City of Seattle Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB) March 10. 2015 Minutes
Topics covered included: Discussion with Mayor Ed Murray about technology & city priorities, update by CTO Michael Mattmiller, Hack-the-Commute, Cable & Broadband committee with vote to approve position statements on cable code revisions and low-income Internet support, E-Gov committee report, Privacy Committee report, Privacy Initiative Advisory Committee report with vote to endorse principles, Seattle Channel diversity report, and introduction to the Comprehensive Plan technology elements.
This meeting was held:
March 10. 2015; 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
Board Members: Nourisha Wells, Ben Krokower, Dana Lewis, Beryl Fernandes, Sarah Trowbridge, Jose Vasquez, Joneil Custodio
Public: David W. Robinson and Jan Bultmann (Seattle Privacy Coalition), Assaye Abunie (MMRTI), John Madamba (FCS/SPIN), Mulumebet Retta and Wayne Debeb (Ethiopian Community in Seattle), Shelley Farnham (Third Place Technologies), Tsegaye Gebru (Horn of Africa Services), Nancy Sherman (low income advocate), Michael Spindler, Assaye Abunie and Solomon Berye (MMRTI TV), Minh Duc Nguyen (Helping Link), Chris Lona (CL Design), Janice Tifte, Garrett Cobarr, Dashiell Milliman-Jarvis, Abdullah Hussein (Techno-Formation Vocational Services), D.J. Martinez and Kate Schneier (YMCA- Puget SoundOff), Ann Summy, Armando Stettner, Dorene Cornwell (STAR Center), Karia Wong (Chinese Information and Service Center)
Staff: Mayor Ed Murray, Michael Mattmiller, John Giamberso, Bruce Blood, Tony Perez, David Keyes, Cass Magnuski, Ryan Biava.
38 In Attendance
Meeting was called to order by Nourisha Wells.
Minutes for February was approved.
Mayor Ed Murray
When I was young and appointed to a commission by then-Mayor Royer. The Mayor visited every commission once a year, but there were about 20 commissions, and now we’re at about 75. So I apologize that you’re not going to see me every year. But I do want to spend time with you, because as someone who started out in public service for the City, I was a member of a City commission. I know how important your work is. I also know how much time you’ll spend and give to us, give to the City, give to the people of Seattle. So I want to thank everybody for that. I want to thank you for all the work you have done with us. I have a list because I could not remember it all.
The guidance you provided for the Cable Franchise community needs assessment; the guidance that you provided for the recommendations for the 23 Technology Matching Fund grants; hosting the public forums with Christopher Mitchell to learn more about municipal broadband models and the things that we should consider; encouraging us to address city privacy policies, and as you know, the Council has recently passed legislation that we sent down was based upon your recommendations; assisted us in changing the SDOT directors rule, which is expanding broadband. You did it. We did it. It’s happening. Doing more to address issues of equity in the digital world, and I guess I should mention that one of our accomplishments was hiring a Chief Technology Officer, Michael Mattmiller, as well as the broadband study that we doing in developing the strategy, including looking at a public option (it is my understanding that that will happen in April); and as you know, we launched a pretty high tech version of how we can track outcomes and data in the City through http://performance.seattle.gov . And my office is heading up that effort. Those are just some of the things that we’ve worked with you on. So, I look forward to more. That’s a lot for one year.
And I want to not give you a big speech, but instead have a dialogue and take your questions and comments.
Jose Vasquez: I’m relatively new to the board this year. I’ve been getting involved with the TMF grant process. In the work that we do with all the communities, is there more we can do from the City’s perspective to connect the resources that are available to collaborate with these small nonprofit or community organizations or projects? I believe that there’s a lot we can do to leverage the Get Online programs, the job searching, the access to resources. But I don’t know whether we already have a mechanism in place to share that wealth with all these organizations within the community. The reason I say this is that these communities are reaching the most under-represented populations. So what are your thoughts?
Mayor Ed Murray: I think that we could do more. There’s the short answer. You may know, for instance that we built out last year and expanded the Office of Immigration and Refugee Affairs. As a result of that, we also connected them and connected the communities they serve to technology with the resources the City has developed around interpreters or small businesses and other things that we’re doing. The same is true of other departments. We have 28 different departments. SDOT and the information that it’s putting online and making available to technology and again connecting with those communities. Our Pre K program through our new Department of Education has reached out to communities that will be directly involved, again using technology. Can we do more? Absolutely. And I know you all have plans, not just through DoIT, but through the Seattle Channel and other efforts that we can use.
Beryl Fernandes: One of the issues that comes up, not only for us, but also in the introduction of new technology, is how it is going to impact the more vulnerable segments of our population. I think everyone wants to do the right thing, and we all aim in that direction. I think it helps a lot to also have a diverse workforce that can help with that bridge. And I heard you talk about your emphasis there in diversity and inclusion and it’s a long standing priority for the City of Seattle. One of the things I’m hearing now, especially from large corporations, and private corporations, is the distinction between diversity and inclusion. So you can have a diverse workforce but not include them. Or not include them in a way that actually makes a difference. I wonder what specific steps you can give — and what encouragement you can give to those of us who have been in this town for decades; I go back to the days of Cal Anderson and was on Council staff with him — to hear the same thing over and over again and yet not see real tangible evidence of it on the ground. And I know you’re well-intentioned. No question about that. What specific steps can we take and how can we help you in that direction?
Mayor Ed Murray: First off, I think that it has to start with leadership. We have dramatically changed the makeup of the cabinet — the department heads. It’s far more richly diverse and gender-balanced than it was 14 months ago. We’ve done that in the Mayor’s office as well. We’ve got to lead by example, and when we have opportunities, we’ve got to take those opportunities. One of the things that we will work harder on — some departments in the City are much better than other departments — when it comes to diversity, some are actually as diverse or more diverse than others in the City. Others are completely lacking in it. I visited a nameless office today that was almost entirely white. That kind of caught me off guard. I visited another office, and two-thirds of the employees were people of color. So there are different things going on here. We’re going to hold ourselves accountable. We’re trying to get a better understanding of who makes up the City, and where we need to target it. For instance, I asked a question, ‘Do we know the number of East African City employees?’ We know there’s only one East African police officer that was hired last February. And we don’t actually have that information. We’ve got to get better. So basically, what I’m telling you is it’s just a matter of promises. It’s actually collecting data to show whether we’re moving or not. To actually put that data online to show where we stand in comparison to the City. That’s a thing I can promise. When it comes to the private sector, which you mentioned, the technology world is really both diverse and not diverse. In some ways, we’re attracting more people from more countries than Seattle has ever seen before. In other ways, when it comes to gender, I sat with one of our big IT companies about a year ago. There were 16 executives in there. There were no women in the room. We can’t legally force them, but we sure can show them a model and encourage them to hire differently. The private sector is more difficult, given the laws of the state.
Assaye Abunie: I work for Multimedia Resources and Training Institute (MMRTI), Ethio Youth Media TV, and Ethio Digital and IT Services. Creating opportunities for the East African communities, we try to bring them together so they can have one voice. We train youth and do forums, discussions especially over the last three years, producing video and putting it on the Internet and public access TV. What are your ideas for bringing these communities together about issues so they can have one kind of voice with the government?
Mayor Ed Murray: Well, if we’re talking about technology, we have made a significant investment in the budget. Particularly through the Seattle Channel and other technology, to reach out to emerging communities — new communities, immigrant communities, diverse communities — and start using the City’s capacity in giving people a voice.
Michael Mattmiller: We have been having the conversation and we recognize that when we transition to the Seattle Community media model, it left a gap in live studio air time. And we’ve actually had a number of meetings over the past several weeks to understand what part of the opportunities that we can provide to resume a similar service in a way that meets the needs according to the resources that we have today. And so I think that we’re getting close to some quotes. So we will be briefing the Mayor very shortly on ways to move forward. We do think the Office of Immigration and Refugee Affairs, who we’ve been working closely with, to understand the best way to serve community members, and reaching out to some community members for validation of the ideas. So very shortly, we’ll have some opportunities to share.
John Giamberso: Many ideas that surfaced in our meeting last Friday are going forward. I’ve been talking to Settle Community Media [Public Access Television station] and we’re developing some options that I think are right in line with that conversation.
Assaye Abunie: How can you create the opportunity for us to create live programming?
John Giamberso: Well, it is in place. It’s a question of providing more access and more availability. But I think that one of the options that are still on the table is live dial in access from Seattle Community Media. Some other ideas we talked about, MMRTI also providing live streaming. Coming to you pretty soon will be a listing of options and opportunities that will increase access for your communities.
Shelly Farnham: So, looking at the comprehensive plan, I’m really excited to see community top the list. I’m wondering what you think are the more exciting or innovative ways for Seattle to show some leadership in terms of sustainability but also leadership and innovation?
Michael Mattmiller: That’s a great question. We are a high tech City. We are going to grow by 120,000 people over the next 20 years. Seventy-five percent of those new residents are coming for jobs related to the high tech industry. We have a population that expects high tech government and that we will be in a position to deliver. You’ve heard me talk about some of the things we’re working on that will help us be more connected to public here in City government that will help us enable a more productive City workforce that’s better serving the City and ultimately making Seattle a leader in digital equity. So just a few of the things that we’re working on in that regard. Number one, we do have a redesign of seattle.gov coming forward this summer that will make it a much more interactive site, make it a much more valuable tool for the public. I’m also very excited, I know Ryan of the Mayor’s office is thinking about digital engagement from a tooling perspective. So, what are those technologies to help give the public a greater voice into their government in a more timely manner. Some of the other things that we’re working on, broadband has been very top-of-mind for this group, and I do thank everyone for your hard work, both in the broadband subcommittee as well as everyone who has been very active in thinking about how is it we can live up to the Mayor’s directive that everyone in the City have equal, affordable and competitive broadband options that approach gigabit standards. We have some time later for an update on that front. We also are getting an update today on the digital equity initiative. So how is it that when we bring together our community organizations or we bring together our corporations that are fueling our population growth that we can have a conversation around what every member of our community should be able to do with technology, where are we today, and how do we put strategies in place to get us to that desired end. That’s a really exciting conversation. It’s a conversation that we are in a leadership position not only in our region but in our nation right now in trying to drive these efforts. And so I’m very excited to see that unfold. And CTTAB is going to be a key partner in helping us get there this spring. Just a few of the things that we’re thinking about to make us that technology innovative leader.
Ben Krokower: This is my last year on the board. I’ve had the honor of sitting on the Technology Matching Fund subcommittee which helps award grants or makes recommendations to award grants. It’s been a fantastic experience. This last year there was a bump up of $150,000. I think it came from federal funds. I would love to see those funds become permanent on some level. And in addition, I would also love to see if there was some way to partner with private companies to help fund the amazing work that David Keyes’ team has been doing. Are there any creative ways that we can bring people to help make that at least $150,000 permanent if not greater?
Mayor Ed Murray: We can continue to pursue additional federal money. We certainly can explore our growing relationships with the private sector. We’re kind of behind even in our local companies in comparison to other cities. So I think that scenario that you point out, I think there’s some capacity there. The part you’re going to hear me hesitate about is that the City is doing fine coming out of the recession, but the City is actually going to go through a period of cutting, because we’re not doing this great, as revenue never returned to what it was pre-recession levels. So, while we grow, we’re not growing at that same level and we are looking at some marginal cuts over the next several years. While we may do some adds, we’re going to use caution until either Tim Eyman’s one percent cap on our tax authority is lifted or some other revenue source is made available to us.
Chris Lona: We all know that innovation is key, especially in technology. In my experience, a side effect of innovation is change, and I wonder if you have any thoughts on that. Maybe it’s too vague a question, but I think that it’s important to recognize that any time innovation happens it requires change, and sometimes that’s difficult. So, I’m wondering if there’s any change management in place.
Mayor Ed Murray: Well, you know that Seattle is the most conservative liberal place in America. We’re very liberal but we don’t like to change. And when you’re dealing with the public sector, it can be difficult. But I think that if you are able to do different approaches in leadership throughout the City the type of programs you’re developing, if you show individuals that they can actually benefit from it, they’ll be better inclined to learn marginal skills. Work with them, not just scare them. I think you can make that change happen. Obviously, some of the things that are happening in jobs, it’s real important. By doing the coding thing out at Garfield High School with the kids –I’ve never written code until a few months ago; we did it using that movie, Frozen– so those kids were excited. They’re going to be far more adaptable.
Janice Tufte: I appreciate the Mayor bringing up inclusion and gender. I work in the same building as Facebook and I’ve been up there and you’re right. It is the most diverse workforce that I’ve ever seen, but it was 30 men to every woman. And another group that I haven’t heard mentioned is senior citizens. I realize that we teach classes, but we also have a workforce there that could be utilized, possibly, part time and there’s quite a few women there. It’s just something to keep in mind when you think about hiring.
Mayor Ed Murray: That’s a very good point. We’re also working on the pipeline with our universities and community colleges, so that we actually develop those women with the skills that will be hired. It’s going to take several strategies.
Jan Bultmann: I’m with the Seattle Privacy Coalition. I’m also a woman who works in tech. I just want to commend you for all the work you’ve done with regard to privacy this year. I also wanted to make a very strong pitch. I know that Michael is going to talk about this, but a very strong pitch for creating a chief privacy officer role in your administration so that we have one single point of accountability in looking at privacy issues. Looking at how information flows in the City, and looking also at transparency issues. Privacy is a very cutting edge issue and it’s great that Seattle is taking a leadership position. I think this is a great area for us to be in.
Mayor Ed Murray: I appreciate that and we are, because of the Washington State laws, so challenged in trying to manage privacy. The laws are good and we will obey them, but in my opinion, they are far more on the side of almost total transparency, to the point that people have started talking to us about releasing emails in real time. So the current filter that goes on when someone makes a public disclosure request — I have basically since I’ve become Mayor I don’t write emails. It inhibits my ability to be an effective leader, but it also takes a whole level of complication out of it. There is currently a request for every phone call I’ve made on my cell phone, my City cell phone. That includes cell phone numbers of my cabinet officers, the police officers, the parents I’ve contacted when their children have been killed in shootings in the City. We haven’t released it yet, but it is really over the top. I understand that you want to know who the Mayor is calling, but we want to be sure that someone isn’t using my City phone for campaign or to make money on the side. On the other hand, also protect information that really does not belong in the public. So we really really struggle because of state laws and their interpretation of them are so much broader than anywhere else in America. So you make a really good point.
Ben Krokower: I understand that Hillary Clinton has her own server.
Jon Madamba: I’m with the Filipino community of Seattle. First of all, I wanted to thank CTTAB. We were actually funded in 2013 with a $50,000 matching fund grant. And in 2014, we were funded again to expand our program. So with those funds, we started up and now we are in our second year, growing up. We have grown from a community center to another community center. We’ve been entering Bellevue School District, City of Kent, Seattle Public Library, Boys and Girls Club, and YMCA over the last year. As an organization, we are going through the ropes of learning how to build STEM-based programming and other programming on a larger scale. And we have endeavored as a community, to build a $20 million project that builds housing on our community center–about 70 units of housing–and an inter-racial and an innovation learning center that I’m designing that is about $1.2 million. We’re figuring out that money doesn’t come easy with that type of scale, so I would like to know how we can partner with the City. Because it isn’t a 98108. We’re trying to build a multi-cultural center that is providing not just the basic computing skills, but we’re getting into certified drone programs, submersibles, wearables that kids can build and actually market. And we have to make the space and build out at the same time. so the help that we need to go from a small program to a large program is advocacy. I wonder how we can start to partner with a larger scale funding so that we can bring more programs like that to the City of Seattle.
Mayor Ed Murray: Folks here who work with me and for the City of Seattle should be in touch with you and we should talk about where we can assist you in finding help. That would be my recommendation.
Nicole: I would ask what the Mayor would think about support from the private sector. I am interested in regional partnerships. Are there any plans on that front?
Michael Mattmiller: I do keep in very close touch with local business leaders. Our leadership team at DoIT team has regular meetings where we get together and talk about what we’re working on in this department. That’s one of the things that we will be partnering on coming up in the next quarter. As you can imagine, here in the City, we do hear from a number of companies that have solutions that can meet our needs or who want to work with us. But the challenge is how to communicate what we’re struggling with and what we see as the opportunities so that potential vendors can be successful. So Bill and I will be meeting a group of vendors who are interested in working with us so that we can explain the upcoming year and our strategies and where we can partner. We are actually partnering with a number of IT groups from around the region: Sound Transit, King County, and the state. And our hack-a-thon that’s coming up next week. And Bruce is going to talk about that later, but I can’t tell you how excited I am. For those who don’t have anything to do for 48 hours starting next Friday at 5:00 p.m., we’ll be at MAS with 100 developers, program managers, and transit experts to help us envision what that next generation is of transportation apps and visualizations that help us commute more effectively.
Nourisha Wells: We want to thank the Mayor for coming to talk to us. If anyone has additional questions, ask and they will reach out to you.
Mayor Ed Murray: So those of you who work for me, raise your hands. (Hands raised.) Contact them.
Nourisha Wells: We will take public comments now, not related to questions for the Mayor. If there are no public comments, we’re going to move past the break. We will approve the minutes for the February CTTAB meeting.
Minutes approved. Moved to approve by Ben Krokower, second by Beryl Fernandes.
Beryl Fernandes: Madame Chair, could I take this opportunity to commend Cass for taking minutes. We think she’s been doing a fantastic job. And because we don’t ever want you to be handicapped by technological breaks we thought you should have a back up for taking notes. (Presents a pen to Cass.)
Comment: What does it do? (Laughs)
Cass Magnuski: Thank you. Now watch it not write.
Nourisha Wells: We will now turn it over to the CTO.
Michael Mattmiller – Chief Technology Officer Report
Thank you, Nourisha. Thank you for those great questions for the Mayor. He really was looking forward to coming to the CTTAB meeting. I’ll keep my report short just because I know, looking down the agenda, a number of things that I would usually highlight are going to be presented by members of DoIT. I actually took my first vacation last week since coming on board as CTO. Got away for four whole days, and if you can’t tell, this is more redness than tan. Went to Hawaii and it was a little rainy and cold. It was actually warmer in Seattle. It struck me, wherever I went on Maui, including up to the summit of a volcano, you get cell phone coverage. And don’t just get any cell phone coverage, you get LTE. So naturally, I was doing a speed test while there. And at the top of the volcano, it got a little slower. It hit like 11 megabits down. At the hotel, we were getting 25 megabits. So it really struck me how great the broadband is in Hawaii. To counter that, some of the places in Seattle where we don’t have true broadband competition anymore, now that the FCC has declared that 25 megabits down and four megabits up is the definition of broadband. In large parts of the City, you have your choice of fast broadband from Comcast or Wave and then DSL, the phone company, which is the slowest, seven megabits in some parts of the City. A couple of interesting things that came up recently in the news: I’m so proud of CTTAB for your work in providing broadband in the City. Century Link announced the day before last that they have built out their fiber to the premise broadband to 45,000 homes in Seattle. And that includes the neighborhoods of Ballard, West Seattle and Beacon Hill, Delridge and the Central District. And that is now live. And I’ve seen several pictures of Century Link trucks starting their build in what they’re calling Green Lake, but Green Lake seems to stretch down into Ravenna, based on what I’m hearing from folks. They’re also building in the Rainier Valley, and I’m trying to get better clarification as to what specifically that means. Century Link is very committed both in what they told us and where we’re starting to see action in terms of an equitable build of their broadband service here in Seattle.
I also had a chance to talk with Wave today and they’re signing up participants for their pilot project in East Lake. They have committed to build out to 3,000 homes as initial pilot. This is the Internet side of Wave, but they’re calling the product Wave G, so if you see that brand, it’s the Condo Internet people. Of course, I know everyone’s excited, as am I, about our municipal broadband study. We’ve been hard at work with our consultants from CTC Engineering and that work is progressing on schedule. By the end of April, we will have a report that tells us a few things. Number one, what is the City’s ability to effectively deliver a retain broadband service. Number two, what is the cost to both build and operate an ubiquitous WIFI service in the City’. And, three, what might a pilot of a broadband service look like. So stay tuned. I heard from some folks that you’ve received some of our market surveys.
Michael Mattmiller: So 3,000 households in Seattle received a market survey asking questions about what type of broadband service do you have at home today; what price do you pay, how satisfied are you; would you buy a product from the City; how much are you willing to pay; would you be willing to buy something from the City that didn’t include a cable television service. And it is incredible. You figure for a survey’s success is if you get ten percent response. We got twelve, so it’s a very good response. So our consultants are crunching that data now. We’re also doing a small business survey.
I think we have put together a very tremendous hack-a-thon weekend. And when I say, ‘we,’ I mean Bruce’s team and DoIT. Our hack-a-thon manager, Candace Faber helped us last year with our Hack the CD. Our partners in SDOT, Commute Seattle, and the approximately 15 corporate partners who have come in to help us. Microsoft, MAS, and down the list, in addition to regional governments who have partnered with us. Just a couple more things to recap.
Privacy: I’m very excited that City Council did pass our privacy principles. Thank you again to CTTAB and to the Seattle Privacy Coalition for all of your efforts in this area. And again, this is just the first step. We now have a framework by which the City can think about privacy, but next comes the privacy statement that actually documents more formally what our practices are. The educational component, the privacy toolkit, which will tell departments and our staff, here’s the specific steps we want you to take when making privacy decisions and how to think about challenges that come up. As well as the net recommendations for an ongoing privacy program looks like. Do we have a position called chief privacy officer; what are the responsibilities of that position; what is the staff that supports them. And so that’s all part of the decision making that’s coming up through our IDT within the City and our advisory committee, which meets again in April.
One internal IT change that we made recently in the City — for those that are interested in IT infrastructure — the Council yesterday passed a change to the Seattle Municipal Code which gives the Chief Technology Officer authority here in the City. That change empowers the CTO to sign off on data center contracts. This is a bit of minutia in the technical operation of government that we don’t think a lot about. But we ran into a challenge with our next generation data center project. In January, when we had successfully negotiated our first contract with a colocated data center facility, and we realized, well this is in the lease, this is in the services agreement, Seattle Municipal Code doesn’t have an actual authority for someone to be able to sign this contract. New function for City government. So we now have authority for the CTO to sign those contracts. So we were able to sign NGDC contract and going forward, we have a consistent process in the City for that type of purchase.
Nourisha Wells: Does anyone have any questions for our CTO?
Michael Mattmiller: For those who have friends or who might otherwise be interested, we have posted this week two positions: First is a web developer position and that would be on Jeff Beckstrom’s team with our web city web team. Also of high interest is our deputy chief technology officer position. For those who know DoIT well, that position’s been vacant since I came on board last June, and it’s a critical position in the department. We spent the last few months understanding the needs within the department and within the City IT, and we’ve really come together around this vision for a deputy chief technology officer, who is going to help the department of IT and help IT within the City develop the ability to talk with the departments on a business level. So actually having a leader who can say, ‘hey SDOT, we’re going to deliver you a server.’ We don’t want that. We want someone who can sit down and say, we want to understand your strategic objectives; we want to understand where your business is going and how we help enable that technology. We envision the deputy CTO as alternately having a team of what you might call service delivery managers or business relationship managers. So those people who become our liaisons to the business and ensure the delivery of quality services. So that’s something that we’re going to have to stand up over time, but the deputy CTO would be that first step. If you’re interested, it’s posted on seattle.gov/jobs. If you know people who might be a good fit for the role and are looking for challenging new opportunities please pass the link onto them. And anyone who follows me on Twitter, I did tweet the URL yesterday or the day before.
Beryl Fernandes: In addition to posting on seattle.gov, what kind of outreach are you making nationally?
Michael Mattmiller: There are two things that I know we have done for this position. There’s a government opportunity service that we share the opportunities through. We’ve done that for this position. We also leverage services from Linked In to help us advertise the position. I will say that sometimes within the City, we do use professional recruiting firms. We are not doing that this time. And the reason is that we’ve had very good success in filling key roles by posting the positions and using our own networks and working through our communities to generate interest. And I can share that this position was posted on Friday. On Monday morning, we already had 28 applications. Granted, we haven’t reviewed a fifth of those individuals but I can say that I think interest in this position is running quite high.
Sarah Trowbridge: With regard to the feasibility study on municipal broadband, the cable and broadband committees report in April, is there any collaboration that you see with the cable and broadband committee once those are released and those results are available to the public?
Michael Mattmiller: The short answer is yes, absolutely. I don’t know what the results of that are going to say about the feasibility, but what we do know from talking to other communities is that making a decision is not flipping a light switch–to say, ‘Yep, it’s happening. Here’s the day your service gets turned on.’ It really is a slog between the time that feasibility is determined, when a decision is made, and then ultimately when a service would begin. We talked about a community like Chattanooga, which I think we all look at as the bright, shining example of municipal broadband in this country. When Tony and I visited them in November, we heard from the moment that they decided to build municipal broadband they spent the next two years holding more than 600 community meetings to explain why it was important for the city to build out broadband, how it was going to happen, what the benefit is, answering questions about cost and all down the list. Now, I think the world has changed slightly in the past six years since they made that decision to pursue muni broadband so it would be a slightly different conversation in Seattle, but we can start thinking about, potentially we see a path here, how do we start to craft that message, what does the process look like, etc. When do they meet?
Sarah Trowbridge: It’s going to be the last Monday of each month at O’Asian restaurant, March 30. 6:30 to 8:30.
Michael Mattmiller: I’m blocking it out on my calendar now.
David Keyes: There is a list of the committees here. Two that have the times. And we have email lists for all the committees and most all of them have other community volunteers on them.
Hack-the-Commute – Bruce Blood
Bruce Blood: As Michael said, next weekend at Moz, we’re doing Hack-the-Commute. Michael has pretty much gone through what it’s all about: finding innovative solutions using data from multiple sources and getting results. We’re looking for applications, analysis, maps, whatever will help people get around Seattle easier, especially as things remain chaotic in the streets. This has been sponsored by SDOT, DoIT, the Office of Economic Development, and Commute Seattle, on the NGO side. A lot of great sponsorship — Microsoft signed on as the main sponsor, which is great. The good news is that we have 103 people signed up and that’s almost at our capacity. So, if you are interested or if anybody else you know is interested in actually participating, if you show up we’ll probably let you in just to watch, but for actual participation, we could probably go another 10 developers and maybe another five project managers and designers, but that’s going to be about it.
Question: How much is it going to be to enter? Is there a fee?
Bruce Blood: There is no entrance fee. There are also no prizes.
Michael Mattmiller: Microsoft, Amazon, Google and some of our sponsors will be providing free product to attendees. Microsoft has said they’re going to give away As You Compute and other resources, so if you build the next great app, you can run on Azure indefinitely until you start seeing it turn into a montage program, at which point there is no point.
Question: Are there any restrictions with any existing winners from other hack-a-thons? We won a 2012 hack-a-thon.
Bruce Blood: No. There are none. And if you even wanted to take that product that you won with and adapt it, that would be okay as well. It’s got to be about transportation. If you’re interested and want to get involved go to hackthecommute.seattle.gov and get registered. The link is there. I think we’re going to limit it to 120. That’s about as big as the space is.
Michael Mattmiller: At the conclusion of the hack-a-thon Sunday evening, we will have the initial judging round and those teams — I think we’re going selected three teams moving forward — and those three teams will be paired with mentoring with technologists from around the City as well as transportation people, with the expectation that they continue developing their app or their product. And then they will be invited into City Hall for a championship round on April 29 that will be judged by Deputy Mayor Joncas, SDOT director Scott Kubly, and a couple of other people who have not quite confirmed yet but we’re going to get some of the cool technology judges to select the ultimate winner.
David Keyes: Can people come and just listen to the presentations of what was developed?
Michael Mattmiller: Yes. On Sunday.
Bruce Blood: The space is limited, so I reserve the right to bar the door.
Michael Mattmiller: We just got a tidbit of information. Bloomberg News is coming out from New York to be part of the hack-a-thon on Sunday night. So we’re very excited about that.
Beryl Fernandes: Question for Bruce. Is DPD one of the departments that’s involved? I ask that question because we are going through a 2035 planning conference right now, and transportation should be an integral part of it.
Bruce Blood: I do not think they’re directly involved at this point.
Michael Mattmiller: The link with DPD is we’re encouraging the use of data.seattle.gov and they have a number of data sets out there. So this will definitely be available to them.
Bruce Blood: We got data from Washington State, King County, and obviously SDOT. We also have private sector data. If you have any leads on transportation data send it to me or Hack-the-Commute.
Beryl Fernandes: I was thinking not so much of the data that I assume is going to be there, but of people from DPD who have a comprehensive view of the various elements in a comprehensive plan, of which transportation is one.
Bruce Blood: There are certainly people from SDOT but we can certainly look into it.
Nicole: I was wondering about the criteria for judging. Are we looking at lower income people and things of that nature? Is that built into the hack-a-thon?
Bruce Blood: Yes it is. Innovation, creative use of the data, etc.
Nourisha Wells: I have a question about the judges. Do they represent people who are both technical and non-technical?
Bruce Blood: Yes they do. It’s more technical in the first round, but in the second round we’re employing as much diversity as we can.
Joneil Sampana: This is a question for Michael or Bruce. There’s been a lot of curiosity about how to execute a hack-a-thon, not just for a one-time event but also the counseling or the mentorship that goes to the next round in order for a much greater launch. Is this the kind of pattern we can expect for the board and other City run hack-a-thons, or as John said in his initial idea, offering prize money to make an even higher plateau.
Bruce Blood: I would love to see that. This is about the fifth or sixth hack-a-thon that I’ve been involved in and I I like this model a lot. I think there are some real advantages not to have prize money. I would have to talk to Candace about that.
Jon Madamba: Just a comment. We won the hack-a-thon. We then went to build platforms for kids, using that. So there’s a lot of ramifications with regards to not just the idea that you have at the hack-a-thon, but the ideas that come after that. We were able to evolve along the lines. Just think how your idea makes market.
Bruce Blood: My new title is Open Data Manager and one of the big pieces I see is this the first time anybody’s taken and tried to put a catalog of any kind of subject matter in it on a regional basis. We’ll start with transportation. Maybe it’s public safety next. Maybe it’s building and permitting next. I’d really like to see some of those.
Michael Mattmiller: If I can just tack on, Bruce, one of the things that became very clear to us when we set out to do this hack-a-thon is number one, it’s driven by a business theme. SDOT came to us and said we’ve got a problem with transportation. Do you want to help us solve it. A couple of things evolved over the life of it. Number one, before we jumped into a solution or an event, we held a stakeholder meeting with corporations, with other government entities, and it was a tremendous knowledge sharing event which helpedto shape the course. So we want to do more of that. I also can’t say enough about Candace Faber. For those who know her, she has just been a huge asset. Something interesting has happened. We have gotten two calls from the departments saying when is our hack-a-thon? When are you going to help us? Part of that first step is actually having an open data manager for the City. And what Bruce is going to do with his team.
Bruce Blood: I think we’ll have a two hack-a-thons per year limit. It is not a light duty.
Beryl Fernandes: I have a question for Bruce. Is there any effort to bring in some of the people that you’re talking about. You’re talking about equity, you’re talking about low income, and not necessarily to be part of the team, although I think it would be great if they were. But here are developers and these people who are typically not your low-income or vulnerable population representatives, and it’s conjecture up to a point when we say what we think ‘those’ people need. And if we could just bring some of ‘those’ people in to speak for themselves. They don’t have to stay there for the 48 hours, but perhaps they could come for an hour?
Bruce Blood: I’d have to talk to Candace about that. I know there were conversations along those lines. I’m not sure how much it came to fruition.
Dorene Cornwell: Two questions. I always love it when something is accessible out of the box. That would be a fantasy. But the first thing a lot of developers do is just turn off when we talk about accessibility features. I don’t know if I have anything more insightful than that. I just want it to work.
Bruce Blood: I have a feeling that the guy sitting next to me has something to say about that.
Michael Mattmiller: We got a good piece of feedback and if it’s someone in this room and I’m not attributing it to you, I apologize. We got a piece of feedback that said we should make a rule for the hack-a-thon that any solution that gets developed needs to be multi-lingual and be accessible to Spanish users, since that’s a major population in the City. Great idea. When we have 48 hours to get someone to write some code, it might be a little too much to also ask them to be a multi-lingual developer. But point taken. As you think about accessibility and certainly privacy being top-of-mind in the City, we are trying to educate developers about how to make their programs more accessible. Some of you might know Beth Ann Cantrell, who has been very active in privacy and who is a developer at Microsoft. She has actually developed a presentation to help our civic hacking community think of privacy as they develop apps. She’s coming out Friday to review that before it goes out to Seattle and other organizations.
Dorene Cornwell: I think the other point I was going to make was Beryl’s point. I hear Commute Seattle having specific needs around the rush hour. When I think about one way to talk about vulnerable populations just assuming that people — I was in a meeting once with some wonderful folks from Commute Seattle who have no concept that there are people who are completely dependent on the bus. And I know when I was bus commuting sometimes if I had to change buses I would shop for something at the transfer point. But to also think about having those people around who only get around on the bus–that alone would be helpful.
Nourisha Wells: If you need a copy of the position statement on the elimination of cable districts from the cable code or the position statement for low income internet access, we have a few copies up here on the table. We’re going to be discussing and voting on those position statements.
Broadband & Cable Committee Report – Sarah Trowbridge
Sarah Trowbridge: So just a little context: Low income Internet access position statement is up there. The document was drafted as a tool to user providers and people running low income Internet accessibility programs. The document’s starting point for having conversations with Internet service providers and City staff about low income Internet programs. This is the fourth iteration of this document. It was circulated to the board in November, January and February. From the last iteration, we were able to get some feedback from Nancy. Thank you very much for your contributions; and Tony, and that was to clean up some sentence structure and make the document a little bit clearer. And then we also incorporated some feedback from David Keyes and Vicky Yuki that incorporates language to make the program work for under-served populations. At this time, I’d like to get feedback on the document and then, ideally, vote to bring this document forward, recognizing that we’ll get further feedback from community members and Internet service providers once the document is put forth. Did everyone get a chance to read the most recent version of this statement?
Beryl Fernandes: Yes and I thought it was excellent. I thought it was really well put together. I want to commend the Broadband Committee, because it’s taken a lot of work. To see the end product right now, really polished, really finished, it’s the kinds of arguments that are made in there and the summary of all the issues is exactly, I think, what Council wants to take a look at before it makes a decision on anything. It was a pleasure to just read it.
Ben Krokower: The amount and the quality of the work you all have put in is very impressive. Thanks for doing all that.
Sarah Trowbridge: I move that we put forth the low income access position statement.
Moved, seconded and passed. See http://cttab.seattle.gov/2015/03/12/position-statement-low-income-internet-access/
Sarah Trowbridge: Thank you all. Now we’re going to look at the second position statement, which is the elimination of the cable franchise districts, which is part of the cable code revisions. This document highlights our position on the elimination of the cable franchise districts. City staff members, including Tony Perez, have expressed interest in hearing CTTAB’s position and we have an opportunity to provide input on the Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology committee meeting on March 18, which is why I’m bringing up this document now in hopes that we might be able to vote and bring that forward. I would want to go before that committee and read our position statement. In summary, while we support making revisions to the cable code to encourage competition, we request some more bright line rules to ensure that low income neighborhoods don’t get left out of the new cable build out. It’s a general statement but it helps reiterate our concerns about the digital divide and also encourages and provides a framework to ensure that the needs of all the neighborhoods are met. I just want to get anyone’s feedback on the document and hear your comments.
Ben Krokower: I support the statement as is, and if you’re looking for general comments about it, I think there’s a sense that there has been some kind of quid pro quo between Century Link and some of the provisions in rewriting the cable bill. There’s definitely common sense in rewriting, modernizing. Some of the stuff mentioned in the statement about this was part of the agreement with Century Link. And there’s a memo. I didn’t find the memo very easily, so if you could go over it a little bit?
Tony Perez: A lot of the code revisions were basically for updating. About 80 percent of it is rewriting code that hasn’t been updated since the 1970s, so it still required cable operators to provide television signals in color, things like that. So we needed to fix a lot of thing like that and also, over the years, we’ve had pieces of federal legislation that changed some of the regulations. Some of our provisions were in conflict with that, so we had to do that harmonizing. And then we also took a look at what it would take to incent more private investment in cable and get more competition. We did talk to Century Link but I think those discussions taught us what a new entrant would need to get the certainty that would allow them to invest more in Seattle. I think that the changes that we made would attract any new entrant and I hope that there would be other providers beyond Century Link that would take advantage of the changes. We also made sure that whatever we did did not come at the expense of core City values, such as consumer protection, privacy, and other things. So I’m glad CTTAB is taking up the issue of the elimination of the districts. One of the things that we found was that the cable districts were an impediment to competition because it forced a provider to build in an arbitrary franchise district. So if you wanted to serve Capitol Hill and parts of Queen Anne, you virtually had to serve the entire City. One of the things we know is that system has not brought competition to Seattle for many years. We looked at some more flexible approaches where a cable operator could come in and define the area that they want to serve. One of the legitimate concerns with that approach was that in the previous framework that we had, when you had built out a whole district you ensured equity because you had to build out everywhere. So that’s a legitimate concern that when we did away with that framework, we may be leaving some low income populations at a disadvantage. So we’ve worked really hard with the Council to address that issue and I can’t provide the specifics right now because it’s still being drafted, but I think that the board of CTTAB will be very pleased that the safeguards for ensuring service to low income populations will be in place.
Michael Mattmiller: If I could just tack one point onto that: One of the ways with which I completely agree with how it’s framed is that we can affect pricing and we can affect service here in the City without federal regulatory authority through competition. We recognize that competition drives down prices, that competition will cause incumbent providers to step up their games. Some interesting things happen when a competitive entrant comes to the market. Even though we don’t have a competitive entrant yet, Comcast did something interesting in December. They miraculously decided to double everyone’s Internet speed. All of their customers in Seattle. They just woke up and said, hey now, we’re going to double speed for no reason. There was nothing on the landscape to make them think, gee, we should start retaining customers. I think that an important thing to keep in mind is whether every home is served on day one by a competitive provider everyone is going to benefit from the competition. Comcast isn’t just going to improve customer service for the homes where there is a competitive provider. They’re going to improve customer service for everyone in the City. They’re going to improve pricing for everyone in the City. I do think, like Tony pointed out, that once the Council finalizes this new language that Tony has been working very closely with central staff on, that you will be pleased. I think it is important to remember that dual nature that any competition anywhere in the City will help everyone.
Armando Stettner: Special provisions sort of prevent extant City video services to apartment buildings and condos and things like that. I’m wondering if you thought of expanding that anti-protection to data services as well.
Tony Perez: We don’t have the authority, unfortunately, to regulate cable operators data services. But we do have, to the extent that the services are provided over the same network, I think that there’s some indirect if not authority, some influence. And you will see provisions in the new code that bar cable operators from conditioning service to apartment buildings on an agreement for a long-term exclusive contract. So I think indirectly, we’ll be able to influence them.
Armando Stettner: What is it you’re doing in the long term in trying to prevent or inhibit that exclusivity?
Tony Perez: We’ve had situations where a building owner or a condominium association has taken the time and expense to wire their building. And cable operators have said to them, we will serve your building only if you agree to a 15 year exclusive contract. So we’re saying, no, you can’t do that. You can negotiate with the building owner and maybe provide some incentives to them for a longer term deal, but you can’t condition it, especially if they’ve wired their own building. And the call to bring the cable facilities to the building is something that they’ll recoup in about a year, so why should a building owner have to commit to a 15 year term. And also, exclusive service agreements have been rendered unenforceable by FCC rules.
Armando Stettner: Yeah, but for video services specifically. So the MSOs and the cable companies are free to do exclusive deals for data services to condos and apartment buildings.
Tony Perez: Unfortunately, we don’t have that authority. So, I guess the short answer is to the extent that we can influence that indirectly, we will.
Sarah Trowbridge: To move back to the draft position statement, and the core part of it is we haven’t seen the revisions, but if the proposed revisions for the City Council provides guidance on how to ensure digital equity when the franchise districts are removed, then CTTAB expresses its support for the proposed cable code revisions. So that’s the core of the statement that we’re hoping to get passed so that we can have a voice at the March 18 meeting.
Nourisha Wells: Further discussion? No? Let’s have a motion to approve it.
Sarah Trowbridge: I so move.
Jose Vasquez: Second.
Draft Position Statement passes unanimously. See http://cttab.seattle.gov/2015/03/12/position-statement-elimination-of-the-cable-franchise-districts-from-the-cable-code/
Sarah Trowbridge: One final update: With regards to Upgrade Seattle, the community group that’s working to increase support for equitable and accessible Internet in Seattle. Sabrina Roach reached out to ask whether we might be interested in supporting a Town Hall event in June that brings together Christopher Mitchell, who is a national thought leader in municipal broadband projects, and also the director of the Community Broadband Networks at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. And Michael Mattmiller, are you also going to be at that Town Hall meeting as a speaker?
Michael Mattmiller: I am speaking with Sabrina.
Comment: They told me that they’re trying to get Tom Mueller.
Sarah Trowbridge: So It’s going to be a pretty big event in June. Sabrina reached out to see in what ways CTTAB is interested in supporting the event, whether it’s a sponsorship or otherwise. So I just wanted to open up the floor to see if that is something we’re interested in helping to support, and which ways we can volunteer.
Nourisha Wells: We did invite her to speak at the meeting in May, which is the earliest that she could come.
Beryl Fernandes: What would sponsorship entail?
Sarah Trowbridge: That’s a good question. I’m envisioning something similar to the sponsorship that we did for the event with Christopher Mitchell in October. I wasn’t involved in much of that, but I know that we helped to support that. But I think that’s all about what our volunteer capacity is and if anyone has any ideas on ways that we can support the event…
Dana Lewis: Can anyone speak to what our role was with the last one?
Ben Krokower: At the time, there was no Upgrade Seattle. So CTTAB, in conjunction with Brown Paper Tickets, helped organize events with DoIT staff getting some space and some introductory remarks. There was just a lot of organizational help: volunteering. This time, there’s an entity called Upgrade Seattle, of which I am a part and support and worked a lot on recently. So the event would be put in conjunction with Upgrade Seattle, and CTTAB would be in any organizational role that they would want to be. But I think she was also talking about having a member of CTTAB speak, possibly, or be part of the panel. It’s a little bit in flux, but I think in the general sense does CTTAB want to be involved and in what way.
Joneil Sampana: Is the City of Seattle somehow sponsoring this event?
Michael Mattmiller: The City of Seattle is not sponsoring this event. Should it work out that I’m able to take part, I would be speaking for the City.
Beryl Fernandes: Who pays for the room or does that come free?
Nourisha Wells: I think what we should do is loop back with her and get information that we can send out to CTTAB. Something we can post on the blog and then the board can weigh in on how we want to be involved. Then we can certainly loop back with her to tell her what we’re thinking and get her ideas of what she’s thinking. As I said, she will be presenting at the May meeting.
Michael Spindler: Is there a guidebook that says what we can and cannot do?
Nourisha Wells: It’s kind of just up to our volunteer board. That’s really how we decide whether we want to be involved. And anyone is welcome to just participate as a private community member.
Michael Spindler: It could be as little as lending our name to it.
Michael Mattmiller: I have one thing to share. Sarah, I thank you for chairing and all your leadership with this committee. I want to throw an idea out there, which the committee can decide to do as they like. With the conversation around municipal broadband, one of the big challenges I have in going to meetings around the City and talking to the community is why do we need a gig? Why do we need 100 megabits. What is the big deal that we need this technology? Checking my work emails at home and the DSL is working just fine. I think it’s a really wonderful thing that Upgrade Seattle is having a dialogue and a conversation around the ownership of the municipal system. The bigger question that I would love some of the groups in the City to start thinking about — might be CTTAB, might be Upgrade Seattle — is why do we need the capacity? Why is it that fiber to the premise, gigabit broadband is where we need to be focused? And I think we can all agree that there’s economic development benefit; we know that broadband or gigabit speed itself is the next generation, that next great idea that’s going to take advantage of the capacity may not exist yet, but we can’t wait until the idea exists to enable the capacity because then we have already lost that game and that person decided to go to Portland and build their app using Google Fiber. I would love some ideas of how we tell that story about why we need the gig and make that part of the impetus for what we’re doing. Upgrade Seattle has a prospectus and we’re studying that in the City. But whether it’s Century Link or Comcast that’s going to upgrade the system — however we deliver it — helping people see what that gig can do for us. That’s the big challenge I’m having right now and I’d love your advisement on how we build that excitement.
Sarah Trowbridge: Thank you. We’ll discuss it in the committee.
Privacy Committee Report – Beryl Fernandes
Beryl Fernandes: Last month, I reported that Justice Mary Yu’s office had asked to reschedule the Privacy Symposium from March 26 to a date yet to be determined. I have since heard from her office, and she has asked to withdraw at this point because there are privacy cases that are making their way up to the Supreme Court right now. And she is hearing them. In fact, just last week, she was quoted in the paper on the privacy case that was before her. So she sent a very nice note that said that as much as she would really like to, she must withdraw. So with that off the table, we as a Privacy Committee as well as CTTAB have to decide what it is we want to do. My thought is to pull way back, and my thought was to send an email out to CTTAB members as well as people on the privacy list and ask for suggestions. But I don’t want to leave it open. I’m going to ask for each suggestion, tell me whether you are willing personally to work on it, how much you’re willing to put into it and what resources are necessary. Because as soon as we do that, then we narrow the focus. So, I’ll ask you, does that sound like a reasonable way to proceed at this point, rather than discussing. If you have specifics, throw them out.
Nourisha Wells: I think that sounds like a reasonable approach.
Beryl Fernandes: Okay, I’ll go ahead and do that. And as a follow up and related, is the vote on the privacy principles. Since I have to leave early, I’m just going to say what I’d like. For myself, I’m going to abstain from voting on it, for two reasons. One, it is past the deadline when it would make any difference to the Council. The decision and approval by the Council has occurred already. There’s nothing we can do to influence it. From my perspective, I don’t see what the objective is in doing it at this point. Secondly, I think that language that says to refer to the Council’s vote and the date. Because right now, it’s wide open and anybody who reads it and looking to the future, somebody who reads it later will think that it is an upcoming vote, whereas it has already been done.
e-Gov Report – Joneil Sampana
Joneil Sampana: This e-Gov committee is needed for different approaches to help refine and promote ideal technology transfer to help citizens and City agencies. Last month we met and discussed a very easy way to get started with this concept. Luckily, we have a great example and that really is the hack-a-thon. We’re building up momentum. We’re getting all the great partners together on the data, on ideas, in the issues space. And they’re creating a launch pad for mentorship who are a subset of those leaders. What we want to do is while we have that campaign going on right now, there are other campaigns that are happening within the City wherein we can use that same type of strategy moving forward. So our next step is to reach out to other citizen network leaders such as SoDaPOP, Corporate Seattle, as well as Ken Schwaber. He’s been working with us so we don’t lose sight of these strategic best practices, and reach out to corporate partners, so as we move forward, we will have this working model on scale. We will be reaching out to each organization and invite them to participate on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 320 Westlake.
Privacy Initiative Advisory Committee report – Ben Krokower
Ben Krokower: Earlier this year, the Mayor convened a Privacy Advisory Committee composed of people from the community: lawyers, academics, a member of CTTAB, steeped in privacy issues and convened in order to develop a set of privacy principles that can be used as the core of this set of actionable, operational guidelines for driving how the City handles privacy. The first task was to provide input into a set of privacy principles that were first drafted by an inter-departmental team. We gave our input. They came back to us and we gave more input and then they drafted — I hope that everyone has read it or has a copy of it — a set of privacy principles that was delivered to City Council and unanimously passed on February 21. So Beryl brought up a good point. Why should CTTAB support it if it has already been voted on, and the answer is that there’s going to be a whole lot of work and tools being built based upon these principles. I think that it would make a statement that we support he work going forward and also it would help to inform the makers of these principles that they have the support of this board and community.
See the Privacy Principles resolution handout
I can go over the six governing principles. You can read the details on your own. The principles are:
- We value your privacy.
- We collect and keep only what we need.
- How we use your information. When possible, we make available information about the ways we use your personal information at the time we collect it.
- We are accountable.
- How we share your information.
- Accuracy is important.
Actual implementation comes next. There’s going to be a privacy statement that comes out that goes more into what these principles mean and what to put into action. I’ll be keeping the board up to date when that statement comes out. In the meantime, I’m asking for votes for these principles. I don’t know if you want any discussion about it or about the process.
Dana Lewis: I would just second Beryl’s comment. I think it’s good to clarify that we’re voting in support afterwards. We’re just kind of endorsing it versus voting as if this is going to make a difference in the overall process.
Ben Krokower: I sent around a motion that was very short. It says ‘I support the City of Seattle privacy principles as unanimously supported by the Seattle City Council on February 23, 2015.’
Nancy Sherman: Have the policies on handling printed copies of data, have the people who have access to data, have they been trained in concepts of privacy? And I’m saying that as someone who has worked as a temp clerk in one of our major medical centers here and discovered that I had access to the entire patient record when I was only supposed to be checking for their insurance. This was many years ago. I know that most breaches happen day to day when clerks are accessing the system or printing something and throwing it in the trash instead of using the shredder. It’s people who don’t get what they’re doing that I’m worried about.
Michael Mattmiller: The short answer is we are not as mature as we need to be in the City today, which is why we are so focused on getting the privacy initiative right. The privacy principles are that first step. Now, we’re starting to build out underneath them. In terms of what is in place in the City today, much like we have a set approach to privacy in our country, within the City, we have more maturity around regulating types of data. We do have departments that protect under HIPPA. They have requirements and they train under those requirements. We have some data that’s protected under what’s called the criminal justice information systems. There’s a lot of training and effort there. But we do have room to create that training, to create those policies more universally.
Nourisha Wells: So, Ben can you repeat that motion?
Ben Krokower: Sure. “CTTAB supports the City of Seattle privacy principles as unanimously supported by the Seattle City Council on February 23, 2015.”
Privacy Principles Motion Passes – 8 vote yes with Beryl Abstaining
Seattle Channel Diversity Report – John Giamberso
John Giamberso: I make this report twice a year to CTTAB and it’s a report on how diverse the channel is. The Seattle Channel is the City’s government cable television channel and web site. We cover civics, culture and community. We also cover the Council meetings lives and Mayor’s press conferences live. If you want to find out who the new deputy police chiefs are, tune in tomorrow. They will be on the Seattle Channel. One of our mandates is to consider race and under-served communities in our programming. And the Channel’s method to see how we achieve that objective, is basically to collect statistics twice a year. This is going to be the annual report for 2014, from January to December.
The way we track diversity in the Channel is in a couple of ways. Every producer of the show reports up about the people who are on the show, how many people of color and also how many topics. That goes to our operations manager, who compiles the statistics and then creates this report. The report is on the blog. There are a couple of hard copies here, too, but I’ll walk you through some of it.
What we do is we have the total number of shows and then we figure out the content. So, for a show like Art Zone with Nancy Guppy, which I highly recommend, which covers the local arts in the City, in 2014, there were 31 total shows that we did. Thirteen of those shows had content that was relevant to people of color and that resulted in a 42 percentage. For on camera, there were 17 people on camera out of those 31 shows. Our target for this is to meet or to exceed the demographics of the City. According to the last census, 2010, there were 33.7 percent people of color in the City. So many of our shows are above. Some of our shows are below. But if you average across all of our shows, we meet or exceed that benchmark for diversity.
Joneil Sampana: Just putting out one example, when you said for Art Zone with Nancy Guppy, what is an actual example of content that reflects the needs of under-served communities?
John Giamberso: Well, for instance, Art Zone did a show about Langston Hughes and how it’s renovated and the types of programming it did, and how it was also focused on the needs of the under-served. It is an interesting judgment call. That’s why we have two sets. We have the producers bringing it up to our operations manager and he reviews it and then I do a final review. Is this content relevant to people of color? Art Zone is basically the trickier one. We do gavel to gavel shows of authors and politicians who come to town and it’s easier to tease out from that content that people of color would be interested in this. For Community Stories, we’ve done shows on our totem that the Native Americans constructed, about after the killing of the Native American, obviously. I think probably most of the time it’s a slam dunk, and about ten percent which is questionable. We try to be conservative. If it really doesn’t resonate with us as something that’s a topic that is important to people of color then we don’t count it. Also the Seattle Voices host is Eric Liu, who is a person of color, but we don’t count him as a person of color on camera. Kind of arbitrary, but he’s the host and that would skew the numbers.
It’s really for us to track. I also included 2013 to compare, so we can go back and look and see if there are some shows that we feel are not doing as well, we can talk to the producers and just alert them to refocus to make sure that we have that diversity. In 2013, we talked to Nancy Pearl, who is kind of at the mercy of the publishers, because the authors come by and she interviews them. So she doesn’t always get to select them. But after talking to her, in 2014 she made an effort to reach out to local writers of color and her percentages went up.
So this is actually a very good internal tool to keep us on track. I should also mention that Seattle funds the Community Media Channel 77 that provides free television production resources and a cable channel. That also is another way that the City encourages diversity on cable channels.
Nourisha Wells: Next we will hear from David Keyes on the Comp Plan.
Comprehensive Plan and Technology – David Keyes
David Keyes: On one of the handouts there, on the back of the agenda, I put a little background on the City’s Comprehensive Plan.
In the Comprehensive Plan, there is a whole number of sections on land use, transportation, housing, arts and culture, environment, shoreline management, parks and open space, and there is also a couple categories — one for economic development, and one for utilities. And in the past, the cable rights of way, zoning for things big picture like the telecom cabinets and things–that big picture policy stuff was in the economic development section. What’s going to happen now is they have moved some of that from economic development into utilities. So they’re seeing communications as a utility. There is in a sense, two aspects of that. One is City communications networks, the City fiber, and where does that go. Maybe that hits where there is a new park built or a new community center. What happens in terms of management of the rights of way. How many times does it get dug up, those kinds of big picture things. And then there is the aspect of private providers. So that’s the stringing of the cables by Century Link, by Comcast, and so on. There’s a small section in that.
In the economic development section, there are things about encouraging start ups, encouraging businesses to locate, workforce training. That’s an aspect where looking at that in terms of promoting diverse folks to get into jobs. Might be an aspect to look at from your lens, coming from the tech advisory board.
The main question is, is that something that you guys want to look at? How do you want to handle it? I can send you more of the materials and am happy to give you a little more briefing.
Sarah Trowbridge: I would definitely want to look at it.
Ben Krokower: I am feeling overwhelmed. Yes, I think we should look at it.
David Keyes: This is the first year I think we’ve been more actively engaged, so it’s been a learning experience for me as well.
Nourisha Wells: I was reading about this urban village strategy and how it played out in Ballard and then didn’t have the same results in say, the CD or communities where there was more diversity. So is this a continuation of that plan or or is it being revisioned so that we don’t see the same results as we have currently?
David Keyes: This definitely includes that big picture take on the urban villages strategy, so yes it’s an opportunity to fix some of that.
Ben Krokower: I read Peter Steinbrueck’s results on the urban villages, and investments went here, and no investments went there. It was pretty stark.
David Keyes: I think it’s posted on the Department of Planning and Development web site.
John Giamberso: If you look on Peter Steinbrueck’s web site, I think it’s posted there.
David Keyes: There’s definitely an effort in this report, in this Comprehensive Plan, that there hasn’t been in the past, to both have a definition and attention to marginalized or under-served populations, to communities of color. There’s some language that’s being incorporated to set goals. The City should be looking at equitable development. As we think about do broadband and tech jobs go to Lake City or South Lake Union or the International District or right next to the Filipino Community Center, then those are the kinds of things that need to having strong language in the Comprehensive Plan will at least provide a strong foundation to then guide other things. It’s a place where we could get in language about broadband. We could say that here is a benefit. We’re asking for these public benefits because the Comp Plan also calls for this.
Nourisha Wells: I think I agree with everyone that we definitely want to be involved. I don’t know what that means exactly.
David Keyes: There are two ways of doing it. I could send out some more background materials you could look at. There are about three or four pages that are the utility section. The economic development section is about the same. I’ll send that out. The overall draft right now is 136 pages. I don’t think the entire draft is up there yet. I know it’s been released to the Planning Commission, so it is in some sense a public document. City staff are still providing revisions, so there may be some changes between version four and what actually comes out for the final.
There’s not a lot on digital engagement right now. There is a section on community well-being, which they may change title of. There’s a growing Seattle title. So there are opportunities like that. Some of the Comp Plan stuff comes from land use planners, comes from folks that don’t normally think about the opportunities for digital engagement, think about what broadband might mean, think about digital literacy. That’s why I think you guys have an opportunity to provide some really valuable guidance for that. It may also be why I think meeting with the Planning Commission to help find some of that common language together would be helpful.
Dorene Cornwell: I think Beryl would be all over this. I know in the U District right now there are conversations that have to do with transit oriented development and the size of buildings, and portable housing, and if you are involved with the U District, what are the places you can have influence. I spent a wild Saturday night listening to City Council hearings about one topic and I can see why people were upset. So can we frame it in a way that people have an in, because all of this is going to evolve. In the 2035 plan, there is how do you get from here to there.
David Keyes: What might also serve you is to look at the sections and say, here are some concepts around technology without getting into the weeds of the current language. And say here are some concepts around technology that we think should be applied to big pictures when looking at housing and things like that. I’ll send that around.
Nourisha Wells: Thank you for being here tonight and for your patience.
Minh Duc Nguyen: I’m with Helping Link, a nonprofit serving the refugee and immigrant Vietnamese community in the Little Saigon. And I want to thank CTTAB for all the work that you do. This is my first meeting, but you guys funded a number of projects, so I really appreciate it. Technology is dominant in our lives but you still think of the basics for the folks that you know don’t have the basic foundations, and also with the language barriers, so please continue to keep that in mind. We have a computer lab through CTTAB and we’d love for you to come and visit. Most of the folks there are learning how to use the web, how to turn on the computer. So please keep those people in mind when you make these decisions.
Meeting Adjourned at 8:00 p.m.