November 15, 2016 Meeting – Seattle Community Technology Advisory Board
Topics covered included: Overview of Seattle IT by Director of Applications Tara Duckworth; Update on the Open Data program by David Doyle; and reports from the Cable and Broadband Committee, E-Government Committee, Privacy Committee, and the Digital Inclusion Committee
This meeting was held: November 15, 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, Jose Vasquez, Eliab Sisay, Mark DeLoura, Chris Alejano via phone
Public: Dorene Cornwell, Dan Moulton, Christopher Sheats, Dan Stiefel, Christian Severt of Seattle Privacy Coalition
Staff: Tara Duckworth, David Doyle, Derrick Hall, Cass Magnuski
14 In Attendance
Meeting was called to order by Amy Hirotaka.
Agenda and September Minutes approved.
Amy Hirotaka: Jose Vasquez and I emailed a little bit today, talking about the recent election and Seattle’s status as a sanctuary city and what, if anything, CTAB could do to support that. Jose, would you share what we’ve come down on?
Jose Vasquez: Yes. First of all, I want to recognize that there is a lot of pain being felt in our communities. I just want to state that this is a safe space. It doesn’t matter where you fall. I just want to talk about how we’re seeing a lot of hateful speech and harassment, and in particularly related to CTAB, online harassment. Because people out there feel that they can be anonymous online. We’re just noticing and reflecting on a lot of that pain that’s being felt by our community members. We want to ensure that with Seattle being known as a tech leader in the world, we should be leading by example, and we should not tolerate that kind of behavior out of basic human decency. We need to be respectful of each other, even though we sometimes have different opinions, have diverse backgrounds, we still need to have that common respect. I wanted to make sure that we’ as a board agree on that and encourage others to speak up if you hear something, if you see something, or somebody being harassed. Report it. On Facebook, you can report harassment. On online forums, there are methods to curb and at least try to limit the amount of pain that’s being felt out there. We don’t know what’s going to happen. The Mayor announced that Seattle is a sanctuary city so we propose to come up with a statement of support, saying that, yes, as CTAB, as community members of this great city, we are supportive of us protecting our fellow community members, whether they are African Americans being afraid of police because of all the shootings that have been going on–it’s more prevalent now because of social media and technology. How we use technology can also be used for good. Muslims are afraid that they’re going to be targeted because of their religion. Religion shouldn’t be an issue. Latino families are afraid of being separated. Thankfully, through technology, we can connect families. Those are things that we can focus on. In our case, I think the Technology Matching Fund (TMF) is important now more than ever, because I think we can do a lot of good work with our communities. I just want everybody to be ready to step up and have these types of conversations. At times, we often neglect them. We don’t feel them personally. We might see them but we choose not to speak up. I want to take this opportunity in this position to speak up and say something. During the break or after the meeting, if you want to have a one on one conversation or even afterwards, I’m always open to meet and discuss and have an honest conversation. Thank you.
Eliab Sisay: What does ‘sanctuary city’ actually mean?
Jose Vasquez: There is no one definition. I know as far as the City of Seattle goes, the statement says that, ‘The City of Seattle will not use resources to assist immigration enforcement.’ There are certain cities where police departments get funding in exchange for release of information for whatever, even if they’re just investigating somebody because of a rumor, like in Arizona a law that passed said that if you notice somebody from Hispanic descent, you have to ask them for their immigration status. The City of Seattle is saying, no, we’re not going to use our resources to enforce federal immigration demands. I personally believe that we can go beyond that, and say that the City of Seattle is a welcoming place, and we will protect our fellow neighbors. It doesn’t matter who they are, where they come from. I’m just saying that we need to protect our community members. There is no one definition. I don’t think there’s a clear definition. But we can encourage, and we can be part of that conversation to see how we do define Seattle as a safe city, a sanctuary city.
Dan Moulton: Historically, church groups provided sanctuary [unintelligible].
Dorene Cornwell: There are some specific ordinances on the books and there is certainly an aspect of welcoming people. Part of the reason that it’s on the books is that it is intended that if you’re here out of status and you’re the victim of a crime, it’s intended to make it possibly safer for you to report that crime and also to make it safer for our neighborhoods, that crime gets reported instead of going unreported. I would totally support us being as clear and up front about that. I don’t know how easy it is to do a fast look-up. I’ve lived here 20 years and I think there are different policies on the books. I don’t know what makes sense as far as something that’s doable for CTAB, but I definitely support us making a strong statement and making it clear. I have mixed status family.
Jose Vasquez: I think I am sometimes oblivious because I live it, but others might not be. I’ll do a blog post about what are the policies that impact a lot of upcoming fears from community members. Will that be helpful?
Dan Moulton: [unintelligible]
Jose Vasquez: But maybe before we make it public, I can bring it here and get feedback. Like I said, I am oblivious, too. What I am aware of, others might not be.
Amy Hirotaka: So, there is the blog post, potentially, that Jose can do, and then we can come up with a statement at CTAB that Jose and I can take the lead on drafting that and then bringing it back for approval. Because if it’s a formal CTAB statement, we will need approval from the board. Thanks everybody, and thanks, Jose. Moving on, we do need approval for tonight’s agenda and the minutes. Do I have a motion to approve tonight’s agenda?
Eliab Sisay: I so motion.
Amy Hirotaka: And do we have a second?
Jose Vasquez: Second.
Amy Hirotaka: Opposed? Abstentions? Tonight’s agenda is approved. Virginia sent around the October minutes about a week ago. I need a motion to approve the October minutes.
Chris Alejano: I move to approve the minutes.
Amy Hirotaka: Thanks, Chris. Do we have a second?
Jose Vasquez: Second.
Amy Hirotaka: All those in favor? Opposed? Abstentions? October minutes are approved. Now, I’m happy to introduce Tara Duckworth, the Seattle IT director of applications, who will be giving a short presentation.
PRESENTATION ON SEATTLE IT APPLICATIONS
Tara Duckworth: Thank you very much. This is the first time I’ve attended this meeting. I’ve done a little bit of web site search, so I have a little more of a clue of what you’re all about. It’s exciting for me to be here. Virginia Gleason invited me to share a little bit about what the Applications Director does. I’m not sure how much you are all aware of the organization of Seattle IT. Seattle IT has seven different major divisions, and Applications is one of those major divisions. As we consolidated Seattle IT, we’re bringing IT together from about 15 different departments within the City. We have a business office. We have a Digital Engagement Team that I think you’re pretty familiar with; Security Risk and Compliance Team that also handles privacy issues; Strategy and Planning area that has our Project Management Office as a part of it; Engineering and Operations Group that does networking, servers, and desktop support. We have our Business Relationship Management Team, and those people work with other City departments to make sure that the work that we’re doing meets the needs of the City departments that we serve. And then we have Applications.
I was brought on earlier this year as we were consolidating over 600 IT professionals into one department. The old DoIT department is starting to take on applications that they never really had support for before. There are about 200 people who support various applications across the City. As of today, and since I joined Seattle IT in February, I am a department of one, so I don’t have anybody reporting to me. Over the next six months that’s one of my major jobs, just to bring on those 200 people from other areas within Seattle IT and merge them into an applications organization. Within the applications organization, we’ll have developers, quality assurance folks that do our testing, we’ll have database analysts who work with our data. We’ll have middle-ware folks who help connect applications and build integrations. We’ll have applications that we support.
One thing we’ve done this year we’ve attempted to do an inventory of the applications across the City. We have applications that we’ve been able to identify. A little over 1,200 applications, which is a large number for any city. Part of the reason we want to bring all of these applications into one area is because, as you can imagine, we don’t have 1,200 completely different things that we do. Many of those applications for each one of those departments–everybody had a departmental application that did a similar thing–helped them with keeping time, helped them with keeping organized, helped them manage projects, helped them manage the work of their field crews, whether those crews were working for the Parks Department or one of the utilities. So, we’re taking part of my job after I bring all of these groups together is to really take a good, hard look at that inventory and go, ‘Where is the opportunity to really whittle that down?’ Because the more we can whittle that down, the fewer applications that we have to support, the more we are able to free up time to do some more value-add activity, such as many things our constituents want us to do, instead of necessarily do so much internally within the City of Seattle departments themselves.
We support our HR applications across the City, our financial applications that do all the budgeting and time tracking. We have utility billing applications, and work in asset management applications, so keeping track of all of the even simple tables and chairs as well as all of the computers that we have in the building, and all the electrical equipment, Parks equipment, asset management applications. We have our customer relations management applications. We have gotten into Microsoft Dynamics applications for some constituent relationship management systems that we’re working on this year. A big push for us because of the Open Data Program and our Mayor’s support for performance management has been to spend a lot more time on business intelligence and data analytics programs. And we have really started to kick those into high gear for the next couple of years.
I have primarily two main jobs as we head into 2017. The first one is to simply bring everyone together and try to standardize processes where we can, try to develop metrics for how we do our work so that we can be part of the performance management program. Try to standardize. I also want to work more on using some of the newer technologies that are out there. Government has its fair share of older technologies. Fortunately, we don’t have mainframe technologies. We were able to get rid of that. The year 2000 pushed us into that mode.
Christian Severt: DSHS. MAGI.
Tara Duckworth: Okay. Still have some work cut out for us. We still have some of the older client/server applications while getting into some of the newer technologies. Some of the more fun things recently: We have been working with the Code for America team. We have three Beta Academy interns that are going to be starting with us in January for their 22-week program, I believe. So, we’re excited to bring them on board. That’s about it. Does anybody have any questions?
Christian Severt: Definitely interested in what applications you’re using for performance management.
Tara Duckworth: Right now, the tool that we’ve pretty much settled on is Tableau. And the underlying data is going to have to come [unintelligible]. We’ve got Cognos data sets, SQL data sets, Oracle databases, [unintelligible]. What do you think?
Christian Severt: Tableau is just as fine as any other ERP, but you can apply it in a number of different ways for this particular application. I’m just curious. Are you talking about HR performance management, or are you talking about application performance management?
Dan Moulton: [unintelligible]
Tara Duckworth: I was talking about department performance management. Outcome based performance management. So, what are the goals that the Mayor has set for varying departments, and how are they doing? And much of that data being presented on seattle.gov web sites. But yes, systems monitoring tools are very different, and HR employee performance tools. We are utilizing some Cornerstone products which we’ve added on to our People Soft HR applications.
Dan Moulton: [unintelligible]
Tara Duckworth: We are. From the financial side we have a major implementation schedule to launch in 2018.
Dan Moulton: [unintelligible]
Tara Duckworth: Not yet.
Dorene Cornwell: Could you repeat the question? I just didn’t hear it.
Dan Moulton: [unintelligible]
Tara Duckworth: We are very fortunate to have one of our developers selected for the U.S. Digital Service. And people will be spending a year there. He’s getting very ingrained into the methodology that they use for being more innovative.
Dan Moulton: [unintelligible]
Amy Hirotaka: I’ve had a request from Cass that people speak up a little bit and also point yourselves towards the middle, where the microphone is located. And we only have a couple of minutes left with Tara, so I wanted to open it up to the rest of the room to anyone else who has questions for her.
Jose Vasquez: When we talk about apps, it’s sometimes hard to find out what is an app. Do you deal with web grants? The grant portal that the City uses to both review and apply for grants?
Tara Duckworth: We would probably support the back end. The front end of that is likely done by Jim Loter on the Digital Engagement team.
Derrick Hall: We just support the web URL. We direct the what-have-you to a third-party company.
Tara Duckworth: Then no.
Jose Vasquez: So if they’re doing their research on behalf of all candidate needs, it’s very relevant to this committee to make sure that it’s updated, accessible, user-friendly, and it fits the needs of both grantees, users, and the City.
Tara Duckworth: Do you know what department of the City?
Derrick Hall: It’s Seattle IT.
Tara Duckworth: But I mean does it come to the Department of Neighborhoods? Does it come to SDCI?
Derrick Hall: It’s a joint venture between the Department of Neighborhoods and Seattle IT. We both have a stake.
Jose Vasquez: Along with different departments. I think OED uses a different system, and others use a different method. I just wanted to bring that up.
Derrick Hall: There is or was talk about looking at a different system, a grant system that we can use.
Tara Duckworth: Just within the next day or certainly by the end of the month, we will know what the budgets look like for 2017 and 2018 and whether something like that got approved in budget committee.
Dorene Cornwell: This is a budget question. Do you as you’re considering new applications or consolidating applications, what kind of standards do you use as far as accessibility? Does the City have any standards like that?
Tara Duckworth: I am not aware of that. That would be on our user design team. And I would have to check with Jim Loter when we are in his group. Because that is user design.
David Doyle: There is some accessibility work being done for some of the web sites. Jeffery Beckstrom is doing some of that work.
Christian Severt: I have an announcement. I’ll just take less than one minute. It will be great for this body to understand third party applications that are currently in use, and what the reasons are for third party use. Also the versions of the applications and their level of up-to-datedness. Just from a well-rounded health perspective on one side, and on the other side, would like to understand the third party application usage. And we can talk more about that offline if you like.
Amy Hirotaka: Thank you so much. We will move onto David Doyle with the Open Data program update.
OPEN DATA PROGRAM UPDATE
David Doyle: I hadn’t intended to give an update. It just ended up on the agenda, so I will be brief. I just wanted you to know, since we don’t have a December meeting.
Amy Hirotaka: Oh, we don’t? I think we decide whether or not to have one. I think we have to have one because we have to do elections for next year.
David Doyle: Okay. I think I was confusing this with one of the meetings. The Future of Privacy Forum scheduled for January is still on track. So, if that changes, I will definitely confirm by the next CTAB meeting. This is related to the Privacy Risk Assessment project that they’re doing on the Open Data program. They are going to come to CTAB to present their research methodology and seek feedback on their process.
There are a couple of things I want to mention. The 2016 annual report on the Open Data program is still on track for mid- to late December release, as is the 2017. Hopefully, by the end of the year, if not, then early January, those will be published. I will seek feedback on the Open Data Plan here, maybe if there is a meeting next month, or at least I’ll start getting it through the board email. I would love to get some feedback.
The other thing I wanted to mention is that we’re coming close to the end of the year and we’ve been ironing out some of our new processes based on policy, and so we have six new Open Data sets in the queue. They’re currently going through privacy review and then there will be quality reviews after that. And then we have more coming. December 1 is the cut-off point for data sets to get released as part of the 2016 schedule, if you like. As they get released, we will publicize that through Twitter and Facebook. That’s it. Any questions?
Mark DeLoura: I have a question about data sets. I keep finding myself wishing that I had access to a Seattle City building height database. There is a lot of conversation going around building heights, so I thought — my neighborhood is particularly freaking out, so there are views for some and not for some. But if there were an easy way to have a visualization tool to show now you’re going to have buildings in this region at 120 feet or whatever. It seems like something that we could probably use. I’m just curious about that.
David Doyle: I would need to go check. I don’t know everything off the top of my head. There is something like 591 data sets. I’ll get on that for next month. Just submit a request or send me an email directly. We’ve had several recent requests about masonry and other things about buildings. There are a couple of ways that people do have suggestions for data sets. You can do it directly from data.seattle.gov. There is a way to suggest data sets in there. We’re processing those internally. You can contact us directly at email@example.com. You can use the Twitter account, Facebook, the official channels, and I am monitoring all of those every day. If you email me directly at my City address. Any suggestions like that, just get them to me. We’re trying to refine the process for how we channel those requests. If anyone has anything else, let me know.
Jose Vasquez: When somebody has an idea for a data set, they can connect with you or your department. I know from the last time you presented. I also having a hard time defining what a data set is. Until you showed me that one on the previous TMF grants. It gave me an idea. Do you have interns or the possibility of bringing in some?
David Doyle: One of the three interns will actually be working on Open Data problems. I’m still defining what the project is, but we have a number of options. It will probably be something towards helping us improve the system by which internal departments can publish data. So we improve the quality and frequency. But we’re still looking for other options for interesting things we would like to do. So, yes, we are open to internship.
Jose Vasquez: Sometimes to represent our communities, we don’t have a lot of access. An idea that just popped into my head is going into neighborhoods that normally don’t have access. Even any of these coding academies in planning and youth there, bringing them into your department. Not only help build their capacity but help have them share with you from their perspective. It could be really valuable. Is that a possibility?
David Doyle: Yes, the only thing I would say to that–I want to be open to it–is what kind of framework would we use to support that? I’m still pretty new, so I have to understand how we would hire a person and what process to follow with the HR department.
Jose Vasquez: Maybe partnering with a community organization that works with you, and get into the training of how to use open data sets and things like that.
David Doyle: Yes, there are ways to also get people involved in work at the City through volunteer opportunities. I know there is some process around that. I just need to get myself educated as to the best approach. But I’m happy to chat offline.
Amy Hirotaka: And Dan Moulton and I have been talking about working with community colleges, specifically, especially when we’re talking about folks who might be under-represented. So, stay tuned on that. Dan is a good person to tap for that, as well. I think we just hearing a larger interest in being inclusive in the way internships are granted at the City.
David Doyle: I think this also goes to the RSJI toolkit that we were talking about last month. One of the outcomes from that toolkit application is that we want to have at least one, and hopefully more, data sets that are specifically released with an RSJI outcome in mind. We should probably think about a framework around that.
Dan Moulton: [unintelligible] There are other models in Detroit and New York City where the community themselves set up their servers and questions they want to ask.
Amy Hirotaka: Thanks, Dan. Are there any more questions for David?
Christopher Sheats: Have you ever thought of publishing directly to local media? Maybe working with them to find ideas for publishing there. I don’t know if that would save costs or just make it more accessible to people that already mingle data.
David Doyle: No. I think the strategy is to continue to publish to Socrata. We haven’t given any thought to something like that. There are other alternatives out there, platforms that people can use. We do think about not just the Open Data program of the City of Seattle, but other sources like GIS data, King County data, and so on. So there are some broader topics here.
PUBLIC COMMENT AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Amy Hirotaka: All right, I’m going to open it up for public comment and announcements. I actually have one. The second week in December is Computer Science Education Week, and there are tons of events happening. You can go to hourofcode.com and look to see what’s happening, for example, in the Seattle area. There are tons of Hour of Code things happening around schools, but they’re also happening around companies. They’re probably going to happen at the Apple Store and places like that, as well. So take a look. It’s a great way to introduce yourself or kids or whoever to coding, who might not have had exposure before. We just launched a new Minecraft tutorial today, which I know Mark DeLoura did, because I saw him tweet about it, and it’s pretty cool. And there are other computer science-related things that are not Hour of Code that happen during that week, as well. All right, other folks.
Dan Moulton: Half the leadership in high paying jobs outside of coding is the design and user experience as well as it teaches [unintelligible]. IBO has cities or groups in cities do a trial balloon [unintelligible] . . . very accessible in communities that might not know [unintelligible] . . .
Amy Hirotaka: Do you have a date for information?
Dan Moulton: It’s IBO. Very famous site.
Amy Hirotaka: Okay. I’ll tell Virginia Gleason so we can share information about that. I want to be clear that I’m not talking about everyone needing to be a computer scientist. That’s not the point of the Hour of Code. The point of the Hour of Code is just a fun, easy thing to do that makes people feel more comfortable with technology. I just wanted to be clear about that.
Dan Moulton: [unintelligible]
Amy Hirotaka: I can probably remember it in a minute. Let’s talk during the break. We’ll see if anyone else has any. If I can’t remember it, let’s talk during the break. We talked about it before so I probably have it on my computer. I can look it up during the break. Any other announcements?
Dorene Cornwell: SDOT is doing a survey. I found the survey by doing SDOT. I told Michael Shaw, the SDOT ADA coordinator to get it out. It’s the kind of thing that I would send out to TMF recipients and distribute it to the community because I think part of the idea is to get some idea of routes that are important [unintelligible]. Subject that came up was community center work, community centers were designated sites for disaster preparedness. If there are other places that you would think are important, I’m hoping that the survey will collect data about that, and also about curb ramps and steep grades and other issues. [unintelligible]
Dan Moulton: [unintelligible]
Dorene Cornwell: Well I think it’s part of the Disability Rights Washington who filed a lawsuit, and for a while there was a #crappycurb, and I have tweeted on that hashtag. There are different issues that come up. If you walk from City Hall to the library, on Fifth Avenue, there is no good way to do it if you’re in a wheelchair without rolling into traffic due to horrible grades.
Amy Hirotaka: I just Googled it, and it looks like there’s a Central Business District curb space study. Does that sound right? There’s a Survey Monkey.
Dorene Cornwell: I found it because I was frustrated. I finally just Googled it and it is SDOT curb ramps.
Amy Hirotaka: Okay, that’s different than this.
Christopher Sheats: This is not an announcement, I suppose, but the Seattle Privacy Coalition, that some of you might know about, is a community organization focused on personal privacy and government transparency. But we also offer free courses on surveillance self-defense, which has focused on the Presidential election and abuses against minorities. The Seattle Privacy Coalition is looking for connections to groups of minorities in the area that would be interested in free trainings for counter-surveillance.
Eliab Sisay: What does that mean?
Christopher Sheats: Digital security. Teaching people how they can communicate without surveillance. Recently, we’ve gotten a lot of interest from activists, how to do that securely in a way that doesn’t come back onto someone. We’re just looking for people that are interested in learning about those skills.
Jose Vasquez: I will say that those conversations are happening in other circles, like communities of color, where Signal, the secure messaging app–people are getting upset about it because they’re scared about what information is going to be used against them. That is a real concern. Thank you for bringing it up.
Christopher Sheats: I guess to answer your question, that’s a real good example. Signal versus What’s Up, they both now have encryption, but What’s Up is owned by Facebook and metadata retention is severe with What’s Up because it’s designed to collect data and use it in ways that they want. Versus Signal, which doesn’t retain that data and provide it to law enforcement. Not only is it encrypted and the content protected but it is also something we teach about.
Eliab Sisay: What’s the framework for the training? Is it one night, multiple nights?
Christopher Sheats: It all depends on the group. We’ve done sessions that are one hour. We’ve done sessions that have lasted five hours. It is best when there are people who are all on the same topic. So if it’s activists or journalists or domestic violence victims, one of those groups, we can focus on their threat models and then teach them how to assess their own threat models.
Amy Hirotaka: Thanks, Christopher.
Dan Moulton: [unintelligible]
Christopher Sheats: The Trans community is definitely one that we want to see. I have a couple of personal viewers looking through groups that we would want to see do that. Another group that we expect…What’s that?
Dan Moulton: [unintelligible]
Amy Hirotaka: Thanks, everyone.
Eliab Sisay: Will you share some of that information, then?
Amy Hirotaka: Yes, I’ll give it to either Virginia Gleason, or I’ll send it out. Virginia is the one to be sharing this, but I will, too. Christopher, you have my email address. Thanks, everyone. Let’s take break. Try to be back around 7:00, and then we’ll have committee updates.
CABLE AND BROADBAND COMMITTEE UPDATE
Amy Hirotaka: All right, folks, it’s 7:05 and we’ll get started again. We have updates from the committees. The first one is the Cable and Broadband Committee. Karia Wong and Dan Stiefel are co-chairs. I was at the last meeting. So, Karia is not here and I can give a little update on what we talked about at our last meeting, and then Dan can fill in any gaps.
Top of list, certainly, is the Wave franchise update happening. We are planning to draft comments on that. We’ve got a lot of information that’s finally come together from the survey that the City sent out. The City sent out a couple of surveys, I think. And then we had that meeting. Those of you who were there recall that at Douglass Truth Library, where we talked to community members and they bubbled up their top priorities, as well. It seems like those aligned pretty well. The other thing that we talked about is engaging past members and future members by having a database to keep track of everybody. Dan has been taking the lead on this, putting together a taxonomy of ways to categorize the different members so we can ping them when we have different stuff coming up. Because we noticed a drop in attendance for the Broadband Committee. And it might come up again when we’re really digging in on the franchise update. It tends to do that because people are interested in weighing in on that. Then again, the last one was Comcast, which affects a lot more people than Wave. So, we’ll see what happens. Dan, did I forget anything?
Dan Stiefel: No, I can’t think of anything else. I would mention, just as a personal observation, that we’ve talked about Century Link problems and it has come to my attention recently that you still can’t get an accurate bill if you’re a Century Link customer and you want to go and see what the bill is going to be this month. Their web site still can’t tell you. It’s been almost a year, now. If you call the billing department, they can’t tell you, either. This is the phone company. They can’t keep your bill straight in a year of trying. Also, I heard from another party who was trying to sign up for Lifeline through Century Link. They were sent to the web site to download a file, and they had to click on Washington, where there were two files. Then they made three calls to Century Link to ask which file applied to them. In the first three calls, nobody could tell them. The fourth call they made, nobody could tell them who to contact to find out. This took a couple of hours, all told, and they got somebody who could tell them who to contact to find out which form to submit, and he called and left a message and he’s waiting for a callback. So this is a real serious customer service problem.
Amy Hirotaka: And this reminds me that there will be at the next meeting a lengthy presentation by Century Link. It sounds like they’re going to cover customer service issues, Internet Basics, which is their low income program, and the the roll out of Prism and their high speed gigabit internet. I think that top of mind right now is customer service. So, certainly folks, prepare for that meeting. Feel free to send me any questions you might want me to ping them with ahead of time so they can be prepared, or if you want to surprise them.
Dan Moulton: I was told by Century Link that my client was a third party and that’s why [unintelligible]….
Dan Stiefel: Well, that’s apparently what they were told the first three times. But the fourth person said no, there is a third party for the government that has some processing that checks to see if you’re double dipping or something. But Century Link does have a department which processes. This fourth phone call was actually to a Century Link office and they left a message to be called back. They do have some departmental capability but most of their customer service people don’t know it.
Amy Hirotaka: Sounds like literally one person knows.
Dan Stiefel: Well, it’s kind of a mystery. These are all customer service people that they were calling. Why one out of four knew… The last piece I wanted to mention: I guess the City has been talking to them about a suit if they don’t shape up.
Amy Hirotaka: Yes. There are enough customer service complaints and other issues that there might be action taken. So that might also be why they’re interested in coming to CTAB next month to answer questions and also smooth over some of the issues that have been happening. They have been meant to come for a while. And now they finally confirmed for December. So be here for next month’s meeting.
Next, E-Gov Committee. And I know that Joneil Sampana and Heather Lewis aren’t here, but Dan, I saw you send around for those notes on the E-Gov Committee meeting.
Dan Moulton: There’s always a standing agenda item asking the members and people who come [unintelligible] David, did you attend last month’s meeting?
E-GOV COMMITTEE UPDATE
David Doyle: Yes, I did. Minutes are out there. I just realized that I’ve been neglecting to send them to the email, so I’ll try to remember to do that. But the minutes are posted on the blog. Also on our E-Gov web page calendar is filled out until June 2017. So we’re already booked. Heather Lewis just asked me to call out that the next meeting will be Tuesday night, at Impact Hub from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. If you’re interested in going, check out the previous meeting minutes. We’ll be publishing the agenda there a day or two before the meeting. Second and Main Streets, between Washington and Main.
Amy Hirotaka: Okay. Digital Inclusion Committee. Jose, are you giving the update? Or Chris Alejano?
DIGITAL INCLUSION COMMITTEE
Chris Alejano: I can give it. I can’t hear you guys very well. We met last month, and I think it was a couple of months ago we met with David Keyes, who provided us with a huge brain dump of all the possible things that we could be working on. This past meeting that we had with Jose Vasquez, myself, Mark DeLoura, and Delia Burke was able to join us as well. We had a chance to distill some of that brainstorm. More concrete areas that we wanted to work on with the committee–the one big piece on an obvious list that we had is the Technology Matching Fund (TMF), the standing body of work that the committee does. But we were talking about using that again as a vehicle to cultivate or activate the community, foster and increase engagement with folks in Seattle, whether they are directly getting funds from TMF, or otherwise. One of the things we talked about with Delia Burke was the possibility of trying to organize some sort of networking event or otherwise keeping in touch with TMF recipients and being able to share best practices or otherwise celebrate the work that has been done. And I think the other piece around TMF that we want to engage grantees and really just learning their experiences and figuring out ways that we can support them ongoing. I think we appreciate the end of grant reports that we receive, but we were wondering whether there were other ways in real time r ongoing that we could help support their work or otherwise source or connect them with people in the community that could help sustain this work over time. TMF is a platform of sorts that we’re thinking about, not just grants aspect of it and providing those funds that come to us annually, but also to use that as a way to engage the community and activate them. I think the other piece we had talked about was trying to align some of the work we’re doing in the Digital Inclusion Committee with the Digital Equity Plan. There were a couple of things that we tossed around, one of them being around the Digital Literacy aspect or component of the equity plan, or perhaps aligning ourselves with the national Digital Inclusion Alliance out there doing good work. Not being hard and fast there yet, but something of interest to the committee, for sure. Jose or Mark, if you have anything else to add?
Jose Vasquez: Thank you, Chris. One thing that I’ll add that I know we talked about at the last Digital Inclusion Committee meeting is that we as a board be more intentional about our work with our grantees. Because it seems like it’s very one-off. We look at their application. We select them. We give them the funds. We celebrate. And then we don’t hear from them until we get the report. So, we want to have more networking with grantees. There is a possibility of hosting a future Digital Inclusion Committee meeting at a grantee’s location to also include them in the work that we’re doing in the committee. And also beyond that, as a board championing the work that they’re doing. The more we learn about the community organizations and groups that we’re awarding funds to, what else can we do to leverage that and raise their voices to make sure that others know of their great work, which obviously, we support because we’re awarding them funds. There could be the potential to connect them to other funders or volunteers or just raise the awareness of their work.
Chris Alejano: Right. And actually, that jogged my memory to the idea of being able to invite TMF grantees either to our committee meetings to hear about their work, or perhaps the whole board could learn about the good things that they’re doing in the community. It’s just another way to get them engaged in the board’s work, as well as for us to stay on top of what’s going on out there. And to remind us as board members of the important work that we’re championing and advocating for on their behalf. We can certainly come up with what a presentation should look like or otherwise how a quick visit might look like if we were able to carve out some time in the agenda to share some grantee.
Amy Hirotaka: I think we definitely could in the new year.
Chris Alejano: Right. We are slated to meet next Tuesday, at Eliab’s office space, but we learned that there is a Sounders Western Conference Championship happening, so we’re considering moving that back another week, just to avoid the traffic congestion and all that business. We’re just trying to get the folks on the committee to land on, whether the 29th would work. Then I’ll tell Virginia Gleason and make sure that everyone else gets the details on that.
David Doyle: One thing I want to add: Delia Burke had a meeting with Jim Loter and myself, last week about the TMF data site, and the data that they have from the surveys. If there is a way to gather that together and do some analysis. I just wanted to make sure that the committee is aware of that.
Chris Alejano: That’s great, David. I actually had a note on that, but it just said, ‘data.’ And I was like, what was that? I appreciate it, David.
Christian Severt: What does the acronym, TMF, stand for?
Jose Vasquez: Technology Matching Fund. It’s a granting program for the board where we select projects in the community to work on digital access and digital equity. Community members can participate in the review committee, so if you’re interested in learning more about these projects, and helping us select. Next year, probably March or April, we’ll get started on that process. So stay tuned.
Amy Hirotaka: All right, onto the Privacy Committee. Christopher?
Christopher Sheats: In summary, six community members discussed what took place at the prior meeting, which was in October. Mainly, we looked at how we can use the Race and Social Justice Initiative to drive and support our roles. We also discussed the scope of the committee, which, we have so far concluded, will focus on assessing existing privacy impacting policies of the City of Seattle, in tandem with creating new policies that support personal privacy and public trust. CTAB Privacy discussed the ACLU of Washington’s work on revising the surveillance ordinance. And the ACLU’s ask for the CTAB privacy community’s involvement in the process. Revising Seattle’s surveillance ordinance will include work in three main areas. That being having definitions, removing loopholes, and adding accountability. We aim to have surveillance ordinance revision recommendations. And before the CTAB’s next meeting on December 13, with the goal of the board of CTAB adopting recommendations with the end goal of gaining Mayoral and City Council’s support. We will have the next meeting on Monday, December 5. But we will likely be increasing discussions over this CTAB privacy email list. Any questions?
Amy Hirotaka: Thank you. That’s awesome. One thing is if we do want to approve any sort of document or statement at the December 13 meeting, getting it to us a few days ahead of time.
Christopher Sheats: We’re planning to do that. We will likely send it shortly after our meeting and give you guys at least the weekend before to look at it.
Amy Hirotaka: Thank you. Right before we wrap up, Virginia Gleason asked me to remind CTAB members specifically, that she’s updating the web site. If you want to update your bio or anythign like that, let her know. And if you also see any other issues with the CTAB site, that can be updated. I’m not sure if it’s really a call for feedback, but that’s probably welcome, as well.
Eliab Sisay: I have a question. We have our Get Engaged meetings once a month, and one of the things that they have been talking about on the other boards is how they get the public more involved in what they’re doing. Are there policies around that that I can show the Get Engaged members, in terms of how we use social media, and what is appropriate?
Amy Hirotaka: Virginia Gleason is not here. We have a social media policy, but we are not City employees. I think that there’s a grey area on what governs the way CTAB would tweet, for example. We as residents, who are members of CTAB, I don’t think about CTAB and the City at all when I tweet. I think if we were to tweet about CTAB meetings, you can feel free to do so as a resident and as a member of CTAB.
Jose Vasquez: But I do think that CTAB was exploring coming up with guidelines.
Amy Hirotaka: I think tweeting from the CTAB account itself is….
Eliab Sisay: Who tweets from the CTAB account?
David Doyle: They’ve tweeted from the meetings but there’s not much in between.
Amy Hirotaka: The more people on social media, I think, the better, for getting a lot of content out there.
SUMMARY OF DECISIONS AND NEXT STEPS
Amy Hirotaka: Next month, as I said, expect Century Link. One big thing for CTAB members is that we will elections for next year’s positions, which means that if you would like to be chair or co-chair, you can nominate yourself. If you have someone else in mind, feel free to do so as well. That actually doesn’t take a ton of time. At least, it didn’t last year. And, again, we’ll send out a call for agenda items, as well. But I think that those two things are the things that are going to take up the most time. Again, Jose Vasquez and I will draft a statement before the next meeting that we hope folks will review beforehand. It sounds like the Privacy Committee is also going to have something for us to review. So, we will have a busy in-between time. Did I miss anything?
Jose Vasquez: I committed myself to do a blog post explaining Sanctuary Cities. I’ll try to keep it within the scope of technology.
Amy Hirotaka: All right. Thank you, everyone. We will end the meeting and give you 30 minutes back. Enjoy your Tuesday.