City of Seattle Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB) 11/13/2014 Minutes.Topics covered included: Seattle Community Media public access TV update from Tom Butterworth; net neutrality, city broadband strategy and private companies, CTTAB draft statement on broadband for low-income residents, committee updates; advice from retiring members; officer roles and December election; work planning for 2015; wrap/next steps.
This meeting was held November 13. 2014; 6:00-8:15, Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2750
Podcasts available at: http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/CTTAB/podcast/cttab.xml
Attending: 23 in Total
Board Members: Ben Krokower, Daniel Hoang, Brian Hsi, Dana Lewis, Beryl Fernandes, Sarah Trowbridge, Joneil Custodio, Jose Vasquez
Public: Tom Butterworth (Seattle Community Media/Seattle College District), Doreen Cornwell (STAR Center), Webster Olson (Condo Internet), Karen Perry (Clarion Collaborative), Nancy Sherman, Jim Lewis (The Lewis Group), John Gabriel D’Angelo (Microsoft), Dashiell Milliman Janis, Kit Eldridge (First Solutions P3 Alliance), Julie Cochran (Condo Internet)
Staff: Sabra Schneider, Derrick Hall, Cass Magnuski, Tony Perez, Alice Lawson
Meeting was called to order
Agenda was approved.
Minutes for September and October CTTAB meetings were approved.
Seattle Community Media presentation by Tom Butterworth
Seattle Community Media has existed for about three and one half years. Services provided by SCM are paid for by self-funded Seattle Colleges Cable Television (SCCtv) and the City of Seattle. It broadcasts on cable in the greater Seattle area on Comcast Channel 77, Wave Broadband Channel 23 and to the world via live stream on this website. You can also watch nearly all programming on-demand on their website at http://seattlecommunitymedia.org/.
An early goal was to get producers out of the studio and into the streets. They made it possible for a lot of the work to be done remotely. Now at least 80 percent of the producers never step foot into the studio. They do all of their production work remotely and upload their content to a server. Some use community centers to upload their programs, others do it from home. Once a program has been encoded, the producer an email that they can schedule the program. Long time producers have qualified for a regularly scheduled program, newer producers must schedule their programs for an open slot. Programs are simulcast online, so that viewers from around the world can see it at the same time it is being broadcast on cable.
Statistics show that about 80 countries on average tune in to the online broadcasts. The entire repertoire of a producer is available online. No adult content is permitted. All content is available on IOS (Apple).
Fees are kept low. Other stations charge over $100 a year per producer, but SCCtv has created an ala carte membership so that everyone who joins is a producer: $35 is basic with $10 incremental fees to use the studio or check out production gear. Training classes are available to teach camera use, edit, and use the studio. A lot of time is spent teaching people basic computer use.
Membership requirement: must live in Seattle, King County. City of Seattle is the prime funder, which has allowed residents of King County use as well. There are presently 94 paid members, 354 people have signed in and created an account to become a viewer, and 48 to 50 people are creating shows almost every week. There is more activity in the winter than in the summer.
Programming is 24/7. Seventy-nine percent of the programming is from local producers. the remainder is Free Speech TV. SCCtv receives approximately 125 programs per month. This averages out to about 90 hours of fresh content per month, although some producers upload the same content over and over.
Studio B is a small studio that has remote cameras. The technical director can be host or bring in guests. They have been working to outfit a larger studio. It is available to those who have demonstrated the skills to use it. The level of expertise for most producers is low. Not professional level. There is a community room that has 11 editing stations. Three are Mac, the rest are PC. SCCtv walks users through the steps. Production equipment is available for checkout: audio gear, cameras, etc. They also offer phone support.
Topics include multi-cultural events, news focused programs, relocated people broadcast in their own languages, Ethiopian, Romanian, Korean, for example. There are cooking shows, gardening, women’s issues, travel, Somali issues, astrology, music, etc.
SCCtv gets about 4000 hits per month from every state in the union, and 600 Roku visits per month.
They are working on a new platform to replace aging equipment and methods. The goal is that it would be so user-friendly that English language is unnecessary.
City pays $187 thousand a year into the program, with occasional money from other groups. This funds about 4.8 months per year. SCCtv funds the rest.
Future: They have requested an HD channel for public access. They are upgrading a lot of infrastructure for HD. Studio B will be upgraded to HD. Most cameras are HD, and they are adding more, as previous equipment is showing its age.
They cannot provide live broadcasting. Financially unfeasible.
Brian: How do you see these channels working together with Seattle Channel in a sort of dialogue?
Tom: The missions are so different it would be difficult for the Seattle Channel folks to interact with Seattle Community Media. The level of support needed for public access producers would make it prohibitive. Also, Seattle Community Media cannot tell a producer to make something that the Seattle Channel wants. A secondary party might infringe on the freedom of the producers. They could ask for something they see, though.
Sabra: Did you say that the studios aren’t used much? Are people checking out the equipment?
Tom: The large studio is not. Studio B is used a lot. We have five complete packages of HD gear and couple other sets, one geared toward youth and the other is basically outdated. The five are almost always in use.
Sarah: What other outreach exists besides these channels.
Tom: Outreach is limited. Problem is time. Every month we gain two or three serious producers. Others spend a lot of time learning but walk away. With new platform, we hope to lessen the amount of time we have to spend with new users. We do outreach within the colleges a lot.
The board sent a shout out to Derrick Hall, for 20 years of service to the City of Seattle.
Q: What is the board’s stance on net neutrality?
A: The mayor is for it. CTTAB should draft a formal position.
Q: About four years ago, CTTAB took a positive position on a proposal that the City lay fiber. Has that changed since Century Link has plans to do the same?
Ben: CTTAB is supporting the mayor’s priorities for exploring municipal broadband. There is a three-pronged broadband initiative. Private companies investing in infrastructure; exploring public/private partnerships; and municipal broadband. So we held a municipal broadband forum with Chris Mitchell, the Director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative. We don’t currently have an official position on municipal broadband.
Sabra: The City is still looking at alternative approaches. The Stranger Slog ran this article about the City study on broadband that should be done in about 6 months: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2014/10/08/municipal-broadband-in-seattle-took-a-small-ste…
There was also the Council legislation passed that is helping CenturyLink build out broadband. We think we’re starting to see action on the three prong strategy.
Q: What is the policy regarding private companies?
Brian: A couple years ago, there was a Council resolution and RFI looking for partnerships with regard to leasing unused fiber. That is still viable.
Sabra: Certainly, the fiber leasing is still there. We’ve been focused on possible regulatory burdens for the City and thinking through what it means to be a private sector company trying to come in and do that, and looking at our processes and seeing what we can improve upon. One is the cable code, which we hope to send to Council over the next months. Another is bringing all the utilities and SDOT that have regulatory burdens around this and identifying what those are. Those are ongoing conversations, and one that CTTAB was very involved in.
Karen Perry: As a follow up to the stimulus funds for broadband, which was a $4.2 billion investment by the government, the Department of Commerce is working on a toolkit for local governments to try to pull together best practices from those projects. I expect them to be available sometime in the first half of next year. There’s always something to learn. That is ongoing and will complement that work. There is a lot of interest in broadband from the community that she’s seeing on the NextDoor neighborhood web site.
Ben: Please let them know that they are welcome at these meetings.
Brian: NextDoor just opened up their platforms to engage with Police Department and Mayor. It’s a one way communication. For example, SPD, when they post something, can see the responses, but we can’t track other things that are going on. Can the City see trends on a topic?
Sabra: No, we can’t see the trending or all topics. The police can get responses on their posts.
People are missing from the eGov Committee, Digital Inclusion, and Public Engagement. These were skipped.
Privacy Update: Ben Krokower
Q: Is the membership open?
Ben: We don’t know yet. I think every conversation will be made available to the public.
Beryl: Not sure what happens to the privacy work that we have done or are going to do.
A: I think they are happening in parallel. We have a symposium coming up.
Beryl: I don’t know that we are. I think we have to talk about how these two merge, if at all, or whether this new committee will take over. Once it’s done. Maybe there will be other options. I think we ought to release the Justice’s calendar [scheduling of Chief Justice Yu for the Symposium].
Brian: Are you there as a representative of CTTAB or individual?
Ben: I’m not sure, but will clarify and regardless, will be sharing what I learn with the Board.
Daniel: Broadband Committee meets on the last Monday of every month at O’Asian. A lot of our citizen members have been coming. We’ve been working on a draft statement on low income broadband access. We’ll be forwarding a draft copy in response to a letter we sent earlier this year.
High points of the letter:
1) Very supportive of having equal access for everyone, including low income folks, in the City of Seattle.
2) We believe that the speeds and the services should be equivalent what an average person is able to procure.
3) We believe in reducing some of the burdens of applying to some of those programs. A person may be eligible for the $10/month service, but needs a PhD to fill out the form to get these programs.
4) As public policy, this is not a technology issue alone, but also access, education, community involvement. We put out a comment supporting the Community Technology Program and local community centers. That’s where people are getting education.
Beryl: It is my understanding that the proposal was going to streamline significantly the process that people have to go through to use DSHS, food stamp program for example. In paragraph number two, it says ‘also may include the City’s utility discount, federal income tax forms, additional verification.
Daniel: We’re not prescribing a certain process. We’re saying leverage existing processes where you can take advantage of existing programs without creating extra burdens.
Brian: We’re supporting use of The City already does verification for utility low income discounts, for example.
Beryl: So if someone were already eligible for utility discounts, would they have to go through a reapplication process for broadband?
Daniel: In general, we’re not saying you must use this program or that program. We are saying that there are existing programs that you can use as income verification.
Brian: for any provider that offers a discount, they can tap into existing resources.
Daniel: The key take away is that this is a tool we can use with providers and people who are running low income programs. We’re not writing anything in stone.
Brian: It’s more a starting point to make sure people cover all the bases. Solid Ground coordinates some of these resources as well.
Ben: This is great. There were two things we mentioned offhand: proactive marketing of the programs and getting usage stats [take rates] from the companies on how many people are using these discount programs. Comcast was aggregated on the state level.
Dana: This is a great compilation.
Daniel: Earlier this year we made a request of Century Link and got a little push back in terms of getting the data.
Brian: There’s a lot happening with the cable franchise renegotiations coming up. Per Tony Perez, there are benefits that the City got in the past in terms of franchise fees. There’s an opportunity to take a look at these. What’s relevant? Are we solid with what we have? Do we want to look at other things, since the landscape has shifted dramatically in the last 10 years. NYC issued a statement to Comcast saying we want funding for training, access to all low income folks and seniors. That’s something worth considering. Likely more form us in the next couple months.
A recent cable survey, and also the Indicators Report, will offer some data points. The latest census will also. The census defines broadband as anything that is not dial-up.
BREAK: Eight minutes
Planning for 2015 and Advice from Retiring Members
Ben: We want to learn from some mistakes we made this year and we’ve gotten solid guidance from the City as far as initiatives and work goes and priorities go. I don’t think there are any mysteries re: what the work is going to be next year. The Broadband Committee has tons of work to do. The Mayor has released the digital equity initiatives and we have TMF coming up. Rather than waiting for full priorities from the Mayor and Council we will draft our own and get feedback from them. I want to hit the ground running this year, rather than wait four months to get rolling.
I want to combine the agenda items, Advice from Retiring Members, Officer Roles and the December election, and Work Planning for 2015 and have a free form discussion of all this.
Here is the proposed schedule:
- December: next month, we will hold elections and review the scope of work and timing as we know it in conjunction with DoIt. We will determineour own committees. Rob put together a fantastic Powerpoint template for work plans a year ago. I want to revive that, make some edits and hand it out so that all the committee heads take a look at it.
- In January, all the committee heads will have met and put together drafts of their workplans. And come for feedback to the rest of CTTAB to get group approval of general approaches.
- In February, we will present our workplans to Mayor and Council.
- In March, we will officially approve them. Maybe we can do this in February if there are not significant changes.
Daniel: Is there a way to get some input on the interests of members so nobody is assigned to something in which they have no interest? Perhaps we could use Survey Monkey or another tool.
Beryl: Let’s do that right now.
Brian: Committee structure.
Joneil: public engagement
Sarah: Public engagement, broadband, digital equity
Jose Vasquez: Public engagement and digital equity, digital divide, different communities and broadband access to low income people.
Brian: Anything outside these?
Joneil: Education Technology (Ed Tech)
Joneil: Ed Tech
Sarah: Smaller organizations
Brian: Partnerships in general.
Brian: The landscape has changed a lot. Seattle is a tech hub. There’s a vibrant start-up scene, whether it’s coding or manufacture. There are a lot of ways that tech impacts us. Note the Office of Economic Development start-up staff person.
Daniel: Excited to see the interest in public engagement. I went to the Ballard District Council meeting last night to speak on behalf of CTTAB. I think we should do more of that outreach. I was talking about low income broadband, a topic that was not on their radar.
Karen Perry: Two complementary thoughts on education tech. One, there is all the tech that’s here, and overall, the Washington Technology Alliance says we score really well on all the technology measures and really bad on all the education measures. So, a lot of people who moved here but were educated elsewhere are saying, ‘I like it here, but unfortunately I have to put my kids through your education system. So they care, which is good. And I’m also thinking about the model which the President does, where he sets up this public/private partnership where you stand up and do something big with him and commit to making change in some area. If it’s well managed, it can result in something. The Roadmap to Education project is another example. This would be a great way to create corporate partnerships and there’s a lot going on with the schools anyway. CTTAB could maybe make a difference putting those things together.
Brian: I don’t know whether this falls under outreach, but the notion of partnerships in general interests me, incl the Technology Alliance that runs the Ada Academy. I think there’s a potential for all sorts of different partnerships, whether it’s tech meet-up groups, industry groups, educational institutions in hubs, such as UW or SU, Seattle Central, whatever. I think there are interesting opportunities to connect around technology issues for the region that I don’t think have been tapped. I don’t know if CTTAB should be a champion of this, but I think we can play a role in shaping those conversations and connecting.
Ben: I agree. I think it would be really nice to plug CTTAB into a larger eco-system. We’re just one player, but I think an important one in that we are a conduit to local government that no other group has. Where all of the work isn’t necessarily done by us but that we’re able to be part of the conversation.
Beryl: We need to have some kind of filter to determine our role. The term ‘partnership’ is a broad one. Organizations such as UW are well established, but there are other groups out there. We don’t know who they are, we don’t know who the chair of the board is, or if they have a board. We have to ask ourselves who it is that we want to partner with and do we have longevity? What do we get from it? Do they have any credibility outside of a small eco-system? We need to ask ourselves a few questions before we jump in.
Brian: Great point. Partnerships is probably the wrong word. It’s more about leveraging the different networks.
Dana: I remember two years ago, the year we had like 800 recommendations. I think we should make sure we’re smart in analyzing and not just accepting any request that comes to us to partner.
Joneil: It’s important for us as a board to be clear about our goals, so we can focus our attention on what we have to do.
Beryl: Especially if a group is asking us to support their mission. It may or may not coincide with what we’re doing.
Brian: So let’s inform them up front on what we can or cannot do.
Ben: I think it would be good if once a quarter a member of CTTAB goes to some community group, even as an audience member. Good for visibility.
Daniel: I think we should go in our official capacity. Maybe we could put together some talking points of our official positions, summarize, to let the communities know what’s going on. My company is getting involved in the Central District. There’s a lot going on over there. A lot of innovation.
Beryl: I go to a lot of community meetings, but not as a CTTAB member, as I haven’t been sent.
Dana: I think that is something the public engagement committee could take on.
Brian: I would say leverage the committee members, as well, because there are only going to be a finite number of board members. But there is a pretty regular crowd of committee members. And we have a rich alumni group. So leverage that.
Dana: I’d love to give everyone who regularly comes to these meetings a card. It could bring more people in.
Jose: Has CTTAB done an informal networking event for the public in general?
Dana: We tried that last year and didn’t get a lot of attendance.
Jose: Maybe just the committee members then. I might not be able to go to all these community meetings, but I would be interested to know who is stepping up and being a leader.
Sarah: Given our schedule for next year, if we want to make a special networking event, and encourage our active committee members to attend.
Beryl: Didn’t Sabra organize some happy hours last year that had really good attendance?
Sabra: It was originally going to be on a ferry. As part of our Evergreen Apps contest, we did Geeks on a Ferry. The ferry system was really jammed that day, so it was not a good day to do it. So we did a last minute change to a happy hour at a place nearby. And it was a great time. But we got such great attendance because it was supposed to be a pretty unique hack-a-thon.
Beryl: Some kind of open house. A holiday party would be great.
Sabra: We were getting really good media coverage on the apps event, too, so Geekwire published a story about it and then another. Good publicity. Our new CTO is very welcoming to community input.
Joneil: I’ve always hoped that there would be a stronger conduit with the Code for Seattle efforts. For December, I’d like to invite the code squads to come in with us.
Sabra: They do come periodically. Rob goes.
Brian: I know that at the municipal broadband discussions we took attendance. Can we communicate out to those who have proactively given us their info?
Sabra: I think it depends on what we’re communicating. We don’t want to spam people. We do have those mailing lists and if we were doing something related, I would feel more comfortable about leveraging those lists.
Sarah: Is it possible to have a check box that says, ‘yes, I would like to be added to the CTTAB listserv’?
Sarah: We may want a CTTAB events mailing list.
Dana: Good idea. A lot of times we get asked to spread the word about our minutes and that would give us a wider audience to do so, without it being a huge initiative for us.
Ben: I like the idea of changing public engagement to leveraging our networks, rather than using the public engagement committee as an admin function. Maybe we should rename a public engagement committee, if we have one, to reflect that.
Dana: Or just revision the work.
Ben: I like the idea of its being its own set of activities. If there’s an event and somebody needs to do outreach, it’s the responsibility of those organizing the event to do their own Twitter and Facebook posts. I don’t like to see it turn into a communications team.
Sabra: There are a lot of tech opportunities to do cocktails in the city. So our thinking through what our goals are going to be as opposed to those that already exist would be helpful. People have family and lives and other things they sometimes like to do, too.
Beryl: I would like to suggest that when we say ‘tech,’ what do we mean? In certain under-served communities, I can see them getting excited about certain issues that we are already dealing with or might deal with. But we don’t necessarily think of inviting them. If we invite them, I think we have to have some hook, something that is of interest to draw them in. I would like to see them included in open houses as well. That’s a great way to get to know them and their issues, and a great way for them to get to know us.
Sarah: As a new member, that brings up an interesting question for me. I want to know what CTTAB’s role is in providing guidance on technical tools.
Ben: My own take is that we synthesize public comment, add our own opinions to it, discuss it as a group and try to provide some sense of what Seattle residents think. We should deliver those opinions and policy guidance to the Mayor and City Council. Sometimes, we proactively say, ‘here is what we’re hearing, we’re going to tell you what we think as a group, and other times, we’re asked by Mayor or Council to come up with an opinion.
Brian: All those are examples of how I would like to see us evolve. When I first joined the board a couple years ago, privacy wasn’t really on the radar, per se. Last year, we started talking about it. It’s kind of a ground swell. Things that start popping up can be turned into a big thing.
Beryl: And I think that the challenge of coming up with a statement for CTTAB is that you can have a general principle to guide, but each of the neighborhoods are saying, ‘Think about us. We don’t exactly see it that way. You need to understand our issues before saying that all Seattle ought to go this way or that way.’ So it becomes a challenge.’
Sabra: One of the mandates to CTTAB is to make recommendations to the Mayor and Council. Some of that is stuff that is brought up through the community. And I think that has happened with Beryl and the Seattle Privacy Coalition and folks coming to this meeting and bringing some of those privacy issues to our attention. And sometimes the Mayor or Council will ask for our opinion on some of that stuff. But it is advisory.
Dana: I think sometimes we agree not to agree. We all have different opinions. We’re going to allow people to do that individually with other partnerships, too.
Beryl: It’s really important that we do give each other the freedom to disagree or veer off in another direction, but say why and just respect each other’s point of view. I don’t think we do enough of taking a different opinion. We tend to coalesce around one and go with it, regardless. I think we should give one another the freedom to do that. It’s part of the democratic process and healthy.
Dana: All are welcome at CTTAB, whether you agree or disagree. Everything is always fair game.
Ben: The idea of context: I’ve been hearing the same acronyms and same discussions for the last three years. These things have become almost second nature. But Seattle Community Media, for example, gave a presentation. What was missing was that there was context that CTTAB, when the last cable franchise negotiation happened, there was a giant controversy about moving money from SCAN (Seattle Community Access Network) over to this new thing, which is less money and less infrastructure. CTTAB was involved in that. So there was some context missing. People may have been wondering, who are these people? Why are we listening to this thing? People who could provide that context were in the room and should have stopped the presentation to discuss it, then continue on. We should do that because everybody in the public is probably in the same boat as you, so please, it’s important.
Sarah: If you do invite a group, it’s important to give them context ahead of time.
OFFICER ROLES AND SUCCESSION PLANNING
Ben: I’ll give a brief overview of the roles, what we’re going to do next time around to vote and encourage everybody to throw your name or that of other people to step into the ring as chair, vice chair or second chair. Next month, we’ll vote on the three leadership positions: the chair, vice chair and the second vice chair.
Beryl: Are we committed to having two vice chairs again? Is that really necessary?
Ben: I appreciated the administrative help. Dana, what are your thoughts?
Dana: I think it depends on the number of people we want in leadership positions. Last year, we had a really big group that wanted to be that actively involved. Given the limited number of returning members, I’m not sure that’s going to be the thing, so my suggestion is to see who is interested in pursuing roles before we make that decision.
Beryl: The board seems a little top heavy. If you feel you need the administrative support, then sure.
Dana: There’s a way for people who want to be involved. They can chair committees.
Beryl: Also, when there are three officers, we don’t have enough work for the committees.
Ben: So that’s an open question.
Brian: I think it’s a minimum of two.
Dana: Context for everyone: Last year, we moved to three, but it’s not written in the code.
Beryl: So will we take a vote on that at the next meeting? Do we want to have two vice chairs or one, and then move on from that.
Ben: I think we gauge who wants to be in the leadership against how much work there’s going to be.
Brian: I think we let the work decide, whatever committee structure, and the goals and what the board wants to accomplish in the next year. Us deciding right now seems a little premature without knowing those other pieces.
Beryl: I think one defining characteristic of CTTAB is whether it truly wants to be a community based board that takes initiative. I think there is a very important distinction–and I’m hearing this from the community. Some are saying, ‘That’s really great that you are a community board and you are really setting the tone and direction.’ And others are saying, ‘It looks more like you are responding to what staff wants.’ I think we need to be very clear on what our mission is and what our vision is for ourselves. I think the asset to the community at large is to be a truly independent body that brings different perspectives that are unencumbered by position and status to the table. And that also goes to Mayor and Council as perspectives from the community.
Daniel: Unless we are providing input that’s relevant to Council, staff, or ala carte issues, then we are not being as relevant to our customer. There are already existing forums for those discussions. We need to be the leading edge advising the City on current issues, such as the privacy statement or broadband. If we’re not involved in those discussions, then we are not providing that value to the City.
Beryl: It’s a question of whether we’re doing for staff, as opposed to doing it for the Mayor and Council.
Sabra: Well, staff works for the Mayor.
Brian: That aside, there is a very specific charter for CTTAB and if we don’t live up to that, first of all, we fail. Second, to your point, Beryl, I think you are spot on, because we are made up of the community at large, for us to not bring that perspective, we also fail. We need to first make sure we know what this group is chartered to do, whether it’s within the bounds or in addition to, or whatever, I think yes, I would support that.
Beryl: It is in the charter to provide advice to the Mayor and Council.
Ben: When we are doing our work we should be a truly independent voice in that work. To not be the rubber stamp but to synthesize public opinion in an actual voice, rather than helps along with whatever they want to do.
Beryl: Rubber stamping staff is not helping staff, Mayor and Council. It’s certainly not helping community at large. And I would like to see staff see and understand that and not see us as adversaries if we present a comment or position that’s different.
Daniel: Is that happening? There has to be a specific case for adversarial staff. I haven’t seen that so far.
Jose: I appreciate hearing that. As a new member, what the role is of CTTAB and the community.
Ben: So you wanted to talk about succession…
Daniel: For our cable broadband committee, two board members are terming out. Brian and myself. Starting in January, there will be no board member representation.
Q: Are there any requirements for chair, vice chair, to have had a year of experience?
Brian: I’m looking at the charter right now. It says, ‘shall elect and chair and vice chair.’ And they serve a term of one year. If they want to seek a successive term, that’s fine.
Beryl: For the committees, do they have to be CTTAB members? Because you’ve got some active non-CTTAB people out there.
Ben: We can choose to make committees. I think that the heads of the committees should probably be CTTAB members because they’re voting.
Ben: Next will be a very busy hour-long meeting and then we’ll have an informal party afterwards.
Sabra: Does anyone need staff to do anything with regards to the party? At some point, we should talk if you do.
Dana: I think it is best if we do it here because we’ll be having the elections and everything. If we go to another venue for the party, that’s fine, but the meeting should be here.
Ben: Yeah. That part of the meeting is important. I think the party part hinges on whether we can have alcohol on City property.
Sabra: If we have the party here, I would be more comfortable if we did not have alcohol. If we want to retire somewhere nearby as an after party, I would be happy to help facilitate that. Certainly, we can make a more festive environment here without alcohol. Sorry for being the wet blanket.
Dana: I’ve heard comments that having meetings in restaurants is sometimes limiting for people. But I think we should do it here, and afterwards, if there is a group that wants to put off the alcohol for an hour we can move to another location.
Beryl: I think whenever we split it that way, we lose a lot of people.
Dana: The formal party is here, but if a group wants to continue hanging out, we’re free to do that.
Brian: So the next meeting, aside from the officers, going back to work plans, committee structure and figuring out what we want to do next year: In the earlier conversation about public engagement and doing outreach, and getting people who we had some connections to in the past, I question the size of the room.
Ben: It has been crowded in the past.
Brian: We are expecting a larger crowd because of the specifics of what we want to accomplish during the meeting.
Dana: Are we talking about December or January?
Ben: For December, the plan was hold elections. Hopefully, we can get through that quickly. Review the scope of work and timing as we know it. I’ll come prepared having done with DoIt. And Dana too. We’ll come up with here’s what we see as next year’s core of work. Then we can determine committees around that. Then I’ll pass out the work plan template based on Rob’s Powerpoint that he did last year.
Sarah: And that’s where we renew signups for the committees, too, right?
Brian: So the notion is that we would expect a larger crowd.
Ben: Yeah. If members of the public want to be on committees, or have any input on what those committees should look like, then we would need to have them here.
Dana: I think it’s usually the January/February ones where we invite guests. So I think December will be a little bit bigger but not too big.
Sabra: When we have open recruitment, members who are thinking about applying tend to come. There are a couple months when we are recruiting when the meetings tend to be really full.
Beryl: Could we spill out into the hall when we open it up for the party?
Sabra: We can look at having a bigger room if people want that. We’ve been filling this room pretty regularly. This will be the first we haven’t in a while. So it may make sense to think about that for next year. But we can try to reserve whatever you need for December. I can’t guarantee that we can do it, but BKL is enormous, if we’re really having a party. The boards and commission room may or may not be available. There’s a room on the 40th floor that may or may not be available. It’s bigger than this one, so there are options. We just need to know what you need.
Ben: Dana and I will connect with David about it.
Sabra: Happy to help. Also happy to connect with O’Asia about 30 extra people going over there at 9:00.
WRAP UP OF DECISIONS
Dana: Here is what I heard: Broadband Committee is discussing its informal stance on Net Neutrality to happen. do your next steps on process and report back. Consider meet and greet. Talked about creating CTTAB events email list. That would be an opt-in so people don’t get everything. Ben and I will talk to David about getting the space for December.
Q: I came here to figure out what the group does. Is it to advise City on technology, advise the City on we the community, or possibly look at whatever the City is doing to provide services to the citizens? What is the group’s charter?
Brian: It is the duty of CTTAB to study and make recommendations to the Mayor and Council on issues referred to the board by the Mayor or Councilmembers of community-wide interest relating to telecommunications and technology, including such issues as cable television access, technology access, and regulatory issues within the City’s authority regarding wired and wireless communications. It goes on to cover conducting hearings, making recommendations, etc.
Sabra: In the past, CTTAB sent over policy statements, hosted events, hack-a-thons, etc.
Q: How does CTTAB decide which subjects they want to advise the City staff on?
Ben:What you’re seeing here tonight is sort of gearing up for a work plan next year. Once a year, either the Mayor or a member of his staff and/or Councilmembers or a member of their staff will come and give us their priorities. We set our outline for the year based on what we hear from them. In addition, we also get a lot of opinions from the public. We have our own opinions. We hear from people who are bringing things up. We will prioritize those. Privacy is a good example of that.
Q: How do you obtain the opinions from the public?
Daniel: This group is just an elected group representing different areas. We all applied for these positions. We represent different neighborhoods, different community groups, and we tap into our personal networks.
Brian: In terms of the board’s makeup, City Council and the Mayor’s office have a certain number of seats depending upon Council priorities. For example, there is always a Get Engaged member that is carved out. Get Engaged is a program that helps young adults get on boards and commissions throughout the City. Education is one priority. Historically, the Mayor wanted folks who were plugged into the startups over the years. Leveraging personal networks is a big part of it.
Dana: The committees are open to everyone, so if you are interested, please come next month. If you can’t come, please send us an email and sign up and join. Because we would love to have as many people as possible participate in the committees next year.
Brian: The CTTAB web site lists all the committees and when they are, minutes, etc.
Beryl: If you tell David Keyes that you are interested in something, he will forward it to the appropriate person.
MEETING ADJOURNED AT 8:15 PM