City of Seattle Community Technology Advisory Board (CTAB) May 12 Minutes
Topics covered included: a report by Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller, introduction of Kendee Yamaguchi as the new Director of Digital Engagement, Technology Matching Fund (TMF) project recommendations and vote, presentation of Upgrade Seattle’s Campaign for Equitable Internet by Sabrina Roach, Public Comments and Committee updates from: Cable and Broadband, Privacy Advisory, Privacy, Digital Inclusion and E-Gov.
This meeting was held: May 12. 2015; 6:00-8:00, Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2750
Podcasts available at: http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/CTTAB/podcast/cttab.xml
Board Members: Nourisha Wells, Beryl Fernandes, Jose Vasquez, Joneil Sampana, Karia Wong, Amy Hirotaka (by phone), Ben Krokower
Public: Daniel Stiefel, Dorene Cornwell, Henok Kidane, Ann Summy (Code for Seattle), Lloyd Douglas (Cascade Neighborhood), Kyli Rolf (Sound View Strategies), Alan Yeung (Adaptancy), Karen Toering (Upgrade Seattle), Inye Nokoma (Upgrade Seattle), Sabrina Roach (Upgrade Seattle), Jason Kwok (Code 4c), Nancy Sherman, Seth Vincent (Code for Seattle), Luke Swart, Dashiell Milliman-Jarvis, Kevin O’Boyle, John Tigue, Greta
Staff: Michael Mattmiller, Kendee Yamaguchi, David Keyes, Delia Burke, Derrick Hall, Cass Magnuski
31 In Attendance
Meeting was called to order by Nourisha Wells.
Nourisha Wells: Just a reminder that when you speak or make a comment throughout the meeting, please say your name first for the minutes because it is public record. We made a few changes to the agenda. We will be moving the notice to review Comprehensive Plan, and approval of the minutes, and public comment to after the break to accommodate some of the speakers. With that, we are going to the introduction of Kendee, our new Digital Engagement director.
Introduction of new Digital Engagement Director Kendee Yamaguchi
Kendee Yamaguchi: I feel like I already did a pre-introduction. I don’t know what more to add except to condense your agenda for the evening. I just want to thank you for the opportunity to say hello today. I’m really looking forward to working with many of you. Some of you I have worked with in other capacities. For those of you I haven’t had the chance to work with, I’m really looking forward to hearing some of your recommendations and thoughts on how we can move the City forward around a lot of the issues that I know you’re very passionate about as well. A little bit about my personal background: I’m a fourth generation Seattleite. I was raised here in the area. I did a few stints of college on the east coast, and worked in California. I’ve worked on the federal level in the federal government on some engagement with communities, very diverse populations, which crossed over to a lot of policy areas. I’ve worked in state government, in particular with some outreach to diverse populations, and on some policy issues involving broadband, community tech, as well as investment in our communities. So I’m really looking forward to being back in the Seattle area and working with many of you. I had a chance to reconnect with some people I knew, and heard about some of the great work that you were doing. I had a chance to look at — is it called ‘Too Much Fun?’–TMF (Tech Matching Fund) and I have to say that a lot of hours of your hard work, also scanning through a lot of the projects, and the hard decision that you had to make for our City, I know our resources are in good hands. So, I want to thank you on behalf of the City. So feel free to reach out, grab a coffee or anything.
Beryl Fernandes: Can I ask a question? Which projects will you be working on right away? I know things will change.
Kendee Yamaguchi: There are so many. I don’t know where to begin. Obviously, one of the things first and foremost are moving forward a lot of the recommendations that the “Too Much Fun” committee was working on for the Chief Technology Officer, as well as the Council. I think that’s one of our priorities. There’s a lot of committee work that I’ve been updated on that I’m really looking forward to seeing how we can help support a lot of the committees, a lot of our community members and their priorities. I’d say one of the first and foremost priorities is our Digital Equity Initiative. And we will be moving forward over the next few months on an action plan integrating a lot of the feedback from our communities, That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but if I had to highlight the next 24 hours, a few things that we’re working on, that might be some of the first. Not to say that other priorities are not significant or unimportant, but that’s just what comes to the top of my mind.
Chief Technology Officer Update
Michael Mattmiller: And if I could just add onto that, first and foremost, we’re so excited to have Kendee in this role. I know it’s been some time while we had John Giamberso serving as interim–and John was great–but we definitely took our time and found the right candidate for this very important role that I know is near and dear to CTAB. But when we think about the reorganization we had at DoIT back in January that I had an opportunity to speak with you about, we talked a little bit about creating this new group called Digital Engagement, what we formerly called the Office of Electronic Communications. And we said that the name change is important because we recognize that across the components within that portfolio–the Seattle Channel, the Web Team, Community Technology, Cable Communications–that we have an opportunity as a City to put these parts together in a way that’s even greater than the sum, and really tell a story and provide a service across the City about bringing the public into their government in a way that we never thought about doing before. So I’m so excited and think that Kendee is the absolutely right person to lead it.
It’s great to be with you this month. There are a few really exciting things happening that I wanted to update you on. The first is consolidation. Within the City yesterday, Mayor Murray announced that we are going to change the way that we deliver information technology services. We are going to be consolidating the Information Technology (IT) professional from across the 15 executive branch departments that have IT resources into one big department called the Seattle Information Technology Department, or Seattle IT, for short. That means that DoIT, as we all know and love it, is going to go away, but that’s not a bad thing. It means that we are going to have an even greater opportunity to come together to work as one team across the City, and increase our capacity for delivering technology solutions, which we know underpin everything we want to achieve as a City moving forward. So it’s exciting. I had the opportunity yesterday to lead three town hall meetings with the IT professionals who are in scope for the consolidation. That’s about 675 staff. And as you can imagine, there’s a lot of excitement, there’s a lot of questions, and we don’t have all the answers today. We expect this new department will become effective on April 6 of 2016, which gives us about eleven months to begin engaging the staff, working through some of the plans for how it is we will create this new department culture, for how we will bring teams together who are working on similar types of functions or service delivery. And really, we’re going to take a deliberative amount of time to get there. We’re aiming at consolidation taking through 2018 to put all the different teams together. We very much want to focus on getting this right. I’m very thankful to have the support of the Mayor as well as City Council as we move this forward. So I expect to have more updates for you as we go.
Joneil Sampana: Do you expect to have any kind of terminations?
Michael Mattmiller: Thank you for the question. No. No layoffs are expected. No layoffs are part of this transition. This is about creating capacity from the resources we have. When we think about the City, we know this is a growing City–the nation’s fastest growing City, 120,000 new people in 20 years–but the flip side of that is that we have a structural gap in our revenue. We know that the tax base is not going to increase proportionately with that new population growth. So we do have to find ways of doing more with our existing resources, which is why we want to keep the people we have and just work to create that additional capacity through consolidation.
Beryl Fernandes: That’s a huge accomplishment because we’ve been talking about it for years–the need to consolidate. So to get to this point is fantastic. Congratulations.
Michael Mattmiller: Well, thank you. I’m very thankful for all of the support of our IT professionals, as well as the Mayor and the Council. I’d like to say we’re going to get there and it will be smooth sailing and a perfect ride, but that’s not true. But we’re going to do our best to make this transition work.
A couple of other things going on. We did have our final Privacy Advisory Committee Meeting, which I know Ben is going to talk a little bit about later. I am very thankful to everyone who has devoted time to those efforts. I know that a number of folks in this room were guest attendees throughout that process. We are on track right now on developing our Privacy Statement and our Privacy Toolkit, and expect to have those wrapped up this summer. I had an opportunity to get caught up on the Technology Matching Fund program, and I just have to say a huge thank you to Jose Vasquez and everyone who served on the ‘Too Much Fun’ committee, as well as our staff–David Keyes, Delia Burke, Vicky Yuki. I am told that there were many late nights, and when I heard of some of the grant recipients, I was just thrilled. This was an incredible class of applicants. I know that it was not easy to filter down from the 64 applicants to the ones that we are going to put forth tonight, and then to the City Council. But when I read through the anticipated use of this grant funding, I just think about what an amazing opportunity to move the City forward.
A couple of quick updates. I know that some of you had the opportunity to come to our Hack the Commute Championship Round two weeks ago at City Hall. What an amazing process. For those who weren’t aware, the 120 participants who had come together at our transportation themed Hack-a-Thon, produced 14 amazing solutions, including our winner, Hackcessible, which helps those with mobility challenges to navigate our streets downtown. I’m so thrilled to share–if you haven’t heard already–that we have been invited to attend the next Global Cities Challenge in Washington, D.C., on June 1, to highlight the process through which we brought the community into our City through our open data platforms, as well as highlight the winner. The next Global Cities Challenge is a partnership between the Department of Commerce and US Ignite to find sustainable smart cities types of initiatives. We’re going to be the one open data/hack-a-thon type model they feature as well as a really great example of how tech can help us with accessibility.
Last thing that I know is top of mind for everyone in this group, which is broadband–and I get a feeling we’re going to be hearing more about broadband shortly–we are continuing to press forward on our Municipal Broadband study. So to recap, the Mayor has this policy commitment to ensure that everyone has access to equal, affordable, competitive broadband options that approach gigabit standard. We’re working to get there through reducing regulatory barriers, encouraging public/private partnerships, and only if those two options fail, thinking about our ability to being a municipal broadband provider. I know that we were hoping to have the study completed last month. We’ve been working very diligently back and forth with our consultant to finally get that in good shape, so we look forward to having that ready to share, hopefully by the end of this month. So stay tuned for more updates.
Nourisha Wells: Is that it? Any questions? No. Okay, next we’ll hear from Sabrina Roach and the Upgrade Seattle campaign for equitable Internet.
Upgrade Seattle Campaign for Equitable Internet
Inye Nokoma: I live in the Central District, except for several years, I lived out of town.
Karen Toering: I live in the Seward Park-Rainier Beach area of Seattle and I’ve lived here for about 15 years.
Sabrina Roach: I’m Sabrina Roach and I live just north of Rainier Beach. I’d like for Inye to start off talking about Upgrade Seattle.
Inye Nokoma: I’m sure folks here are relatively familiar, but we are a group of community members that are very invested in the idea of community broadband. We’re not technology experts. We’re not broadband experts, but we are embarking on this effort to make sure that our community from North Seattle to South Seattle has equitable high speed broadband access. The key phrase in there is ‘equitable.,’ which covers a broad range of things from price to access and how people get it and what their options are. Our goal right now is really to make sure that folks in the community understand that this is an option that folks are looking at, that it is an option that has worked in other places on various scales, and that there is an opportunity for folks to be educated about it to to have a voice in talking to the City about this as a viable option.
Karen Toering: We are basically a grassroots campaign to educate the City, neighborhood by neighborhood, that a committee of the willing to together learn as much as we can about the promise and the pitfalls of publicly owned and operated municipal broadband, which might be a little bit different from the earlier statement that Michael Mattmiller made. We want the City to put the option out there to actually build and manage its own broadband system, which is a little different. We’ve committed ourselves to just learning more about the opportunities and the possibilities and basically go district by district and neighborhood by neighborhood and do study sessions and learn as much as we can and basically build public support of those who are interested. We ask the Mayor and the City Council to bring this option forward along with the other options.
Sabrina Roach: Weekly, our role in this is furthering that conversation at the all City level, at the neighborhood and new district level, and identity affinity group, so that’s going to criss cross the City. So far, we’ve been taking our questions to the candidate forums, and so far, unanimous support of all the new candidates for municipal broadband, except for one, Alex Zimmerman, who is an at-large candidate. We will be at the District Three forum tonight. I think we really have a common purpose with CTAB in that this is all about increasing the dialog about digital equity and encourage people to be engaged with the City, thinking about our utilities, our technology and the needs that we have. We’ve got a couple study sessions coming up, May 29.
Karen Toering: Are there questions for the group? Because we don’t have a lot of time.
Beryl Fernandes: I have a comment. We have this precedent in the City for forming a utility. The Seattle Public Utilities was formed — it is so impressive — at a grassroots level from the ground up to have something like this get to this point. There is one thing I would ask that you insert into your proposal, is some tracking and monitoring of performance if and when this utility forms, so that we don’t have runaway costs. We should have benefits and costs set up at the front end rather than later. We can talk later about it. I think we can learn from how it hasn’t been done.
Sabrina Roach: That’s a good point. We’ll be presenting tomorrow at 9:30 in Council Chambers to the Energy Committee. If you want to hear it, it will be on the Seattle Channel.
Alan Yeung: Have you been looking at the City of Tacoma and how they have two situations. One is the Click Network and they have service providers that provide the customers service. I used to live in Tacoma and found that service was affordable. I don’t know what they pay in terms of not only installation but decade long maintenance costs.
Sabrina Roach: Yes.
Karen Toering: We’re trying to learn as much as we can and so we’ve talked to people across the country and in our own backyards about what’s possible, what success looks like, and again it’s kind of like a peoples’ campaign. We feel like we live here and we’re smart enough and if there are other people in the neighborhoods across the City who want to learn more and want to build a shared analysis with us and want to take this political will to the City Council–in the end the deciders–then let’s do it like that.
Joneil Sampana: I love the fact that you’re reaching out to different locations strategically. Can you share with me what the format of the study sessions look like?
Karen Toering: Well, we have just sort of a rough outline. I think our first one is really going to be a stumbles road. Because also, just in terms of how you organize and how you build analysis and how you build power, we don’t want to leave out any models of how people learn and take in information. Some people are visual learners. Some people need to see it on paper. So we want to be flexible, but we think that it will basically be a review of the information that we’ve come up with to date, question and answer and small group discussion about what works in peoples’ neighborhoods. Bring that all back together, review the results, compile them and move on to the next thing.
Inye Nokoma: The outline that we came up with was, just to start off, what is municipal broadband, just so the people who come to the meeting have a baseline, a common understanding of what we’re talking about. And then there is an opportunity for folks to talk about how and why are you here at the meeting, and why is this a priority. And then we’re looking at where has this been tried before, and looking at places where it has succeeded and where it hasn’t succeeded. So people have an understanding of what the pros and cons are. The stumble through is that we’ll be learning as we go how the community learns about this, and what is it that we actually need to know. We don’t want to make any presumptions up front that this is what folks need to know about this issue. There’s a lot of information out there, probably more information than any one person can digest and then translate to anyone else. It really is about figuring out what information is needed and what folks’ priorities are.
Comment: I think last meeting we had someone come in from Century Link and talk about low income, basically high speed low income Internet options, and trying to implement certain parts of the City. If you’re talking about Internet as a municipal utility. If they find that the Century Link option of low price, relatively high speed Internet, would you stand with that or would you push for pure City ownership.
Sabrina Roach: Since we only have a minute left, I think we would all be happy to talk with you about that kind of thing afterwards, if that’s cool. I wanted to say that what is super exciting about the study sessions is that I think we’re going to identify a lot of the not-so-usual suspects, folks who are into this, and we can help support them in their growing leadership and give them more of a platform. I’m just so excited about it, from a digital equity leadership development standpoint. And I think we win, no matter what, with this bigger discussion about these needs. So, dates real quick: May 28, Rainier Valley Cultural Center; June 4, Central District, 18th and Yesler at the Washington Can offices; and June 18, Town Hall Seattle on the lower level. That’s with Christopher Mitchell. There will be break out sessions where we will be organizing by district.
Jose Vasquez: Do you have a web site?
Sabrina Roach: http://www.upgradeseattle.com/
Jose Vasquez: Last question: Will you be participating in the Digital Equity initiative town halls?
Karen Toering: I think I’m going to attend the one on Thursday.
Jose Vasquez: May 11, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
David Keyes: That was last night. Sabrina and Inye participated.
Jose Vasquez: So the next one is tomorrow.
Nourisha Wells: I have one last question. What is your ask for us?
Sabrina Roach: Well, it depends on whether you want to come out and sponsor an advocacy event. I don’t have any expectation that you’ll want to come out and on record support the campaign before the report is studied. I think you’re allowed to, if you want to. You’re welcome if you want to come and help work with us on things. Getting your help just getting the word out about these events would be great, and again, a real good spin on the study sessions with some of your goals with CTAB.
Beryl Fernandes: One last question. Do you have any financial support from the City for your efforts, in the way of consulting? I ask that question because — and I was involved in the formation of the first drainage utility and then the Seattle Public Utilities — and we asked the City for consulting help because we were doing all the technical work ourselves and it just got to the point where it was overwhelming. I don’t want to say we got the … there was a consultant assigned to that whole project. It was for the water department and the drainage department.
Karen Toering: We haven’t asked for public support.
Beryl Fernandes: That was a possibility a very long time ago.
Sabrina Roach: You could probably see the report that Michael Mattmiller commissioned as the City spending money on vigorously exploring what the options are. But I guess we didn’t fully impress upon you how excited folks are about this and how much support has been showing up. But folks have been offering resources from research firms, which is really fun, because we want to see some infographics. We want to have a party where we pass out white paper.
Karen Toering: We have gotten support from some unusual places: the Seattle Times editorial board coming out and kind of supporting it in the only way that an editorial board can. Or people just showing up and signing on. We do believe that there is public interest and the idea of a publicly owned and operated broadband solution.
Sabrina Roach: We really appreciate how strongly President Obama came out for it back in February, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman gave some really great support in their speeches.
Nourisha Wells: Thank you guys. We’re going to move now to the Technology Matching Fund (TMF).
David Keyes: I think we have been joined by Amy Hirotaka on the phone. She was in transit in California.
Report and Vote on the 2015 Technology Matching Fund (TMF) grants
Jose Vasquez: Right. Too much fun. First I want to recognize the other committee members that were part of this process. I’m relatively new to this committee, so I’ve learned a lot. Ben; Sarah, who is not here; Joneil; some committee members. Those of you who have participated in the committee, would you raise your hand? Thank you. I just want to recognize you. I don’t want to take all the credit because I had very little to do with this. And also staff. I learned a lot from all these different community projects and it was a really enjoyable experience getting to see all these great proposals about all this great work that’s being done in the community. And I feel like, as a board, this is really empowering to what we’re doing, building capacity in the community. Being able to address in communities that normally don’t get access to technology. So, we have the official recommendation list here. It’s not final yet. It has to get approved first by the board, then it gets approved by City Council and the Mayor. [Staff clarification: this legislation comes from the Mayor to the City Council and back to the Mayor for final signature.] There are some things that just came up, some concerns. So, if anybody has any additional feedback, feel free to contact me. I’m sure there are still ways that we can address them. I’m not saying modify the recommendations, because I think the board has spent a lot of hours reviewing all of the applications, ranking them, and recommending. It was a really tough decision narrowing it down to 22 out of a total of 64. It’s not always easy being the judge of who gets funding and who doesn’t. So kudos to the committee for helping with this.
We’re hoping to invest $470,000 this year, which is more than we’ve done in previous years.
David Keyes: Yes. City Council budgeted $320,000 initially. And then we were able to get some funds from the state from the Recovery Act Broadband Funds to supplement that. It’s enabled us to raise that for this year.
Jose Vasquez: Yes, and with the total matching contributions from all of these organizations, we have over $1,002,300 in contributions. That’s pretty cool. A little bit of over half of the projects were new projects this year. So that’s always exciting, seeing new projects coming into the fold. We’re going to reach over 14,959 residents. The projects will serve over 1,346 immigrants and refugees, and 12 of the projects will provide technology training for youth in the STEM and digital media programs. And seven projects are located in low income and transitional housing facilities and will help with residents’ life skills and self-sufficiency.
Do we want to go into each individual application?
Nourisha Wells: Does the pack include all the applicants?
Jose Vasquez: It includes all of them. The ones in the tables are the ones we are recommending to funding. And then at the end are the projects we are not recommending to fund. So you can read a little bit about them. if something is of interest to you, I encourage you to reach out to them, maybe volunteer and connect with the organization. There are a lot of really good projects. Does anyone have any questions?
Alan Yeung: Do you have a ranking criteria, or how did you select?
Jose Vasquez: Does anyone want to address this?
Ben Krokower: There is a bunch of criteria, weighted differently. Maybe, Delia, you could go over it.
Delia Burke: Yes, so it is a set criteria that was developed by CTAB many years ago. There are different categories that have a point value and the total value is 100 points. So, meeting the program goals has one of the higher values, 20 points. Having a strong, secure budget is another 20 point category. Other ways we evaluate are project clarity, community participation, community benefit, and then evaluation. So all of those things are really important elements of a strong grant project.
David Keyes: There is a set of criteria listed on the seattle.gov/tech/tmf web site.
Jose Vasquez: That was a good starting point to see the landscape of all the applications, but I believe the top 20 or 25, we really looked at where we are investing. Are we investing in the right places? And the committee did a great job of digesting each application, and each committee member reviewed three. So one person didn’t get to review all of them. But through that, we were able to share what we learned from each application. So it was a real good collaboration and kind of broad overview.
Any other questions? Any feedback from any of the members?
Ben Krokower: I’d like to say that this was another really positive process. Just reading about what’s going on out there and how people plan to use this money to start amazing projects is great. I was really proud to be a part of it.
Joneil Sampana: Prior to this, I had never read a grant application. In these grant applications, it’s wonderful to see how citizens are thinking about different ways to couple citizen resources, volunteer time, corporate giving campaigns to do a match and use City dollars just to add more capacity to their ideas. This is truly a cross-sector partnership that’s coming to fruition within Seattle, outside of this meeting. So it’s great to see so many applicants.
Jose Vasquez: I’d definitely invite anybody who wants to participate in the committee, and I’ll talk about this a little bit in the Digital Equity Committee report, but this process in general wouldn’t be done without the help of all the volunteers, so if anybody is interested in participating for next year, it’s never too early to join.
Henok Kidane: Now that the applications have been voted on, what’s the next step after that. Is there a schedule as far as the dissemination of funds?
Jose Vasquez: Right now, we’re recommending for the CTAB board. Once this gets approved, it goes to City Council and the Mayor, and the grants won’t actually be awarded until September. There will be some kind of contract negotiation with the City, and as far as benchmarks or metrics, how do we go about measuring those?
Delia Burke: All of the key goals and timeline steps, all those things were in the application. Targets of how many people that will be reached through the grant, those will be put into a contract. We do a contract with all the grantees, and then throughout the grant period, grantees will submit reports to us about how much money they’ve spent, where they’re at with their match, and where they’re at with their project–what they have accomplished. By the end of the grant, we look to see that they’ve fully spent their funds, and fully met their match, and that they’ve accomplished the goals they’ve set up. And we do several check-ins over the course of the grant.
Jose Vasquez: And I have a question. This is not the final approval. It’s semi-final, right.
Delia Burke: After the CTAB vote, we let everyone know so the word gets out. We’ll start contacting all of the applicants about their status, but we say that it’s a recommendation. Until it’s approved by City Council and the Mayor signs the legislation to award these grants, it’s not really official. So that’s why we actually don’t do contracts until after that takes place, which is usually in the July timeframe. So it’s a recommendation for funding. But we do release the information.
Jose Vasquez: So we’re going to be recommending funding to this list right here, but if anybody has any specific questions about any specific project, feel free to reach out to me. We can talk about it off base more. Does anyone have any more questions about this?
Beryl Fernandes: I have one question about the involvement of people outside of CTAB. You’ve invited them to apply to be on the committee for next year. If they cannot spend in-person time, can they send you emails? Is there any alternative other than actually sitting on the committee?
Jose Vasquez: Yeah. Through the general inclusion committee. Personally, I think that’s the purpose of the committee, to figure out how to close that gap. If anybody is not able to participate in person, let me know and we’ll figure something out. Any type of involvement is highly encouraged.
Dana Lewis: For context, a lot of the review process is done on your own time. You have a time period. You’re assigned a group of grants and you look at them online and do your rankings. I know when I did it last year, I had to call in at a couple of meetings because I was unable to physically attend. And there’s a bunch of people who just do the rankings and send them in with their commentary. So that’s definitely an option.
David Keyes: As part of our follow-up as we look at all the applicants, any organization that’s providing some technology access and training is eligible for the free cable broadband connections we have. So one thing we do is we have a question on the application when other people are interested or have that connection, we look at that. So we will let folks know. Derrick works with them. So they could still receive that even though they didn’t receive the Tech Matching Fund grant. So that’s a way that we are able to still support some of the organizations.
Derrick Hall: This year, they have already been contacted.
Nourisha Wells: Okay, so we need to vote. Is there a motion?
Jose Vasquez: I move to approve.
Ben Krokower: Second.
Nourisha Wells: All in favor? Opposed?
Amy Hirotaka: I vote Aye.
Nourisha Wells: Motion carries.
David Keyes: Please come and join us in July when we go to City Council and have everybody from all of the projects come in.
Nourisha Wells: We’ll have that on our web site so people know about it.
Ben Krokower: It’s a great meeting. Everyone should go to that.
Doreen Cornwell: And it’s always cool, even when Alex Zimmerman shows up.
Nourisha Wells: There were a couple of things that we moved down in the agenda. I think we can take care of those. And then we can take a break. The first is the Notice to Review Comprehensive Plans in this month’s committee meeting. All of the committees that are meeting this month, remember to review the Comprehensive Plan. The link was in the email. When that comes up in your meetings, discuss it, and then we’ll have further dialog next month. Is that our plan?
Ben Krokower: Yes, when folks are ready, if they want.
David Keyes: We’ll bring up that link for those who aren’t on the mailing list already. But they just released the environmental impact statement and are holding some community meetings for that. And again, there’s still time to comment on the full plan, so they’re just starting that public outreach process.
Approval of April Minutes
Nourisha Wells: And then, approval of the April minutes. Did everyone on the board have a chance to review the minutes? Are there any changes that need to be made?
Lloyd Douglas: My comment during the Century Link portion about the houses in Cascade. There are two houses that are subdivided into apartments. I made comment. It was in there. There were two single family houses in Cascade. It was in the discussion of what they were going to get first, single family. So basically, my comment was there are two single family houses and how does that affect our schedule.
Nourisha Wells: May I have a motion to approve the minutes as amended?
Jose Vasquez: Move to accept as amended.
Nourisha Wells: All in favor? Opposed? Motion carries. I think we’ll open it up for public comment and then go to break. Anyone have anything to add, to say, or to share?
David Keyes: We’ve had a few folks walk in late, so can we take a minute for introductions?
Albert Wong: Veterans Affairs, Consultant with United States Digital Service, formerly with Google.
Beryl Fernandes: Are you working with Marina [Martin]?
Albert Wong: I am working with Marina!
David Keyes: She’s a former member of this board.
Beryl Fernandes: Are we going to hear more about it, just informally, afterwards?
Albert Wong: I kind of just crashed your meeting. So I’ll just be here, if you want to talk.
John Tigue: I’m working on the map with the Code for Seattle project. So essentially when you do a speed test on your Internet and you find how fast it goes up and how fast it comes down. Now the City is getting behind this, along with Code for Seattle and we’re trying to aggregate that data into a communal resource so that, instead of it just being me knowing what I got today, there will be a historical record. Breaking down the City by census track, loss, or City Council district, and you’ll see a little movie in time saying how good the Internet is in different areas. Just to give us the data so we actually know what’s going on in terms of carriers. It’s a project that we just started back on April 19, so it’s not worth checking out yet, but it’s up and running. The City is involved with it in some degree. I’ll probably be coming to your next meeting to give you guys an update.
Dan Stiefel: My name is Dan Stiefel and I’m an Internet Technology (IT) small business person in the community. For a couple of years, I’ve been coming to the meetings, and I’m vice chair of the Cable Broadband Committee.
Cable Broadband Committee Report
Dan Stiefel: We’ve been busy. Sarah Trowbridge is the chair, but she’s out of the country. Actually, if you will give me a moment because I really wasn’t thinking about it. I’ll make a couple of notes and get back to you.
Nourisha Wells: Okay! Just raise your hand when you’re ready. Let’s move to the Privacy Advisory report.
Privacy Advisory Committee Report
Ben Krokower: We had the third of three Privacy Advisory Committee meetings. The Mayor, Michael Mattmiller, Mike Wagers (Chief Information Officer for the Seattle Police Department) convened a group of legal experts, community members like myself, and other people to weigh in on the City’s use of resident data and how to properly weigh between public safety and privacy. We had three meetings and just had the final one. It kind of broke up into first, discussing general privacy Principles; second, reviewing the City’s proposed Privacy Principles that eventually went to City Council and got approved; and third, after it got approved–now that we’ve got these core principles vocalized and stamped by the Council–how do we operationalize this? What are some ideas? For example, there was a woman from Alaska Airlines who sat on the committee, who just talked about how they operationalize their own privacy principles at a private company. Then there were legal experts, who talked about, given these privacy principles and your legal obligations, how do you operationalize privacy. And this means, what is the City actually going to do now about privacy? Discussion included appointed of a Privacy Information Officer (PIO), a person inside the City who can hold departments and people accountable for either breaches, or lax privacy oversight. There was a lot of discussion on training. the idea being that if there is just general training throughout the City on privacy issues, that whenever it is discussed, there will be more people at the table who are informed about it and can possibly head off some of the problems we’ve seen with the City in the past. For example, if there had been someone at the table when the Police Department was talking about purchasing a bunch of drones, maybe they would have said, ‘Hey, maybe this is not so good an idea to just buy them without any oversight guidelines.’ Or the mesh network. Before we establish a mesh network that might have the capability of picking up MAC addresses from everybody’s cell phone, maybe we should engage in public outreach, or maybe is this a good idea? General training was another thing that was discussed. There was the sense that there needs to be some method of accountability. Somebody in a position or a department, or even people inside each department who have the responsibility to hold their own department accountable for privacy issues. It was a great discussion. It was just a wide-ranging discussion about different ways to operationalize privacy throughout the City, but nothing hard and fast. I think the next step is DoIT is going to create a Privacy Toolkit which departments can use hen they’re discussing a new policy or new piece of legislation, they can look at it through the lens of privacy. Is this such a good idea? Is this something we should do more outreach on? Is it something where we should limit who can see the data? Should we even be collecting this data?
Anyway, it was a great discussion and it’s all online in video.
David Keyes: Go to http://seattle.gov/doit and on the left side under Initiatives, you’ll see the Privacy link.
Ben Krokower: I, for one, was really happy to see the City take it so seriously. They brought a community of really impressive people who seemed to really care about it. Especially, personally I was really happy that it was co-chaired by the Seattle Police Department. They’re really starting to pay attention to the issue, and trying to turn it around when it comes to privacy. They’ve had major stumbles in the past when it comes to surveillance issues, mesh network, drones. I think with the advent of body cameras, there are huge privacy concerns there. And I think that if they’re not addressed then such an important issue could fail. Like the implementation of body cameras could be an amazing tool for social justice if they’re implemented correctly with correct oversight. So they are, I think, a layer of that issue.
Nourisha Wells: Any questions for Ben?
Beryl Fernandes: Is the list of members of that committee on the web?
Ben Krokower: Yes. Click on Privacy Advisory Committee. There’s a list of all the members.
Nourisha Wells: Any other questions for Ben?
Henok Kidane: I’m reading about the Privacy Initiative right here and my question is like you brought up body cameras and stuff of that nature. when you say ‘privacy,’ are you talking about, ‘hey, when you leave your work computer, make sure you log out’? Is this privacy mostly focused on privacy within government or privacy in citizen vs. government. Is there some scope as to what exactly is meant by privacy in this context?
Ben Krokower: The focus of it was definitely the interaction between City government and residents. There was a lot of discussion about third party vendors who are given personal information of residents for some legitimate reason and making sure that they’re accountable for privacy guidelines and rules of the City. Like, for example, do you give a bunch of resident data to somebody and they start analyzing it, we’ve got to make sure that person then can’t resell that data elsewhere.
Henok Kidane: I can give a good example. Last meeting, we were talking about the paid parking app. Someone else at the meeting brought up that if you download the app, it gives you a list of what gives access to other apps on your phone. But as to a third party vendor, if you were to create some sort of a guideline for privacy issues, the City would then tell the third party vendor that they have to update.
Ben Krokower: Well that particular situation, I’d say if it was a new app, yeah. Whoever made a contract with the City would have to live by whatever the City’s privacy guidelines are. I don’t know whether or not that particular app would be included. Odds are, no. But who knows. Maybe it is. They wouldn’t be able to retroactively change contracts to make them adhere to new privacy guidelines.
Henok Kidane: It would be from that point on. You wouldn’t retroactively go to anything before that that included a third party.
Ben Krokower: Well, this is just me talking, but I would say in general it would probably have to be case by case. You’d probably have to renegotiate if a particular contract that was implemented before those privacy rules were put in place, you’d probably have to go back, if the issue were important to the City, and renegotiate that clause of that contract.
Nourisha Wells: I would imagine, just with the nature of how fast paced technology is, a contract like that would not be super long-term anyway.
Beryl Fernandes: How closely do these principles relate to the Obama administration’s privacy principles adopted in January 2015? You did yours in February.
Ben Krokower: No. There was no discussion about how we should adhere to the government’s privacy guidelines. I do know that there was discussion about privacy as a human right, whether that should be part of the Privacy Principles. It was decided not to include that. But it wasn’t Obama’s. This was about operationalizing. Let’s get real world privacy throughout the City. They didn’t want to make it this larger ideology.
Nourisha Wells: Any other questions?
Question: Is there going to be community outreach to explain it to… [unintelligible].
Ben Krokower: I agree one hundred percent. We have no idea what happens when we just visit a web site. But the priority of that committee was not so much public outreach but more advising the City. There’s the Privacy Committee, and CTAB does some of that, Seattle Privacy Coalition does a lot of fantastic work around education.
Nourisha Wells: All right. Next we have Beryl on the Privacy Committee.
Privacy Committee Report
Beryl Fernandes: What I’ve done is to prepare a brief statement of what we’ve done to date, and a proposal. The proposal is for a joint meeting of CTAB Privacy Committee and the Privacy Advisory Committee, because I’m getting a lot of questions about how do these relate and what’s going on. But let’s get into some of the specifics. You asked about the community and the CTAB Privacy Committee, called CPC, not to be confused with the Privacy Advisory Committee, started in 2014 and went through several changes in our work scope. In order to make sure that we are not duplicating work that has been done by, or is in the process of being done by the Privacy Advisory Committee (PAC) that Ben just talked about. Their objective, as Ben said, was to develop Privacy Principles, the Privacy Statement and then the Toolkit. We, the CPC, were coming at it from the ground up, saying ‘what do we as lay people need in order to protect our privacy and how can we craft things so that it works to benefit and not to harm us.’ Which can happen. So, our focus was including marginalized groups into the technology process. And this gained tremendous momentum last year, and an enthusiastic band of volunteers from various underrepresented groups in all sorts of ways. They put in enormous amounts of time, from early 2014, and without a budget or a staff, we had people volunteering free of charge to professionally help on the symposium, professionally ran the Collaborathon, speak for free and more. It was a process that the City should be proud of, and perhaps one to be emulated. Since then, the CPC has been advised not to do Phase One, the crowd sourcing phase, or Phase Three, the Collaborathon. With DoIT’s staff limitations, we’d be on our own with the Privacy Symposium.
But what’s amazing is that the volunteers were undeterred and still want to go ahead with as much as possible. Again, looking from the perspective and the interests of the lay citizens–including the needs and desires of low-income, communities of color, the underrepresented groups in general. It was recently announced that the PAC had funds of $50,000, I think, for their Privacy Initiative work, which is being done with the University of Washington, and focus groups were being conducted by the PAC. In parallel, the CPC has been contacted by various people, apparently affiliated with the PAC, wanting to know about the interesting and cool things in these focus groups that have been underway. So taken together, it became even more necessary to CPC to pull back to avoid duplication, conflict, or parallel processes. So the recommendation I’m putting forward is to invite all members off the PAC–Ben’s group– and staff and any other entities involved in the City’s Privacy Initiative to a joint meeting organized by the CPC where we could openly discuss our work interests and goals for the City, with a view to even disengaging or defining roles of each entity.
So, I make a motion to support sending an invitation for a joint meeting to CPC, PAC, and staff.
Ben Krokower: Is a motion necessary?
Nourisha Wells: A motion is on the floor. We can open it up to discussion after it’s seconded.
Jose Vasquez: I’ll second it.
Nourisha Wells: The motion is open to discussion.
Ben Krokower: I would just point out that the Privacy Advisory Committee (PAC) doesn’t exist any longer.
Beryl Fernandes: It doesn’t exist?
Ben Krokower: We had the third of three and that’s the end of it.
Beryl Fernandes: So nothing is happening there at all?
Ben Krokower: No.
Beryl Fernandes: So we have no constraints on us? We can proceed with anything and everything? I thought you were going to do Privacy Statement and a Toolkit. Who is doing that?
Nourisha Wells: The City, I thought, was doing that. And they just advised on the principles.
Beryl Fernandes: And you won’t be advising on the policy statement or the Toolkit?
Ben Krokower: No.
Jose Vasquez: So, I would recommend that the PAC join the CPC.
Beryl Fernandes: Oh, that would be cool.
Nourisha Wells: So can you take back your motion? Retract your motion?
Beryl Fernandes: You’re suggesting that we invite them to come to a meeting and tell us what they did or how they would like to be involved with us?
Jose Vasquez: No, I would invite them to join the committee, because I’m sure the PAC knows more about what the City is doing regarding policy stuff. And definitely involve the people who were advising on those guidelines.
Beryl Fernandes: And I have been getting questions from people out there who are affiliated with the group in some way. I think there may be interest on both sides.
Joneil Sampana: I’m curious. Is it clear what the work stream is? Do you feel clear about what the next step would be if you had more members join?
Beryl Fernandes: Well, we had a very clearly laid out work plan, very detailed, with timelines and everything. And then the PAC was formed and several pieces have been done or were going to be done by the PAC. We pulled back because we were advised not to go with the symposium, not to go with the Collaborathon part. So we really have pulled back, waiting to see what has already been done so we don’t duplicate. I think it’s important that we have a coordinated work plan going forward, so I just feel a need to have a sit down and talk about who is doing what. I didn’t know that the PAC had disbanded. And I didn’t know that these other pieces were not going to involve citizen input. Nothing wrong with it. It’s just the communication.
Nourisha Wells: I definitely remember saying that in a meeting, that their goal was just to do the Privacy Principles, and then they were done. So I think there was certainly on some level an understanding that that was their role and that they were done. So my question becomes what would be the purpose of bringing that group to a meeting if they’re no longer doing any work. What would be the purpose of them coming?
Beryl Fernandes: I think the first thing is to just get clarification because my recollection is that Michael Mattmiller said that they were doing the principles and the next step was to do the statement.
Nourisha Wells: For the City.
Dana Lewis: I think it’s a great idea to invite those members, because they are obviously interested in privacy. I don’t know if a motion is needed, but I would definitely support you as a CTAB committee pulling in more individuals to support the work.
Nourisha Wells: So are they coming to the board meeting or committee meeting?
Beryl Fernandes: It would be to a committee meeting, where we have more time, more than the ten minutes or whatever.
Dana Lewis: Because not all of that group may be aware of the CDC.
Beryl Fernandes: Exactly. We maybe have a different approach. What can a City do. And it’s perfectly legitimate. It’s just different. And ours is ‘what does the community need, want, and how can we help get there regardless of who is going to do the work. Could be a nonprofit. Could be individuals. Not necessarily the City, but definitely could include the City. So does that make sense?
Nourisha Wells: So you have an invitation that you want to send out to the people that are on that list.
Beryl Fernandes: Yes, and anybody else Michael Mattmiller thinks should be invited.
Nourisha Wells: Okay. And that would be for a regular Privacy Committee meeting?
Beryl Fernandes: Yes, probably in three weeks or so.
Nourisha Wells: So then, do we need a motion?
Beryl Fernandes: Did we just have a consensus? I didn’t want to just go ahead and do it without your knowing or supporting it. So I retract the motion in lieu of the consensus that we have here on CTAB to go ahead and invite all the interested parties to a meeting of the CPC.
Ben Krokower: When you mention passing an invitation by Michael Mattmiller, I don’t think it’s necessary. Just an informal–hey, we’re the Privacy Committee, we’d love your involvement. Just as the Broadband Committee are often involved in broadband, just kind of informally say ‘drop by and have a discussion.’
Beryl Fernandes: Okay. Well, I’ll ‘cc’ him at least, so he knows what is going on. And we’d love to have your involvement because a lot of work we’re doing is going out into the community.
Nourisha Wells: I don’t know if there’s a meeting scheduled already, but when you have it scheduled, please let us know so we can get it up on the site so we can schedule the room.
Beryl Fernandes: If we have it here. I’d like to have it out in the community as much as possible, but on the other hand a room this large is very nice.
Nourisha Wells: Thank you. Broadband Committee?
Broadband & Cable Committee Report
Dan Stiefel: Sorry, folks, that I didn’t realize that I would be doing this. In general, there were two things at our April 27 Broadband Committee meeting, which I’ll briefly review. And then, something quite interesting, which was a meeting that Sarah and I attended between WAVE and Solid Ground. I’ll just over the meeting briefly. We had quite an involved but somewhat theoretical discussion about the Comprehensive Plan. Sarah has seen it. The rest of us haven’t. But it looks like we could add something to it in terms of technology. So we discussed how to frame that. and our action item out of that is when the public version comes out in June, we’ll review it and try to give some particular input. And we talked about some plot lines along which we might do that.
Secondly, we discussed partnering with Upgrade Seattle, and the Geek Fun Pop ed study sessions. There’s no final date for those meetings yet that I know of, so we’re going to wait on action on that.
We also discussed — Michael Mattmiller discussed — getting the geek story out to Seattle residents. We talked a little about that in general. No action taken about that. That was pretty much the meeting. Brian was there. It was really good. He had a lot to say and it was quite a good discussion.
And then we had the meeting with WAVE, and that’s something that came out of things that Daniel and Brian started a ways back — inviting WAVE to open a low income plan. Because the other cable providers have some plan at least, and so we met here about a week ago and it was quite a good meeting. We didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t know exactly who would come. We didn’t know if it would just be kind of fluffy, but it started at 3:30 and it went solid to 5:00 p.m. There was a ton of discussion. It was really largely a discussion, as we hoped it would be, between WAVE and Solid Ground. Solid Ground is an organization out of Wallingford that does a lot of social services outreach. They had this program called Connect Up, which has really been the most informative tool for low income people to figure out how they can get cellular or Internet. They have all the information, the plans, who to contact. And they’ve really been great at that. Unfortunately, we found out during this meeting that they’ve lost their funding for that. So that program is going to be going away. And interestingly, WAVE came with a vice president of the legal department, marketing people, and an operations person. So they came and they were seriously represented. And what they basically said was, yes, we’re very much interested in the community and we’re in for it, but we need to come up with a program that will service all of our areas. We need to have one program. We can’t just have a program for Seattle. So it needs to be well thought out.
Secondly, they said, providing the Internet, that’s not a problem. What is a problem is — they don’t mind not making money on it — the application process and the customer service part of it, and the hardware. So I thin we identified some issues and it looks like what they’re interested in doing is finding a partner like Connect Up, who could — I don’t know how any of this would work — but that would be the way. It looked to me like there is a pathway, but there are some thorny issues. Am I right David? That 2016 will be the year when things are renegotiated?
David Keyes: We’re just starting the refranchising process with WAVE, which will begin with the community assessment process. So that takes a year, so it will be 2017.
Dan Stiefel: So I think that’s the timetable to float this out, and we left it where we were happy to introduce the City and bring all the partners together. So that’s where it is.
David Keyes: So what you’re saying is what they feel they needed to look at doing some program is somebody to do the eligibility determination and application sign up.
Dan Stiefel: And also, there might be some customer service needed for low income people to use equipment. If they have to go out all the time, it could be quite expensive, so they were looking for both the application process and also some intermediary to partner up with somebody. And we’re losing Solid Ground.
Doreen Cornwell: Sounds like they were wanting an application process, not just in Seattle, but is that in Washington or in all the places they do business?
Dan Stiefel: In all the places they do business, which is basically Washington, California and Oregon, I think.
Doreen Cornwell: Right. So that means some kind of a front end program, where if you’re in any of these government data streams you’re automatically eligible for the low income fare, but if you’re thinking multi-state, I’m trying to think of some data streams that would do the same thing. I think every state has different Medicaid rules, and free lunch maybe is one option, but there are people who don’t have kids. It’s interesting to know that’s what they’re thinking.
Dan Stiefel: There actually was quite a lot of discussion about that. Lambert Rochefort, who was the person who was the manager of that Connect Up program, is the most informed person I’ve ever met on the subject. He knew every in and out. They really had a back and forth discussion about that, and I think he should be included. He may even be becoming unemployed now. But he’s a real asset. Now to answer your question I think they need some system-wide framework. That doesn’t mean they can’t implement. It may not be the same partner to be in all those areas. They can have a partner her and a partner there, but they need their general rules to be the same.
Nancy Sherman: I’m a little confused about their claim to need to have the same program in all the places that they service. They may be charging differently in other places, so I don’t understand why they couldn’t offer the low income rate to Seattle and try it out here, then figure out how to implement it in other places.
Dan Stiefel: I think it’s kind of like Comcast’s plan. They have a national plan and the rules are pretty much the same. I don’t know if they implement them slightly differently, but if you go to their web site, Internet Essentials.
Question: Is the Comcast brand their national brand?
Dan Stiefel: Yes, it is. And I think that’s the kind of framework they need to have, too. I kind of understand their point. It doesn’t mean that there might not be … the general rules have to be the same. If you want to address some questions for me, I can forward them on. We can actually get some answers for you, if you’d like. Or to Sarah. I’m sorry that I didn’t have the notes ready. I can have contact information here, if anybody needs it, if you want to email.
David Keyes: And there is the Broadband and Cable Committee email list, too, for discussion.
Dan Stiefel: Our next meeting will be a week after Memorial Day. We have to move it one week back.
Nourisha Wells: Thank you! Good job! Next, we’ll hear from Jose Vasquez on Digital Inclusion.
Digital Inclusion Committee Report
Jose Vasquez: Ben left, but I want to thank him for helping get the year started. We’ve had some discussions offline about the direction of the committee, and he felt that he was not giving enough time and attention that the community deserves, so we talked about that. And I’m taking over as chair. I don’t know what the official process is. We had an informal online vote.
David Keyes: Committees pick their own chairs.
Jose Vasquez: So, I’m the new chair. I’m excited to lead this group. Now that the TMF work is done, we still have a lot of things coming up. We still have Digital Equity Initiative. I had a complete blank that that was this weekend. There are a couple of town halls happening still. There’s one tomorrow from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. in the 2100 Building; down in the Rainier Valley, Thursday, May 14, from 3:30 to 5:30 in New Holly Library.
David Keyes: We’re going to post this online, but this is an early draft–just a vision statement and some principles around the Digital Equity Initiative. See draft vision (pdf document).
It’s some of what we’re using to start to discuss that. We’ll put it on the agenda later, but I brought that along.
Jose Vasquez: It’s an interdepartmental City meeting between the committee and the City of Seattle staff to look at the next steps. So it’s going to be the next big thing for our committee. If anybody is interested in getting involved, let me know. We have our next committee meeting next Tuesday. Do we have a standing room?
David Keyes: We don’t.
Jose Vasquez: I personally want to take it outside the City of Seattle to include more underrepresented communities, so we might a public library or something. If anyone has a space or suggestion, please let me know. We would like to have these meetings out in the community. So stay tuned, if you’re part of the listserv. If not, how do they sign up?
David Keyes: Either just send me a note or send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can sign up for the Digital Inclusion listserv.
Jose Vasquez: So if everybody would just sign up for the listserv, I’ll be sending out a notice about where the next location is going to be, probably tomorrow evening.
David Keyes: I also wanted to point out one of the things that some folks on the committee worked on this year is the Get Online campaigns. We did just launch the Get Online Learning on the web.
Jose Vasquez: Did that ever get posted?
David Keyes: We’ll show that at the next meeting. There’s a quiz about ‘are you ready for online learning?’ Vicky’s been working on this with folks and welcomes suggestions on it, too. We’re kind of doing a ‘limited while supplies last’– giving away thumb drives for folks that complete that quiz, too. And we’d love your help in distributing these brochures. We also have posters of it. If anybody wants some, let me know and we’ll get them to you.
Nourisha Wells: And how long will this campaign go? Do we know?
David Keyes: Our thought right now is we’ll run this for a few months. We’ll do some ads in community newspapers, and so on. And the next one will be to focus a little bit more on where the public access centers are and the low income Internet ones. Our thought, coming from what we’ve heard from folks in Digital Equity issues, to just focus the next Get Online campaign on the low income Internet programs. I think we’re looking at a launch in September for that.
Nourisha Wells: Any other questions for Jose? Let’s move on to Joneil and the E-Gov Committee.
E-Gov Committee Report
Joneil Sampana: We have to go over to my colleague, Seth. We have an exciting event coming up in June. We had a great meeting this month. We had a couple presentations from Third Place Technologies regarding civic mapping. She actually spent a lot of time with some server results from the Open Data Conference. It showcased what citizens feel are the movers and shakers of the civil technologies space. It was really interesting to see what people think are the leaders and thought-makers in this area. More to come on that, as we try to create the strategy around how to leverage those folks into E-Gov, where it makes sense. A new project that came up is the Sister City idea. He’s interested in bringing to Seattle an international sister city in regards to digital civics. So he talked with Michael Mattmiller and Michael wants us to pursue this to see if there is a possible single program with an international city that showcases our best civic engagement activities.
Old business: We’ve got three ongoing projects that we’re working on. The SPD workload refresh project–that’s where the CIO for SPD Greg Russell wants help from hackers to develop a more intuitive user interface (UI) for the top workloads that police are using today. So we hope to kick that off in June. That’s with corporate sponsorship. We have a handful of developers that are going to work on the project. We’re just short on the APIs being available from SPD. So we’re going to kick the iron on those folks and see if they can bring the architecture to fruition.
Our next project, the Washington State Data Internship, that’s working in collaboration with Will Sanders, who is our open data person at the state level. He’s working with six agencies that are releasing open data this summer for college students from University of Washington, WSU, Gonzaga, and Western. They’ll do a summer internship that will create digitalizations of this data to help with legislation, in September. So that’s going well. We’ve got support from Microsoft, Tableau Socrata, and the Washington Technology Industry Association to facilitate this four-month project.
Our last project is a Civic Cocktail refresh. John came to us about two months ago to help rethink how to bring more people to Civic Cocktail or other programs from Seattle Channel. We proceeded to talk to other folks that have some really interesting citizen engagement projects, such as new technology meet-up. Anybody hear of that 3,000 member group? They meet all over the place, and last month at the UW, and they are able to bring together anywhere from 500 to 800 folks at any one time. Just incredible. They have some interesting topics that actually bring a lot of energy and spirit to some of these topics that a lot of us have passion about. Christian Orr is a really influential person that might have some unique positions on our topics of civic engagement.
Something that rang true with all of these organizations is whatever we come up with, it really has to be a spectacular speaker series or topic where we can get the best caliber speakers that we have to bring folks from all walks of life. We still haven’t come up with an ideal topic, but that’s what we’ll be working on over the next couple of weeks.
Without further ado, I want to pass it over to Seth to talk about this exciting event coming up June 6.
Seth Vincent: The event on June 6 is part of the national Day of Civic Hacking. Background: They come from Seattle. It’s a group of volunteers attempting to use technology to address local civic issues. Previously, our events have mostly been hack-a-thons, where you’ll find people much like me staring at a screen for eight hours. Whether or not that’s fun is up for debate.What we’d like to do this time is something that’s actually fun, and we’re calling it a Disco-Tech. This is something that’s happening in other cities. It stands for Discover Technology, so it’s to really learn about technology and specifically civic technology. So we will be doing a number of panel discussions, and there will be a project fair. Projects like Hey Duwamish, which just got recommended for a TMF grant, and there will be some workshops. So you could go to Rent a Code or you could go to talk to Bruce Blood about what should happen with open data, and a few other things. So it’s codeforseattle.org/discotech.
Nourisha Wells: What day of the week?
Seth Vincent: Saturday, June 6. At City Hall.
Beryl Fernandes: Is it all day?
Seth Vincent: Yes.
Joneil Sampana: Are we still open to citizen feedback on the forums?
Seth Vincent: Yes. The other thing I wanted to say was, it’s really cool that there’s a table for CTAB, among the other project tables. Come and say hello. There are application forms on that web site for having a table and also for volunteering. Soon, we’ll be announcing panels and that kind of thing.
Nourisha Wells: So we need to sign up on the site if we want to have a table there?
Seth Vincent: It would be good if you signed up, or just tell me, yeah, we’ll do it. Any other questions?
Beryl Fernandes: Is it free to the public?
Seth Vincent: It is free. And snacks and lunch will be there.
Beryl Fernandes: Is there any outreach to communities that typically don’t attend those events?
Seth Vincent: That would be exciting.
Beryl Fernandes: We’ll make a concerted effort. I would really like to see as many people as possible.
Nourisha Wells: Thank you. We’ll do our next meeting items.
Next Meeting Items
Joneil Sampana: I have three items here, before the committee leaves, make sure you review the Comprehensive Plan this month before the next meeting; promoting the Upgrade Seattle study sessions also; and promote the Disco Tech to TMF grantees or even applicants, to come out on June 6.
Nourisha Wells: I think that we’ll agree that we will have a table there. I can definitely go. People who are interested, make note of the day.
Joneil Sampana: Write a note to me. I’ll just collaborate for CTAB.
Nourisha Wells: Okay! Sounds great. Is there anything that we need to share, David?
David Keyes: I think we have two dates.
Nourisha Wells: I know I didn’t get all of the dates for the Upgrade Seattle. She said them really fast.
David Keyes: Yes. I spoke to her on her way out to email, and I’ll just distribute those to the CTAB notice list.
Nourisha Wells: Thank you guys for being here and this meeting is adjourned.