dolin
Public: Phillip Duggan, John-Gabriel D’Angelo, Nancy Sherman, Doreen Cornwell (STAR Center), Chris Lona, Elizabeth Lunsford, Jeramey Crawford, Ann Summy, Dan Stiefel
Staff: Michael Mattmiller, Sabra Schneider, David Keyes, Cass Magnuski
Meeting was called to order
Agenda was approved.
Minutes for November was approved with one change. Ben Krokower’s name should be added to Privacy Committee update. (Done.) Approved as amended.
Michael Mattmiller: Chief Technology Officer
There are three things I’m going to cover today. Broadband, revisions to cable code to Council, and the Privacy Initiative. After each, I’ll take questions.
First the broadband update. Last Friday, Century Link held an event at Cupcake Royale in Ballard to announce that they have gone live with their fiber to the premise gigabit broadband service, specifically for the Ballard neighborhood. They put out a subsequent press release today to announce that they have officially passed 22,000 homes. So 22,000 homes in Seattle as of today can go online and order gigabit service. This is just the first step for them. They expect in January to go live with their service in West Seattle. Later in 2015, with service to Beacon Hill and the Central District. The total commitment that Century Link made to us is that they will serve tens of thousands of Seattle homes by the end of 2015. Technically, they will hit that by the end of 2014. So we look forward to seeing more.
Also, since the last time we saw one another, we are very excited that WAVE, under their Condo Internet brand, is doing their first fiber build-out to the home, starting with the Eastlake neighborhood, where they plan to serve all homes with their gigabit product. Pricing will be consistent with their Condo Internet broadband. I believe that’s $60 for 100 megabit down and $80 for a gigabit down, symmetric. One point of clarification: Yeah, these gigabit speeds sound great but if you have a 250 gigabit cap, you’ve reached that in 30 seconds or something like that. I don’t know about WAVE, but I did confirm with Century Link that their gigabit service does not have a data cap on it. So this is true gigabit.
As we talked about regarding the Mayor’s broadband strategy where we’re reducing barriers to competition, we’re exploring public/private partnerships but we need to understand the City’s ability to step in if the market fails to deliver affordable, competitive broadband that approaches that gigabit standard. So we did kick off last week our update to our municipal broadband study. What that means is that we formally selected CTC Engineering, which is a firm based in Maryland. They have tremendous experience in both the broadband and utility space. They have worked with the City before. They were the authors of the 2009 study, and we greatly trust in the expertise they will be bringing to us. We have primarily asked them to answer two questions: 1) What is the cost and the City’s ability to be successful in delivering fiber to the premise–retail broadband product here in the City of Seattle. 2) What would be the build-out cost, what would the take rate need to be for us to break even, what would the prices be. Those types of things. Now specifically, we are asking about broadband–not the triple play–so no cable, no television, just broadband.
The second question they are answering is what would be the cost to the City to deliver a ubiquitous broadband product, which would be WIFI. It would be a City-wide WIFI build-out. Consider now that the UN has said that Internet is a right, even with the most inclusive programs around fiber to the home and fiber to the premise, we’re still not going to be able to roll out to everyone. There will always be some type of barrier with that high touch level of service. But through the tech Indicators Report that this body worked so hard on, we know that there is a high penetration of WIFI capable devices across income levels in the City. So we expect to get the results of that study in the April time frame. We are going to have conversations in the City to understand if that report comes back positive and says there’s a path here, what do we do with that. So, we’re talking with Finance and the Mayor’s office, about the potential next steps could be, depending upon how that goes.
I was very fortunate to be able to visit Chattanooga, Tennessee last month, and meet with two great bodies. The first is an organization called Next Century Cities, formed earlier this year, to help cities of all sizes think about how they get to gigabit broadband Internet in their cities. Members include cities like Portland, Austin, San Antonio, Boston and a host of others. It has a wonderful executive director, Christopher Mitchell, who many of us met when he was here in Seattle. They held a great summit to think about the opportunities and challenges that come with delivering gigabit Internet, and what that empowers a city to do when they get it.
After the meeting, I had the opportunity to meet with Electric Power Board or EPB, which is the municipal utility for the City of Chattanooga, Tennessee. They are quite famous for having perhaps the most successful municipal broadband utility in the country, and a really great story. To put it in context here in Seattle, I know that we got some feedback from the public around the number of studies we do. Not to call out names, but to have a headline about a study about a study for broadband I think is somewhat unfair. We have done studies in the City about broadband and seen real challenges that we could not figure out how to overcome, so we did not proceed. Chattanooga, Tennessee did two studies between 1999 and 2005 that showed that they could not succeed in offering municipal broadband, so they didn’t do it. But in 2007, they did a third study and that time they said there could be some value here. Specifically, what they found is that they needed to build out an infrastructure for advanced metering or what we tend to call smart grid or smart meters. And, based on the topology of Chattanooga, a wireless deployment was not going to be successful. They had to connect to every single home. And they ultimately decided to do fiber. They made the decision to go with the full triple play. So they did a city-wide fiber build-out across their 600 square mile territory and began offering those services. Their strategy was to do services at market pricing. The incumbent providers in that market were Comcast and Century Link. They didn’t want to be a loss leader and try to be as cheap as possible because they knew that Comcast and Century Link could always win the price game. So they met the market. They didn’t offer gimmicks and it was a huge success. Based on the studies they did, the take rate to be successful was something like 25 percent. If 25 percent of their addressable market were to buy the product, they would break even. Three years in, it’s 47 percent of their addressable market has taken up their products. What that means is that they are now able to subsidize the price of their electricity with the profits from their communications–broadband, telephone, and cable television services. That’s really incredible. Based on Washington state law, I don’t know that we could do that, but it’s really interesting that that has saved their consumers $60 million in just the past four years.
Public perception is, of course, a huge component of any municipal project’s success. So everywhere I went in Chattanooga, I asked the question, “What do you think of EPB?” The answers were, “Oh my god, it’s amazing!” It was really interesting to see people love their cable, electric and Internet provider.
(Mr. Mattmiller showed photos taken in Chattanooga.)
Beryl: In Chattanooga, are there any other competitors?
Michael: They have a 600 square mile territory. It’s quite expansive. Within the city limits, the incumbents are Century Link for the incumbent local exchange service and Comcast for cable television service. Once you get outside the city core, AT&T service is part of that 600 square mile area. What is interesting — some may have read the recent news coverage about AT&T’s Gigapower service. They had some consternation, given net neutrality rules. But when AT&T announced the ten cities they were going to build out gigabit service to, it was places like Austin, San Francisco, and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Regardless whether you think a municipality should be engaged in broadband, what you can’t deny is that it has moved the needle on competition. It’s moved the needle on prices. Things like that are a sign that there is a need for cities to be in this market.
Brian: Can you talk about the upcoming cable renegotiations with Comcast?
Michael: We are in the midst of Comcast negotiations. Tony Perez had some of the conversations on how that would be approached and some of the things we were thinking about. And given the ongoing nature of these conversations, I don’t want to say too much more specifically about Comcast at the time. It is interesting in cities like Chattanooga, where the municipality has chosen to provide cable television service, how you make the rate payer and the taxpayer whole when you’re straddling both sides of the fence. The city is technically providing public benefit to itself to deliver the service. It’s interesting that they almost self-impose a franchise fee on themselves.
Within Seattle, we have had conversations with our current and potential providers to say that we are talking about this in the City, but we’re talking about being a municipal provider in the context of the market not delivering. So, if you’re going to commit to us to do a city-wide build, and help us influence pricing, we’ll step back. But they haven’t agreed to do that. I don’t expect it to materially impact the franchise negotiations.
Ben: Do they go outside the city limits at all?
Michael: Good question. The answer is no. My husband’s business partner lives in Ringold, Georgia. Ringold and Chattanooga border each other. There happens to be a state line. And quite literally, her back yard goes up to the line, and she gets her power from the EPB. But under current FCC rules, there’s a lot of authority given to states. The State of Tennessee has said that you cannot serve outside your borders using your municipal utility. So whether you’re in unincorporated Cleveland County, Tennessee, if you’re in Ringold, Georgia, EPB may have fiber optics already coming to your home to read your meter, but you cannot sell Internet over that fiber. You may have heard that Chattanooga, along with the City of Wilson, North Carolina, has petitioned the FCC to use their authority to override those state laws and say that it is a power given under the FCC act that you can tell states that they have that authority.
Brian: I know from the last Broadband Committee meeting that Tony was at, he was expecting that answer in Q1. I want to say February for a time frame?
Michael: So that’s the broadband report. As we learn more, we’ll keep you posted.
CABLE CODE REVISION
As many of you know, the City has the authority to franchise. That means we have some regulatory control over cable television providers who come in to market. And that means they must use City resources, such as rights of way and other lands to deliver that service. We first passed the cable code, or what is called Chapter 21.60 of the Seattle Municipal Code in 1976. We made some revisions in 2002, but largely the code was written in 1976. There are a couple new technologies for how television is delivered since 1976. When we think about where technology has gone and where we want to be as a City, specifically around competition, we want to incent competitive providers to serve our market. We wanted to adjust the regulation to both facilitate and encourage competition, but to be in a more technologically current state. So, for example, we have providers that are coming in and putting fiber into our city and connecting fiber to homes. Our cable code referred to coaxial cable. That’s not going to work if people are getting television over fiber. Those are the types of technology changes we’re looking at.
The code has had a major restructuring. The law department is putting together something that’s a more realistic comparison to help facilitate understanding. But here is a quick summary:
We have taken out pieces that are no longer relevant because of telecommunications reform acts that have gone through federally. And those include the Cable Communications Policy of 1984, the Cable Television Consumer Protection Act of 1992, and the Telecommunication Act of 1996. We opened the door in the code to the idea that the FCC may change how broadband is regulated. If the FCC makes the change, we have given ourselves the foothold to say that we are ready to respond to that change and be a regulatory body, if the FCC sets that up. We’ll learn more about that in Q1 from FCC Chairman Wheeler, but you will start to see that language in the code. And what that might look like is we will start referring to things like the in scope services, including television and other things authorized by the FCC. The code is better organized now with a better structure to allow folks to find the relative sections around the Consumer Bill of Rights and privacy information. And we also reflect our current practices. There are some things here in the City that we were no longer doing and thus weer needed certain types of reports from providers. We were able to change the frequency to make what they provide us more useful and more amenable to their processes.
Rob: Is there a way for us to locally embrace net neutrality?
Michael: There is not, because today we don’t have the regulatory authority over broadband.
Two other critical things that will be of interest to this group. 1) This is the legislation that will change the name of CTTAB to CTAB. That will take effect when this legislation goes to Council. And we’ve also proposed to change the name of the Office of Cable Communications, realizing that while today we may not today under current regulation be able to have oversight over broadband, within the City, so much of what we are doing around broadband in through the Cable Communications office, that it is appropriate to call them the Office of Broadband and Cable.
And those are the highlights of code revisions. Questions?
Brian: To what extent are requirements around franchise addressed in the cable code?
Michael: We are removing the requirement that companies commit to certain build areas. That was one of the major barriers to competition that we had. So now, as a provider, when you come into the City when you apply for a franchise, you can say where you intend to provide service.
Brian: What sort of assurances are there to insure that the residents of Seattle don’t get left behind by providers cherry picking highly profitable areas?
Michael: Speaking purely about cable television, today we have the entire City built out, which was the intent of the original franchising areas to insure that multiple companies had a chance to come into the market to provide service and that the entire City would be served. What we have seen is that this city-wide build out is largely complete and that the market has changed such that we don’t have small minority cable companies anymore. We have merged into basically Comcast and WAVE. We don’t have a mechanism right now to ensure that everyone in the City will be receiving competitive television options through franchise providers. What we were focused on was creating a space where those competitors could come to the market, be successful, and based on that success, choose to continue expanding their footprint. Interestingly, we all know that the world is changing, and we are starting to see true, over the top, television providers. DISH TV is going to be the first. They are going live with their over the top service this month. It’s going to be called New TV. And granted, it’s not going to bring you 400 channels over your Internet connection, but I think they’re going to start with something like 75. So, truly, you are now getting to an unbundled state where you can choose who your Internet provider is going to be. You can choose who your TV provider is going to be, anywhere you have sufficient bandwidth. And you can also choose if you’re going to have HBO, add Netflix, and so on down the list. It’s not a perfect answer. It’s six of one, half dozen of the other, but we do see television competition coming. And this will be part of that.
To your point around broadband, because we don’t have regulatory authority. That’s why it’s so critical that we do explore a municipal broadband option and understand our ability to deliver that. Who knows, maybe by then there will be three over the top television providers that you can bring to that service.
Beryl: I wonder how competition it really brings into the picture. I called Comcast a couple days ago, and said, “if I unbundle my Internet from cable, what would Internet cost me?” They said, “the same.”
Michael: It’s a fair point. And I think the way we try to improve that is what if you had a truly competitive broadband provider and maybe you could get the same speed at your address. You could cancel Comcast and say, “I’m going to go with your competition.” And as we’ve all heard the memes online, “No, no, no! Wait!” And tell you that you can’t really cancel it. That’s not fair. So I think competition is the way we improve service. Competition is how we lower our prices. We just need to make sure we have the right quality of competition throughout the City.
Brian: Are there success metrics? How do you know you’re successful?
Michael: When we get competitive providers in the market.
Brian: Is there a timeline associated?
Michael: We heard some things from potential companies who would like to serve the market. My hope would be in 2015. I’ll be transparent in my performance plan with the Mayor.
Question: In Chattanooga, how long did it take them from the time they finished their last study to build out?
Michael: I don’t know the exact answer to that, but my understanding is that they went to market for that study in 2007 and they started tuning up homes in 2009. They didn’t finish their full build-out until, I think, 2012. One of the thing that did help Chattanooga is that they received a federal BTOP grant that paid for about 60 percent of their bill. Now, they had done the math and thought they could be successful without any federal support. But the fact that they got that money helped them to greatly accelerate their activity.
Question: Would that be a special case, or are there grants like that that would be available in Seattle?
Michael: We did apply for that same round of grants and we were told that we were just on the line, but we missed it. There are still continuing granting opportunities that they can pay for. Unfortunately, based on the programs that are out there now, my basic understanding is that we would not be a good fit for them. They favor communities that are much smaller and have much greater challenges. We don’t have the broadband we want today, but we’re not the worst out there. That said, I’m trying to be creative and think about getting us some federal money.
We have had some great success in our first rounds of the privacy work. Our goal is by June of next year to have a privacy framework for the City that outlines our ethical approach to privacy decisions, City privacy statement, educational materials that we will use to socialize our approach to the City, and the structure of our privacy program. The first gate, as I said, are privacy principles that we will deliver by the end of this year. And that’s our ethical framework. When we talk about privacy in the City, what does that mean? Where do we want to be? And have concurrence around it. To help build both that and the other sets of deliverables, we set up an inter-departmental team in the City. Eight departments have come together: IT, Police, Fire, Libraries, City Light, Transportation, and a couple more, plus the Mayor’s office and Council. And they’ve drafted those privacy principles. Then we took them to our privacy advisory committee, which is an external group of nine thought leaders in the City and community members who have really put the principles through their paces.
The meeting video, I believe, is live on the Seattle Channel web site. http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos?videoid=x29787 It was a very lively, in depth conversation. We had leaders there, including Ryan Calo of the University of Washington tech policy lab, a number of lawyers from town including the litigation chair of DLA Piper, who is also serving on the Mayor’s task force; general counsel for Alaska Airlines; Ben Krokower, representing CTTAB, and Tracy Ann Kosa, representing the Seattle Privacy Coalition. With the feedback from that group, we are now going back and revising the principles. We will circulate that with this group for their concurrence before we sign off at end of year. The next steps will be then to delve into privacy statement, which we will start right after the new year. We will take that to the privacy advisory committee in the February time frame. I’ll make sure that this group knows about that meeting when it gets scheduled.
Brian: When thinking about municipal broadband options for privacy, I trust that that conversation is still being carried forward towards potential municipal broadband panels. Is that correct?
Michael: That’s correct. We’re still at the front end and haven’t thought much about operations, per se. I will share something interesting from EPB in Chattanooga, where we asked that question. We were told that we’re such a small shop in the grand scheme of things that there is absolutely no business case for us to think about how to monetize Internet usage of our public. So, they don’t even store activity. They, of course, are required to comply with DIMCA notices. If a music company says you need to tell your user to stop pirating music or cut them off, by law they have to do that. But the traffic that they route through their network, they don’t even capture that. So there’s extremely limited risk of inappropriate usage of that information.
One other thing on privacy: I’ve gotten a few questions from individuals as well as folks from the City, saying that when we’re done with this project, you’re going to be able to tell us how it is you’re going to use this technology appropriately. And the answer is no. That’s not the intent of this project, per se. This project is to really create that foundation where we can have consistent thinking and decision making about new technologies, about specific activities. It’s not going to be the playbook that says, “When you want to use drones, here’s how you’re going to do it.” I think what the actual answer might be is, “You want to use drones? Here’s why that’s a bad idea.”
I just want to put that level setting and that expectation setting out there about what this process is. But again, feel free to Tweet me, email me, and I’ll answer any questions.
Question: Do you have any action items for us?
Michael: I’m excited to be thinking about 2015. I’m going to start working with my team on what’s in our work plan for next year. There are a number of very high priority projects in the City. Our data center consolidation Office 365 migration PCI. How to make IT more efficient and valuable within the City. As we work, I think I’ll have some pointed actions for this group as you develop your 2015 work plans. In the interim, I do look forward to hearing about your 2014 successes. What worked really well and what we can improve in the City.
Question: How’s was the Seattle Channel Civic Cocktail show?
Michael: For those of you who haven’t had the chance to see it, I encourage you to go to the Seattle Channel web site, which is brand new today. Congrats to the team. Watch the episode. It was Rick Stoltz of One America talking about the President’s new immigration policies. And then I had an opportunity to sit on a panel with Kurt DelBene, the former president of Microsoft Office Division at Microsoft, and the man who saved Healthcare.gov. He’s the person who the President said, “I unabashedly beg you to come save Healthcare.gov.” So, no pressure on me to sit on a panel like that. Kurt is tremendous and has great perspective. I enjoyed it immensely.
Ben: Next up, we have committee reports and a summary of 2014 accomplishments.
Rob Dolin: Four quick bullets for this past year: We’ve been working to publicize Hackfest. We did the Open Broadband Performance Survey. We tried to build up a cadre of potential volunteers to test the City’s redesign of its web site in 2015. And, we also worked on a devices and browsers testing matrix.
Stacey Wedlake: For digital inclusion, the TMF grants this year. We funded 23 projects this year. Those were approved in July and then Get Online Jobs launched over this summer. And we are working right now on Get Online Learning, which will be launching in January. http://seattle.gov/getonline
Broadband and Cable
Brian Hsi: There were director’s role changes that got through with the help of other parties with regards to Chris Mitchell on municipal broadband. That was quite informative and successful. There has been a lot of discussion and we set up a baseline for low income broadband programs, based on some community input, asking the question, well, what about WAVE? We started digging and came up with some guidelines that we will then start shopping around and baking into all sort of other things. Cable franchise renegotiations: we’ve been doing some legwork associated with that. That really kicks off next year. We’re just getting started with some net neutrality items that have come up as of late. Some interest around crafting a statement there. It’s been a busy year.
Beryl Fernandes: I can tell you where we started, where we went through the year and at this point, I’m not sure where we’re headed. I won’t go over the same ground on the symposium, but we had scheduled it for August and then we were asked to move it to September, which we did. And then we were asked for another postponement, and the date that we were able to get from Justice Yu was for March. So that’s where it stands. Everything has gone through the Privacy Committee, approved, adopted there and then sent over to CTTAB for approval here.
Now there’s a lot of things going on since Michael came on board and exciting stuff that we haven’t really talked about exactly how they work in parallel. So I think we have a bit of coordination to work through. I see them as supplementing each other. The approach that we took is very definitely a ground up approach. First of all, there was very little talk of privacy a year ago. Little interest in it, also. After bandying about various definitions and terms and wondering which ones we should pick, we decided to ask the people what’s important to them. So, with that, we started out saying let’s have a symposium, but in three phases. The first phase would be asking the people what’s important to them through crowd sourcing. And not just online but in person, so we get people who don’t normally go online. Then we’d have the symposium itself and after that, we’d have a post-symposium Hackathon type of event that we call the Collaborathon. And the purpose of that was to bring together techies as well as non-techie types and resolve issues by merging different competencies. So that was the third phase. At this point, we still have Justice Yu’s calendar with March 26, 2015 on it. I don’t know whether that’s still something we want to do. We need to figure out what to do. In the last committee meeting, which was October 15, Sabra and Michael dropped in. And there were questions. Why do we need phase one, why do we need Collaborathon. Can we just do the middle part?
I don’t think we had a full discussion of that, but it is your prerogative as CTO to say this is how we want it. I haven’t had a chance since that meeting to touch base with the volunteers, so I’ve held everything in abeyance and thought let’s wait and see what you guys are going to be doing and how we fit in, if at all. I think that the bottom up approach is the one that has received most applause from academicians. Ryan Calos was to be on our panel.
For several reasons, people were interested and applauded it. One was because we were going out of our way to make sure that the non-techies and people who don’t ordinarily have voices as this table were included. We went to great lengths to make it inclusive. Secondly, it was bringing the techie types and giving them the opportunity to lend their skills.
David Keyes: You also brought the policy statement to the board, which the board approved. That was another accomplishment. There was the resolution that came in with the proxy call.
Beryl: It was an action to support the concept of having a privacy initiative.
Nourisha Wells: The biggest thing was that it was going to be ad hoc and be there to support other committees as they needed help with promoting and getting public engagement.
Rob: I think our social media situation over the last year has gotten a lot better.
Ben: Public Engagement helped a lot with the Indicators Report and municipal broadband events.
Rob: The CTTAB Twitter account sends email to my email account whenever someone tweets at CTTAB, and there is a lot of traffic on that, so kudos to all the people who are both around the table and listening at home that have been tweeting CTTAB. There is a good, healthy discussion on social media that is truly open and enables a large portion of the community to participate.
Daniel: I want to give a big shout out and thank you to the folks that aren’t necessarily on this board here, but have dedicated a huge amount of time.
Stacey: I definitely echo that, especially around TMF. That takes a tremendous amount of time to go through all of those. We could not do it without volunteers from the community.
Beryl: Same here for the privacy committee. A tremendous amount of work and effort went into getting it up to this point. Lots of people in the community offering to bring in people to help on various tasks.
Ben: I realize that I skipped over public comment. I apologize. Anybody who is attending this meeting who would like to say some words or have something they would like to add, please feel free to do so.
Nancy: I’m just curious, for those of us who live downtown, any chance of any kind of WiMax or anything that we could piggyback onto whatever is being done for City and County government?
Rob: There was an interesting article that went across the listservs about New York City replacing telephone booths with WIFI kiosks.
Michael: I thought that was pretty cool. We don’t have any active plans to bring WiMax specifically. In terms of WIFI, as part of our broadband study, we are having our consultant help us understand our ability to deliver WIFI city-wide. We do have a public WIFI announcement that we will be excited–not to deliver ourselves but to support–for one part of the City. So stayed tuned for that later this month or early January.
Jose: I heard that a couple of years ago, South Park was trying to do their own rollout of WIFI. How does the City feel about them taking that on themselves?
Rob: If you see something, would you send it around? Pretty awesome.
Jose: I saw some hot spots going on, but I guess the devices didn’t work well, so they just dropped it.
Brian: More of a mesh network?
David: It’s a part of the broadband connections at the South Park Information and Referral organization. Another site in town donated their building and put in another access point, so they meshed between the two of them. We were giving them some technical assistance and support. Some of the community members were managing the access points for those. The information referral group moved, so they lost their emanation point. They didn’t have the ongoing funding to do that, but they were still maintaining it. They probably need an upgrade.
Rob: If anyone hears about these ad hoc WIFI sharing networks, I’m particularly interested in it. We don’t really have a CTTAB “discuss.” We have CTTAB “announce.” We have CTTAB, and we have CTTAB members. But we don’t have CTTAB “open discussion.”
David: A couple people brought that up. As the committees have asked for it, we’ve opened up those lists to be discussion lists. So, we have Broadband, the Privacy list, and eGov.
Election of Officers
Ben: I’ll describe how we did this last year. If anyone wants to make changes, I’ll be happy to entertain them. Last year, we had nominations around the table for chair, then we all voted, then we did first vice chair and second vice chair. Sabra helped organize the vote counting. Are you able to do so again?
Sabra: I am.
Ben: Also, if there are multiple people vying for a position, we will allot about a quick minute to tell us why the person would like to be elected. And then we vote. Anything to add?
Rob: Just one comment. I think we limited speakers to two minutes, rather than one.
Beryl: I would find it really helpful to hear from Michael. What he sees as priority issues. We hear from Council, but it would be helpful to also know what you have in mind.
Michael: In general, what I’m trying to drive in the study is a way to connect pubic to their government, where we empower our City employees to be productive and efficient, and where we have a pubic that is actively engaged in our high tech economy. What I see CTTAB’s role is 1) advising me on how we achieve those things, specifically as technology is evolving that we are thinking about the right way to utilize those technologies in the City; 2) and then also as we think about the types of policies and initiatives that we need to move the City forward, especially in that digital equity piece. How it is we do that, how liaise with the community and do so in a way that we can all be successful. Specifically, for 2015, the greatest priorities for me on the policy side are going to be landing the privacy initiative; broadband, especially when we get that report back. There are going to be some very interesting conversations, I think. And then, what will be a digital equity initiative that we’re still working on. I really look to this group to be involved in that. Think about, in our high tech City, what are those standards that we want to set for ourselves around digital equity. People who can help do those things and balance that desire to save the world tomorrow and decide how we can get there in time together, I think will be very effective.
Ben: First, we’ll start with chair candidates. Are there any nominations for chair?
Brian: I’d like to nominate Ben Krokower for chair.
Ben: I accept that nomination. I would be honored to serve as chair again.
Beryl: I nominate Dana. Dana served as co-chair.
Rob: i would suggest we have the candidates have their two minutes to present their candidacy and then that candidate may yield to their nominator if they have extra time. I think that Nourisha technically has the gavel now that Ben and Dana have both been nominated.
Stacey: People can also self-nominate, as well. Do not wait.
Nourisha: So do we have any more chair candidates to nominate?
Joneil: I nominate Sarah.
Beryl: Can we nominate more than one? I was going to say Nourisha.
Dana: I’m going to decline nomination, so I can take the gavel back. Do we have any more nominations?
Beryl: Yes. Joneil.
Dana: Now we will go in order of nominations that are written on the board. Ben, are you will to accept the nomination?
Ben: I would be.
Dana: Sarah, would you accept the nomination?
Sarah: I’m going to decline.
Dana: Nourisha, would you accept the nomination?
Dana: Joneil, would you accept the nomination?
Joneil: I respectfully decline.
Dana: With that, we’re going to ask each to speak about their interest in serving. Ben, will you be the first?
Ben: I just want to say that, no matter the outcome, I would certainly welcome the support of Nourisha as chair. I think I’m uniquely positioned on this board to support all of the priorities that Michael talked about. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about being a chair and running meetings this year. I think that my knowledge of City issues is a benefit to CTTAB’s visibility. My attendance at the privacy advisory committee as well as various City Council meetings shows my passion for these issues. I love Seattle. I want everyone to have cheap, great Internet to every part of the City. And I think next year is a huge year for Seattle in tech for this issue in particular. And I want to be a part of it as a leader, and would like to continue as chair.
Nourisha: I don’t believe anyone should run unopposed, and that’s why I accepted the nomination. I think it’s a good idea to have a variety of voices around the table and leadership opportunities. This is the purpose of a community board: to share the opportunities for leadership and visibility. And I think that’s important. Obviously, everyone who is on the board is qualified to sit on the board. And I think it’s a good idea to give other people the opportunity to lead and to stay on board. So that is why I would be interested in serving. I also think that it’s an exciting time in the City. I want to make sure that anyone can benefit, whether they are citizens, legally or illegally, or happily or unhappily, that they are represented and that our board represents their interests.
Rob: Question of parliamentary inquiry. Who are the ten voting members? I believe Ben, Rob, Stacey, Brian, Beryl, Sarah, Nourisha, Dana and Daniel are all voting members. That’s nine.
David: Joneil is the current tenth member.
Rob: Jose and Carmen are to be appointed in January.
David: Yes. That’s when their terms start.
Ballots were cast and Sabra collected them.
David: While the balloting is going on, I’ll just hand around the Get Online Jobs leaflets. We should mention that we now have that available in Spanish, so this is the Get Online Jobs leaflet in Spanish. There’s a video coming up soon on some of the Get Online, which Jose has agreed to help star in. For more on Getonline, see http://www.seattle.gov/community-technology/for-everyone/get-online-seattle
Sabra: Point of clarification. Is it just majority rule?
Rob: I believe an election requires more than half. So, if nine votes are cast, five would be sufficient to elect someone.
Sabra: Based on that, Nourisha will be our chair for 2015.
Nourisha Wells was elected CTTAB Chair for 2015
Beryl: Can we at some point–it doesn’t have to be today–collectively talk about some of the ways we would like to have the chair do or not do. I would have asked, for example, Nourisha, can you assure us that you could be impartial as chair.
Nourisha takes the gavel.
Nourisha: Let’s move to the nominations for vice chair. Are we going to continue with the first and second vice chair?
Brian: I think the bylaws, technically, just say vice chair.
Nourisha: And additional roles as needed.
Bery: Can we discuss the issues of having one versus two? I would like to see just one. So that we have more people to actually do the work and not be on top of it?
Rob: I don’t see why serving as chair or vice chair prohibits anyone from also serving on a committee or serving as committee chair. When I was vice chair, I also chaired a committee. And when Ben was vice chair, he chaired eGov. Holding a chair should not be exclusive, or has not been in the past.
Nominations for Vice Chair
Nourisha: Let’s take nominations for vice chair.
Sarah: I would like to nominate Joneil.
Ben: I nominate Sarah.
Sarah: I nominate Dana.
Sarah: I nominate Beryl.
Beryl: Thank you, but I respectfully decline.
Nourisha: Nominations are closed. Joneil, do you accept?
Joneil: I do accept.
Nourisha: Sarah, do you accept?
Sarah: I’m going to respectfully decline.
Nourisha: Beryl, do you accept your nomination?
Beryl: I am going to respectfully decline.
Nourisha: Dana, do you accept?
Dana: I respectfully decline.
Nourisha: Ben, do you accept your nomination?
Ben: I respectfully decline.
Rob: Madame Chair, I move that this body elect Joneil to first vice chair by acclamation.
Seconded, passed. Joneil Custodio was elected CTTAB Vice-Chair for 2015
Rob: In the role of second vice chair, by capturing action items, that has been very valuable for this body. I would encourage the new CTTAB to either identify a second vice chair with that responsibility or assign that responsibility to a member of the board. For what it’s worth, titles are free, so giving someone the title of second vice chair is cheap, but recognizes that person is contributing in that specific way, even though the gavel rarely passes to them.
Beryl: Can’t the first vice chair do that?
Rob: He or she could, but there seem to be a non-trivial number of times when the chair either is not present or biases themselves in discussion and therefore the gavel passes. So, I think having that designation in succession is valuable. So long as we agree that the chair and the vice chairs will not limit themselves to participation within the committees.
Brian: Great point, but potentially premature given that there are new members at the table for the purposes of next year, so for logistics, I think it’s great if this body decides who’s on board for January. And then from there that discussion can go. Let the new board decide their fate, rather than us decide their fate.
Rob: Madame chair, I move that this body table the continuation of elections to a future CTTAB meeting.
Select Committees to Develop Workplans
Nourisha: I think the big broadband committee will continue to stand. And the digital inclusion and eGov. And then the digital equity, should that be something that would stand on its own or would that be included under digital inclusion, or would it be under broadband?
Michael: My suggestion at this time would be that it not stand up committee until we figure out the body of work and the structure of any steering committees that might come up. At that time, we can revisit it as a group.
Nourisha: So then we keep the committees as they are. Privacy as well.
Question: Do we need to reconfirm who all are going to be the existing CTTAB members on those committees?
Rob: Broadband is losing its chair and vice chair. eGov is losing a chair. Digital inclusion is losing a chair.
Brian: Sarah has been jumping in at some of the meetings already and has been helping figure out what next year looks like.
Nourisha: So do we actually need the board members to choose a committee at this point?
Question: Procedural question: One new non-voting member is absent today. But we have Jose here, who is not technically a voting member. Is he able to participate in this process? If he does want to be a chair or vice chair, is he able to do that?
Rob: I would suggest that the 2015 CTTAB members identify the committees in which they have interest. This will be helpful for the outgoing leadership of those committees to identify one or more people to which to hand information. And then the committees, among themselves, should elect a member to serve as the chair or vice chair, as well as identify the ongoing participation. So we don’t need to actually elect committee officers tonight. We just need to know who to email information about the goals.
David: I would just say, as much as you can, to acknowledge or affirm or clarify as early as possible who the chairs are. That will make it much easier for me to communicate with and facilitate the committees.
Joneil: For Michael, you mentioned three points for your major agenda for 2015: Taking advantage of our high tech economy?
Michael: Making sure that our public is participating in our high tech economy.
Joneil: Is that part of any one of these in your mind?
Michael: It’s actually spread across. Within how I think about my department and our initiatives, privacy, broadband and digital inclusion all fall within that category.
David: In terms of whether Jose, Carmen become committee chairs, from my staff end, I don’t see a problem. Things can always change on any committee, but the work really goes on with volunteers, etc.
Beryl: I would like to suggest that we ask Council sooner rather than later what their priorities are, because last year they came in so late. We can ask them right now.
Comment: I think last year was all about the elections. They weren’t sure what committees they were going to be on.
David: I would like you to refer back to last meeting and the discussion. From the timing from here, you’ve got your committees. I know Ben was looking at the work plan template that Rob had done two years ago. I would like us to send that out to folks so that between now and January, you could start to draft, sketch out your work plan, and then refine it in January and then have Mayor and Council or their representatives come to the February meeting. So, based on the priorities that you have heard already, and that Michael has shared here, that you’re presenting your work plan draft to them when they come. Then they can give feedback and things can adjust at that point. That would help them move along so that by March you’re really in place.
Brian: Just for transparency’s sake, at the last CTTAB broadband cable committee meeting, Tony outlined several near-term milestones. Basically, this month, next month, the first quarter. Daniel and I took a first stab at taking a proactive work plan process, as well. I don’t think that people need to feel like this group as a whole will be on pause. Because there is certainly no shortage of work.
David: We’ve got Tech Matching Fund coming up in the first quarter of this coming year.
Brian: Even if the official work plans don’t get finalized until later, there is still going to be near term action.
Beryl: I think it might depend on the committee. For privacy committee, there are questions as to whether we should be pausing now or whether there are expectations. We heard from Councilmember Harrell a long time ago, and there are things we want to revisit. The last meeting we had with Sabra and Michael, we raised a lot of questions. So in my mind, I need to know what we are left with.
Brian: For the purposes of outlining the returning board members, in terms of where they choose to affiliate, I think the work plan piece is perhaps secondary.
CTTAB Election Results
Nourisha Wells is 2015 chair
Joneil Custodio is 2015 vice chair
Joneil, Nourisha, Jose
Ben, Joneil, Jose, Dana, Sarah, maybe Beryl
Sarah, Beryl, Brian, Daniel
Ben, Nourisha, Beryl
Nourisha: If we are going to have work plan drafts, I think it would be cool if you put them up on the blog so everyone can see them before the next CTTAB meeting.
David: I’ll set up the new members for blog access.
Rob: You’ll probably want to deprovision the old members, for better or worse.
Nourisha: And if you’re interested a committee, you’ll want to join the listserv, too.
David: Of those, digital inclusion is the only committee without a listserv.
Dana: That’s a question for the new chair, which I would love to have nailed down before we leave here so I know who to connect with. So, are there any self-nominations for a chair and vice chair?
Rob: Maybe just a person to whom the gavel can be handed off.
Ben: I’ll take the gavel as the temporary chair and we can vote on it later.
David: For TMF, I think the new application is coming out around January 13. We’ll have a workshop in February. I think it’s the week of the 13th. Deadline will be early March, and then we’ll review applications between then and May. Then we get it to Council by July. Assuming digital inclusion folks want to participate, we’ll figure that out in committee, but if other board members want to participate in the review process, you can get back to me. And if members of the public–we always have a few–so if anyone present wants to do that, let me know and I’ll have Delia Burke, who manages that review process, know.
Rob: I think Nancy brings up a good point about public engagement, that it’s important that we identify a point of contact and a few folks who are willing to help with that when that comes up. I know that with eGov, in February, we are going to have Transit Hackathon. It would be great to have a few folks engaged.
Rob: If maybe one person wants to volunteer as the handoff person from Dana and a few people want to volunteer to help with that, it would be a good thing to have as part of our transition plan.
Beryl: One thing, just to go back to TMF and before Stacey leaves, the criteria for selection. Would it be possible to just run those early in the process through CTTAB? One in particular that came up last year was the one about empowering communities to manage their own projects. And give preference to those who are managing their own projects.
Comment: Related to public engagement, we talked about creating a CTTAB events listserv. So that we can keep people aware of events happening.
David: Let’s talk about that, because they could go out through the CTTAB notices list.
Rob: I would suggest just having an events listserv that people can dump to. And then aggregating those, whether it’s once a week or once a month to CTTAB notice. I don’t think we want every single event going to CTTAB notice but we also don’t want to filter where people think there’s something that’s relevant and somebody having to make a moderation decision.
Brian: There are all sorts of community meetings where it may be of interest for those affiliated with CTTAB, either officially or unofficially, to check out whether it’s a neighborhood council meeting or tech meet-up or something like that. It’s not necessarily CTTAB business but it’s relevant.
Michael: There is something I want to share with mixed emotions to the room. We have a staffing change coming up in DoIt, and I think it’s of keen interest to this group. Many of you know Sabra Schneider, who has been in this room for the past three years and has been an amazing part of not only DoIT, but the City writ large. Sabra has accepted a position as the chief operating officer for the department of IT in the City of Bellevue. For which we are truly excited for her and the opportunities that that will provide, yet at the same time, we are equally devastated. So, I wanted to take a moment and just thank Sabra for her tremendous service to the City, to this group, and everything she has brought to us. As I’m sure you can imagine, the noise that you all just made is the noise I get whenever I share that news. Which is a tremendous testament to her abilities and achievements here. So I want to make sure we couldn’t let this moment go by without thanking Sabra for her service.
Sabra: It has been such a pleasure working with all of you these past years, truly from the first meeting. And I just think of all the things you have helped DoIT and the City of Seattle accomplish. I hope to be a good partner. I was joking with David earlier that I could come as a private citizen, except I don’t even live in Seattle anymore. Thank you. I so admire that you are all volunteers and that you are all so dedicated to the work that you do here. I won’t be far away, and hopefully, we can create strong partnerships between Seattle and Bellevue.
Nourisha: If there is nothing else, then I call this meeting of CTTAB closed.