January 10, 2017 Meeting – Seattle Community Technology Advisory Board
Topics covered included: Update from CTO Michael Mattmiller; Board Planning Session report; Tech Matching Fund update; Digital Equity update from David Keyes; board elections of new CTAB chair and vice chair; process for new board member selection; public comment; and reports from the Cable and Broadband Committee, E-Government Committee, Privacy Committee, and the Digital Inclusion Committee.
This meeting was held: January 10, 2017; 6:00-8:00 p.m., Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2750
Podcasts available at: http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/CTTAB/podcast/cttab.xml
Board Members: Jose Vasquez, Amy Hirotaka via phone; Heather Lewis, Karia Wong, Chris Alejano, Joneil Sampana
Public: Dorene Cornwell, Dan Moulton, Christopher Sheats, Dan Stiefel, Matt Torgie Torgeson, Sarah Abromowiz, Riley Petersen, Chelsea Glaser, Christian Severt, Ann Summy,
Staff: Michael Mattmiller, David Keyes, Derrick Hall, David Doyle, Cass Magnuski
20 In Attendance
Meeting was called to order by Jose Vasquez.
Minutes from December CTAB meeting approved.
Jose Vasquez: Since Amy is on the phone, she’s away, where are you, Amy?
Amy Hirotaka: I’m in Palo Alto.
Jose Vasquez: I guess we’ll start with introductions. Thank you, everybody. I want to remind everybody to speak up. We’re recording the meeting, and it’s always posted online. Please, do be aware that it’s a public meeting, so we record the meeting and the minutes, and please speak up. So, I guess we’ll start with approval of the agenda. Has everybody taken a moment to look at the agenda?
David Keyes: I’ll have a brief Tech Matching Fund report, and a little bit of Digital Equity Initiative update. I don’t think it will take 15 minutes, though.
Jose Vasquez: Do we have a motion to accept the agenda as amended? Heather motions. Karia seconds. Thank you. All in favor? All opposed? Abstain? Agenda is approved. Do you want to introduce yourself?
Michael Mattmiller: Michael Mattmiller, Chief Technology Officer for the City of Seattle.
Jose Vasquez: Thank you. Did everybody get a chance to review the minutes from last month’s meeting? Any comments, changes? Do we have a motion to approve last month’s minutes as is? All in favor? All opposed? Abstentions? Minutes pass. Last week, we had a really great conversation about strategic planning and board planning. Is that this action item?
BOARD PLANNING SESSION REPORT
Heather Lewis: I think that’s us. I certainly don’t need 15 minutes. What we did is the majority of the board was able to gather last week, and we had a high level conversation about our priorities for 2017. We will follow up with a second conversation, but we were able to establish four key priorities for 2017, and we’ll be reporting them. Then meeting with the City of Seattle stakeholders for a conversation to establish alignment with the City of Seattle and then move forward and bring that conversation to the CTAB community.
Jose Vasquez: Then moving forward, what are the next steps that we took from that meeting?
Heather Lewis: The next steps we will be following up on with our second meeting, then reaching out to the stakeholders, and then reaching out to the CTAB community.
Jose Vasquez: And to add to that, incorporating some of the work plans for individual committees. I do want to thank heather Lewis for organizing that, and the pizza. Thank you for the pizza. It was a really good conversation, I think. We had some honest dialog about what we want CTAB to work on this year, and where we’re heading. So I’m excited about that.
Heather Lewis: Thanks to everybody for giving an extra two hours to have that conversation.
David Keyes: Is there a time when something will come back for a full board vote?
Heather Lewis: I don’t know that we will be voting on it, necessarily. We will probably have a motion in February, but at this point, it feels preliminary [unintelligible]. At this point, the next step is to have a follow-up meeting [unintelligible].
Jose Vasquez: I don’t remember. Do we vote on committee work plans? Or does it just come out of committee and they report it?
David Keyes: If it’s an action by committee, they can do that. If it’s some decision by the full board, then that needs to happen in a public forum, so that there can be opportunity for public comment.
Heather Lewis: I would imagine that would happen in February, probably in March.
David Keyes: If you want to make a statement that the board has adopted these priorities, then we’d want to do that, and have that affirmation.
Heather Lewis: That sounds like March, just given what we have.
Jose Vasquez: We had a few people walk in. Would you mind introducing yourselves?
Jose Vasquez: Thank you. Any more discussion on the report on the board planning sessions? Questions? Comments? All right. Thanks, Heather. Now we will be moving on to the Technology Matching Fund update and Digital Inclusion.
TECH MATCHING FUND AND DIGITAL INCLUSION UPDATE
David Keyes: Yes. We’re both wrapping up the end of last year and launching into 2017. And there’s only 11-1/2 months until the year ends. I think it’s exciting that we’ve wrapped up all of the 2015 Tech Matching Fund projects, and we’ve just gotten in all of the final reports on those. We’ll be summarizing the data as a wrap up on those great projects. I’ll work with Delia on sending some of that information out. We’re in the process, gotten all of the contracts that have been written and executed for the 2016 projects. So those are all underway. And I know we’ve talked with the Digital Inclusion Committee about helping to host an exchange of information or resource exchange with those grantees. And then, on the 2017 Tech Matching Fund, we’re working on the detail of the timeline on that. We don’t quite have that. One of the questions–and this will come from Michael Mattmiller–the discussion was whether to continue to go through the legislative process with Council on the matching fund projects. All the dollars are in our budget, but whether we will do that, which usually takes a couple of months to do, versus just having a presentation and awards ceremony, that would potentially speed up our contracting process and give us a little bit more time this year for working with applicants on their applications, and continuing to refine the application of the Digital Equity strategies to the Tech Matching Fund projects. I think we’ve made some good progress on that this last year.
Our Parks and Recreation Community Centers have finished up their project for the year. We’re talking to them about what it looks like for 2017. They, for instance, brought in some new STEM and robotic kits, and got in some funding recently: a small amount from Verizon Foundation to start to help out with some of their STEM and robotics programming, and with some of the Google grant, they were able to update some of their equipment. One of the really exciting things is that Derrick Hall and his cohort at the Associated Recreation Council have completed installation of new WiFi access points at 26 Parks and Rec community centers. That’s a huge increase in some access. There were 15,600 and some users. In December, we saw more than a doubling of the year before. So, we’ve seen some really great initial results on that. I’m working on a public announcement and post on that completion. There’s still some fine tuning and adding a couple of extra access points to enhance a couple of centers. But, some great work there.
An exciting project that we’re working on, connecting to the Digital Equity Initiative is working with the Human Services Department on a homeless connectivity project, homeless and device project, with an initial focus on 64 young adults that are being housed through the Rapid Rehousing Program. One of the targets to help homeless folks is to get them into stable housing and tie that, as well, with job training and other support services. I think we’re really going to be able to augment that really well. So I’ve been working with the Human Services Department and the community providers that are working with them, and Interconnection, so we can connect those young adults to laptops and to portable Wifi devices, using the Mobile Citizen services, so that they can begin to have stable internet along with that. I think it’s an exciting pilot project. We’re still learning what’s needed as we do it, and fine tuning the process for that.
Joneil Sampana: Is Mobile Services a suite of services?
David Keyes: Mobile Citizen is a company that was able to get low cost Sprint service as part of a spectrum allocation that they did. They offer a $10 internet service with hotspot devices. Part of our goal with the homeless folks is to get them on a stable platform so that then they become the consumer over time. Similar in some ways to some help we’re doing with public housing residents in Seattle Housing Authority (SHA). Our goal is to help these folks transition to their own thing. As we talked about, the initial 64 are going to be in scattered sites. They may or may not be in a Comcast or Century Link. They may or may not have credit accounts, some of that financial base to be able to do that. And so, this was a solution that is in a sense, a pay as you go. So we’ll help to subsidize some of that first year internet to get this off the ground. But the goal is to help transition them. And then also have the opportunity later on. If their housing is stable, and they wanted it and could afford it, they could transition to one of the other providers, or they could also renew the Mobile Citizen service. Interconnection is a nonprofit, a Seattle partner with Mobile Citizen for that. So, we’re able to bundle that together with the laptop device so it makes it simpler for both the organizations and for the clients.
Jose Vasquez: I have a question for Derrick Hall about WiFi in the parks. I remember the last time you presented, we had a question about coming back and sharing some data about usage–when it’s being used and what it’s being used for. I don’t know if there is a status update on that?
Derrick Hall: It’s possible, but not until March.
David Keyes: And then, just one other note. We also worked a lot with Connect Home project with Seattle Housing Authority. HUD is continuing that project this year. It’s an unfunded thing, but they help us match with partners and it’s part of the national effort on that. In any event, we’ll continue to work with Seattle Housing Authority. We’ve expressed to HUD our interest in continuing that project and obviously helping public housing residents get the connectivity and devices. We were able to get out a total of about 120 devices all together this past year to residents. Kind of a good start. We provided training to a total of about 640 residents in public housing. And then we helped, initially, 76 residents get their first time internet. We learned a lot working with Comcast. There were some challenges there and some learning in terms of the challenge of getting to residents, and some residents that have commercial Comcast accounts and need to transition. Some of those challenges we’ve talked about here before. And some folks, it’s hard to get the baseline data on exactly how many public housing residents have internet and what that service is. We”re working with HUD right now on a potential agreement with them and service providers to help ease getting some of the data from providers on how many folks are connected as well. We look forward to that, and continuing to work with Seattle Housing Authority, too. Outreach and support for that.
Jose Vasquez: We do have five minutes left, if anybody has comments or questions. Do you have a report, Michael Mattmiller? Do we need a motion to add it to the agenda? [added by vote]
Michael Mattmiller: A very brief one. Thank you, Jose, and good evening, everyone. Happy new year. It has been certainly a very exciting 2016 review for Seattle IT. I hope that this group has been pleased with the changes that you’re seeing in Seattle IT function. A quick recap: We did some small things last year, like consolidate 650 IT professionals into one department, the largest City reorganization in the last 15 years. We landed our new City data center, a $42 million project, and by the way, we did that under budget. We had a number of other incredible activities from a cable franchise with Comcast, that provides a great deal of support for our Digital Equity programs. The Digital Equity Initiative that was launched with public support, and the list goes on and on. 2017 promises to be just as exciting of a year, where I am so proud that in about two weeks, we will officially launch our 2017/2018 City of Seattle technology strategic agenda. Thank you so much to CTAB for your thoughtful contributions and support for that agenda. Stay tuned. Megan Coppersmith on our team will be sending out an invite to the launch party. I think it’s going to be January 26, so tentatively block that on your calendar. That agenda, as I shared with this group, going to really define how we prioritize our spending on IT projects for the next two years. The agenda contains 53 initiatives, ranging from the internally focused, mature the way we deliver IT services in the City, to the external, to increase the equitable use and access to technology here in the City, to what I’m most excited about, how we transform Seattle to be a smarter, data-driven City. And that means responsibly using new technologies like low cost sensors, of course, but with CTAB privacy, with Seattle Privacy Coalition and others, to big data that helps us to better our environment and maintain our beautiful environment.
Thank you again, for that, and I’ll look forward to future conversations. Heather Lewis and Jose Vasquez, thank you for all the work on the planning for the CTAB agenda, as it comes together for this year. I really do value not only CTAB’s incredible focus on the issues that are important to our community and the advice that you provide to the Mayor and Council. But also, being that tremendous resource that we can go to in the City and say, if we’ve got this concept that we want to understand, this new technology and how it’s going to impact our public, and getting that actionable guidance that we can use to make sure that we operate responsibly in the City.
So I think there will be great things to come this year. I look forward to engaging. Two things I’ll just put out there quickly. I know that one of the things that is always very top of mind for this group outside the equity space is broadband. And I’ve had the honor over the past two months, working with the FCC and some of our good representatives on the hill about what 5G means for the City of Seattle and others. For those not familiar, when you pick up your phone and you see that you have 4G LTE access, 5G is the next iteration. That wireless technology will give us gig speeds on our phones as we walk around, both for watching 4K UHD television and presumably some other things we haven’t envisioned yet. Given those speeds, that means our four main wireless carriers are going to be putting lots of new fiber into our communities lots of new small cells and now micro-cells around our City. And as you can imagine, they all want to do it right now. That’s means there is going to be a massive rush to deploy infrastructure, which will be great for consumers and users, but also is going to affect our environment. So I want to make sure that we do this in a responsible manner. There’s going to be some tension here. I look forward, as always, to the advisement of this group as we begin to have those conversations with our community and our providers. There is also an incredible opportunity in that conversation. If you think about the progress of gig speeds on your cellphone, that means that you could also have fixed point wireless deliveries here at home at gig speeds. And you’d no longer have two options at your home for gig home broadband, you’re going to have six. Talk about what’s going to happen to competition when you’re going to have six choices for home broadband, six choices for a television provider, phone provider. It’s going to be fantastic. There’s a catch, though. Let’s say all of this comes to fruition between 2019 and 2020 or 2022, Because of the way that our regulatory system for telcoms working this country, if you subscribe to Comcast or Century Link cable, we get revenue in the City, and that revenue goes into Digital Equity programs, the Seattle Channel, and a couple of other things. Let’s say that Verizon gets into this game–and I don’t mean to pick on them, let’s say it’s AT&T, or anyone–we don’t get revenue when you subscribe to their television product. So, let’s say they’re wildly successful in the market and we lose half of our traditional forms of revenue, that means we have to slash our Digital Equity programs in half. There are no legal frameworks at this point that would allow us to recoup that in a like to like manner, so that means we’re going to have to be creative in how we think about funding programs. It could mean partnerships. It could mean advocacy to think about how to convince our federal legislators to help solve this digital gap and find new revenue opportunities. I’m very excited to get CTAB involved in that conversation.
One last thing, because I’m trying keep within my five minutes, I really want to say thank you to Christopher Sheats for the ongoing support as chair of CTAB Privacy Committee. I find it very invigorating to go to the CTAB Privacy Committee meetings, and look forward to their continued work and the guidance of that committee. I’m very thankful for the initial feedback. We have a little more baking to do on our side, and then we’ll be back in front of this group and Privacy to think about controls and how we consider deployment of that technology. I imagine that Christopher will have more to share about how the ACLU has been working with Councilmember Gonzalez on a rewrite of the City’s surveillance ordinance, which we agree that the current ordinance is not very effective, just in the way that it’s structured. It lacks accountability. It lacks clear definition. As a result, I don’t think the community or the City is getting the value of that legislation. One thing I’ve encouraged this group to think about is what role you would like to have in providing input to the rewrite of the surveillance ordinance. Be think about how you might want to engage the councilmember in making that desire to [unintelligible]. Christopher, I hope I’m not impeding on your update. But I put that out there to make sure that it’s on your wavelength. If there’s anything I or we can do to in the way of support, please let us know.
Jose Vasquez: Your time is up, but are there any questions or comments? We do have an additional minute or two.
Matt Torgeson: What are the connections between internet service and the revenues?
Michael Mattmiller: It’s not really for CTAB. It’s for the City of Seattle. It’s called the Cable Television Subfund. When you subscribe to Comcast television, you ar purchasing what is called a Title VI service under the FCC Act of 1934, as modified by the Cable Act of 1984 or six. What that says is that by virtue of that cable provider having access to the pubic right of way, running their coaxial cables to get to your house, the municipality or other authority can assess a fee for the right to use that right of way. And so, in the City of Seattle, we assess a 4.4 percent fee on Title VI services. That would apply to Comcast, Century Link, and Wave Broadband. We can only assess that fee on the portion of your bill which is the cable television service. Even though that same coaxial cable is bringing you internet, that’s a Title II service and we don’t get to touch it. When television is delivered to you, you’re paying Comcast for that television service to get the fee. If I open my Xfinity app and I have this Comcast stream, which I am only using for emphasis, no fee is collected on that, because we are not purchasing a Title VI service. and using that right of way. It’s one of those weird anachronisms of how telecom is regulated. But if we lose that authority or if people start cord-cutting, even though they may be watching HBO on a Comcast Cable subscription, if you’re watching HBO Now on an HBO app–same content, two different delivery vehicles, we can’t assess a fee. So the Cable Subfund today gets that $8.7 million per year in fees from Seattle residents, and we have started to see that leveling in slight decline in revenue that you might expect from them.
David Keyes: And that goes towards Digital Equity, Seattle Channel, representing helping customers with cable issues, as well. The Cable Office doing the franchise enforcement and negotiations. Some of it goes to the library for them to provide services.
Matt Torgeson: Yes, I’ve had some experience with that because I worked at Clearwire as well as at HBO.
Michael Mattmiller: Go out and get us more education on the finer points.
Jose Vasquez: One last question.
Christian Severt: One thing to keep in mind about the regulatory fee that is recouped by the City is that that fee is definitely going to be directly passed on to the consumer in the form of a regulatory fee which appears as a line item on your bill.
Michael Mattmiller: That’s right. The FCC does provide companies like Comcast the authority to pass that on to the consumer, so, if you look at your bill….
Christian Severt: Citizens are providing that income to the Cable SubFund.
Jose Vasquez: We have time for two last comments.
Dorene Cornwell: This is a situation where some citizens get their services are paying for something that probably everybody should be paying. Is there somebody looking around for ways to get legislation at the state level that gives authority to do that?
Michael Mattmiller: Not actively. And this is a broader conversation. At this point, our top line concern is that we’ve had this revenue stream that has existed for the better part of 20 years. And while the uses have varied over time, we’re now in a place where our Digital Equity aspirations, which are very important to our community, depend on this revenue stream. And we know this is going to go away in time. So, I think the question is how do we begin to envision a model post-cable franchise fee and keep this program going. And that’s where we have options. We have the public/private partnership model. We have foundations. But here’s the key thing. As this 5G world comes together, where we see incredibly competitive options, they’re going to drive down costs, give consumers greater choices. We want to be wary of a model where one of the cost advantages of one of these new providers in the market is that they don’t have to subject their customers to the franchise fee, which artificially incents the use of their service, while it disenfranchises or disadvantages parts of our community. So it would behoove us to be thinking about that disconnect, and either how we help our telcos understand that as part of providing this great benefit of competitive service, and given the new revenue opportunities, they don’t forget the parts of our community are going to suffer because of their competitive presence in the market. A simple conversation.
Dan Moulton: Michael answered the majority of the question [unintelligible]….
Jose Vasquez: This is also very relevant to E-Gov Committee and Digital Inclusion Committee conversations that we’re having. So definitely big conversation throughout the year will continue. Next on the agenda is board member elections, the fun part. I laid out a process. I don’t know if everyone has had an opportunity to see it. Is everybody okay with it? I think one modification we’ll do, since Amy Hirotaka is on the phone, we’ll proxy vote through David. She will text him, and he will vote on her behalf. Let me pull out the process real quick to make sure we’re following it. First, we’ll start with the position of chair. Nominations, including self-nominations, are submitted at the January board meeting. So, do we have a nomination for chair for 2017?
Joneil Sampana: I would respectfully nominate Mark DeLoura.
Heather Lewis: He’s not here.
Jose Vasquez: I have given it a lot of thought and I do want to throw my hat in the ring. We leave the discussion for later. You nominated Mark DeLoura? He’s not here to accept. Any other volunteers? Amy and I have been having a couple of conversations, and I think, traditionally, the vice chair takes on the chair position. As vice chair this year, I do want to throw my hat in the ring. So, I guess I get two minutes to talk through that. This is as vice chair, I’ve learned a lot about how the City operates, about the Seattle IT department, and how we interact with the Mayor’s Office and City Council. The really good conversation we had last week about how we want to take a bigger role in advocacy and civic engagement and being more present with the Mayor’s Office and City Council. At least more than we have traditionally been. I really want to lift up the voice of CTAB, not just the board members, but also the committee members and everybody who participates here. Because it is a great venue for us to get civicly engaged in matters of technology. I always say this, but with Seattle being such a technology leader, and coming from a community that really doesn’t have access to all of those opportunities, I know the duality of the City. We’re a tech leader, but yet there’s still a lot of work to be done as far as Digital Equity and making sure that there is equal opportunity for everybody to benefit from this economic prosperity. That’s a personal passion of mine. Hopefully, though this, I will be able to move that forward and work with all of you to come up with some really cool solutions. So, I’m excited for 2017. And that’s my spiel.
So, as far as voting, it’s an anonymous vote. Do we have a spare piece of paper where we can…. Oh! Perfect. Thank you. [David Keyes passes out blank ballots to the members.] Since I’m the only nominee, you can either vote for or against. Or you can abstain.
David Keyes: We’ll wait for Amy’s vote.
Jose Vasquez: Did she send her vote?
David Keyes: Yes.
Jose Vasquez: Derrick is the vote counter. Are we okay with that?
Derrick Hall: For Jose, out of six people, five said yes. One said four.
Jose Vasquez: It’s official. [applause] Let me scratch out ‘vice’ on my place card. I’m really excited for this upcoming year and working with all of you. And particularly, working with David Keyes on Digital Inclusion and Digital Equity. I’m really passionate about that and excited. I get to do a lot more this year working with all of you in your committees to make 2017 better than 2016. So thank you guys. Now moving on to the position of vice chair, do we have any volunteers who want to step up and help me in 2017 with all of this work?
Heather Lewis: I will volunteer.
Jose Vasquez: Thank you, Heather. Any other volunteers? Nominations? Okay. We’ll move on to official voting.
David Keyes: Polls are now open.
Heather Lewis: I have been thinking over the past few months about where I want to be in 2017, and i have deliberately held back on some projects so I could dedicate more time to CTAB. I would like to, in any capacity, be more engaged. As a chair, as a member of the E-Gov Committee, I am still looking for ways to support CTAB. It sounds like there is a lot of competition for this role. so I won’t be offended if you vote, ‘no.’
Jose Vasquez: Okay. Now we can officially vote.
Derrick Hall: Here we go. Five votes for Heather. Congratulations. [applause] Were those the only positions?
Jose Vasquez: Yes. Those were the only two positions. There might be an opportunity to add officers roles, but I think that would come out in at-large conversations. But that is an option. That would be an appropriate time to talk about adding more members, or the number of board members, so we can have better attended meetings. Thank you, everybody. That was the least chaotic election I’ve ever seen.
Chris Alejano: I just want to take a moment to thank Amy Hirotaka for her time as chair. I don’t know, Amy, how long you have chaired the board, but you were the only chair I knew since coming on. I just want to thank you for shepherding the work over the years.
Amy Hirotaka: Thanks, Chris. And congratulations to Jose and Heather. I’m excited about this year.
Jose Vasquez: Yes. Thank you, Amy. Do you want to take a moment to reflect on 2016 as outgoing chair?
Amy Hirotaka: Oh, sure. I think that in 2016, one of the most exciting things that we certainly worked on would be the Technology Matching Fund grants. A lot of us participated in that and I think that that’s a great outcome from what we had worked pretty hard on. At the end of 2015, and into the beginning of 2016, I was really excited to see that some of the things we pushed for, and the Comcast franchise cable update made it through, thanks to the Cable and Broadband Committee. I wasn’t involved in all of the committees, but I just want to take a moment now to thank all of the committees for all of their hard work. Because that’s where the real work product comes out, and where the actual work happens. But the CTAB meetings are important, but that’s not where stuff actually gets done. Stuff is getting done behind the scenes by all of the committees. So thanks so much. [applause]
Jose Vasquez: Awesome. So now, we’re going to take a 10-minute break so you can network and connect with each other.
David Keyes: Do you want to do the announcements?
Jose Vasquez: How is everybody feeling?
David Keyes: Then folks can ask questions during the break.
Jose Vasquez: That’s a good idea. So we’ll move up Public Comment and Announcements.
PUBLIC COMMENT AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Riley Petersen: I’m Riley Petersen from Galvanize down in Pioneer Square. We are having what is called a design swarm. This really cool friend of mine, Surya Vanka, was the director of UX at Microsoft for the last 20 some odd years, and he does this thing called the design swarm. It’s a day-long, prototyping design spread. if you guys are familiar with Google’s design spread framework. The focus is Digital Inclusion. And I didn’t even know that this whole committee is a thing until recently when I got in touch with David Keyes. It seemed like a good fit, so I thought I would come and invite you. It’s on Saturday, February 4. And we’re looking for a couple of things. Sponsors. We’re looking for partner organizations who have an audience of folks that would like to attend that might require a scholarship, that we could put that sponsorship towards, as well as more people to sign up. Tickets are $50. He’s done a bunch of design swarms and they have created, always on a particular topic, that is supposed to be good with a capital ‘G.’ They have invented products. They have come up with companies and gotten funded, and he tailors them specifically to a particular topic. This one is Digital Inclusion, however, he spends a lot of time and a lot of energy putting thought into a specific problem that he will announce to the audience the day of. Given that, it’s a little bit cryptic, but it’s going to be really fun. Like I said, I was made aware of CTAB about an hour or two ago, so I’m trying to think of some good, actionable steps that people can help out with. But at this point, just letting your networks know–posting the event would be a huge help. Let me know if you are interested in either a sponsorship or if you know folks that would appreciate a scholarship ticket. Thank you.
Dan Moulton: Jose, would this be a good workshop for the TMF recipients, given that you are wanting them to begin to work together. Perhaps, if they’re in the same room. They could also act as experts in the field of Digital Inclusion. I don’t know whether they would have $50.
Jose Vasquez: You said there was scholarship money?
Riley Petersen: Yes. So, we’re working with a couple of companies on sponsoring groups of like 10. So, we would have somebody sponsor 10 tickets, and then approach you guys or whoever, and say we have 10 tickets available that you can distribute.
Jose Vasquez: Great. So I guess we can post it on our mailing list, and then announce that there are scholarship opportunities. I like Dan’s idea of inviting TMF grantees. Is there a list, specifically, of TMF grantees?
David Keyes: Yes, and we can send it out to the folks that have run community projects. The Tech Matching Fund is our grant program. We’ve got Cable and Broadband going to community sites working on Digital Inclusion projects. We can get it out to them. It’s helpful to know–and you and I can talk more about it–it’s helpful to have something designed for them, to let them know how their efforts are used, how they will be able to participate. For people who don’t know anything about how a swarm works, and that kind of design process, and also to try to match up what topics might be picked, or what their role is.
Riley Petersen: One of the main, critical, components of this thing is customer development. You have to talk to your customers. When they built–it was something to do with homelessness–and they partnered with Mary’s Place and had two or three homeless people on each team that they broke out into. They all built apps, etc. At Galvanize, we have developers and data scientists, and entrepreneurs, and we’re looking for a more diverse people from different types of backgrounds that are willing to participate.
Heather Lewis: How many people do you have room for and how many people would you like?
Riley Petersen: It’s capped at 60. I think it will be broken out into 10 groups of six. I think that’s the limit on group size.
Dan Moulton: Instead of just the mentees of TMF, I thought it was an objective measurement …[unintelligible].
Jose Vasquez: That’s a good question. It’s not officially a part of the performance metrics. We’re not tracking that. We’re trying to provide that space, but we’re not requiring TMF recipients to partner with each other. It gives them the opportunity, so thank you for that. This is one of those opportunities I think we could look for opportunities to promote that and motivate TMF mentees to learn from each other. I don’t want it to be another requirement on top of all of the reporting they’re required to do. Personally, I’d like to scale back on the reporting or make it easier. But that’s a whole different conversation about metrics and performance measures that we could have at a committee meeting.
David Keyes: One more question. Do you know now if there will be any translation, interpretation, child care, any other support.
Riley Petersen: Off the top of my head, I don’t have an answer for you. It will be staffed the whole day. We’ve got people helping out. We have a family room.
Dorene Cornwell: Maybe that would be a category, childcare, interpretation…[unintelligible]. I have a couple of announcement, if we’re done with this.
Chris Alejano: I have one question. Are students welcome, or are we looking at adults and professionals?
Riley Petersen: All of the above. We have students in our building, going through our cohorts, and we have a sponsor lined up to cover their tickets. So, yes, it’s across the board. There are no hard technical skills necessary. A lot of the outcomes are leveraging technology pretty heavily, but the technical talent will be for the most part coming from students from Galvanize.
Dorene Cornwell: When you guys were talking about not having the TMF grants go through the legislative process, I think there’s a value in having the recipients come and meet with the Council. When I hear the Councilmembers talk about it, I think some of them get things just from what the projects are.
Following up on the things that were said about Seattle Housing Authority: A couple of months ago, I was at a meeting where they were reporting on their residents survey. It was actually really exciting because they had had a really high percentage of the responses that were completed electronically. So something is working.
The third thing I want to talk about is the STAR Center has been having a group where blind users get together about once a month. Our next meeting will be February 4. The meeting we had last week was very full. We had somebody there speak on usability, and she was very happy. She kept saying, can you tell me if we do it this way or that way. And we were all very clear. Just do this. The other common thread was we were all talking about our different media screens, and what we watched or didn’t watch. There was a sense of being overwhelmed. And so the ‘how to get to what you want’ path is important. And maybe that’s a useful thing when you design for us, because you want to get things that will be useful. And thank you all.
Dan Moulton: You mentioned wanting to simplify, I mentioned this before, and we want to work with you on that, etc. So on January 23, if you’re interested, there is a free event that looks at project reporting tools that people can use. In addition to this design swarm, Jose, I would like you to know that there is a group starting in IDO. IDO is a very famous design firm, and you do an outpost for a year before you become a chapter. I think [unintelligible].
Jose Vasquez: Yes, thank you. The more opportunities that are out there for people to engage, I think this is a perfect space to share those. Any additional public comment? Okay, then we’ll start our networking break. You can network among each other. We’ll reconvene at 7:10.
Jose Vasquez: All right. time to reconvene. Next up, we’re going to talk about the process for new board members selection. How many seats do we have open for this coming year?
DISCUSSION ON NEW BOARD MEMBER SELECTIONS
David Keyes: Two.
Jose Vasquez: Two seats. On the web site, it was three.
Heather Lewis: That’s three in an email from Virginia Gleason.
Jose Vasquez: There is a process. I think applications are currently open, so if anybody, a committee member or anybody at-large–if you know anybody out there who is really passionate about what we’re talking about, invite them to apply. We’re definitely looking for more board members to join us and help us accomplish our goals for 2017.
Heather Lewis: Virginia Gleason mentioned that she would send out an email this week so that we would have something to forward out to the networks. And that applications would be accepted until the end of the month.
Matt Torgeson: I’ve expressed interest in joining the board, so if I can get more information, that would be fantastic.
Heather Lewis: You will need to get us a resume and a statement of interest. And we’ll be sending out more information.
Jose Vasquez: And if you didn’t get a chance, please sign in. Leave your contact information so you will get added to the list, where you’ll find out more details about the process. Any other questions about new board member selection, what that entails? Stay tuned.
Chris Alejano: Are you say, basically, that you will be accepting applications, then the interview, then the process of selection?
Jose Vasquez: Yes. Chris Alejano and Heather Lewis have volunteered to be part of the selection committee. Thank you for volunteering your time. Virginia Gleason is leading that, so if you have any technical questions, contact her. The information is on the web site, as well. Thank you. We’re flying right by our agenda. We might get to go home early tonight.
Heather Lewis: I’ll put Virginia Gleason’s email on the board.
Jose Vasquez: Yes. Thank you. So now, we’re going to start our committee updates. We’ll start with Cable and Broadband. Was there an update?
CABLE AND BROADBAND COMMITTEE UPDATE
Karia Wong: We didn’t meet last month, but I do have some updates on the Lifeline program, which is a phone discount program that has been going on for a number of years. People who qualify will get a discounted price for a phone line. What happened at the end of 2016 is a lot of seniors received the renewal form. And they did send it back to Century Link, but for some reason they were not properly processed. So what happened was that their phone bill jacked up a lot. A lot of them were paying $70, $50, with internet. We have been working with Century Link and then we send in the package. Because we do call them. At our office, we have a team of social workers that were helping people to do the work. What happened was we did contact Century Link for help on the application. But still, the applications are not properly processed. So some seniors have been paying a lot of money for the past two or three months because of that. So, I’m trying to follow up with people at Century Link to see what’s going on. Because, all of a sudden, they claim that they have not received the application or that there is some misinformation. But we have been doing this for years, so every instruction we have to help the client to prepare the renewal form. We don’t know what’s going on. When we called, a lot of times we got lost in the phone system. As far as I know, there were at least 100 seniors in that office who were affected. On average, there are 20 or 30 every week, the clients that we serve in our case management program. Some of them are home-bound.
David Keyes: So, 20 to 30 each week who have billing issues with Century Link?
Karia Wong: Yes, with Century Link. And the majority are related to the Lifeline program.
David Keyes: Are they mostly people who had already been on Lifeline?
Karia Wong: Yes, they are on Lifeline. They have to renew every year. They got the form. Some people didn’t get the form. What happens is when they send back the form, usually it will be processed within a month. But for others, nothing happens. They look at their bill and see the price go up. So we call them, and they will say, ‘We haven’t received your application, or something is missing. You have to send another application. Some people have actually done it at least two times. So, we believe there might be something going on internally at Century Link, in terms of processing the applications.
Dan Moulton: I mentioned to her (Mary Taylor) last time, that they filled out their Lifeline completely, with all the documentation, and they sent a blank one back saying, ‘Do it again.’ Nobody could get through. So the person just ended up with no phone whatsoever, because they could not afford it. I mentioned this to her last time as well. So, this is an ongoing thing with Century Link, not just ….
Karia Wong: Every once in a while that happens, but for the past two months, there are just too many of these cases.
Matt Torgeson: Is this just local, or is this happening in similar programs in the cities?
Karia Wong: I have no idea. If people don’t tell us, we don’t know. The people come to us because we have been serving them for a long time. So, whenever they have issues or problems, they will come to us. And billings are part of that. It’s one of the areas that they will not be able to advocate for themselves.
Jose Vasquez: We have a comment.
Dan Severt: I also know of a person who is on Lifeline. They got a robo-call that their Century Link qualification was dropped. They had to reapply. They’ve been trying to reapply for three months and can’t get through the red tape. It’s going nowhere. This is happening recently, I would guess kind of uniformly. It seems like really something should be done.
Jose Vasquez: Thank you. An idea that just popped into my head, and as we were talking about last week at the strategic planning meeting, is taking more of a role in regional advocacy. I’m looking up the Office of the Attorney General. There’s a Consumer Protection department, I believe. It’s not a consumer protection agency, but it’s a department under the Office of the Attorney General. Maybe through the Broadband Committee, we could start collecting some of these complaints and pushing them up. If we can’t get any actual results from Century Link or any company, maybe we can start elevating that higher up and doing more regional type advocacy work. If it’s an issue, we should definitely be pushing for that and making sure that the companies that serve community members that are particularly at risk. Dorene, do you have a comment?
Dorene Cornwell: Yes, I have a comment. There are not as many as Karia Wong talks about, but there are people who come into the STAR Center with different billing issues, and Lifeline access issues. A lot of them are actually communications issues. I love the idea of collecting experiences because there is a burden on the agencies that are supportive of this. It’s not necessarily our mission to help Century Link to implement something that they’re supposedly required to do. So, collecting the information and pushing it back to Century Link, and then saying, ‘Can you automate this process?’ SHA sent out letters to everyone who lives in SHA about the Lifeline program. So maybe Century Link needs to be thinking, ‘does this person still live at this address that we know is a subsidized program?’ Are there things that they can do to ensure that the update happens automatically when possible, so the people don’t get robocalls and harassed into higher levels of plan, into things that they aren’t supposed to have to pay for anyway. So I love the idea of collecting this. I can ask the managers at STAR Center.
Dan Siefert: And why are they getting the robocalls after they’re dropped, and not a month before, when it could be much simpler to renew?
Dan Moulton: Is there not an administrator for this? Maybe we should advise that we should establish one.
Jose Vasquez: Are you talking about Century Link or the City?
Dan Moulton: Both. Century Link said that it’s a third party that does that in another city. They outsource this. I don’t know whether that’s true or not, because the person on the other line might not have had accurate information, but that would indicate that you have broken promises. As Karia had mentioned before, that what you can do for smaller places, like Wave Broadband, when they wanted to be able to try to get involved with this, that says that this is a huge overhead, administrative or technical support that there is a way that we could use some of the training programs and having internships to create a Turbo Tax kind of situation that shows across the board that they are qualified like Medicaid or whatever there. Once they qualify in one area, they don’t have to refill it out again. Sort of like with the Obama administration wanting to deal with the HRs in health care. Every time you go into a doctor’s office, you have to fill out all the same paperwork all over again. The HR put an end to that. Once it’s in the record, if you’re qualified, you get it across all of the programs. So that’s two different things. Number one, they claim that that was outsourced to a third party, so it must be the other party’s problem. Number two, we might be able to come up with a solution that could help them, as well as the smaller organizations.
Jose Vasquez: All right. Thanks, everybody. And please feel free to join the Broadband Committee so we can continue this conversation.
Karia Wong: We are meeting on the last Monday of every month downstairs at the open area at 6:30. Currently we are working on the comments for the Wave franchise renewal. So we hope you can join us.
Christian Severt: One more quick comment, because I don’t know that I’ll be able to join you, but if anybody is interested in the Century Link internet that was rolled out, that was discussed last year, I have it and I have been performance testing it quite rigorously. And it is currently performing sub-standardly from my perspective. I’m in a technical profession. I’ve built data centers. I know what’s going on. I would definitely say that it’s probably not worth it to pay the extra amount for the gigabit internet. Maybe for the 100 mbps, the one down from gigabit. I just figured I would let you know. That’s kind of where Century Link is at right now, from an outsider in the technology industry looking in, it’s less than a gigabit.
Jose Vasquez: Thank you. Moving on to E-Gov.
E-GOV COMMITTEE UPDATE
Heather Lewis: We had strategic planning this month at the committee level. And we are hoping to develop two or three work streams for the year. So, if you are interested in the E-Gov committee, please come. It’s Tuesday, January 24, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. This is one of our road show days, so we will be traveling to Douglass Truth Library on Yesler. I have the address on the board, but for the record, it is 2300 E. Yesler Way. We’ll be soliciting feedback from the public. We’ll send out a Google Doc, so that other people can [unintelligible].
Jose Vasquez: Thank you. Moving on to Digital Inclusion Committee.
DIGITAL INCLUSION COMMITTEE UPDATE
Chris Alejano: We also did not meet last month because of the holidays, so we plan to meet next Tuesday, January 17. We”ve been convening at the Porch.com office in Sodo. I’ll write the address down on the board. It’s 2200 First Avenue South. We’ve been know to meander down to Henry’s Tavern as well, so we like to thing of ourselves as wanting to get some work done, and having some fun as well. But really, our thrust is to re-steal back David’s thunder, try to get straight on the timeline with TMF, and I think in the overall context of strategic planning, maybe do some work that might inform what that might be within TMF and Digital Inclusion. One aspect that was voiced at the last meeting around that.
Jose Vasquez: To add to that, the Technology Matching Fund review committee is about to start up. So stay tuned. We’re always looking for volunteers to help review the applications and help us decide who to invest in, what projects we think would be good to achieve our goals.
Heather Lewis: Is the timeline going to be like last year?
David Keyes: Yes, if there isn’t any change in terms of the Council schedule. It might be a little earlier this year. So it would be putting out the application schedule later this month, February workshops, March dealilne, review in April.
Joneil Sampana: This is a side question for the committee. Will there be any grant recipient site visits scheduled.
Chris Alejano: Oh, actually there was. I think it was Delia Burke who sent out a a list of possibilities for visits, but I would like to get a couple more options out there, as well.
David Keyes: Just drop Delia a note directly, if you want to do something. I know she had sent out some possible dates to folks for site visits. Derrick Hall and I are also going down to the Ethiopian Community Center, which is next Wednesday evening. We’re meeting with their tech committee, so it’s not a specific TMF , although they are getting cable broadband from us, and they’re a past TMF recipient. They have a new tech committee, so they want to confab with us. If you’re interested in that, next Wednesday evening is when we’re going.
Chris Alejano: It would be cool for us to have a bunch go at the same time.
Jose Vasquez: I have a list if you people want to see it. Maybe we can pick a day when we can all go.
Riley Petersen: Chris, what is the date?
Chris Alejano: It is the 17th.
Jose Vasquez: Thanks, Chris. Next up is the Privacy Committee.
PRIVACY COMMITTEE UPDATE
Christopher Sheats: I’m Christopher Sheats, the Privacy Committee chair. Our general meeting was yesterday. Five technology professionals, including the Seattle CTO, and the ACLU of Washington Tech and Liberty director, involving policy analysis concerning the Array of Things project that Seattle intends to develop and deploy, following Chicago’s lead. I plan on eventually presenting our analysis to CTAB in the coming months regarding the Array of Things and our findings. However, the committee spent the majority of yesterday discussing the Seattle Surveillance Ordinance revisions. In front of you, you have the summary of the revisions that we were helping the ACLU with. The draft amendments are currently being reviewed by the City’s Legal Department. The Privacy Committee is meeting next on February 6 at the Montlake Branch Library, where we are planning on writing a letter of support for the ACLU of Washington’s Surveillance Ordinance updates. But we do expect the updates to go in front of the City Council, one way or another, but we hope it’s the ACLU’s version. Our letter, that we hope that CTAB would approve to stand up to the Mayor and City Council, I’m hoping next month. That’s my update.
Heather Lewis: Christopher, can you repeat the time and place where you’re meeting?
Christopher Sheats: February 6, at 6:00 p.m. at the Montlake Branch Library.
Jose Vasquez: Thanks. Before we wrap up, any questions or comments about the committees? We’ve got plenty of time. I also don’t want to keep you guys too late.
Karia Wong: Do we have a logo for CTAB?
Jose Vasquez: I think we use the City’s logo, because we’re an official commission.
David Keyes: And the official City logo no longer has the swooshes.
Jose Vasquez: Do we all get new name tags? Action item for next meeting is new name tags. Thanks, everybody. So, wrap up summary and next steps. I have a couple of action items.
ACTION ITEMS AND WRAP UP
Jose Vasquez: We’re going to have a statement of support for the board’s strategic planning, possibly February or March. CTAB will be seeing a final report on TMF grantees. We’re going to share it out to the CTAB board members. We’ll get a report from the WiFi in Parks and Rec in March. Then there are a couple of events coming up. If you wouldn’t mind emailing–who should we email the events to so we can make sure they get distributed?
Heather Lewis: I’ll put them on social media. Is there a point person at the City?
David Keyes: Virginia Gleason.
Jose Vasquez: If you have any event, email Virginia Gleason. Her email is on the board. And I’ll make sure they get distributed to all of our networks. We’ll post them on social media and to our listserv. I have input to rewrite the Surveillance Ordinance.
Joneil Sampana: I have a question. [unintelligible]
Christopher Sheats: Not really. [unintelligible]
Dorene Cornwell: I think it’s great to be involved with an organization like the ACLU of Washington.
Jose Vasquez: Any other action items I’m missing? We have upcoming committee meetings. We hope you will participate. And if there’s nothing else, this is my first official adjournment. Thanks, everybody.