City of Seattle Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB) October 14, 2014 minutes. Topics covered include: public broadband study, privacy initiative status & advice needs, Seattle Channel diversity report, new IT Subcabinet, data center update, report on Hack the CD and Municipal Broadband Forum, and committee reports on cable and broadband, privacy, e-gov, digital inclusion, and public engagement.
This meeting was held:
October 14, 2014, 6–8 PM, Seattle Municipal Tower: 700 – Fifth Avenue
Podcast available at http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/CTTAB/podcast/cttab.xml
Attending: 25 in Total
Board Members: Ben Krokower, Dana Lewis, Brian Hsi, Beryl Fernandes, Stacey Wedlake, Daniel Hoang, Rob Dolin, Nourisha Wells, Sarah Trowbridge
Public: Phillip Duggan, Phil Mocek (Seattle Privacy Coalition), Christopher Sheats (Seattle Privacy Coalition), Carmen Rahm (Seattle Public Schools), Dorene Cornwell (STAR Center), Chris Lona (CL Design), Sabrina Roach (Brown Paper Tickets), Jason Nolte
Staff: Michael Mattmiller, Sabra Schneider, John Giamberso, David Keyes, Derrick Hall, Cass Magnuski
Meeting was called to order
Introductions by participants.
The September 9th minutes approval was held to notate meeting items addressed after 8:00 p.m., and that a number of attendees had left. Beryl will work with David on language to reflect this.
The agenda was approved
Chief Technology Officer Report: Michael Mattmiller
He held the first meeting of the IT Subcabinet of eight department heads; this is a City internal working group. There are 28 departments. City IT could benefit from executive level sponsorship and guidance, so we started a committee of eight department heads who now are coming together to form the Mayor’s IT Sub-Cabinet. Will develop vision for how IT will be strategically driven in the City going forward.
Kicked off an organizational assessment of DoIT this week. Large number of asks of IT here in the City. Have about 200 FTE and about 600 IT professionals across the City. Our IT portfolio tracker for projects across the City shows $365 million, showing pent up demand for projects that could not be done during the recession. Now we need to be thinking about how we can sustain a high level of output for IT professionals as well as think about how we are delivering enterprise grade, scalable, sustainable services in a cost effective and efficient manner.
Look forward to working with consultants we have brought in who will be with us for the next ten weeks. Going to do a lot of interviews with City individuals and do a City-wide survey so that every staff member has a chance to voice their current level of satisfaction with the IT services they receive.
Public Broadband: Thanks to CTTAB, Brown Paper Tickets for arranging Chris Mitchell’s talk on muni broadband and excellent discussion at the two events October 8th. They have Mayoral approval to update the 2009 Broadband Study about fiber to the home strategies and municipal broadband. We are asking consultants to update cost models and numbers because we know the cost of fiber construction has gone down over the past few years. Narrowing the scope of that study. At the time, we had asked for a triple plan set of services: cable television, telephone and broadband Internet. Today, we know that broadband Internet is the essential utility that the City needs to step in and help provide if competition doesn’t get us there alone. So we are not looking for a cable television or telephone option.
If we are going to actually build out fiber to the home or fiber to the premise, we are also looking to coordinate with City Light, SPU, SDOT and our Public Safety departments.
This will take about six months until we can report back to CTTAB. Will keep you posted.
We have started to bring people together across City departments to discover what our existing privacy practices are and what commitments we make today, and what privacy principles we need to define. Next milestone is a meeting with several Councilmembers the week of November 3. Will keep CTTAB posted.
Q: How would you like us to work with what you’re doing?
A: Most helpful would be feedback and advice to the City in a cadence that would affect our timeline. By the end of this year, we would to have drafted the privacy principles key to the City and how we think about privacy. By March of next year, we want to have a draft privacy statement. We hope to have a privacy statement and a privacy toolkit by the middle of next year. CTTAB contribution should be specifically germane to City processes and what we can affect in the City.
Q: Which departments are involved in subcommittee?
A: Police, Libraries, Fire, DoIT, Mayor’s Office, Council, and City Light are at the table.
Q: Are human services involved; they may have a different perspective on constituent and data needs?
A: We’ll look into that.
Q: Can we get an org chart?
A: It’s online at seattle.gov/doit (See About Us section for key staff division leads and the September 2014 Org Chart pdf is linked there.)
Next Generation Data Center
Q: Any movement with next gen data center?
A: This is a multi-year project to consolidate our 17 data centers. Did select a colocation facility in Tukwila as the primary data center and will begin migrating to that center in March and will complete it by December of next year. Also have RFI’s out there for storage, racks, and working of configuration, etc. Also starting a process to select our secondary site, so that if anything happens, we can continue to serve the City. Likely to be in the Spokane area.
Hack the CD (Central District): Start-up Weekend
About 100 people, with 40 students participating, and 30 used scholarships.
There were about 20 projects that came out of it. Interesting ideas that were relevant and responsive to people in the Central District. Startup Seattle. Puppy finder to a concierge service that would match needs in the area. Had a coding workshop for youth a week before that got them involved. Women’s Hackathon group also involved.
Oct 8 Municipal Broadband Forums with Christopher Mitchell
Ben Krokower: The October 8th municipal broadband talks were a great success
David: Approximately 90 people attended the two talks at noon and in the evening.
Michael: Thanks to DoIT staff who supported these efforts. Clear-eyed assessment of challenges and benefits to implementing broadband. No sugar-coating of costs and difficulties. No downplaying of the enormous benefits. Great event, great momentum.
David Keyes: Seattle Channel recorded the public broadband forum, which is on their web site. (See the video)
Phil Mocek: Three items that might be of interest to CTTAB:
- Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole mentioned turning over management of the wireless mesh network. City could use technical advice on this.
- Police edging closer to using body cameras. Done right, could be something very beneficial; done wrong will not. This is an organization that lost thousands of dashboard camera videos because they didn’t bother to have off-sight copies.
- Police Department has announced intent to commission a business intelligence system. Plan to spend $12 million on it. We don’t know what that means, but it sounds like they need some advice.
I’ve heard from Tony Perez that the City could possibly get more money from Comcast, as does Multnomah County in Oregon. Hope to explore increasing matching fund money. Wiggle room in franchise fee. Seattle not at the cap.
These fees are passed along to the consumer. So we are wary about that. I believe we are at 4.4% out of a possible 5%.
Seattle Channel Diversity Report
John Giamberso: (See also data report posted on the CTTAB site.)
Diversity stats for first half of 2014. Charged with tracking program to make sure that it is fair and equitable. We review our programming and look for on-camera instances of people of color or topics that are relevant to people of color. Reviewed on annual basis.
Art Zone, for example, shows content that was relevant to people of color 16% of the time. On-camera, 53% of the programs done this year had persons of color. City of Seattle is roughly two-thirds white and one-third persons of color.
Some of our shows exceed the demographics. Working to maintain these good numbers.
We don’t count a 30-second appearance in an interview. Must be substantial part of the program, three to five minutes.
Beryl: On Civic Cocktail, an African-American woman spoke passionately about the need for persons of color to be on the panels. What’s going on here?
John: Not every panel includes people of color. We just try and do the best we can. Sometimes we can’t get a person of color for a topic because they are not available.
Beryl: Can we include videos from the public on Seattle Channel?
John: City of Seattle does fund Seattle Community Media, which allows anyone to come in and learn to produce a program and get it on their channel. We work with them. If their program meets our standards, they can get it on Seattle Channel. Seattle Community Media is about content. It’s not so much about making compelling stories, but about giving people access.
Question: Is there something similar to Race and Social Justice Initiative for people with disabilities?
Dorene: There is an advisory board (Commission) for disability services.
David: We recently presented the technology access and adoption results concerning disabilities to the commission. Not aware of specific training, though consideration of disabilities is a component of social justice in the Race and Social Justice training.
Nancy Sherman: Wondering why there is no concern about seeing seniors, persons with disabilities, and LGBT people on camera. Seems that these people should be included in the survey.
John: We do look at LGBT. I’ll check on methodology on that. We should be including others besides people of color. Should be consistent on topics and appearances. I”ll get back to you with the answer.
[End of Questions]
Seattle Channel Best Government Channel in the U.S.
This year Seattle Channel was named the best government station in the nation by the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA). John showed short clips of programs.
Question: Is there a plan to develop Seattle Channel app for Windows Phone or Blackberry versions?
John: Not yet. We made it to Android.
Sabra: Seattle Channel is moving it to our CMS system in the next few months. This will make it more browser-friendly.
Microsoft has a program wherein if you have a program developed for IOS or Android, they will develop it for Windows Phone for you.
Question: Is there any way staff can improve usability (production quality) of the public access station? Any room for training community members at Seattle Channel? Seems like some of the content on public access in many ways complements the programming on Seattle Channel and vice versa, so I think there could be a virtual cycle of the people coming back and forth such that they get a broader, deeper, richer view of the stories that everyone is trying to tell.
John: The importance of public access is not production quality. It is getting those voices out in the simplest way possible. But there are training opportunities. Seattle Community Media does offer training opportunities, and also Multi-Media Resource Training Institute has training. I would emphasize that the public access and the city channels have two different missions. One is a soap box, the right to speak. Production quality sometimes weighs against that. I can check with Tom Butterworth and get back to you on that.
Question: A bunch of radio FM people have gotten their applications accepted, and I also know that Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs coordinates with like a hundred media outlets in town, and I wonder if there are some partnerships there to resource or create something stronger than what we have now?
Sabra: We are doing some research on that now. Hope to have some updates in November or December after the Council has passed their budget.
Seattle Community Media has not updated us lately. Hope to have them here in November or December. Let’s put that on the agenda to get a general update.
Recess for seven minutes.
Public Engagement Committee Report
Nourisha will fill in as chair for the rest of the year, with Phillip Duggan’s term being over. He has still been involved though.
Initially, the Public Engagement Committee was supposed to step in to help publicize things. We want to return to that. Doesn’t seem to be a need for a standing committee for that. We’ll be working on strategies for how to be more effective in promoting other things that come up and supporting other CTTAB committees….like we did for the Public Broadband Forum.
We’ll schedule a meeting and let everyone know when that’s going to happen.
Rob Dolin: I would encourage you to have one who is chair, and one who is vice-chair. That way there is one person who is explicitly on point.
eGov Committee Report – Rob Dolin
Our committee met on the fourth Tuesday of the month. Bruce Blood was in attendance, plus four or five members of the community. We talked about the six projects for 2014:
- Dogfooding / Beta testing
– Cross-platform testing of web and mobile
– Accessibility testing of web and mobile
– New technologies: Example: Lync
- Reviewing existing and under-development eGov services
– Ex: Find it, fix it mobile app
– Ex: Pay Seattle City Light bill online
- Crowdsourcing quantitative customer / end-user input
– Ex: Open Broadband Performance Survey
- Open Data and Data Retention (implementation)
– Ex: Collection and public sharing of data
– Ex: Destruction of improperly collected or non-anonymized data
- Supporting and promoting Hackathons
– Ex: Girls’ Hackathon, Hack the Central District Start-up weekend
– Ex: Hour of Code, Code for Seattle
- Learnings from other leading and comparable cities
– Ex: Austin, Boston, Chicago, DC, Minneapolis, New York, Portland, San Francisco, and
We are going to initially focus on the dogfooding beta testing and reviewing existing and under-development eGov services because it seems that that is going to be most beneficial to the City around the City’s web site redesign, which is going to happen in early 2015. I sent an email to staff with a draft of collecting contact info for people who want to help with that as well as what type of desktop or laptop computing device they use, what tablet computing device, if any, what smart phone and browsers they use. Hopefully, that will help us to identify a broad set of diverse users and devices. Also, there is a question there about assistive technology. Hopefully, that will give us a broad sense of people using Mac with Firefox, or Windows PCs with Chrome, so that we can get some broad testing coverage of the under-development web site.
Our next meeting is the 4th Tuesday of October. We have been meeting via conference call. Hopefully, we’ll be able to use Lync conferencing this time. Please join the committee.
Phillip: Are you familiar with a service that will provide you a simulator for just about every piece of hardware, every browser, every operating system, every hardware, so that we can test our apps against every combination. Look at Sauce Labs and Browser Stack. They’ll do automation and simulation and also screen shots of every specific combination.
Rob: Will you send those to me? I’ll will forward to the eGov committee. From a tooling standpoint, that will be perfect for Bruce or Jeff when they’re doing development. But also, getting people in their native experience is worthwhile.
Digital Inclusion Committee – Stacey Wedlake
Stacey: There was a Get Online meeting on September 10, very productive. The Get Online learning on the web is planning to launch next month. There is another meeting this Thursday at 6:00 via conference. Will send out notification about that with the phone number and location.
Broadband Committee – Daniel Hoang and Brian Hsi
Daniel Hoang: Sent out draft letters to Mayor and Council inviting them to the Broadband Forum. None could attend, but Councilmember Kshama Sawant did send a staffer and a couple candidates attended. Good turnout. Seems to be a lot of self-organizing to help explore this further and provide more input for the City.
Low income broadband plans: One of the main members, Michael Spindler, has been pulling together some great resources and documents. Next step there is to pull all that together in terms of a letter and draft that we can circulate.
Low income broadband plans: Michael Spindler is working on a memo on this, with best practices and tips.
Another topic: Comcast wifi network router security. Comcast says their routers can be turned into a wifi hotspot, and because the City provides some cable modems, this question was raised. To what extent does this happen for the organizations that receive cable modems. Concerns about security, and a lot of modems have default settings. Some investigation going on.
Derrick Hall: Consumer modems have that ability, but the modems we’re giving out are business class modems, which don’t support wifi at all.
Dan Stiefel: I work with Xfinity business class routers, and that’s not true. They have the Xfinity connection. They also have the default passwords when they’re installed. They don’t change the admin password that’s published everywhere on the Internet, so I come in and change them.
Derrick: The sites can change the passwords if they want to, but there is no wifi enabled on the modem. If they have services above and beyond that, then yes.
Dan: You’re saying that the ones we get distributed are not wifi enabled.
Daniel: Some potential concerns around the consumer side of things and also the organizations are what we are going to be exploring. Diving into other opportunities.
SDOT Directors Rule revision legislation enabling greater distribution of telecom cabinets/infrastructure: Was signed today by the Mayor.
Dorene: CenturyLink given first right of refusal. Some concern that CenturyLink has right of first refusal.
Comment: Just to add on the SDOT piece, we brought up the concept of some form of citizen oversight of that implementation to make sure that those rules are being followed. I think we need a little bit more discussion in our committee.
Brian: Follow-up with Michael Mattmiller to ensure this is also within the scope of the IT Subcabinet to review and assess the rollout. The ordinance calls for a one-year review.
Daniel: Just because a law is going to be enacted doesn’t mean that our work stops. There is language in there that basically says they’ll evaluate and take a closer look a year from now. There are still some open questions with regards to how this is going to be used in reality. There is very much a watchdog role.
Dorene: There was some concern in the broadband community that gives Century Link more of a monopoly than we would want them to have. If we want to do something in a neighborhood that Century Link is not doing, then we have to put Century Link’s feet to the fire and say fish or cut bait.
Daniel: I think there’s good opportunity for follow up discussion. Other deals or agreements that got signed with City Light that were outside the bounds. There are a lot of moving pieces. This was just one slice of a much broader tech policy issue around broadband, so how that’s governed is an ideal question for that uber commission that Michael Mattmiller was talking about.
Privacy Committee Report – Beryl Fernandes
Beryl: At the last meeting, we as a board, voted to postpone the symposium to March 26. We have commitment from Justice Yu’s office. Sabra has reserved the City Hall Bertha Knight Landes Room, but paperwork will need to be done.
Pre-Symposium Crowdsourcing is the first phase. Broader than that because we have an online tool. We’re also going to deploy teams to go out into the community. People will use iPads to provide in-person assistance to fill out that online tool. That is for people who cannot or don’t want to do it online.
Not intended as a survey. Not looking for tons of data. Want to end up with a handful of stories that are compelling and represent the breadth and depth of privacy impacts. Looking at residents, workers, and small businesses.
Privacy meeting is the third Wednesday of each month. Everyone is invited. David Keyes said we can use the WordPress site, and our committee was interested in getting on anonymously and to have as few clicks as possible to get to the online tool.
David: WordPress and the CTTAB site can get used as we have in the past, such as when Dana posted and asked for comments on CTTAB committees and work. Everybody has to use some identity, but we don’t check those.
Beryl: One more feature: Instead of having it online for the next several months, we may have a series of sprints instead. We’d have a 24- or 48-hour window when people are invited to get online and do that. And then do it again in a month or two.
David: You can send out a direct link. Use is all about the marketing.
Beryl: I spoke with people from the new UW startup group. There’s a startup there called Live Stories.com. They were excited. They have a tool that they developed for uploading stories, which would work well for us. They want to help.
At the point of the Privacy Symposium, all panelists will have a compilation of the stories we get. They will have a chance to respond. We will be fleshing out the criteria again for the panelists. So far we’ve talked about two criteria: somebody who’s got expertise in publications, speeches, whatever; and has knowledge of the local Seattle community.
We will call it a collaborathon, because Michael Mattmiller said that coding is much bigger than hacking. We want this to be a project where we can show that we’re all in this together. If we put our heads together, what we can do, rather than ‘those are the bad guys.’
Motion by Dana and decision to spend additional public comment time on the privacy effort.
Comments and discussion
Rob Dolin: We may also want to explore the sealing of juvenile records. Want it to be a topic for the privacy committee. Because if people are unable to get their juvenile records, either sealed or expunged, it has an impact on their lives as adults.
Beryl: How would we address this?
Rob: I would imagine that Seattle Municipal Court has some level of records. There might be an opportunity to delve into what their practices are.
Comment: Where was this idea originated?
Rob: A state law was just passed regarding the sealing of juvenile records. How is that law being implemented?
Rob Dolin: A lot of it is related to the injustice to those who may have made a mistake at age 16 not being able to get a job as an adult because of juvenile records.
Comment: Let’s look at how the City is implementing that law.
Comment: And particularly making sure that there are not onerous financial barriers to getting those records sealed. I’ve heard that on the state level, that other states might tack on court fees, and other fees so that even if you have moved your life past this, you don’t have $5,000 or $10,000 to pay down this restitution, court fees and other things to get that record expunged.
Sabra: There is a large body of privacy work that we are talking about the amount of time people are spending on this. Sounds like you have a lot of volunteers, which is great, but I wanted to bring out that at the last CTTAB meeting, Michael had two specific asks regarding privacy. One was a high level city privacy statement, and the other was discovery of any other good models in other cities. So scope is a concern.
Beryl: He mentioned today that he has an executive team that he’s working with, and I assumed that what he talked about at the last meeting would be subsumed under this team.
Nourisha: He said earlier that he wanted us to provide input to them.
Brian: He wanted principles outlined by the end of the year. Principles by end of this year, guidelines 1st quarter of next year.
Nourisha: But he’s not asking us to come up with the principles.
Comment: He’s asking for input.
Brian: So it’s not like us creating them from scratch. It’s an opportunity for us to shape it.
Nourisha: And he was also looking for cities that are doing it well and bring it to his attention. That was one of the things he asked.
November Meeting Date and Election of Officers
Dana Lewis: Next month’s meeting was originally scheduled for Veteran’s Day.
After discussion it was decided to move the November meeting to 11/13 and have at least a one hour December meeting.
Board members are encouraged to think about running for 2015 Officer positions, currently Chair, 1st Vice-Chair and 2nd Vice-Chair.
The positions will be discussed at the November meeting.
Elections will be held in December.
There was a short discussion of clarifying procedures. Rob recommends Sturgis book on the rules.
Need a tweet friendly version of Roberts Rules of Order.