Topics covered included: Mayor Murray’s 2016 priorities presented by Ryan Biava; Councilmember Bruce Harrell’s 2016 priorities with Vinh Tang; E-Gov Committee update from Joneil Sampana; Broadband Committee report from Amy Hirotaka; committee structures and work plan development discussion.
This meeting was held: February 9, 2016; 6:00-8:00 p.m., Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2750
Board Members: Joneil Sampana, Karia Wong, Amy Hirotaka, Jose Vasquez, Iga Fikayo Keme
Public: John Tigue, Lloyd Douglas, Doreen Cornwell, Henok Kidane, Heather Lewis, Victor Bruno, Jeanie Lindsay, David Doyle, Christopher Sheats, Mark DeLouro, Dan Stiefel, Heather Griswold, Kate Schneier, Helen Baker, Puja Parakh, Dashiell Milliman Jarvis, Janice Tufte, Meredith
Staff: Michael Mattmiller, Ryan Biava (Mayor’s Office), Vinh Tang (Council President Harrell), John Giamberso, David Keyes, Cass Magnuski, Vicky Yuki
31 In Attendance
Meeting was called to order by Amy Hirotaka.
Agenda and Minutes approved with no changes.
MAYOR MURRAY’S 2016 PRIORITIES
Ryan Biava: I was here last year, sitting over there. This year, I’m here in place of the Mayor. I’m glad to talk about some of the things that we’ve been working on over the last year and talk about 2016. I also really want to hear what your interests are for 2016. I work with DoIT a lot, but this is really a great opportunity to hear from you specifically.
I’m not going to talk about the Mayor’s broader agenda. I’m going to talk about the tech work that we’ve done over the last year and what we have planned and on the docket. I will just say briefly that the Mayor’s goals remain what they have been in five broad categories: a City that is safe, affordable, vibrant, innovative and interconnected, and also available for all.
The major priorities that you see in the news are our major priorities every day. Housing affordability, addressing the exceedingly difficult and national problem that is homelessness, and continuing to improve public safety, implementing things like the Move Seattle levy. All of these are things we work on, but again, I’m going to talk about tech tonight.
All of the policies can be linked to what I was just talking about, but equity, affordability and good governance are things that the Mayor talks about a lot. All of them, in my mind, are related to what we do in tech. The Mayor talks a lot, both to the public and in our office, about ‘you don’t get government right if you don’t have good data.’ I spend a lot of time asking the question, ‘What did data say? How can we get better data? How do you use it in governance?’ I actually don’t think that you can know if you’re doing a good job and being equitable in how you’re deploying resources of policy if you don’t have data about the effects it has on the City. How many investments are being made in one neighborhood as opposed to another. You need to actually know that data and track it. And then figure out how to use that in policy making to make sure that you’re actually being equitable. To my mind, the wonky part of data is essential to understanding and being equitable in how you plan programs and employ resources.
One of the major issues that has been happening in tech over the last year has been Seattle IT coming into being. so, on April 6, a new department is born. I’m really looking forward to seeing that take shape and how to use its resources to come up with new and exciting solutions, innovative solutions for the City, not only for residents but also for employees. I think that it’s important to think about the folks who do the very important work of providing tech to the City itself, internally. To me, that’s as important as a group as any other group in the City.
Another thing that we pay attention to a lot is continuing to improve access to internet services. So this is an obvious one: Lowering the barriers for providers to build out; working with providers through key opportunities where we can leverage the City’s influence, like I think we saw in our franchise negotiations with Comcast. Really working to see that the end result was good and really got as much public benefit as we could out of that. And then continuing to watch for innovative ways of ensuring that broadband is available to all. As we continue to monitor the progress that we hope to see continue to be made by providers in the City, passing the growing number of homes throughout the City and monitoring them. Part of that is the Broadband Map the year before, as a way to ensure that we know. Again, we have good data, but what the experience is of Seattleites in their homes.
Lastly, before I talk about specifics, and I’ll show you a couple of web sites that we’ve worked on over the last year and a half, and talk about some other policies, focusing squarely on Digital Equity. So getting access to people that need it, skills training, access to devices. David Keyes’ team has done a really great job and I’m looking forward, over the next year, to putting that into motion.
I want to show a few web sites that we’ve been working on in the Mayor’s office and that SDOT worked on. Some of your may have seen them, so I hope that this isn’t too much of a repeat.
This is the site that I was mentioning earlier that I first started working on. This is the Performance Seattle web site. The idea here is to pick certain key indicators that departments judge their performance, based on. The obvious ones are, ‘How quickly is that Department of Transportation filling potholes after they receive a complaint?’ “How many affordable housing units are currently available?’ That is really important that we track that number correctly as we move toward goals of increasing that. I want to emphasize, too, that in the policy office, the work we do, we talk about how do you measure the policies that we’re talking about. That’s not always obvious to people. It wasn’t obvious to me when I started, and it’s really something that we pay a lot of attention to. Because that’s how we hold ourselves accountable.
Let me give you an example. I’m going to go to the transportation page, because that’s what I mentioned. It will break it down by category. So you have Mobility, Roads, and I’m going to pick the pothole example. You can see here the banners across. The orange one did not make target. This is something, too, that I think is interesting, because it shows that this is a Mayor who is interested in showing results, even when they’re bad. That takes a certain kind of leadership, i think. But it really is showing that we didn’t have enough on this, for instance. How do we improve that? So it’s not a question of pointing a finger at it. It’s saying, “How can we improve?’ Using data for improvement in that way, I think is exciting.
Dorene Cornwell: Could you maybe say what numbers you’re looking at?
Ryan Biava: Yes! This screen I’m showing now is tracking the goal of repairing. The goal that SDOT set for itself of repairing 80 percent or more of pot holes within three days of notification. So you see here, 97 percent. This is the final result from December of last year that were repaired within that time. And you can drop down and see the data over time. And if you go down further, it says, “Why is the goal important?” And lots of information that SDOT provides, historical data as well. This is all linked and built upon the open data platforms. http://data.seattle.gov If you link on this small link here, it will take you directly to the data set, where you can make other visualizations or uses of it.
The next one is Open Budget, http://openbudget.seattle.gov. I’m curious to know if anyone has heard of this. If you’re familiar at all with how the budget was presented prior to this website, you’ll know it was a PDF form that was very PDF formy. You look at the operating budget and it will give you the whole numbers. If you scroll down, it breaks it into Utilities, Administration, Public Safety. Let’s take Arts, Culture and Recreation. It shows you the budget and it will break it down to Parks and Recreation, Libraries, etc. Look at it on your own time. There’s also a Capital Budget that shown. It shows you where throughout the City certain investments are being made.
The last one I’m going to show you on the screen is a web site that SDOT launched recently, which is a Capital Projects Dashboard. Here, they have chosen all capital projects that I think are $500,000 and above. I’m going to click on one at random. This is the 45th and Market Street real time information system signs. It gives you information about the project, a link to the project web site, cost estimate, how much has been spent so far, and about accountability and transparency, it shows you where in the process it is. If it’s over budget, it will show that. There was one last week I saw that showed different information about that. So, another attempt to be transparent and to use data well. And not to have data just internally that we use, but also that we push it out so that the public can use it.
That leads into Open Data work. We’ve been working with What Works Cities and the Sunlight Foundation and University of Washington to really come up with an open data policy to where data is open by preference, but it is really integrated with the privacy program we worked on pretty hard over the past year. We’re doing open data and we’re pushing it out to the public but only when we’re not putting information out that violates privacy, or–and this is challenging–but really paying attention to the fact that if we put out a data set that doesn’t contain someone’s name. You can link it to other data bases and it will have a cumulative negative effect on privacy. We really struggled and asked researchers at UW to help us figure out how to do that. I’m emphasizing the degree of attention that we’re paying to this and the commitment we have to this.
Civic Technology: I’m really excited that DoIT was able to bring Candace Faber on board. She project managed the Hack the Commute, and has done a lot of work on civic technology. The aim really is to fill in a gap that we think exists within the technology eco-system in Seattle, which is, “How do you support say, a hackathon, after it’s over? How do you encourage the civic tech community to be able to organize? How do you connect it to government, and ensure that government is hearing how it can be helpful. And not just assume that we know, because we don’t, necessarily know.
I talked a bit about privacy, and the great work we did along with Councilmember Harrell’s office. This year, in the next month or so, we’re rolling out training for all City staff who handle data, so that they know what the privacy regulations are, who to ask questions of if they have concerns, and then working to hire a Chief Privacy Officer who will oversee the program and will be able to help implement it across departments, and serve as a reference point for the City. I don’t think we’ve found another City that has done that yet. So that’s another area that we are excited to be leading in.
I will stop by saying one more thing. The seattle.gov redesign. On Thursday that will be launched. It’s a tremendous amount of work that DoIT staff have put into this. It’s way better than the current site.
I’m happy to answer any questions and I’m also happy to talk individually after this, or you can make an appointment with me in my office.
Amy Hirotaka: Let’s open it up for at least a couple of questions.
Henok Kidane: Two questions. Number one: How often is the data refreshed? Number two: It’s great that you’re making more things open. For example, where you showed that you didn’t pass that goal on the pothole web site, is there a process for letting people see what was done after not meeting that goal that’s just as open as the initial process?
Ryan Biava: The first question is easier. The answer to the first question is that it’s updated depending upon how often the measure is taken. So, for crime data, it’s nearly real time. But for measuring the amount of affordable housing, I think that’s quarterly or half-yearly. So it really depends on just the measure. Is there a link between what’s shown and what measures are being taken to remedy if the goal hasn’t been met? Not yet. That’s a link that just hasn’t been made yet. This program is starting with what you see, and I’m happy to say that we will be able to bring someone to work on that site and other projects full time in the City Budget Office, who will have resources to update it more often, and pay attention to questions like that.
Dan Moulton: These duties are rolled into the Chief Data Officer, and if that’s the case, then I do have in contact a person who is a worldwide expert as data officer.
Ryan Biava: I think that will be useful for Michael Mattmiller to have. I don’t know if the City has sent out [a job description].
Michael Mattmiller: There are some really interesting models. This notion of a City Chief Data Officer, a CDO kind of bucket of things. No two cities run them exactly the same way. When you look at New York City, for example, they are very much focused on data analytics and building that capacity. I was on the phone today with the CTO down in San Francisco, and she’s very much focused on that governance angle, and they have some privacy elements in their program. Where I think you will see us be distinctive is in recognizing the importance of privacy as a self standing compliance discipline within our environment. So that’s why we are invested in growing that team up separately.
Dan Moulton: Do you have a CDO in the City?
Michael Mattmiller: We do not have a CDO in the City. So I’d love the contact, and certainly to follow up.
Dan Moulton: I just thought that the two would normally go together and you might also look at the Obama administration. They do have a CDO as well.
Janice Tufte: On the first site you showed as performance measures, what is it called?
Ryan Biava: http://performance.seattle.gov
Henok Kidane: Last meeting, we had someone come by and talk about the redesign of seattle.gov. Am I correct in assuming that if I have a disability, I will be able to use it?
Ryan Biava: The seattle.gov redesign, Michael, you’re going to have to answer the question about how many pages are going to be accessible from day one. But I do know that we’re building in ADA compliance. As to language, as you know, translation is difficult. But it’s a thing that we are paying attention to for the performance site. And we need to keep moving on with it.
Henok Kidane: [unintelligible]
Ryan Biava: Yes. That would be a huge work plan and that’s something that the new person in the budget office can start working on.
Henok Kidane: As a follow up to the last meeting, Jeff Beckstrom, our web manager, talked about maintaining that visible presence for translated materials and then looking towards working with CTAB and the folks here will be able to give some feedback and help design technology recommendations going forward.
Ryan Biava: The Office of Immigrant and Refugees Affairs, they have done some work on figuring out how to have web sites in the City translated more easily. I know an inadequate choice, which is Google Translate. Having used it myself, it’s not great, but it’s better than nothing. They have some thoughts that that can be appropriate in some instances, and there are others that might not be.
Amy Hirotaka: Thank you so much. And now I will hand it over to Vinh Tang to talk about Council President Harrell’s priorities.
COUNCIL PRESIDENT BRUCE HARRELL’S 2016 PRIORITIES
Vinh Tang: I’m going try to speak on a couple of things, then I’ll open it up for comment. First of all, I want to thank all of the CTAB members for your civic engagement on behalf of Council President Harrell. I also want to give a shout out to Michael Mattmiller here, I think he’s done an excellent job as CTO.
Currently, our Technology Matching Fund is $320,000. CTAB, you guys are heavily involved in TMF. One of the things that we want to look at this year in the budget process, and working with the Mayor’s office, is maybe increasing that amount. There’s always a need for that. Over the past 20 years, it’s done great work.
Number two: Obviously, broadband is never a boring issue. Ten years ago, we did a report saying that in 2015 we would have fiber available to every home and business. That’s somewhat the case. The private sector does provide that service to some of the homes and businesses in Seattle. But, what some folks want in terms of delivering fiber to the home, obviously we are not at that point yet. From our vantage point, what we want to do–what we have done in the last couple of years–is to remove the obstacles in terms of the regulatory barriers. I think we’ve done several things within Cable Code to unregulate the market in Seattle. One of the things that we’re looking at is how we can be creative with the Housing Levy this year, as it relates to providing maybe free WiFi to all subsidized housing units. Or, potentially, in 2018, when both the Family and Education Levy and the Pre-K Levy expire, what we can do in terms of providing a technology opportunity fund, where we want to make sure that every student, every kid, regardless of what their parents’ income is, to have the tools to succeed technology-wise. That’s two years away from now. Legally, we’ll see what we can and cannot do in terms of a Housing Levy. When we do a levy for something specific, you can’t use it for something else. Those two things could be provided in subsidized housing. I think it’s not too far from the Housing Levy.
One of the things we did in the budget last year was to provide the MiFi hot spot units. Everyone in Seattle loves that. There was a huge waiting list. We added $200,000 to the budget last year. I think that there were 350 units that with the money they were able to add 400 units. But there’s still a waiting list for that. So, in the upcoming budget process, we’ll still look at what we can do to fund more additional MiFi hot spots.
Number three: Comcast rolled out their DOCSIS 3.1 in a couple of cities throughout the country. I think we would like to work with Comcast to make sure it’s coming soon to Seattle and Washington. We will have conversations very soon with Comcast about that.
We chair the Education, Equity and Governance Committee. We don’t call it ‘technology’ anymore in the committee name. When Michael Mattmiller speaks on Digital Equity in governance, it’s got a good tone, I think. Even though we don’t call it out, it still falls under our responsibility. Several years ago, we mentioned this single sign on and the public engagement portal. We conducted CTAB interviews earlier today, and one of the things that was mentioned was getting more folks involved, Ryan coming down here at 6:00 p.m. The reason why Councilmember Harrell brought that up several years ago with the whole plastic bag conversation. We received thousands of emails, but we wanted to push our questions to residents. And now with folks, seven years ago not everyone had a smartphone and apps and things like that. Now in 2016, it would be great if we could get more folks to sign on to seattle.gov, get more folks involved in terms of asking really simple questions about how they feel about certain issues. We have better technology these days with text messaging and things like that that I think we can build upon.
I read today in Gov Tech about how the State of Alabama got online registration available, and a bunch of folks registered online. And now the government has a huge backlog in processing those forms manually.
There were five drones. Even those regulated by the FAA. This is a public safety matter somewhat bu I think with Amazon it’s somewhat a technology issue. We’ve gotten emails saying, ‘Ban drones in Seattle. Don’t allow them.’ But if you go to the hobby store, you can buy a drone for $300. It will be interesting to get some guidance. I’m not sure whether you guys have worked on that issue at all. We had a bill a couple of years ago, ready, because the Seattle Police Department had purchased drones, but we had to send them to Los Angeles.
Number six: I think Michael might touch base on this, the Smart Cities Metro App project. The only thing I want to mention is that it’s a growing engagement. We would love for CTAB to help us.
Michael Mattmiller: I know that Joneil has taken that up.
Vinh Tang: There will be boxes and they will be on City Light poles. When someone looks up and sees a device that’s recording information, especially in Seattle, we have to be mindful of the privacy concerns.
Number seven: Councilmember Bruce Harrell is representing District 2, and one of the things that we’re working on is bringing a Southeast Economic Opportunity Center. It’s a very long term project. We secured a couple of million dollars through state funding, and City funding in the budget last year, but our goal with that is to bring an education and technology hub to southeast Seattle. We don’t know what it looks like. We’re working with the community. I’m not sure whether you guys have heard of that project or not. We have to secure a lot of funding. We want to bring in both the nonprofit and some of the major companies in Seattle to make that happen. One of the things as it relates to District 2, is examining policy to incentivize technology companies to locate in District 2 in urban villages. We already have the Light Rail line going through the south end, and there’s a lot of property. If you drive down MLK along Link Light Rail that’s vacant. Some folks down there say we should think about urban villages. Make it mixed use. Have companies down there maybe. A good example is the Harlem Garage. There is a [Hillman City] Collaboratory in Southeast Seattle. There was something–I think it was in San Francisco–where there was a tax break for companies to locate in some areas. There are pros and cons with that.
Number nine: STEM. We oversee education. I think it’s pronounced ‘steam’ now. Councilmember Harrell’s daughter was a student at one of the first STEM schools and it was very successful.
Lastly, the saying is in Seattle, we’re doing a lot of cool things. They say we’re not getting better, we’re getting worse. There are still a lot of things that we need to get better at.
I mentioned this in our interviews. The board comprises of 10 members now. A couple of years ago, it was 15. Something we might want to reconsider in terms of expanding the board. That’s one thing you guys might want to deliberate on, going to a higher number again. We don’t want to drive that conversation; we would like CTAB to make their own decision. Questions?
Amy Hirotaka: Thank you. Questions? Dorene.
Dorene Cornwell: You talked about the MiFi hot spots. Is that the thing you check out of the library? I know you go to the library and check out this box and it gives you unlimited connectivity for three weeks or however long you check it out. It’s a very cool thing, and I’ve been telling people about it.
Vinh Tang: That is correct.
Joneil Sampana: Great update. I was curious about all these work streams. Is there an individual person who is meeting each one of these nine items? Or is this bundled together?
Vinh Tang: In our office? Just put my name down.
Dan Moulton: On your drones, have you touched the State of Washington? There was a state law where you had to work with the State of Washington to get the research drones into the air to help with the recovery down there. Have you thought of unintended consequences of the southeast development? They will then displace affordable housing. And what are you doing to prevent and preserve affordable housing if you do decide to do it and invite a world of people down to southeast Seattle?
Vinh Tang: In my opinion, I don’t think one excludes the other. I think you can have affordable housing and technology companies.
Dan Moulton: San Francisco wasn’t able to do it. And they’re now over-running Oakland and pushing people out. The Central District has lost a large percentage of their African American population, and their identity due to this. We don’t have enough protection on low income housing. There are a lot of rules, regulations, and laws that prevent protecting tenants. And we have a lot of government giveaways to tech companies, so it’s an unequal battle with people of lower income losing.
Vinh Tang: I understand the comment you’re making. We’re going through the Mayor’s HALA recommendations this year. We have a housing committee meeting scheduled. I think we’ll be very mindful of that. I think as a rule, tech jobs will be made available to students down there. A good example is Tech Town. That was in Chattanooga. I know that there’s a robotics Filipino community center that’s in Southeast Seattle, but we’ve heard from the community that there should be more service. There really is no community college in Southeast Seattle. There’s one in South Seattle, but you have to go across the West Seattle Bridge. So compensation for this Southeast Seattle Economic Opportunity Center brings some sort of educational institution and technology to the area.
Dan Moulton: I really hope it is for the benefit of the people who are creating their own, as opposed to outsiders moving in. By the way, I do live in the area.
Karia Wong: You mentioned that when the Pre-K School Levy and the Family Program Levy expires in 2018, you guys were thinking to get funding to purchase technology equipment to low income families, so that the kids will have the tools. Just based on our experience, getting the tools is not that challenging. It’s how people learn to fully utilize the tools. It’s even more difficult. What is the plan?
Vinh Tang: Two years in school will help them use what they’re getting. The idea is not just to hand them tablets and computers. It’s actually providing tutors connecting students with mentors on how to use a tablet, how to code.
Karia Wong: A lot of issues with parenting now, is the kids are so in tune with technologies that create a lot of tension and conflicts within the family, especially with new immigrant parents. They don’t speak the language and it’s even harder because they just don’t have any idea of what technology can do. I think that’s the bigger picture when we talk about family support. Not just giving the tools to the kids, but how to support the parents so that they can parent in that aspect.
Jose Vasquez: Mine is more of a comment, rather than a question. Regarding the Economic Opportunity Center that you mentioned. Economic development is a great thing. But what’s happening in Seattle is the tech center has exploded but minority communities are not participating in that sector. If we are going to start talking about doing something, the City should prioritize working with the communities that are there. Developing that community, as opposed to creating an attractive hub for outside communities to come in and develop it. That’s been happening all over Seattle.
Vinh Tang: We’ve been having the community drive this, and figure out what the City’s role is.
Michael Mattmiller: I’d like to add to Jose’s comment. While it’s certainly separate from economic development, I want to share an amazing experience I had last month. I had an opportunity to chat with Megan Smith, our USCTM. We were talking about some of the things we are doing in Seattle, and she, along with the administration, are very passionate about tech diversity. She said there’s something very interesting about Seattle’s civic technology community, and how diverse it is. Specifically, she started describing Hack the Commute. It’s amazing to me that that was on her radar. It really is impressive to me just how diverse our civic technologists are. People that have skill that come together to make this City better. I really think groups like CTAB and Open Seattle for making sure that we are keeping our diverse community engaged with technology. So I think that’s a great differentiator for us.
Amy Hirotaka: Thank you. At this point, we will open it up for public comment.
Christopher Sheats: I just wanted to say again that Letsencrypt.org is a new nonprofit. So that anyone and everyone can have can a free TOS. As of February 3, they issued their 500,000th search, so it’s quite popular.
Michael Mattmiller: On that note, at go live [for the new Seattle.gov site], we had some things break when we turned on HTTPS for everything. So we have a milestone in August to have our sites turned into HTTPS.
Dorene Cornwell: You were talking about people getting involved. I was at a session last week where people were talking about some billing pages for Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities. There was this strong voice of, ‘Don’t make it all automated. Make sure there’s people that can explain it. You’re going to assume that everybody is at the same level in texting. And my mother doesn’t text. She’s not quite sure whether she’s got voicemail or email, or messages on her phone. There are a lot of people like that. I have a friend who has had a stroke. She has a bunch of people her age who are helping her, and they’re at a level of tech savvy. I think tech is very important and helps a lot. But I also want to keep pushing the human face.
Amy Hirotaka: We’ll move on to the next agenda item. Joneil will give the E-Gov Committee Report.
E-GOV COMMITTEE REPORT
Joneil Sampana: It is a quick one. A couple of weeks ago, we gave our January E-Gov Commitee report. We spent loads of time going over old business. We did want to talk about our closer alignment with Open Seattle, a continued effort to keep that connection with Open Seattle. Our update in on the CTAB blog for anyone who wants to see it. Our meetings are every fourth Tuesday, either at Westlake or Beacon Hill, 6:00 to 7:00.
BROADBAND COMMITTEE REPORT
Amy Hirotaka: I will give a quick Broadband Committee update. We look forward to diving more into it when we get to the discussion after the break. We have three major things that we’ve been talking about, the main one being better serving residents with with the low income broadband programs that are out there. We’ve heard from a lot of folks, Karia included, that it is very hard to sign up for these. We hear it over and over again. We’re hoping to address those and potentially improve them as much as possible. We’re also talking about the Wave franchise update that will be happening at the end of the year, and working more with Jose and the Digital Inclusion Committee, specifically, when it comes to these low income broadband programs. Are there any questions for either Joneil or for me? Those are the two committee updates, and we can talk more after the break when we get into the committee structures and work plan development.
David Keyes: You know we negotiated the Comcast franchise, and talked to them about the rollout of senior discount programs. That’s in the wings, too.
Ryan Biava: I would add one comment. Something that I’ve been interested in is figuring out ways for the City to let people know through official channels. There are other programs that the City has, the Utility Discount Program being one that you probably know about. Is there a connection between letting people know that you’re signed up for one, therefore you may be eligible for another. That may be something to look into.
Vicky Yuki: We’re trying to tie the eligibility criteria to the Utility Discount Program, because that is the most liberal, I guess, in terms of allowing people to have access. We’re trying to tie it together. And then letting people know about all of the programs.
David Keyes: One other piece coming up. Sprint did settle with Mobile Citizen. This is the conversion of Clear and Spectrum that they had had Mobile Citizen offering low income MiFi or WiFi program, and $10/month program for nonprofits. They are now able to do that conversion. You have to buy a new modem, but they are able to continue under a new agreement with Spring to provide LTE service through Mobile Citizen to nonprofits for $10 a month. People have been notified of that. Interconnection has worked out their next level of partnership with that. So they will again be opening that up again in the next couple of month.
Vicky Yuki: They will be offering a tier of service that will be very similar to the one that was offered through Clear.
Janice Tufte: You were mentioning about how we are hoping to connect people with the same basis of how you certify that an individual is able to qualify for programs. I don’t know if you know that between now and March 31, 40,000 people will be off Food Stamps in the Seattle area. We’ve had waivers that have been included. One of the criteria is that you receive benefits. If you’re able bodied to work and it’s determined. We’ve had a waiver going on for years, and it was just lifted. We tried to fight it, but the federal government said, ‘No, you have too healthy an economy here.’ So it is 40,000 people we’re facing. You either have to work, go to school, or volunteer 16 hours a month. We’re going to have a huge surge of people trying to find work, as well as trying to find volunteer work. The notice went out on January 22 for March 31. I just want you to be aware of this. This is a big deal, as far as criteria in all of the discount programs. You might have to change some things.
Karia Wong: I’m just curious. How is that going to work? Because I know with the Utility Discount Program, as long as the people live in the same house, they can combine their income to qualify for the program. But, for the internet program that we are talking about, they are just looking for individual household income that’s on the tax return form or pay stub. I’m not sure what the process is going to look like.
Vicky Yuki: That’s technically when we were still mapping it out. Right now, Comcast has just been asking for various different types of low income qualifiers. They have a pilot in Miami and San Francisco that’s been running. They’ve taken all of the discount programs that you could possibly qualify for. If you qualify for other programs in that city, you qualify for low cost internet. They don’t want to have any barriers. So if you qualify for Food Stamps, or Utility Discount, or any other low income program, then you will qualify for the Comcast. They’re trying to make it as easy as possible. They don’t want to have to do a lot of verification. They don’t want to have to review your tax records. It’s similar to how they’re doing it with the children, with the student population. Where if you attend a school that’s a Title I school, then you can qualify whether you’re low income or not. The idea is to build as much capacity as possible.
Amy Hirotaka: We’re going to have a long discussion on determining committee structures, and our work plan development. This is an important conversation to have, specifically because we did just hear from Mayor and Council about what their priorities are. David and Vicky have written on the board what our current committees are: Broadband and Cable, Digital Inclusion, E-Gov, and Privacy. At this point, let’s open it up and talk about the committees, and whether these are the appropriate committees, and how the priorities fit into these particular groups. Any thoughts about that?
David Keyes: Yes, just those couple of variables about the committees and all the folks in the committees have done a whole lot this last year, and a lot of the research and feet on the ground, and deliberation. It’s always a challenge as we go through this process every year to balance out how many things the board wants to tackle and how much time folks have. There may be projects that come up or short term things that may lie outside. For example, I know that next month, John Giamberso is going to bring the Seattle Channel diversity stats back again. We haven’t had a major project for Seattle Channel over the past nine months or so, but those things will come to the board. We don’t necessarily need a committee or a work item, maybe that could go to a project group. So, as you’re talking about some of those things, there may be some things that lie outside of that structure.
One of the things that has been stressed a little bit in the past, is the importance of the board communications. To some extent, every piece of project work or committee work has communications to share, so I hope we keep doing that this year. As you fold that in, make sure you have those skills. We do have the web site and blog, which Vicky and I help maintain with you guys.
Amy Hirotaka: David, do you think it’s a good idea to go through the committees and talk about where the priorities fit in?
David Keyes: Yes. If there is anything that you heard tonight, maybe run through some of those and ask whether they work in the existing committees, or are they something outside that need to be folded in some way. Then, as we discussed, the Digital Equity Initiative has three main threads: connectivity, digital skills, and devices and technical support. There’s a lot of development with the private sector and partners within that. Some of it may fall across committees, and that’s another consideration.
John Tigue: Do we have the opportunity to redefine the committees?
David Keyes: Absolutely.
John Tigue: The thing about the Broadband and Cable Committee now is that there is absolutely no overlap on those two topics. One issue can’t force the delivery of another. They’re both completely separate. And Broadband is only a subset of the broader topic of internet. So I would make internet one of the committees.
Dorene Cornwell: I think that there’s something to be said for looking at connectivity in a unified way, but Internet sounds too big.
Karia Wong: I’m having the impression that we’re actually getting more overlapping areas between the Broadband and the Digital Inclusion committees, especially with the Digital Equity Initiative.
Jose Vasquez: We have been seeing, particularly with the low income broadband adoption, there is overlap. I want to recommend that we append the Digital Inclusion Committee to the Digital Equity Committee to align more with the City’s goals. Because we have been working, not just on Digital Inclusion, but having conversations about Digital Equity. We’re not just about including folks. We’re also about advocating for community needs, and being that type of voice for the community.
Joneil Sampana: Point of clarification. If you do change a name, does that mean that the new committee will be focusing on all of the eight goals?
Jose Vasquez: That’s a good question. I picked three to start with. I feel like all of them could fall under it.
Janice Tufte: With the internet, with Comcast, people have both cable and the internet. Because cable and internet is more reasonable than internet only. We have to take that into account. There’s going to be overlap.
John Tigue: I agree with you, but we have no power to push what happens in one or the other. Although we might come up with the same wire–DSL literally is the same wire–there’s no relationship in terms of what we can do with the group.
Janice Tufte: There is no regulation with internet.
John Tigue: Well, there are, but they’re separate.
Amy Hirotaka: That said, we did leverage the Comcast franchise update, which did only have to do with cable, to ask for internet things. Although, legally, they weren’t required to do anything, the fact that we were able to call attention to it through the franchise update was helpful. From my perspective, cable is becoming less important, and sort of fading away as an issue that we’re talking about. I totally understand where you’re coming from, and I do think that they are separate, specifically when it comes to regulation. That said, we do use cable as a way to talk about broadband.
David Keyes: The context for us right now is that we do have that franchising authority when people do come in to do video. We just granted a cable franchise to Century Link this last year, because they wanted to offer their Prism service. The merging piece is happening a lot, but we still have some authority over things, which also connects to cabinets, which is another piece that we were able to work on these last couple of years.
Karia Wong: I propose that we combine the Broadband and Digital Inclusion Committees to Digital Equity or something like that. Because, eventually, we’re going to work together more often on these items that we are planning.
Amy Hirotaka: Are there any comments on that from either CTAB members or members of the committees?
Joneil Sampana: How large are the committees right now, volunteer-wise?
Amy Hirotaka: Broadband Committee is well represented here. If everyone who participates in the Broadband Committee could raise their hand?
Jose Vasquez: The Digital Inclusion committee hasn’t met over the past few months. Probably my fault.
Dorene Cornwell: I like the idea of combining Broadband and Digital Inclusion.
Jose Vasquez: Can I share what I think is the work plan for Digital Inclusion, and maybe from that we can make sense of it? I made copies. For this committee, the biggest body of work is the Technology Matching Fund. But since that is changing, we’re still not sure what that’s going to look like. I personally feel that that is something that we should be working on, even if it’s outside of the City’s Technology Matching Fund–if it changes name or whatever. Capacity building. I want to call that capacity building. I feel that that is something that this committee should be working on or researching. As far as aligning with the Digital Equity goals, improving digital connectivity in public spaces. I just basically wanted us to talk about how this board and the committee can work on that.
David Keyes: Just to mention a couple of things that we know are coming up this year: Council approves the money to do a broader WiFi strategy. Expect that to come back here. It will be an opportunity for you guys. We know there’s work that’s going to start to expand WiFi connectivity in the parks and Recreation Community Centers in the shorter term. This longer term strategy to ensure sustainability includes the Parks and Rec community labs, where there are six or seven of those in kiosks in Parks and Rec centers, and then there’s community based learning centers.
Jose Vasquez: So that goal of connectivity and improving digital equity in public spaces, I think that’s aligned pretty closely with the Broadband and Cable Committee. The second one, skills training, or more specifically, provide digital resources in support of community based organizations. That’s what I was talking about: capacity building within our community. How do we leverage the City’s resources to maybe bring outside investments to build the capacity of organizations working on digital equity? The third one, Devices and Technical Support, is developing technology support programs. How do we connect Seattle residents to technology resources that are available? There are many resources that the E-Gov Committee has been identifying. Or the low income program: How do we work with the City to promote those better? How do we get our community more engaged to utilize all these resources? Those are the three focus areas, and I want to get your feedback.
Amy Hirotaka: I agree with these goals. I do think that improving digital connectivity in public spaces completely overlaps with the Broadband Committee. I was trying to capture what might overlap and what doesn’t. The skills training doesn’t seem to overlap as much. Devices sort of does. And I think that if we were to combine them, there are still a few things that exist outside of the shared space. One pro would be that as the chair of the Digital Inclusion and maybe the Digital Equity Committee, you have been inactive for a while and there’s a lack of participation in your committee. So you’d have a ready-built group of folks who are engaged with their committee to start working on this big one, which is connectivity.
Joneil Sampana: I’ll add to that, just with something that is outside of the overlap. The funding collaborative: There is a shared interest in that with E-Gov.
Karia Wong: I guess one of the focuses of the Broadband Committee is to improve digital connectivity, especially for low income families. I’m not sure if that’s going to be an overlapping area, or going to be totally separate. Because we are working with those providers anyway.
Amy Hirotaka: What I’m seeing come out of the conversation so far is that Digital Equity is our over-arching goal. And it could be that we focus on Digital Equity in each of the other three committees, and potentially another committee could come up with something else, and have Digital Equity be the over-arching goal, but also there could be specific goals within each committee that move towards the end goal of Digital Equity.
Janice Tufte: Also the area of funding nonprofits is changing in June. United Way Puget Sound is really focusing on addressing issues of poverty, the root causes of poverty. So some of the funding stream is changing from housing services to addressing issues like this. There could be funding there as well. This is really a key component as far as education and the digital divide. All of this is a primary factor in issues of poverty. It’s what the feds, the state, and the nonprofits are all coming to right now. Seattle has been ahead in this game, but there will be more money there. So I think it’s smart to put the two together.
Dan Moulton: Did you strengthen the language to say ‘poverty elimination?’ Even in health care they say, diet and exercise. It’s been noted within the last six years as one of those ongoing chronic problems. Poverty is at the root, affecting the bottom line. Strengthen the language. When you’re talking about digital equity, that phrase has been used so much that people actually don’t believe that there’s digital divide. They keep citing the Pew research that says all have a smart phone. And I look at them and ask, do they have a data plan? My personal experience is that they don’t have continuous access to 21st century basic services that will help them learn or be able to get a job. I just think that in Seattle people don’t believe there’s a digital divide any longer.
Dashiell Milliman Jarvis: Just as a devil’s advocate for keeping them separate. I don’t disagree with anything that’s been said about the importance of digital equity, but just that the Broadband and Cable Committee, over the past year, has been very busy with just focusing on things like the Comcast and Century Link franchise agreements, the municipal broadband study, and a lot of discussions about things not part of low income inclusion, but general connectivity. A high tech city that doesn’t have broadband. They throttle gig speeds all over the city. We’re a country that ranks 27th. That’s an overall issue that’s not exclusive to lower income areas, but in different communities, it’s an overall issue.
Amy Hirotaka: Point of clarification. We’re talking about two separate things here. One was combining Broadband and Cable and Digital inclusion. The other was having digital equity be a banner goal of each of the three other committees, which is what I’m leaning towards. And it sounds like Jose Vasquez is, as well. Keep that in mind as we’re having the conversation.
Mark DeLoura: The comment that people in Seattle don’t feel like there are digital inequities really emphasizes the point that we should double down on having a group dedicated towards this. I think it’s pretty clear that that there is strong inequity, but probably people just are not aware of it. Maybe they’re not walking outside of their neighborhood and finding out what’s happening more broadly. Number two, I want to combat your Pew report with a CUNY Center report which came out. CUNY Center is the Sesame Street research arm. The report pointed out that yes, there are a lot of low income folks with cell phones that access the internet. But that is not equivalent to having broadband. The did research that showed that people who have access to cell phone internet were not spending as much time and learning as much. Dig up the CUNY Center report. It’s really interesting.
Dan Moulton: I fully support what you just said. To clarify, my comment was more in support of the idea that digital equity should be in the back of the mind, for each of the committees.
Amy Hirotaka: And specifically, the words ‘digital equity?’
Dan Moulton: We can keep it, because it’s polite. If you go towards talking about poverty elimination, people will start to have a gut reaction, and think you’re Bernie Sanders or something. But my point was just that this 21st century skill he just mentioned really–people don’t understand that that has so gotten to be so vital, almost like the invention of the telephone was.
David Keyes: I certainly think that digital equity crosses things to some extent that civic engagement is going to cross. Some of the different committees, no matter how you slice it, as well. One idea might be to keep a committee and call it Broadband and Cable or Broadband and Connectivity or something, so that that’s the connectivity bandwidth side of things. Some of the prep for the Wave franchise, the WiFi connectivity strategies, maybe some of the low income internet programs for connection. And now, if you will, the Digital Inclusion Committee to consider that focus around skills and devices. Because there’s plenty to do around that. I heard Vinh mention STEM support in school, out of school. Training capacity, some of the organizational capacity to be able to do effective classes and teach from basic computing to enable that scaling up of programs and things. And then E-Gov, we still have stuff coming up on open data, we know. Some things on civic tech. I’m not sure exactly where CTAB is going to fit in on this, but Michael Mattmiller mentioned, and you guys have already started on Smart Sensing programs. I think there may be a couple of things that cross, whether it’s Funders’ Collaborative or something. How do we bring in private sector folks to leverage the Technology Matching Fund or scholarships, or vouchers for devices, or connectivity. I’ll present a little more about this next month. We’ve been working with the Seattle Housing Authority on this HUD federal Connect Home around broadband adoption, which includes some elements of connectivity as well as wheels turning and the devices. That may be one way to slice it. Some things are a little too broad. It’s not to say that there can’t be a project that overlaps.
Nourisha Wells: I was going to say something along those lines. I do think that there is still a huge area that aligns with the Broadband and Cable Committee. What has been happening over the last couple of years, but I also think that it’s very important for us to recognize that you can’t talk about broadband in the future without making sure that everyone in the City is included in that conversation. I don’t think you can separate it. I don’t think anybody on the committee should be looking at that area without thinking about the entire City. But it looks like we have a work plan for all of the committees on this sheet here.
Jose Vasquez: That’s where I’m torn. I do appreciate the fact that it has its own space, but it should be an over-arching theme or goal for all committees. I think the Technology Matching Fund should appoint its own subcommittee, whenever we find out about that, because it’s community driven. I will fight for that until the end. And that, in itself, is a big part of the Digital Inclusion Committee, so that might be its role, and maybe expand on that a little.
Nourisha Wells: I think, realistically, as we have some seats on the board that are open, if we’re looking at what the interests are already, and what we have community support for as far as committees go, then we want to focus. Because we can’t do everything. There are only a few things that we’re going to be able to do well, and we identify what those things are and then align them to what we have. I think that because all of this stuff does include digital equity, then I still think we cover what we want to cover.
David Keyes: Just for reference, so we know, the Wave stuff will probably be mid-year. The first piece of that is figuring out what to do in working on the community needs assessment, to prep for the Wave franchise. There’s probably a piece that’s coming back, and whether this is whole group or one of the committees have it, Comcast and Century Link report on their progress. I know we’ve had Century Link do one update so far on the rollout of their gigabit service. They talked about their use of their low income program. On the Digital Equity launch, we’re briefing the Mayor and his team in about a week, and we’ve been in a holding pattern while trying to schedule a launch of that event, and more formal announcements of that event. There are about 25 people, including Jose Vasquez and Amy Hirotaka, who served with the Digital Action committee. So, I think think as we’re working on specific projects related to that, there are other folks that we can pull into those CTAB committees. I’ll have a better sense of that coming soon.
Jose Vasquez: My question is does any other current board member have interest in taking over the Digital Inclusion Committee, as it stands right now?
Nourisha Wells: Which is…? I’m talking about how it stands right now.
Jose Vasquez: I was thinking along the lines of chair and vice chair. I think that’s something we should be leading and guiding as far as all the committees. But Digital Equity makes it all connect with each other. On top of last year’s work, we’ve done a lot of improvement, as opposed to when I started, when I don’t think the committees helped each other a lot. At least that was my perspective. I also think that Karia’s proposal about merging the Digital Inclusion and Broadband and Cable Committees, I’ll second that.
Amy Hirotaka: I am going to advocate having these banner goals be divided between the three existing committees. The one hesitation that I have is that skills training doesn’t really seem to fit into any of those right now. But I do think that with a broadened capacity for the Broadband and Cable Committee, that could be something they could take on, but only if there are more members and more engagement there.
Dan Stiefel: We have a lot of members on our committee, but we’re always short on manpower. And you’re short on manpower. But you have a real specialty there, so why don’t you keep your committee, but you work with the other committees? We could use your expertise. In the given time, depending upon what we’re working on, there’s more or less need for it. But there’s is always going to be need for your specialty. And I think that we need to double down on that a little bit. And I think you ought to have your seat and hold your own meetings when appropriate, but be part of the other committees, too, as needed. Somehow, there’s a manpower problem in the middle of all this for the committees. I think when we create committees, we have to keep in mind what is the best way to approach that. It’s not just the static naming, and have a chair. I think there’s strength in both things, and maybe we should create a flexible structure where you’re a specialist and you collaborate with us all as we need it.
Jose Vasquez: I do like that. But I would like to empower others to do that work. Because if I’m involved in multiple committees, and at the same time, trying to convene my own committee, I don’t know if I’ll have the time.
Dan Stiefel: What I’m saying is, if something comes up, then we’re on that. Our work changes from time to time, and sometimes we have more digital inclusion and less, and it’s the same for you. Sometimes you’re working with us, and sometimes there’s something like the training aspect. So if something comes up that demands a lot of work for training, you just hold your own meetings and we will gravitate that way. I don’t think you have to be doing both simultaneously.
Amy Hirotaka: Maybe make it a more seasonal committee.
Nourisha Wells: So, outside of the Tech Matching Fund, what did you see as Digital Inclusion’s task, as it was before today?
Jose Vasquez: I know we had a lot of conversations about how to connect community organizations to t tech resources. I see those as the two main things. Everything else was more about how we interact with the other committees and their work.
Janice Tufte: The City has done what you’re proposing. The City has already integrated social justice with the Race and Social Justice Initiative five years ago. A few years ago, it had to be integrated into every single department, which it has. So that’s part of it. And that’s sort of what we’re discussing today. But United Way and a lot of the funding that’s coming from various entities is changing, not to eliminate poverty, but looking at the causes to see what to do and how to alleviate some of those problems. The digital divide is one of those main issues. I want to add that what we did as we testified for the cable, I reached out to four or five social services and other different agencies, and we had people come and testify on behalf of the low income residents. Karia also testified. So it was important that we had Seattle Housing, DESC, we had Downtown Emergency, a few different people speak. And that’s really what we did at that point in time. We brought in people who were expert. That would be something that we should be doing.
Dan Stiefel: And what’s going to happen here out of this work we’ve been doing with Wave? We’re thinking that there’s some funding vehicle that’s going to have to come. With the complaints that we see, there’s going to have to be some funding directed towards that, we hope. And we’re not experts on that. There’s going to have to be digital equity funding. So it seems that it’s a really important thing to have expertise on CTAB for digital inclusion, particularly as funding streams get changed and developed. It would be good to have someone like you still specializing in that so that the output that we get out of our Broadband and Cable Committee, we find out –and a lot of it is going to be digital equity related to funding–that we can pass the football or share the football. We don’t have that expertise so much as you would.
Jose Vasquez: And in my mind, I am separating those two. My personal perspective is, imagine if I wasn’t here. Do we need that Digital Equity Committee.
Amy Hirotaka: I think that you two are saying the same thing. I think Dan’s point about there not being enough man- and woman-power is correct. And I think that that points to the fact that it might not be practical right now to have a separate standing committee. Because Jose is also vice chair of CTAB, which he hasn’t said yet is that it’s a lot to be vice chair. It’s a big time commitment. And him also chairing a committee is likely not going to be beneficial for anybody. So that’s something to keep in mind as well.
Heather Griswold: It does make sense for Digital Equity to become one of the main goals in the banner, and something that’s put out to all of the committees. And then, you can be the champion of that as part of your role as the vice chair. Retire this group. Create a new group to do some of the more tactical focused items.
Dashiell Milliman Jarvis: Basically, Jose is really busy with everything else. It would be nice if he could hand over the reins of the TMF stuff, and this other project developing more connections with the nonprofits and other groups that help with the digital equity pols–people like Interconnection, Solid Ground, and any of the other groups that actually receive Technology Matching Fund grants. We’d get more community involvement, which might actually solve the people power problem. They might start volunteering with CTAB in an ideal world.
Nourisha Wells: I am more than happy to take over the actual tasks that fall under the current Digital Inclusion Committee, like the Tech Matching Fund. I’m happy to do that. I don’t think that we need to continue to have a Digital Inclusion Committee if we’re going to make Digital Equity the focus for all of our committees, so that all of the committees work towards advancing this goal. Even with connectivity, us coming up with a list of resources or hub or web site or whatever it is, that’s a smaller project. It happens and it’s done. Maybe the next thing could be a special committee to work on a project for two months or whatever. And then it’s done.
Joneil Sampana: In regards to the Digital Equity Initiative, I think that responsibility goes to not just folks around this table, but everyone in this room. I guess advocates for the City of Seattle and everyone here should know what an [unintelliglble] document is and advocate for your neighbors. We argue for something different here, but it’s not all our responsibility. So I think that’s what brings us together. So in our messaging, let’s be clear in all of our minutes and agendas, how we position all of our objectives. It’s staged in context to the Digital Equity Initiative.
David Keyes: What I also envision–this is what Austin, for example, has been doing–is regular sessions with the advisory board to do updates to community updates on the status of implementation on their digital inclusion plan. That’s another opportunity for this group.
Amy Hirotaka: I notice that we have a couple of hands up. I know that we’re running low on time. So, David, I wo0uld like to know if we need to make a motion on all of this?
Dan Moulton: I immediately agree with what you’ve said, but just to make sure, that it doesn’t get eliminated, that it doesn’t get lost. If we have a single point of contact or a clearing house so that everybody forming different committees would say what they have done on digital inclusion.It doesn’t even have to be a stand up majority. It would just be reported.
Nourisha Wells: When we set the priorities, those priorities are advancing digital equity. So that we don’t have any action items that aren’t going to touch on those themes. So that when you’re reporting on your work, hopefully, you’ve done something to advance that.
Amy Hirotaka: It’s like what Janice said about RSJI. Every department in the City looks at things through an RSJI lens. We should be looking at everything through a digital equity lens. And then, we do, of course, have this digital equity banner and the goals that are outlined in the document.
Dan Stiefel: I think we do need a person. We may not need a committee, but we need somebody. Because part of it is we have to communicate to do it. We have to communicate to different groups. We have to communicate with so many different people. It would be really nice to have one person who knows all the digital equity people in the government. I think CTAB should have that person. I think that’s what he was saying. That’s what I was trying to say, but not doing a very good job of it. Whether we need a committee, I think we need a board member who’s fully up to speed on all of the people involved and who can run with the ball as the other two committees need it.
Jose Vasquez: And I would be willing to take on that role. Maybe call it digital equity liaison.
David Keyes: That’s actually helpful for us in some ways, too. As staff, just as we’re working with the Mayor’s office and Council, and working on the staff and implementation plan to run through in terms of project management and whatever elements come through committees versus other staff implementation.
Dan Stiefel: The digital equity czar!
Amy Hirotaka: As a point of clarification, if we change the committee structure, do we need a motion from CTAB, or can we say that we’re exploring this, and potentially when we get our new members here?
David Keyes: It’s functionally what you need to do. And we just have things tied. Meeting times, listservs, what’s on the web site. It’s up to you guys to determine what you want to do.
Amy Hirotaka: One thing that we haven’t talked about yet is that Beryl is no longer on the board and she was the Privacy Committee chair. Is there a co-chair that she had that’s here that I don’t know about?
Nourisha Wells: I helped with co-chairing, but there wasn’t anything that carries over. That was one of the things that she said, that the privacy forums that she was planning is something that’s happening in the community. It’s not something that was something still attached to CTAB. She was reporting on it because she was working with them on it. So if we decide that we don’t want to put resources towards that, it will still happen without us.
David Keyes: And I would guess from what’s going on in terms of programs, policies, and planning, we know we have this chief privacy officer that the City is working on hiring right now. And we have the Privacy Toolkit that was developed this past year that we’re just starting to work on implementing, as Ryan mentioned, there may be identification of some specific needs the City has, and opportunity. You guys, as you’ve done even with the privacy officer, bring that to us or to somebody on the board. That’s something we could come back to.
Nourisha Wells: We only added it because we were asked to do it. It’s not something that has to stay.
Christopher Sheats: As I understand, the board members are not the only people that can run committees. So I would also volunteer to run the Privacy Committee.
Amy Hirotaka: Does one of the chairs need to be a CTAB member?
David Keyes: That’s what we said in the past. It’s something that can be changed.
Amy Hirotaka: Thank you, Christopher. We will note that. I think that our action items them are that Jose and I are tasked with outlining potentially what this new structure looks like, not necessarily finalized yet, because we do have these new board members coming in. We need to make a list of what Jose would be the liaison for, and then we will share them with the board. And then, if there needs to be something voted on , we can do it at the next meeting. Is that okay with everybody on CTAB?
Nourisha Wells: I have to say, Jose, don’t put too much on your list.
Amy Hirotaka: Do we have any other action items?
Nourisha Wells: Do we know when we’re going to get updates on TMF?
David Keyes: We’re working on it right now. I can certainly have it by the next meeting. What we’re working out right now is taking the first step. So, on the digital equity strategies, as we work with you guys and with the community groups and so on, we put an initial rough implementation order to things. 2016, 2017. Now we’re going back in more detail and saying, with a limited number of staff, how do we transition our current work and how do we pull that in to make sure that we can administer and manage those. We know we have a little bit of money that has come from the Comcast franchise agreement for the Digital Equity Initiative. We”ll have some money to use towards it. The main thing right now is trying to figure out how we manage that.
Nourisha Wells: So, it’s just going to be pushed back.
David Keyes: Yes. At minimal, here are the goals for the Digital Equity Initiative and when we put out for the Tech Matching Funds, have groups address in their applications how they are addressing those goals, so we can map them together. We’re doing the hard work right now and just trying to figure out how to align our internal resources, but we obviously want to get that rolling.
Jose Vasquez: So, to wrap up the action items, by the next meeting, we’ll develop a committee support outline. And Christopher Sheats in interested in the Privacy Committee chair.
Amy Hirotaka: And next month, I believe, we’ll also potentially have Candace Faber and Jim Loter.
David Keyes: Yes. John Giamberso asked about doing a Seattle Channel diversity update at the next meeting.
Janice Tufte: I just want to add something on the Digital Equity Initiative: the Device and Technical Support, the developed technology support program for its communication marketing strategy is really important. And I know we discussed it, but when different groups discussed it with the Comcast renewal, is that a lot of customers that are low income aren’t aware fully of the packages that are available. So if they get a $29.95 package, they are told they can add things, and before you know it, their bills are outrageous. So not only do we have this package available, but it has to be pretty clear. It’s called up-selling. Whenever anything is added, make it very clear that people are aware that whenever you add anything on there, this is going to increase your bill quite a bit, and you have to be aware of how long you’re required to do that. We have many, many people in low income housing that are in collections because of this. They don’t realize it, and they’re home alone, and they’re used to living with a lot of people, all of a sudden, they’re alone and their TV is their main source. So this has to be built in, the awareness of the dangers. How to be careful of what you’re purchasing and that you’re able to afford it within your budget. It needs to be very clear, not just how they market it currently.
Amy Hirotaka: That’s actually another way that Digital Equity and the Broadband and Cable Committees certainly overlap.
David Keyes: One last thing, there was also a request from Bruce Blood, the open data manager. He’ll have some stuff at our next meeting also.
THE MEETING WAS ADJOURNED AT 8:00 P.M.