October 11, 2016 Meeting – Seattle Community Technology Advisory Board
Topics covered included: CTO Michael Mattmiller update; George Richardson discusses the broadband speed map data report; David Doyle on the Open Data program, workplan and discussion on building in Race and Social Justice goals; and reports from the Cable and Broadband Committee, E-Government Committee, Privacy Committee, and the Digital Inclusion Committee
This meeting was held: October 11, 2016; 6:00-7:30 p.m., Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2750
Podcasts available at: http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/CTTAB/podcast/cttab.xml
Board Members: Amy Hirotaka, Karia Wong, Heather Lewis, Jose Vasquez, Eliab Sisay
Public: David Doyle, Lloyd Douglas, Dorene Cornwell, Dan Moulton, George Richardson, Kate Schneier (YMCA), Ann Summy, Christopher Sheats via phone, Iga Fikayo Keme
Staff: Michael Mattmiller, Virginia Gleason, Derrick Hall, Cass Magnuski
18 In Attendance
Meeting was called to order by Amy Hirotaka.
Agenda and September Minutes approved. (Agenda incorrectly states that the October agenda is the September agenda. Typo.)
Michael Mattmiller: Good evening. It’s hard to believe it’s already October. I have a couple of updates to share with you tonight, but really, I’d like to breeze through my ten minutes sharing with you the proposed 2017-2018 Seattle IT Strategic Agenda, which we have been working on over the past few months. Thank you to Virginia Gleason for all of her efforts in this area, as well as a number of other people in Seattle IT and across the City.
But before I go there, we are very excited that the Next Generation Data Center is incredibly close to wrapping up. In fact, the very last piece of that project happens this weekend, when we move the City’s network perimeter from this building to the Western Data Center, which is our new facility down in Tukwila. What that means is that when City employees go out to the internet, instead of there being a connection from this building to the Westin Building, that connection will actually be from here down to the data center. While that seems like a trivial ‘where does the wire connect,’ there is actually a huge amount of planning and investment that has gone into how we architected the new perimeter to secure the City’s technology and our users, to make sure that we have much more robust connectivity and resiliency. So the Seattle IT staff, as well as staff from many departments across the City, will be up very early this coming Sunday morning to affect that change.
Now onto the strategic agenda: Per the Seattle Municipal Code, Chapter , Section 23.030 (and then there is a letter after it, which I forget) the City’s Chief Technology Officer is responsible for putting forth the strategic technology planning agenda, to help guide investment across the City. In other words, Council has invested in the CTO the responsibility to help envision what the technology should look like going forward. So, over the past six months, there have been many conversations with departments, with technology leaders, and even with people in this group who have helped inform where we should be as a municipality when it comes to using technology to connect people to their government, to ensure a productive and efficient City workforce, and to make Seattle into a leader in digital equity. What we’re putting forth are five priorities that we think will spawn a series of projects over the next two years to keep us at the front of the governments.
Like I said, we have painted our strategic agenda in a series of five priorities. Many of you have heard me talk about the Mayor’s IT Sub-Cabinet. That’s who I refer to as our board of directors for technology here in the City. There are the ten department directors, the largest IT span, and we meet on a quarterly basis to advise them on the work going on in the City, the performance of the department, and get their guidance as to what they see as needs for the City. The way that we work together is the IT Sub-Cabinet has defined a purpose for technology in the City, powerful solutions for the City and public we serve. They define principles on how we should make decisions for technology investment. And then they will approve these five priorities which will get a little bit more specific.
When we first thought about where we are going with technology in the City, this first priority became one that was very important to us. Service and system maturity. As we’ve added to our responsibilities in technology, we haven’t always thought to ask, ‘Are we being efficient? Are we delivering something that is scalable? ‘ And that actually realizes the full value of the products that we buy. The way that we manage and image our desktops in some ways similar to when we first deployed Windows XP. We did that a little later than most organizations, but still as a fairly dated process. As part of this priority, we want to be focused on modernizing the user experience in the City. How do we use Office 365, Windows 10, and the mobile devices that we all have, to actually get our staff out from behind their desks and into the community, and get any information they need in real time.
How do we make service delivery more consistent and efficient? Generally, many of our services operate very well in our mature state, but as we move on to more modern tools, our staff training on how to use the system, how we instrument our environment, so that if there is an outage, we identify it quickly to resolve it before a user contacts us.
We also are focused on our IT project portfolio. Many of you have heard me talk about the fact that we have $430 million in IT spending going on right now in the City. Some of those projects are at higher risk than we would like, or maybe not realize the full value of that spend. So we are going to be invested in project portfolio management, as well as better monitoring, recording tools. We also want to increase our IT application portfolio. We have more than 1,200 enterprise applications in the City today. Many of those are somewhat dated, or may not be providing fully to the department. We think that if we can focus on having the best of platforms that meet a large number of department needs, we might be able to unplug applications and save maintenance costs and staffing costs, as well as we can think about strategically replacing some applications, like our end of life People Soft system, so that we can actually provide more robust originality and decrease some side applications across the board.
Next up, Smart and Data-Driven Cities is priority two. This is one that I’m so excited to be working more with CTAB on. How is it that we can build tools and processes that facilitate the sharing of data, partnering with the community, and really improving the quality of life through technology? We’ve had some side conversations — I just asked the CTAB Privacy Committee last week to think about how are using data at scale, big data and the internet of things changing how cities operate. So much potential there. We don’t have all the ideas on government. We don’t have all the solutions on government. But the people in this room and our 1,500 member strong civic technology community certainly have a lot of great ideas that we can help bring to fruition. We’re going to be increasing the use of data. Our Open Data program and David Doyle engage partners in the community. Our civic technology program with Candace Faber, as well as leveraging new technologies like IOT in a responsible manner to make sure we can meet the City’s business needs going forward.
Digital Equity is also something we’ve been working closely with CTAB on, that we hope to do more of, making sure that here in Seattle we close the homework gap, that we find ways to make sure that all of our community can participate in what is increasingly our high tech online society. The key objectives here: to fully implement the Digital Equity Action Plan, which has so many great strategies, thanks in part to the people in our community who helped develop them. And also continuing to increase broadband access and adoption.
Number four, Public Experience. Who is going to use online applications from the City of Seattle? Fill in the blanks, pay your utility bill. There are some challenges. They all look different. They all have different sign-ons. Some of them still say, ‘This site requires Internet Explorer 6, and only Internet Explorer 6. We have work to do. But the good news is, through IT consolidation, we can now take user-centric approaches to think about how to reconnect with the public, and help enable people to interact with our government. Things like developing a UX lab in this department. It’s something we will be able to do through consolidation and we’re excited about that. And not just the team of people who are thinking about UX, but a common playbook of standards, and actually being able to do user testing on a repeatable basis.
Last one. Many of you have heard about the Mayor’s executive board related to the Department of Neighborhoods’ (DON) changing how we support District Councils. That executive order also included a charge to Seattle IT to envision how we support DON’s changes using technology. So if DON is trying to coordinate better how its department interacts with the community, one of the tools necessary to support that. We desperately want to help. We don’t want SDOT going to Ballard Community Center and having a conversation on Thursday, and City Light going there on Friday and then comparing notes, and having the community go, ‘Why doesn’t the City listen to us?’ We’re very excited to be working on that.
Privacy and Security. So critically important. We must take steps to help the City understand the threats that we face and to be proactive in implementing solutions that mitigate risk and increase efficiency. Nothing is more important here than our first objective, of earning the public’s trust in how we collect and use information. We have had a couple of missteps there, over the past month, as as I explain to folks, we’re only a year into focusing on privacy. We have a lot of education still to do in the departments, but what I’m hoping people see that we are taking the necessary remedial measures to get departments to recognize what they’ve done wrong. And we’re working to get them right going forward.
Last priority: Optimization. This year, we did something big. We brought together 650 technologists into one department. And while that’s great, it’s a first step. And we can do things like think about common UX, think about how to better manage 1,200 applications. We still have work to do before we realize the capacity we think comes from putting everyone together in Seattle IT. So in the next two years, we’re going to focus on objectives, making IT a strategic business partner in departments, and make sure that they actually get some value out of consolidation, developing our workforce to evolve technologies, trainings, leadership opportunities. Putting them together and spreading the word.
So, those are the hallmarks of our strategic plan: the six priorities, the objectives we hope to achieve. There is a document that we are still working to finalize over the next couple of weeks that goes with this, that we will present to MITS at the end of next week for approval, at which point we’ll be able to share it more broadly. It’s ambitious in the amount of work we’ll try to get through, but they’re all things that we think are absolutely necessary. I know I’ve probably completely over-run my time. Any feedback from you as the leads? Tweaks? Please feel free to email me or Virginia Gleason directly to provide that insight.
Jose Vasquez: We do have a few minutes for questions. On priority number three, Digital Equity, would it be possible to expand on that area to call out the actual action?
Michael Mattmiller: Absolutely. And we can do it in one of two ways. I didn’t reflect it in this text because the language is still changing. In the document, there is another level of bullets that describes the specific project. But we could also bubble those up to that top level.
Jose Vasquez: Great. And then on priority number four, Public Engagement. I know one that is very relevant to this community. It’s web grants.
Michael Mattmiller: That is a great one. That is a funded project so we can bubble that up to the strategic level. Thank you.
Dan Moulton: So the local professional group [unintelligible] ….
Michael Mattmiller: That’s right. Thank you. I will have Ryan be in touch.
Dan Moulton: Yeah. All you have to do is email, or I can tell you when it comes up in the lineup [unintelligible] ….
Dorene Cornwell: How is the City dealing with accessibility issues. I ask specifically because I know two blind employees who work in different departments who probably have different profiles.
Michael Mattmiller: Sure. To your first question, yes, we are implementing Windows and that will be a 2017 project at the City. With the barest project before Council right now, it includes a rider on our Microsoft agreement. As one might expect, when a three-year project comes to an end, Microsoft is increasing our costs a little bit. But the good news is that might be able to give us Windows 10 as well as the key products that we really want for our employees. Active Directory, which gives us easier single sign on. [Unintelligible] which is critical as we are about to have 4,000 more mobile devices in the City. And that also goes with our investment in Office 365. In December of this year, we’ll be fully on board with Exchange Online and SharePoint Online. When we talk about improving our end user experience, one of the areas of focus will be, we’ve got all these tools, how [unintelligible]…. I’m super excited. We have a great guy on our team putting this all together for us. I look forward to telling that story next year.
To your question about accessibility, it’s absolutely critical and something that we take seriously, especially in light of the Race and Social Justice Initiative. I’m very proud of our seattle.gov resdesign, making sure we pass all of our Section 508 and ADA accessibility checks, so that is top of mind. Regarding the two blind employees, I don’t specifically know how we approach combinations like stream readers, but that will be something that gets tested as we implement Windows 10.
Amy Hirotaka: All right. We have two minutes left, so Karia?
Karia Wong: The first question: I’m just wondering if there is any plan for [unintelligible]….
Michael Mattmiller: Absolutely. We can certainly make SharePoint on one side available, which will allow real time collaboration on documents.
Karia Wong: And then the second question: What is the time frame for the whole plan, and [unintelligible]….
Michael Mattmiller: That’s a great question. MITS has already been centralized with the primary user experience and the [unintelligible] with the specific objectives and projects that we have had to take on. We’re approaching the strategic agenda in somewhat of an opposite fashion because we had to request budget. We knew where we were going and we requested funding now sent to the Council, so presuming that passes, we are somewhat locked in on the work we have to do. So, it’s not perfunctory, but it’s a little predetermined, the types of things we’re going to work on over the next years. What we do need to do, once this is approved, is to turn the strategic plan into the implementation plan. So, our performance manager in the department is leading the directors through the implementation plans. We expect to have those completed by the end of November.
Karia Wong: I hope that in the Government Experience section, there will be a Public Comment or feedback process, so that the user can share that experience [unintelligible].
Michael Mattmiller: That’s a great suggestion. I will talk with the team about that.
Amy Hirotaka: Thank you, Michael. We will move on now to George Richardson, who will be giving a presentation on the Broadband Speed Map Data.
BROADBAND SPEED MAP DATA REPORT
George Richardson: Most of you have seen the application online. It’s posted on the City’s web site. It’s a little thing where you can put in who your internet service provider is, how you connect to the internet, and a few bits of other information, and you can test your broadband speed. And this is all recorded into the database. It’s kind of sparse. It tells you what the average speed is in the area. And that’s fine. You go into Open Data, data.seattle.gov, you can actually access all of the data. The main conclusions I have drawn, most people get download speeds of about 23 mbps; upload speeds below six mbps. The conclusions come with caveats relative to the quality of the data, which become apparent as you go through. So the first thing to look at is the usage of the tool. And you can see that the highest amount of usage was on a Tuesday morning so that probably corresponds to the launch of the tool, when everyone was excited to be logging on. And you can see the vast majority occurs between February and March. It pretty much held up to a couple hundred users per month. Still not bad. The next highest recorded is Friday nights, so people logging in, getting home on Friday night and speed testing.
Next, we can look at what the distribution of upload and download speeds are, and you can really see that the vast majority of speeds are concentrated right below 20 mbps to 50 mbps. There is a very small number of people recording such low numbers that you can hardly see them, to those getting very high speeds. There is a breakdown between wireless and wired data, so if you’re using WiFi in your home or if you’re using wired technology. You don’t have to worry about graphs so much, but across the three main ISPs, there’s a split of about two-thirds of people using wireless. You can see the difference in speed you might expect. Wireless is about 1.5 to two times faster than if you use a wired connection. And the other interesting thing to note is that these numbers correspond to the people who are actually using these different services. So, by far the highest number of records are for Comcast, and Century Link, and Wave. So, it’s nice to be able to see that.
What I wanted to do then, was look at upload speeds people are getting compared with their download speeds. I expected to see a kind of rough straight line trend going up against upload speeds. The first problem is that there’s not much data on speeds over 200 mbps. So for all those people with high speed services, there are not records. And the trend isn’t linear. If you zoom in, you get this, which is interesting. You get these three distinct bands of upload speeds. It doesn’t really matter what download speed you get, but you seem to fall into one of these patterns of one, six or twelve mbps upload speed, which is not what I expected to see. It’s quite difficult to see but there’s definitely those same bands across Comcast, Century Link and Wave.
Michael Mattmiller: Also, it’s good validation. So, on Comcast, your two are six and twelve. And I think for Wave, it’s 55 or 105. So, good validation.
George Richardson: So, the tools let you see the speed that the ISP promises to give you. And so I thought I’d look at how peoples’ advertised download speeds perform, and their advertised upload speeds. What I found is you get a strange mirroring effect, and that’s not what I expected to see. I expected see someone with a 20 mbps download speed gain 150 mbps upload. And that’s a weird thing. I expected to see the download number first. So we swapped it around, where the upload is in front of the download, it makes a lot more sense. So that’s kind of indicating more towards the design rather than any specific information about the services available to people. So I’ve got these advertised download speeds and I wanted to see what speeds people were actually achieving depending on what service they have. What is quite nice is where people have put their advertised download speed, these line up with the packages that are available currently on the three main ISPs’ web sites, the other interesting thing to note is it doesn’t matter what your advertised download speed is, you could be getting full speed to down to like one mbps. But this might be a bit misleading because it is self-reported data and we can’t be sure if they’re actually entering the right data there. You can look at the cost graphics, where you may be paying zero to $25, $25 to $50, $50 to $75, or $100, you kind of see a vague, more or less on lower packages whereas Comcast may be shifting out a little bit. But again, this is self-reported, and secondly, people probably put in the cost for the packages, not just the broadband speed, but cable. When you look at the Comcast web site, you can’t actually see the divisions on that.
And then finally, the time. So this is a cross section of time of day, the distribution of speeds. You can see that it doesn’t really matter what time of day. I expected to see a dip for peak times, but actually it doesn’t matter what time of day. You can be getting any speed. Obviously, this is distributed across the whole City, so to note maybe in localized areas you might see some dips. Days of the week are statistically identical. But this biggest conclusion I came to is more about the data itself. There is so much more we could do with this. You could have a really nice, data-rich map, do some more statistical tests, we could look at the Digital Equity side of it. But unless we have enough data, there is no unique identifiers, so you can’t see if it’s the same person just logging in again and again and testing the speed. There’s no data to test fluctuations. So, the main thing I came to is that you want people to be working this data and do some really useful things with it, but the quality, duration, are just as important as just pushing it out there.
I’ll take any questions, as I’m now an expert on the City’s broadband issues.
Michael Mattmiller: I would love to get a copy so I can share it with our partners. I think this is really fantastic. I would be curious about some of the gaps you identified through specific data points. It would help facilitate that extra analysis.
George Richardson: You mean my looking at specific data points that are already there, or some of the problems?
Michael Mattmiller: Some of the problems that you identified. Yes.
George Richardson: I think some of that can be addressed.
Amy Hirotaka: Any other questions for George? All right! Moving on to David Doyle and the Open Data Program.
OPEN DATA PROGRAM: WORKPLAN AND DISCUSSION ON BUILDING IN RACE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE GOALS
David Doyle: I just have two slides. I’m about a month into my new role. I just want to give an update on some of the main things that I will be working on with Bruce Blood and some other people for the rest of the year. And also, I’ll just make CTAB aware of some stuff that’s going to come your way in January.
Part of the policy was published–we are obliged to publish an annual report on the policy and implementation. That will happen at the end of this year. Bruce Blood and Candace Faber are driving most of that work. One of my first major deliverables is writing an Open Data Plan for the City. It’s the first time it will ever be done. That will focus on 2017 and probably be forward facing to 2018 as well. Both of those will be published, we are hoping, by the end of December. I will be seeking feedback on the Open Data Plan itself. I’m not sure yet how I’m going to gather that, but I’ll reach out. It will be in next month’s meeting by special request or follow-up email or whatever.
Beginning this week, a new project has started. It’s an Open Data Risk Assessment Project. It’s being done by an organization known as the Future for Privacy Forum. I’m basically the manager in the City who is overseeing the project. Just put a little blurb in there. It runs from the start of October to the end of next July. They are going to be presenting here in January, so I want to get that on the agenda for the 10th of January. I put in the slide just what they’re going to be doing, but they’ll present a draft of the proposed methodology to CTAB for review. This is part of the planning and review phases of the assessment. Then they will credit us with the final report, input findings, and so on. I just want to get that on the radar. I will be happy to provide anyone with more details on that project as it unfolds.
Other things I’m going to be focused on are building awareness of the Open Data Program itself. Obviously, the E-Gov Committee, some staff members, are some of the main channels there, and also presenting here to CTAB. I’ll probably provide an update once a quarter on the Open Data Program. I’ll start blogging probably once a month at least around Open Data on the TechTalk blog. If high profile data sets are being released, we might do blog posts on those. And there are official Twitter and Facebook accounts that have been quiet for the last couple of years. We’re going to revive those and start building awareness that way. Once I start with those efforts, probably this week or next week, I would love to get CTAB’s help in amplifying that message and building up interest.
The final one on this slide is data on the living. I spent some time recently on looking at a number of things, understanding the portal, understanding who’s using the site, how they’re using the site, which data sets they’re interested in, and then the quality of the data we currently publish. So I want to use that data to help inform the 2017 plan, but also help to drive improvements internally in the Open Data program itself, with each department.
Just to give you an example of the work–this is just a first draft, a snapshot. This is just a dashboard I built in Tableau. It’s Tableau Public, so it’s wide open. Basically, this is a snapshot of the data sets that are now available on seattle.gov. In the top corner, you can see when the data sets were last refreshed. There are a lot of data sets that are several years old and haven’t been updated. On the right, you can see contact email. You can see, here, that this is the number of data sets that have no contact information. So, if somebody has a question about something, there is actually no information on that. Down here, categories. And then, if you scroll down a little bit, you can see which departments have published data sets in which year. As you can see, some of the departments have people’s names, things like that. So there is no standardized approach here for how people are getting the meta-data. So it’s very, very difficult for people who are consuming these, nobody to talk to with questions. Also, it’s missing data. So that’s just a snapshot of what I’m working on. We’re going to create a live version that’s going to be continually updating. We’re going to start cleaning this up over the next few months. It’s just an easy way to get a sense of what’s going on. I’ll actually be building multiple data dashboards. That’s just one example. But to use data internally to help us drive improvements. And also, I’m working on things like how do we automate the process of when people send in requests for data sets. That gets channeled inside and should be open data. We’re really trying to push some things in this year.
That’s a high level view of the main things that we’re working on between now and the end of the year.
The second thing I want to talk about is the Racial Equity Toolkit. I’m doing this on behalf of Candace Faber. She’s been driving this within our department. She couldn’t be here tonight. For those who don’t know what this is, it’s a framework that’s being applied across several departments. The Open Data program is one of those programs that are implementing this toolkit right now, and we have to be complete by the end of this month. Basically, this is the toolkit itself. We have to go fill it out with all the data. We’ve got a lot of stakeholders involved. The Racial Equity Toolkit lays out a process and has seven questions to guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of policies, initiatives, programs, and budget issues to address the impacts on racial equity. That’s essentially what this is trying to do. The reason that we’re talking about it here is that we would really like some feedback from CTAB, if possible, on the questions that we’ve listed here. Time is short. Unfortunately, we can’t do a repeat of this in November because it’s too late. So, there are three questions here. What you see is the main obstacles for communities of color in accessing our open data program as it stands today. The second question is ‘How is the Open Data Program today reinforcing or not doing enough to address racial inequity.” The third question is, “What can we do about the level of the program and the policy?” So please review these. Think about it. If you have some feedback on those questions, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. It comes straight to my inbox and I’ll act on it immediately. We would love to hear your feedback.
Virginia Gleason: What I’ll do is send them out to everyone so you don’t have to wait on the minutes, to meet your timetable.
David Doyle: That’d be great. We would love to get your thoughts. That would be fantastic. Sorry that this was late coming in, but we haven’t had much time to implement this toolkit. That’s all I have for tonight. I’ll answer any questions about the Open Data Program.
Jose Vasquez: Who is included in that process? Just yourself? Did you include any community members?
David Doyle: At the moment, what we’re doing internally with the Open Data Program it’s staff. But it’s not just staff from Seattle IT. We have several Open Data Champions from different departments who are involved. But that’s why we’re here, trying to get community back in.
Jose Vasquez: Would you consider opening it up to community members who are directly affected? To give feedback?
David Doyle: Do you want us to share this so that you can actually read through the structure of it?
Jose Vasquez: No, I’ve seen that before. I’ve seen different departments involved. I mean internally with staff.
David Doyle: Oh, you mean once we’ve completed it.
Jose Vasquez: No, during the actual process including the community. The questions are pretty straight-forward. How does this affect people of color? Are you including those populations?
David Doyle: Oh, I see what you mean. Yes, we are, with internal staff members. Sorry I misunderstood.
Jose Vasquez: Would you consider opening it up to the public at large?
David Doyle: I will take this question to Candace Faber and see if that’s something we can do. I’m not in charge of implementing this. I’m just the messenger tonight. But I am sitting in the meetings. I am part of the committee. I’ll happily take this back.
Jose Vasquez: What I would advise is we’re trying to figure out bettering access to open data. So, if you want to find out ….
David Doyle: Access open data to help with racial inequity.
Jose Vasquez: I would ask that we get the public involved.
David Doyle: Understood.
George Richardson: I just wanted to make the point that there is more information on data sets. You’ll find it on Socrata, which is just an extra step. And secondly, California just relaunched their data sets. It’s not a perfect example, but it’s something to check out.
David Doyle: The state? I’ll take a look. Thank you.
Amy Hirotaka: Thank you, David. We will wait to hear from Virginia Gleason with those questions. Jose Vasquez and I might engage with you and Candace Faber.
David Doyle: Sure. Hopefully, we can get onto that fairly quickly.
Amy Hirotaka: All right, moving on to Public Comment and Announcements. The floor is open to folks who have a public comment.
PUBLIC COMMENT AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Dorene Cornwell: I have one announcement. This is the second year in a row where Seattle Housing Authority residents have organized a conference. It will cover a bunch of different issues. Saturday, October 15, 11:00 to 12:30. There is a technology panel. If there is a CTAB member who is interested in coming, or anybody in the room, you would be welcome. It is out at Camp Long in their main activity room.
Amy Hirotaka: Thanks, Dorene.
Kate Schneier: Quick announcement. Our photography program is having a showcase on Wednesday, October 26, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. I’ll send it out to the list. Please put it on your calendar. It will be at the Y Center for Young Adults.
Dan Moulton: [unintelligible]
Jose Vasquez: The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers conference is happening November 2-6 here in Seattle at the Convention Center. I believe they’re looking for volunteers. So if anybody is interested to help with that, let me know and I’ll put you in contact.
Dan Moulton: [unintelligible]
Amy Hirotaka: We have a list of a lot of events. How should we put these together and get them out? Should people email me and I can get them to Virginia Gleason?
Virginia Gleason: You can send out one email. You can also get some of this on the calendar as well. I’m thinking especially for conferences that need volunteers. That would be great, now that we have the consolidated IT, it’s something that we could also put a call out for volunteers in our newsletter that we have here. I think people would be interested.
Amy Hirotaka: Thanks, everyone. Let’s take a six-minute break, if we can, and be back at 7:00.
Amy Hirotaka: We’re going to start with our committee updates. And the first we have is the Cable and Broadband Committee. So, Karia, are there any updates you’d like to share?
BROADBAND AND CABLE COMMITTEE UPDATE
Karia Wong: We didn’t meet in September because a lot of members could not make it. We are still trying to schedule and confirm a date for our next meeting. The purpose of the next meeting will be a recap on what we’ve been doing. Number one, we have been talking about the potential recommendations for the Wave franchise renewal. We also talk about the need to have a contact to keep track of all the people who have joined our meetings. That’s the other project that we are working on. We also would like to get an idea of what is the penetration rate for the current programs available at Comcast and Century Link, and to look at the bigger picture of how many people actually benefit from the low income broadband programs. If we know that there are a lot of people that are qualified but who have not signed up, then we want to know why. They already had a lot of people sign up, but are they getting benefits from using the program? Are there any other issues going on? We want to find out those answers. The other thing is I met Mary Taylor yesterday morning in kind of a rushed meeting, but we were able to touch on some customer service issues currently at Century Link. We also talk about the Life Line application problem with this low income broadband program available at Century Link. What happens is people apply and they never hear anything back. So it can take months for people to sign up for Life Line or the low income broadband program. A lot of folks, if they don’t speak the language, it’s really hard for them to get their bills fixed. That’s another concern. She talked about the new FCC regulation that’s going to be effective in December. People can choose whether to get a land line, or to get discounted broadband service. We don’t know how those new regulations are going to impact the situation. How does a third party qualify eligible people? What is the impact? How long does it take to process people? How is that going to impact the low income broadband program available at Century Link? Those are the questions and we need to find answers. Hopefully, in the next two months.
Amy Hirotaka: Great. Thank you, Karia. Any questions?
Dan Moulton: Do we have a way of telling how many people in some of these communities [unintelligible] … and by doing that you can check with Century Link and Verizon to see whether they are responding. What you just said. Some people [unintelligible]…. I can relate a personal experience where using a land line and making a request on a landline and giving them the exact information to Century Link and they’re calling back and saying, ‘We need documentation’ that had already been given to them. So, by being able to have some numbers [unintelligible]…. Is there any way for you to know how many requests?
Karia Wong: In the beginning of this year, we had discussion on how are we going to find out how many people are actually eligible to sign up for the low income broadband program available at Century Link as well as Comcast. We have been having some discussion. We talk about the housing. We talk about approaching the schools, because there are some Title I schools that, because the whole school is qualified for the discounted lunch program, it means that the whole school, the students and their families were eligible for the Comcast Internet Essentials program. But it’s really hard to find out how many families are duplicated in one school or in the whole district. I had a discussion with David Keyes, and we’re still trying to figure out what is the best way to get a better picture of how many people are actually eligible. At the same time, I also learned that for Century Link, they might not have a regional breakdown for how many people have signed up for their Internet Essentials program. All they have is the state number. That’s all we have right now, but we will try to work on those issues.
Amy Hirotaka: Moving on to E-Gov.
E-GOV COMMITTEE UPDATE
Heather Lewis: Most of what I have for an update is on the board. We now have a Facebook account, so please like and follow us on Facebook. Coming soon, we are in discussions with the City about Facebook Live, so for anybody with privacy concerns, we will make sure that it’s only going in one direction so that if you do not want to be included there will be accommodation for you. Next, Twitter. Please join the conversation. Follow us @seatechboard. Our meeting next week will be at the Microsoft Campus. The full address is on the CTAB web site. Please note the time. It will be 6:30 to 8:00. We typically start at 7:00. We are adding an additional 30 minutes because we will be discussing our strategic plan for the rest of the year.
Amy Hirotaka: Any questions? All right, Digital Inclusion. Jose Vasquez will be giving the update this week.
DIGITAL INCLUSION COMMITTEE UPDATE
Jose Vasquez: We had a really good meeting. We passed on the baton from Nourisha Wells. It’s going to be divided between Chris Alejano and Mark DeLoura. They’re going to be co-chairs of the Digital Inclusion Committee moving forward, and we’re going to start holding regular meetings again, so that’s exciting.
Things we talked about: We talked about the Wave franchise renewal, and what our priorities are and how we can support the committee in that work. I know there is a statement coming out soon. We talked about the Technology Matching Fund and gave some history about TMF. I think we did a really good job this year in encouraging more collaborations and networking, and we definitely want to continue that, and possibly do some site visits with some grantees. So if anybody is interested in that, definitely, we want to work with City staff to see how we can go visit some of the projects and see them first hand. And maybe open it up to the public.
Virginia Gleason: I think it would be interesting also–I think you talked about this a couple of months ago–giving some feedback to the Council staff, those who are interested, just to let them know the types of progress and the good things that are happening with the grants that they gave. I think that will keep the momentum and excitement about the programs going throughout the year.
Jose Vasquez: Yes. Before, it used to be a one off thing with Council. They’d hear about it once a year and then hear nothing more. I definitely like that. Maybe even the grantees could come and present to CTAB and open the door to what they’re doing. Hosting information exchange and training for grantees, or maybe setting up a Digital Inclusion Committee at a grantee site. Work with staff on the Digital Equity strategy to develop a digital literacy coalition. We’re working with David to identify what opportunities CTAB has to act with the Digital Equity strategy. Possibly, assisting staff on the public technology sustainability plan, for program operations, planning for community center public technology, which I know Derrick Hall presented last month. WiFI tech access learning programs. Another possibility: The Digital Equity project is coming up. Increase devices for low income residents, sponsors, refurbishments, stewards. More to report next month. At our next meeting Eliab Sisay is hosting us at his house. It’s next Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. It’s every third Tuesday of the month from now on. We’ll probably move them around, so stay tuned each month to find out where the next one will be. Eliab, do you want to say where?
Eliab Sisay: it’s in the Sodo area, about three blocks south of [unintelligible]…. Porch.com.
Jose Vasquez: Any questions?
David Doyle: I don’t have a question, but for the TMF data, I actually created a dashboard using the open data set which analyzed which organizations got money, which years, which zip codes, and so on. Did you see that? I know I shared it with some people. The link that I was using earlier that showed the open data program is Tableau Public. If you go to my profile, just click on my name. You’ll find a link there to that dashboard. It’s actually really interesting, the distributions of money and so on.
Eliab Sisay: I have a question about that. How are we measuring the outcomes of the programs?
Jose Vasquez: Part of their contract is to do an end of year report.
Amy Hirotaka: I think they actually do quarterly reports, too. And then there’s the annual report at the end. Their reports talk about the communities that they serve. In the application, too, they had goals that they had set out to reach, so they have to report on that progress for those goals as well. Having been on staff here, who had to go through all of those reports, it’s difficult to put it all together and come up with a story.
Jose Vasquez: But is that information accessible. We would be interested in looking at that.
David Doyle: It’s not an open data set. It would be great to have that because then you could combine outcomes with the money that’s being awarded. We could create a really interesting comparison.
Dan Moulton: [unintelligible]
Dorene Cornwell: Projects are really different, and I think what people report, like you said, is pretty variable. I’m not sure which pieces are public now. Project descriptions are not very detailed. Do the reports get uploaded to Webgrants so that there would be a way to make it visible? Should it be open data or not? Different things happen on the projects. Some of them don’t turn out exactly as they hoped in the beginning. Sometimes there is learning in those projects.
Jose Vasquez: And I would think there’s two types of data that we would look for: Quantitative, so how many people will we reach, and perhaps, ages, neighborhoods, things like that. But I think also important is Qualitative. How are these programs affecting individual community members, families, etc.
Amy Hirotaka: All right. Any more questions or comments? Let’s move on to the Privacy Committee. I know we have Christopher Sheats on the phone and we have Iga Fakayo Keme here in person.
PRIVACY COMMITTEE UPDATE
Christopher Sheats: We met on October 3, and we pretty much just talked about policy, both Seattle policy and also some other privacy policies in other states. We met just to talk about the high level overviews and existing policies, like Seattle Race and Social Justice initiatives, the new privacy program, Seattle surveillance ordinance on a high level what the opportunities are and causing some change there. And then we also looked at the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act and similar law in the State of Texas, in hopes that we might implement them here in Seattle, or possibly work with some state level stakeholders. We’re going to be meeting early next month, I’m hoping on the first Monday of every month, so November 7 is what I’m shooting for. We will be meeting to talk about what our scope and focus is going to be, based on the initial meeting overview working to see that the things that we want to happen do happen here in Seattle.
Amy Hirotaka: Thank you, Christopher. Are there any questions? Keep us posted about date and location. We’re really certainly excited that the Privacy Committee is up and running again. It looks like we are moving on to our wrap up. The notes that I have are mainly about events and getting information out to folks about that. And I also know that we tweet about upcoming events, too, on our Twitter feed. Jose, were there other follow up items that I’m missing?
Jose Vasquez: I’ve got feedback on the Race and Social Justice open data, and how speedily we can get progress reports. Any others that we might have forgotten about?
Virginia Gleason: Just one reminder about the board reception. I’ve got the information, a little half page flyer. RSVP if you are a Board member planning on attending the reception. They just wanted to get a head count so they can make sure that they have enough of everything there. It’s on Thursday, October 27, 5:30-7:30, at the Bertha Knight Landis room over in City Hall.
Amy Hirotaka: Is there an RSVP? Great!
Derrick Hall: CTAB only, right? If you do need parking validation for that day, please let us know.
Amy Hirotaka: All right. Thanks everyone. We will go ahead and end the meeting at 7:21.