December 12, 2017 Meeting – Seattle Community Technology Advisory Board
Topics covered included: Seattle IT update with Jim Loter, Director of Digital Engagement; Surveillance Ordinance advisory group update by Torgie Madison; Cable and Broadband Committee update (CenturyLink low income internet program status); Digital Inclusion Committee update by Chris Alejano and David Keyes; vote to approve CTAB priorities and collaboration letter to Mayor and City Council; Strategic planning: selection of committees and chairs, election of 2018 Board officers.
This meeting was held: December 12, 2017; 6:00-7:45 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: Jose Vasquez, Heather Lewis, Mark DeLoura, Steven Maheshwary, Torgie Madison, Eliab Sisay, Joneil Sampana, John Krull
Public: Harte Daniels, Charlotte Lunday, Adam Owens and Carmen Arceo (Century Link), Rebecca Rocha (Oculus), Dorene Cornwell, Sarah Abramowitz, Mark Foster, Scott Wang (Amazon), Paruul Badra, Kuan Peng, Alison Borngesser, Lath Carlson (Living Computer Museum)
Staff: Jim Loter, Chance Hunt, David Doyle, David Keyes, Cass Magnuski
26 In Attendance
Jose Vasquez: Welcome, everybody. Welcome to the newcomers. It’s going to be an exciting meeting. We have elections today. First order of business, did everyone have a chance to look at the agenda?
David Keyes: I think I sent out an announcement. David Doyle will be here today to answer questions from Open Data. Be ready a little bit later.
Jose Vasquez: Okay. Do we have a move to accept the agenda as is?
Mark De Loura: I so move.
Heather Lewis: I second.
Jose Vasquez: All in favor? Agenda is approved. Great! Did everyone get a chance to read the November minutes? Any feedback on the November minutes? Motions to approve? Or change minutes?
Steven Maheshwary: I so move.
Heather Lewis: Second.
Jose Vasquez: All in favor? Minutes are approved. great. we’ll start with the first order of business, Seattle IT Digital Engagement update from Jim Loter.
SEATTLE IT DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT UPDATE
Jim Loter: Jim Loter. I’m the director of Digital Engagement for Seattle IT. I’ve been here a couple of times in the past, but I thought, since it’s the end of the year, I would reflect upon the many, many changes and accomplishments of the Digital Engagement division within Seattle IT this year. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Digital Engagement, it’s the division within Seattle IT that includes the Community Technology program, which David Keyes and Chance Hunt are part of. You also know Vicky Yuki and Delia Burke who help manage the Technology Matching Fund as part of that program. And also, the Cable Office, which is Tony Perez, who is usually here but not here today; and the Open Data program, managed by David Doyle, there behind me. We also have the Seattle Channel, our government TV station, which I expect you are all familiar with; and the Digital Services team, which used to be called the Citywide Web Team.
You may know that over the past couple of years, Seattle IT has been consolidating IT across the City. So, all IT staff from departments have been moving into our department. In my area, it’s the Digital Services team that is the only group that is welcoming new members from other departments within the City. That has been a lengthy process to restructure the work of that team to tie up the work that the staff have been doing for their departments to move them over onto the web team. The Digital Services team is in the middle of redesigning the entire Seattle.gov web site, which is not a small task. We just hit a few major milestones the other day with the launch of the new Fire Department web site, and the schedule had been slipping for a while, but we are now actually ahead of schedule, thanks to the resources that have come on from other departments. So that is a group that you don’t normally hear from here in this meeting. I would like to change that in 2018 and invite the manager from that program, Michal Perlstein, to come and talk about her team and the accomplishments that they celebrate and the services that they provide.
This year, my team expanded. We added Kate Garman as our Smart Cities coordinator. And we also took over the Privacy Program. I know Ginger Armbruster, the chief privacy officer, has been here to talk to you. Within a couple of days of her landing back in the City, she got engaged the City Council’s process to update the City’s Surveillance Ordinance, which she is also now responsible for implementing. It’s a huge job. I believe she has been here to talk about the Surveillance Ordinance. Is that correct, or do we still have to do that?
David Keyes: Yes. And Torgie Madison is on the committee.
Jim Loter: Great! So I see you know Ginger. That’s Digital Engagement in a nutshell. On Digital Services, we’re making progress, as I said, on the Seattle.gov redesign. The Open Data team has been working on implementing the 2017 work plan for the program and also working with the future Privacy Forum in Washington, DC, on open data privacy. The Seattle Channel is in the middle right now with strategic planning process, so I hope in the early part of 2018 to come and present the exciting new future that we envision for the Seattle Channel. Tony Perez, of the Cable Office, as you know has been nose-down negotiating the WAVE franchise agreement, which has passed, and is signed and sealed and delivered and nailed down. So, we’re happy about that. Kate Garman, as I mentioned, is wrapping up Smart City projects. Ginger does Privacy and Surveillance. And the Community Tech folks and all of you just successfully celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Tech Matching Fund. So there’s a lot going on in Digital Engagement, and 2018 is going to be just as exciting and amazing. So, I hope to see more of you next year as I have a few more Tuesday evening obligations these days, and can actually make more of these meetings than I have been able to.
I do want to make a couple of updates that I guess Michael Mattmiller would normally speak to, but he was unable to attend today. You may have heard, coming up on Thursday, there is a little something called the FCC proposal to — well, they call it the Restoring Internet Freedom proposal. What they are essentially doing is reclassifying internet service under federal code, which would effectively eliminate the principles of net neutrality or at least protections that ensure that the principles of net neutrality are followed. We hope, of course, that our friends and partners in the internet service world will voluntarily continue to abide by those principles, but right now, the City is exploring what our responses could be, should that not happen. CTAB has filed comments with the FCC. The City has, as well. Last week, Mayor Durkan joined 60 or more mayors of US cities in communicating to the FCC expressing our desire that net neutrality principles continue to be enshrined in federal law. Doesn’t look like that’s actually going to happen. It looks like the vote is going to proceed as expected on Thursday, and then we have to decide what, if anything, we can do about that to protect our consumers, protect our small businesses that will be negatively impacted should that happen.
That has been occupying our time and energy for the last couple of weeks as we’ve been bringing the new Mayor up to speed on these issues, and positioning and trying to understand what positions and what actions we can take. I want to thank CTAB for your engagement in the net neutrality issue, the material and the comments that you prepared, that were incredibly helpful and incredibly valuable in communicating Seattle’s position on this very important matter. So thank you very much. And I want to congratulate Heather Lewis, Chris Alejano, Eliab Sisay, and Mark De Loura on your reappointments to the committee. Glad to have you around. Thank you.
Jose Vasquez: I want to highlight some of the community members who were really involved and critical to the FCC statement feedback. Charlotte Lunday is one of our amazing community leaders. Dorene Cornwell as well. We’re really excited to use CTAB as that platform for community members to express some of the needs and priorities of our community in engagement with City staff. We really appreciate your time and look forward to figuring out next steps on what actions we can take as a City to protect our community members. I think we all believe that the internet is an essential need for our community members and we will continue advocating for that. We have a few minutes for questions. If anybody has any questions or comments on what was presented or any feedback to Jim Loter and his team.
Steven Maheshwary: I have a question. I am a CTAB Get Engaged member. Have you had any insight on Mayor Durkan’s policy or opinions as it relates to Digital Equity?
Jim Loter: Yes. Mayor Durkan prepared a platform on technology that included strong commitments to digital equity, exploring Smart Cities technology with a digital equity mindset, and expanding broadband access in the City. Her positions, I think, were very consistent, and go a little bit further than the previous administrations. I think that Michael Mattmiller has his first meeting with the Mayor tomorrow. We will learn more at that point. What we know about her planned positions are basically what she has put out on her campaign web site, which was very positive with regard to that. Very consistent with our principles and what we’ve been doing over the last 20 years.
Jose Vasquez: I don’t know if Michael Mattmiller is aware, but some of the board members came together to develop a letter from CTAB about our priorities and how they can align….
Jim Loter: He does. He has seen that. I’ve seen it. It’s a great letter. Thank you very much. That’s going to be very effective.
Jose Vasquez: Thanks, Chris Alejano, for your leadership in that. We definitely look forward to engaging with the new Mayor and seeing how we can collaborate more. Please do speak up. The meeting is being recorded and we want to make sure our comments are properly reflected. Any other questions or comments? No? Perfect. We will now go to our public comment and announcement time. This is your opportunity to announce any upcoming events, make a statement, any type of public comment.
PUBLIC COMMENT AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
David Keyes: There are a few folks that walked in a little bit late. Maybe we should do the introductions.
Jose Vasquez: Thanks,
David Keyes: There is a sign-in sheet, too, so pass that around.
Heather Lewis: I have an announcement. Many of you may already know this, but we have a reservation for 20 for a holiday party this evening. Anybody who would like to attend, I will have the address on the board. It’s at Palomino. It’s supposed to be for 8:30, but I’ll see if they can get us in a little early, given that our agenda tonight is quite short.
Jose Vasquez: I also want to take this time to recognize some of our outgoing board members. Joneil Sampana, I believe this is your last meeting as an official board member, so I just want to thank you and recognize you for the amazing work that you’ve done for the board. You served as vice chair. Did you serve as chair one year?
Joneil Sampana: No, I did not.
Jose Vasquez: Well, thank you for your leadership and your commitment. And you’re always welcome back.
Joneil Sampana: I appreciate it. I will come back. I had a good time.
Jose Vasquez: Any other announcements? Public comments? Now is your time to speak.
David Keyes: I just put some links on the back of the agenda, with a few links. I can bring them up or send it out, too. Just to mention Thursday, Greta Knappenberger, who was at the last meeting, is hosting a meet-up on Smart Cities and digital Engagement. I’ll be there chiming in on Digital Equity. That’s in Kirkland. There’s the link. Also, I’ll just mention January 9, is this webinar on changes to the FCC’s Lifeline program that’s been hosted by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance and the National Housing Conference. So that should be an interesting and important one. There are a few other articles in here, but there was a great column by Tom Wheeler, former FCC commissioner, about the FCC moving over consumer protection to the Federal Trade Commission, and whether they even have authority to do that. There is a link there to a letter that was signed by the Mayor of New York and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, Next Century Cities, and a bunch of others. I have a copy of that letter that I’ll hand around. But it’s definitely a letter to read for context on that push to transfer that considerable protection out of the Federal Communications Commission.
Jose Vasquez: Those things at the federal level affect us on the local level. It’s a good idea to keep up on that. I know there’s a lot coming out of the federal level, but it is really relevant to this board. Next on the agenda is a networking break. But, how is everybody feeling? Do we want to move that to later in the meeting? We’re really pushing on the agenda.
Comment: I don’t think we deserve a break yet.
Jose Vasquez: Okay. Why don’t we move it to after the Surveillance report. Is everybody okay with that? Okay. So, then, we’ll move on to Cable and Broadband Committee update, but Karia Wong is not here. Do we have any other members of the Cable and Broadband Committee that might be willing to give some updates? Dorene?
Dorene Cornwell: I think we have been talking about ways to figure out whether people are getting access to the low income plans and at the last meeting, I just let Karia Wong talk through it. I think we’re going to have to think about how to get data. We are interested in thinking about in the areas where there are low income plans, and how they are actually getting connected to the services. That would be the report.
Jose Vasquez: Last time, there was a survey being developed to get some general feedback?
Dorene Cornwell: I’m going to let Karia Wong speak to that.
Jose Vasquez: Sure. Maybe at the next meeting we’ll have an update on that. Thank you. Maybe we should use some of this time to invite some of our corporate partners to give us an update on their low income programs. I know last time we had some questions and you wanted to address them at this meeting.
Adam Owen: It was announced at the last meeting that we had a temporary short-term solution for six month. I don’t know what has been done to get it out to the public on that. I’d wait for them to give me some updates on some proposed price breaks, but we still need more updates on that. We had the program effective back in September of this year. They had broadcasted it out. The program was cut short. There was some feedback that we needed to have something temporary brought back until they can decide how it can be phased out or if we’re going to provide some alternative plan, because there is a need for it.
Steven Maheshwary: So this is going to be low income broadband.
Adam Owen: Correct. More details. I asked for updates for a meeting that I was supposed to be attending that they were proposing. But they hadn’t made any decisions yet.
David Keyes: So, Adam, right now that low income program, they are still accepting applications?
Adam Owen: The process basically is — I had a conversation with Karia Wong about it — that basically they can still call and ask for it but it is not being broadcasted out there. And then we still have, I believe its a survey [unintelligible]. Some people got suspended and then they wanted to get put back on but it was a five-year program [unintelligible].
Jose Vasquez: And I’m also wondering what else we can do as a board to advocate for Century Link’s keeping of the low income program.
Adam Owen: I would think that the continuing dialog that Michael Mattmiller is doing with our lobbyist. They understand that there is definitely a need for it and that particular program was more specific to a six month, temporary, thing within a certain couple of states. Especially in this Seattle market. That’s basically all I’ve got.
Jose Vasquez: And [unintelligible]….
Adam Owen: That I don’t know. All I know is the information that was given to Karia. I was a little surprised that it got sent out. But they said that that was within a couple of states. We wanted to make sure that they didn’t start telling everybody or have clients in other areas of the state to where it’s not a given. That was when they called in and were told that it is not available. So, right now it’s only back here in Washington.
Steven Maheshwary: Is there a number that we can….
Adam Owen: Best to call in to customer service and explain.
David Keyes: So there had been an Internet Basics web site and phone number. Are you saying that that has gone away now and just the main?
Adam Owen: That I’m not aware of. Just call in and tell the person you are talking to to set up the service. It won’t go through the normal process. There are some people that are handling it but it still needs to be [unintelligible] ….
Joneil Sampana: Do you happen to know what the justification was to put an end of life to this program?
Adam Owen: I wish I had an exact answer. One person who worked with the nonprofits. Originally the program was there as part of the acquisition from Qwest. We continued beyond the expiration. But somebody decided to go in another direction. They didn’t see that until a few people started saying, ‘Hey, wait a second. This program needs to continue.’ We’re seeing a lot of people who still need that type of program. As for us continuing [unintelligible]….
Jose Vasquez: And I’m wondering, on top of the conversations we’re having at the local level, maybe we can try doing some national advocacy? Because I know we’ve been talking with San Antonio. They have a similar entity like ourselves that has a community voice. But I’m wondering if maybe we could start reaching out to other partners across the country who are facing similar issues. Maybe we could collectively advocate to have Century Link understand how important it is to our communities and how we can work together to keep a program like this that brings a lot of value to our community.
Adam Owen: It should be something that speaks to necessity.
Jose Vasquez: We will push that back to the Broadband Committee. Dorene, would you mind bringing that back to the committee?
Dorene Cornwell: Yes, I’ll bring it back.
Adam Owen: I was planning on attending the last one.
Jose Vasquez: Okay. Anybody else have any questions or comments about this before we move on? Okay, thank you. Next, we’ll move on to the Digital Inclusion Committee update.
DIGITAL INCLUSION COMMITTEE UPDATE
Christ Alejano: Yes. We met and really focused on a couple of things. The first was getting a sense and our ducks in a row as it relates to the Tech Matching Fund timeline. Just making sure that we were on schedule for that, which we are. Generally, the process starts in February, when applications open up. There are a series of workshops between March and April. Deadline is around May. The committee is pulled together that will review the applications. Scores are finalized in June, followed by just finalizing the award allocations and the board approving that mid-June, and then it goes to Council for final approval around August. I know that’s a ton of information right now to be digesting. Some of the dates aren’t exactly set yet because we understand there’s a new grants application platform that’s being implemented, so that may shift some of those dates or timelines. But in the meantime, I think we can as a board, and community members, too, if there is anyone that wants to be part of the review committee, whether you have before or not, I encourage you to participate. It’s a pretty cool process to be able to learn and read through some of these applications and find out what’s happening around our community in the digital literacy space. And who doesn’t want to dole out money and figure out how to support people. So it’s a pretty nice exercise to engage in and contribute to the effort. So, if there is anyone at the end of the meeting that is interested, please get a hold of me and I’ll just capture your name and circle back with you late.
One other piece. We did a min de-briefing around the Digital Literacy Network meetups, that I think was discussed last meeting here as a whole group. Again, it was generally well-attended, and it was nice to hear what was happening in and around the City with different organizations. And then also to hear some of the needs and challenges that they have. I think it’s our effort in collaboration with David Keyes and Chance Hunt, and Seattle IT, to figure out how to move this thing forward. And so, we’ve talked about it as a committee as well as with David and Chance about trying to pull together an advisory or leadership group from those that attended, or even folks who didn’t attend might want to help drive this conversation and really bring to the table the conversations that we had with the three meetups, and then really hone in on some sort of focus. Because, again, it isn’t a lack of what is to be done, it’s how do we work together to accomplish things that we wouldn’t be able to do on our own.
Finally, and this wasn’t necessarily talked about in the committee, but a Facebook groups was launched, officially the Seattle Digital Literacy Network group. Grace Choi from DigiPen and Chick Tech started that. I sent an email out to board members and the Digital Inclusion Committee, but haven’t had a chance to send it out to the larger community of CTAB community. That said, if you just search for the Seattle Digital Literacy Network, you should be able to find it, but really that is just an initial platform for this continuing conversation to connect people who went to the meetups, share ideas, collaboration opportunities, and the like. It’s just a nice initial way to get folks binding together and having conversations. That said, the next meeting is slated for next January 17. We figured to take the holiday week off. 6:00-7:30.
Jose Vasquez: Do you have a location in mind?
Chris Alejano: We usually go to the Sitting Room. I’m assuming that I was not going to be the chair this go-around, so I didn’t want to force people to go there if they want to convene somewhere else.
Steven Maheshwary: We had discussed community centers or somewhere else.
Heather Lewis: And will you provide an update in January of any changes?
Chris Alejano: Yes.
Jose Vasquez: Real quick, I wonder whether we will be inviting somebody who is participating in the Technology Matching Fund review process? And maybe get some feedback on their experience–what works well, what didn’t work well?
Harte Daniels: Did you record the Digital Literacy Network meetings so that we could hear their comments as well?
David Keyes: We have a summary document that we put together that we’ll send out, and I did record. We had one session that was a mix of in-person and most of the folks participating online on Friday. So, I do have a recording of that.
Harte Daniels: Yeah, I missed that.
David Keyes: I’m going to put that up in a place where folks can get it so people can listen to John. So, yes, we do have a recording from one of those sessions. There were 50 people over the three days. So there are some really common themes, some different conversations and participants over those three sessions.
Harte Daniels: Jose, over the last month, I talked to previous Technology Matching Fund people as to why they have not reupped. And it’s that when you’re a small community group, you don’t have volunteers, the reporting is onerous, and so you gravitate towards those larger organizations that have other ways of funding themselves, as opposed to the grass roots organizations that don’t have people volunteering to meet the requirements of after you receive the grants. I can follow up with them, and also have talked to some people about helping the City of Seattle in how to gather that in a more user-friendly manner. We can talk afterwards.
Jose Vasquez: So, it does sound like they’re updating the web grants portal, which can hopefully help address some of that. Because I know it’s not just Technology Matching Fund. A lot of the City’s granting programs do have a hybrid for reporting. I would call it an outdated web grants portal. So, yes, thank you for that feedback.
Harte Daniels: The outcome is that you are self-selecting. You’re pushing away the community groups that you actually want to reach, and you’re attracting the people who have other means of getting grants.
Chance Hunt: I would insert that the program isn’t intended for what you’re describing as being those organizations that already have those resources. What we’re trying to find are the best opportunities for people to improve around the lines of digital equity. So, I think if we took a look at the current crop that’s just finishing up, there actually is a great deal of adversity among the groups. Not just the communities that they’re serving, but the type of organization they are. If there are any specific examples, we’re happy to receive that at any time. That feedback is awesome for us. So, when we do our outreach and we do the workshops, and we plan the type of technical assistance that my staff does, they can help those groups to be successful.
Harte Daniels: I would just say that my preference, my bias, is towards bottom up. And I always look for ways of supporting that in the private sector by communicating and working with the lowest level of people that are in the community, you usually end up with a better, at least in the private sector.
Jose Vasquez: Thank you. One last comment from Dorene Cornwell, and then we’ll move on.
Dorene Cornwell: Although I think this is an important point of discussion, I have managed TMF grants, and when I think about the reporting requirements, I agree that some technical assistance is a good idea. When you get a grant get some help with your first quarterly report, and with setting up a way to collect the data asked for. I agree with you, Dan, that that is a burden, and that small organizations are really stretched. I’m glad Dan brought up the concept.
Jose Vasquez: Thank you. And this is definitely the time to step up and get involved in the TMF review committee, because this is where most of those conversations happen. And I love that it’s very community-driven. Basically, community members, volunteers, step up, make the recommendations on what the City is going to be investing in. So I will put out the call again. Meet with Christ Alejano after the meeting. And then also help recruit. If you know of an organization that could be a good applicant, definitely we can connect them to Delia Burke, or somebody here on the City staff. Or if you, yourself, want to volunteer with an organization to help them through that process, I think that’s always highly encouraged.
Joneil Sampana: Do you happen to know how the grant application process has been updated?
David Keyes: It’s connecting to a dynamics platform, but is being developed by a vendor with Seattle IT. The grant program application is going to be used by multiple departments– it’s going to be Arts, and the Department of Neighborhoods, ours, and others.
Joneil Sampana: The reason I asked is I think at this point there is an opportunity to help nonprofits to leverage some of these technology tools.
Jose Vasquez: We look forward to an update on the new platform. Thank you. Next item on the agenda is the Surveillance Ordinance Advisory Group update?
SURVEILLANCE ORDINANCE UPDATE
Torgie Madison: Similar to the last update, there is no new work meetings with Ginger Armbruster. We had a chance to give her a briefing. We’ve done that. Ginger, I know, had to read definitions as far as what is expected of her and the process. She kept coming back to City Council and getting verification and then bringing us in. Moving it forward. We have clarification on that sort of process. I do have a copy of the recommendation that she has given to them. Michael Mattmiller is providing comments on it, and I believe it’s gone to City Council and it has moved along in that process. Although I haven’t gotten permission to show that publicly yet, but ideally, I can get it for the January 9 CTAB meeting to talk about it. We’re in that process now. We are communicating. It would be good to see her here. But in a vague, ongoing way, CTAB would be involved in those surveillance conversations. My hunch is that the chair of privacy and cyber security can meet with Ginger as point of contact, or whoever is heading that committee. We can organize it on our end however we would like. That just seems the most logical. Ideally, that person would be a part of those conversations and bring whatever material the surveillance work group is reviewing to the Privacy and Cyber Security committee, which would be review by the Council at-large and that would be a pretty good working relationship. So, look for more on January 9. Jim Loter, do you have anything to add?
Jim Loter: No. That was accurate. I think, technically, the working group recommendations have been submitted to the Mayor’s executive team first before going to Council, but it’s all in the pipeline. It has been submitted, and I just took a note to make sure that Ginger Armbruster is aware of January 9 coming up and we should know more by then.
Torgie Madison: I have the contact information.
Jim Loter: Oh, great. Thank you.
Jose Vasquez: Thank you for the update. Any questions? Great. Now we’ll go back to the networking break. We’ll reconvene at 6:55.
Jose Vasquez: Welcome back, everybody. It’s time to resume the agenda. Up next, we’re gong to do a summary of our 2017 accomplishments, and report on our 2018 strategic planning, and the letter that we drafted to the new Mayor, Mayor Durkan and City Council. Heather? Chris?
SUMMARY OF 2017 ACCOMPLISHMENT, 2018 PLANNING, LETTER TO MAYOR DURKAN & CITY COUNCIL
Chris Alejano: I’ll start, I guess. We worked to draft a letter to Mayor Durkan and City Council that more or less would communicate to them some of the work that we have been doing around strategic planning and wanting the work of the board to be a little more focused and aligned with the agenda of both the Mayor and Council, as well as Seattle IT. We know what we want to accomplish as a City. That said, the letter to the Mayor and Council really lays out a lot of what we have been working on as a board around our strategic planning. It’s better formatted than this. All we really want to say is really how we want to organize the work this year is around three buckets of work. Digital Equity, again is like a holding spot for Tech Matching Fund work that we continue to do and support as a board, as well as the Digital Literacy Network that we were talking about earlier. We want to support that. And we kind of collapsed the Broadband and Cable Committee work, that has been in existence, and kind of lumped that in to this Digital Equity group. It seems to make a lot more sense in terms of aligning our priorities with the particular committee group. Another is Privacy and Cyber Security, again an extension of what Torgie Madison was talking about earlier. And then again, we know that Smart Cities and generally speaking, community innovation is something that the board has discussed. We know that it’s on the horizon, as Jim Loter was mentioning earlier, it’s on Mayor Durkan’s platform, and she was going around stumping for that position. Again, it was really just a way for us to get our own ducks in a row so we can be able to communicate with our primary stakeholders in the Council and the Mayor’s Office, and Seattle IT, so that we can garner their feedback and support as we as a board get our hands dirty in this work. Again, it isn’t anything that should be surprising to anyone. It really is aligned with the priorities as we know them from those different stakeholder groups and partners, as well as the Digital Equity plan that was pulled together a couple of years ago. Members of the group were part of that conversation, so again, it is not for lack of work to be done. It’s about how we as a board representing the community can push out some of those things and make some progress in collaboration with the City. A suggestion from Steven Maheshwary was to pull together the highlights of this past year, to give Mayor Durkan as well as Council and idea of what we have been able to do in this last year and launch us forward towards the priorities of next year. I’ll pass it over to Heather Lewis to take it from there.
Heather Lewis: Thanks, Chris, for putting this letter together and incorporating multiple rounds of feedback from all of us. In the 2016 and 2017 years, the Digital Inclusion Committee reviewed and recommended 15 new TMF grants and secured an additional $20,000 in funds from Facebook for the 2017 TMF grant cycle; contributed feedback to the Digital Equity evaluation, co-launched and hosted Digital Literacy Network meetups. The Broadband and Cable Committee advocated for public benefits in the WAVE franchise renewal, including a low income internet discount, and expansion of the Cable Broadband for nonprofits program; facilitated ongoing conversations and open communication with other Seattle ISP providers; Comcast and Century Link. Promoted an open internet and submitted comments and case studies to the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom proceedings, including net neutrality and Lifeline. And then, finally, the Privacy Committee advised on the Surveillance Ordinance, and served on a working group on an open data Race and Social Justice strategy and performed a privacy review in concert with Seattle IT to assure that public WiFi hardware in City-owned community centers; advised on policy regulations and guidelines for vendors. Thank you, everyone who participated in that work, and thanks to Seattle IT for your continuous support. As always, we appreciate everything you do to help support CTAB and its work in the community.
Joneil Sampana: Is this the final draft? The reason is the last paragraph. I thought I read it differently on the amended one.
Heather Lewis: This is ‘a version.’
Joneil Sampana: I think there were two versions, the original and the final. And I looked at the final, and it read differently.
Heather Lewis: Maybe we can send out the final with the December notes. Would that be possible?
Chris Alejano: Yes, I’ll check and make sure the versions are right. I always want to follow up on Heather’s report on our accomplishments. I think this will be important once we get some facetime with Mayor Durkan and the Councilmembers as they are available, to really let them know that we support Seattle IT and help them enable the group to do the work that they need to do for the City. We’re going to continue to stress that we do this thing in partnership, and as a community voice, we want to make sure that you guys are informed as much as possible, to provide our advice or feedback when we’re needed. Sometimes, we’re not needed. So that we do the right thing for the community.
Jose Vasquez: Thank you for the wrap up. I do want to thank all of the board members for a great 2017. It has been an honor serving as your chair. And with that, unless there are any other comments or questions about this, we’ll move on to elections.
David Keyes: Did you formally adopt the letter?
Heather Lewis: I move to formally adopt the letter.
Mark De Loura: Second.
Jose Vasquez: All in favor? Motion passes. Thank you, everybody. Great! Now to the exciting part, the elections. We sent out what the voting process would be. Anybody have any feedback on the process we’re going to undertake as we select the leadership for next year? No? Okay, then I guess the first question was do we want to expand. Right now, we have the two positions of chair and vice chair. And the committee chairs, which is a different thing. Those don’t require an election, but chair and vice chair do. there has been conversation and we wanted to consider whether to expand the number of leadership roles by having one chair and two vice chairs. I know that other commissions function this way, too. So, we’re not being very innovative here. Seeing how there is a lot of enthusiasm to serve on leadership, I think that could also be a good accommodation to make sure those that are interested can have that leadership position and that experience. Does anyone have any questions about that, any thoughts or feelings about expanding from one vice chair to two?
Heather Lewis: I have a question. Will all of the votes be blind, or will that one be open?
Jose Vasquez: I believe that one will be open. The actual elections will be blind.
Eliab Sisay: Are we voting now?
Heather Lewis: We’re just having a discussion right now. Based on that, we will decide if we want to bring it to a vote to expand.
Steven Maheshwary: Would the mechanism be that we all vote for two positions and give the top two candidates the votes?
Jose Vasquez: The way we have it structured is first we vote on the first vice chair, if we do expand it, then vote on the second one. Does that sound like a good process to everybody?
Jim Loter: Does the ordinance that establishes CTAB specify anything about the officers?
David Keyes: No, it doesn’t. The bylaws do, and they were written so that they allow the board to select additional officers.
Jim Loter: Got it. Okay, thanks. I figured you’d check that.
Torgie Madison: I think we could operate without any leadership, if we wanted to, right? [laughs] Since we already put in an request to expand the board, so I move to expand the leadership.
Eliab Sisay: Second.
Jose Vasquez: Was that a motion?
Torgie Madison: Yes.
Jose Vasquez: Okay! Any additional discussion before we vote?
Cass Magnuski: Who seconded?
Jose Vasquez: Eliab Sisay. All in favor of expanding the number of vice chairs to two? Motion passes! Thank you! That makes the next step a lot easier. The first vote that’s going to take place is CTAB chair for 2018.
Heather Lewis: Is this the first vote for vice chair?
Jose Vasquez: No, this is for the chair. The first process is do we have any self-nominations. You can also nominate another board member. That’s an option. First we’ll start with self-nominations. Who is interested in serving as chair for 2018.
Heather Lewis: I’d like to throw my hat in the ring.
Jose Vasquez: Okay. We have Heather. Anybody else? You can also nominate somebody else. We want to provide that option. No? Okay. Nominations are officially closed. You have 30 seconds to a minute to present your platform and why we should vote for you for chair of CTAB.
Heather Lewis: I have been involved and joined CTAB just over four years ago. I first began as a member of the E-Government Committee, with Joneil Sampana, back in the day. I applied to be a board member, and served for a year. I joined Jose Vasquez last year as vice chair. In that time, I have participated in numerous projects, including a couple of E-Government projects, and some intersectional work with the Privacy Committee, the FCC comments, and strategic planning over the last year. It has been a true privilege and an honor to work with this incredibly capable and committed group of volunteers, both in the board and in the broader community. And I feel like we have really hit a groove over the past six months or so. We have aligned ourselves, and we have aligned our priorities for 2018. And I would be thrilled to be a part of it in this capacity.
Jose Vasquez: Thank you. Also, if I may, I would like to add that I got very busy towards the end of the year with other things, and Heather really stepped up as vice chair and helped move the board forward. So, I want to recognize that.
Eliab Sisay: Can I just add a comment to that? I was going to say the same thing. I haven’t been able to attend the last couple of meetings, and Heather really helped me to stay in the loop of what has been happening. The notes she sends out and how detailed, crisp, and informative they are. That was really helpful, so kudos to you.
Torgie Madison: I would also add that when I went through the application process to become a board member for CTAB, Heather took me on in sort of a mentor/mentee relationship, which has been very valuable in navigating the way this whole thing works.
Joneil Sampana: I need to add something. Heather has a solid collection of contacts throughout Seattle that would definitely be a help to the work that we’re doing here. Kudos.
Heather Lewis: Thank you.
Comment: Can we vote by exhortation?
Jose Vasquez: [laughs] Yes, if everyone is comfortable with that. It doesn’t have to be a blind vote for this one. Thumbs up for Heather Lewis being chair for 2018? Well, congratulations! Should I pass the gavel now?
Heather Lewis is elected CTAB chair.
Jose Vasquez: Next position we’re going to vote on is vice chair number one. There are a couple of individuals who have shown interest in stepping up as vice chair. I won’t call you out on this unless you want me to. This is your opportunity to self-nominate or nominate another individual to serve as vice chair position one, 2018.
Torgie Madison: I would like to self-nominate for the position.
Jose Vasquez: Torgie is stepping up. Anybody else?
Steven Maheshwary: I would like to self-nominate for the position.
Jose Vasquez: Steven Maheshwary has self-nominated. Anybody else? Okay. I would like to nominate Christ Alejano.
Comment: I second that.
Jose Vasquez: You have the option to either accept or reject the nomination.
Chris Alejano: Either chair is fine.
Jose Vasquez: Okay. Anybody else? Great. We have three candidates for vice chair position one. You will each get 30 seconds to a minute to present your platform on why we should be voting for you as one of the vice chairs. I’ll go in the order of how your self-nominated or were nominated. Torgie, would you like to go first?
Torgie Madison: Yes. I started attending CTAB meetings a year ago, after the elections for 2017. It’s been a privilege to be a part of this process for the past year. Applying to the board was quite an adventure. And being before the City Council confirmations, and sliding in a pitch for the expanded board besides giving my confirmation statement, I sort of got accused of collusion on that one. In my time here, I have been involved with Charlotte Lunday on the FCC net neutrality document. I provided an impartial technical argument for why net neutrality should be maintained by ISPs and common carriers. And I have been, of course, involved in Privacy and the Surveillance Ordinance with Ginger Armbruster, the chief privacy officer of Seattle, as the only community member providing input for that work group, I was able to secure on ongoing relationship with CTAB and the Surveillance Ordinance committee for the future. I also intend to take the Privacy and Cyber Security Committee leadership role. So that would be an ongoing relationship with me and Ginger and that work group. Finally, I think Heather Lewis and I work well together, and with her very recent nomination and acceptance of the chair, we would be a good team.
Jose Vasquez: Thank you. Next, Steven Maheshwary.
Steven Maheshwary: I recognize that I’ve been fairly new to the CTAB board. I have been attending meetings since May. Since joining, I would like to offer up the fact that CTAB has been very significant and meaningful in my life. It has inspired not only prioritization of CTAB in my personal life, but also in my professional life. I have pursued a number of objectives even at Amazon, where there can be significant partnerships with the Digital Inclusion Committee, with Seattle IT, with Seattle Parks and Seattle Public Libraries. If you don’t mind, I would just like to mention my vision, or what I’d like to help out within the next year or so. It revolves around three major tenets: One is driving public exposure and thought leadership for CTAB; and aligning CTAB with events in the community and at large that focuses on topics that are of key interest to CTAB. The second is on a sub-committee level being a little bit more strategic and more focused in projects and being intentional about the projects that we pursue over the course of the year, not only to engage within the CTAB committee to come to those meetings, but also to be more forward looking about what the committees want to achieve, as opposed to being maybe reactive. And then, the third part is something that is closer to my heart is to work with Seattle IT to build the infrastructure for large scale and renewable partnerships. One example of that is working with Amazon to potentially fund the TMF grant, to potentially endow positions within the City of Seattle, and creating a replicable strategy for that, that we can use to create these partnerships with other corporations, and to drive our marketing overall. Sorry to be long-winded, but I am new and I would like to proffer up that issue for next year.
Jose Vasquez: Thank you. Chris Alejano?
Chris Alejano: I’ve been on CTAB now for a couple of years. I just started my second term officially at this meeting. When I first came on to CTAB, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into, to be honest. I knew that there were a lot of different issues around technology, broadband access, and lot of other issue areas that are facing the community. I was really interested in the digital equity pieces from my own personal work at TAF [Technology Access Foundation], which is a nonprofit that is focused on certain kids of color, so I had the pleasure of being able to jump into the work as chair of the Digital Inclusion Committee, and have helped to work with David Keyes and Delia Burke to shepherd the TMF process and get others involved with the award process, which has been great. From the start of my membership on the board, I have been really trying to work to get that overall focus of the board pointing in the right direction, and working on the right things. I played a pretty role in helping Heather Lewis and others in just getting the strategic planning process going. So, I’d really like to champion those things that we outlined earlier today. I see the vice chair position as being a conduit between the board, City Council, and the Mayor’s Office, and leadership at Seattle IT, but then also to support the committee chairs and see what is happening there and figuring out from that level how to get t hat work moving and get traction for the different pieces of work that the committees are focused on. I am honored to be nominated for the role, and hope that I get the same kudos that Heather Lewis did.
Jose Vasquez: Thank you. So, with that, this will be a blind vote. We have several pieces of paper. You get to select one of the three amazing candidates that have stepped up. Then, we’ll do the first run of votes.
Steven Maheshwary: I have a question about that. Is there a difference between vice chair one and vice chair two?
Jose Vasquez: If everybody is okay with that, we can do two at the same time? Take one piece of paper, name the candidates number one and number two, although the numbers don’t mean anything. Top two votes get in.
David Keyes: CNN will report the results. [laughs]
Jose Vasquez: Has everybody voted?
Heather Lewis: I would like to take a photo today.
David Keyes: Any other votes coming in?
Jose Vasquez: We’re missing one.
Heather Lewis: Has everybody voted?
David Keyes: We are missing two ballots.
Heather Lewis: I will do the tally.
Jose Vasquez: Ready, everybody? [Enumerates the votes.] We have elected Chris Alejano and Steven Maheshwary. Congratulations. [applause] It was very close. We’re really excited for next year. And with that, I will hand off the agenda to the new chair.
Heather Lewis: The next set of leadership opportunities are open to the broader community as a whole. We have three new committees for next year, that will do basically the bucket work that we focus on in 2018. The first is Digital Equity. What we need from Digital Equity is a leader. Anybody who would be interested in leading the Digital Equity Committee–and this could be either somebody from the CTAB board, formally, or this could be somebody from the community. Can we get a show of hands if you are interested in either leading or helping to lead this work.
Harte Daniels: There’s a co-chair position that maybe ….
Heather Lewis: Excellent. And if you’re interested in participating in the work, maybe you can follow up with Mark and Steven. That would be terrific. We have another committee, Privacy and Cyber Security, and we have one member who has already voiced interest here. Would anybody like to join Torgie Madison on the Privacy and Cyber Security Committee? Maybe you could follow up with Torgie?
Eliab Sisay: I have a friend that I’ll bring to the next meeting. She works in cyber security.
Heather Lewis: It would be great for her to maybe reach out to Torgie. Thanks, Torgie, for your leadership, and Mark De Loura and Steven Maheshwary for your leadership on the Digital Equity Committee. Next committee is the Smart Cities and Community Innovations Committee. Do we have interest here? Charlotte Lunday. Charlotte, as many of you know, has been very active in CTAB for quite some time and helped address the FCC with our comments. Thanks a lot for your leadership there. Are there others? Oh! I see a hand. Scott Wang. Excellent! Please follow up with Charlotte. and Scott after the adjournment of the meeting.
Harte Daniels: I have someone who is an expert in cyber security that I can try to connect and another person who works with one of the large carriers that I can ask.
Heather Lewis: Excellent! I’m sure they would appreciate any contact in that space. Would you like to meet up with them after the meeting? Thanks a lot. So we have committee creation for three committees: Digital Equity Committee, Privacy and Cyber Security Committee, and Smart Cities and Community Innovation Committee. That’s very exciting. I guess we can move on to the next order of business.
Jose Vasquez: Wrapping up, some basic administration. Parking permits. All board members get the parking permit form. Be sure to turn that in to David Keyes.
David Keyes: I have the forms with me, so for those folks who still need to do that, just come and see me. Actually, I’ll hand around the forms. We need to submit new ones.
Heather Lewis: I was able to move the CTAB holiday party up 15 minutes. Anybody who would like to join us tonight, it’s from 8:15 to 10:00 p.m. at Palomino. They have a happy hour, so it doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s about four blocks from here on Fifth Avenue, and the address is on the board.
Jose Vasquez: So, then, with that, we will end with wrap up, summary of decisions, and next steps. If you have any January agenda items? So far, I only have the update from the Surveillance Ordinance. Any other items to consider for our January meeting?
Heather Lewis: I’ll be reaching out with some dates for our strategic planning follow up, and would like to schedule some time to incorporate thoughts of the community.
Steven Maheshwary: Should we note the meeting times for the other subcommittees besides Digital Equity?
Heather Lewis: Sure. If you want to do that now, that would work. Otherwise, we can follow up by email. I know that a couple of committees haven’t yet had the chance to discuss that.
Jose Vasquez: I would recommend maybe emailing Heather of your proposed times and meeting locations are, and then she can send out one mass communication about all of our committees.
David Keyes: Another thing about the new committees just to consider. We have had some listservs for different committees. Just as a consideration on how that’s going to change.
Jose Vasquez: I also wanted to mention during our strategic planning conversation, besides committees, we also identified task forces as being an option for community members to be engaged. We had the FCC task force. That’s a perfect example of how community members can step up, and maybe not serve on a full committee, but take on a specific issue. That is always welcome. If anybody from the community at large has an item or a project in mind that they want to propose to the board that we take on, that is always welcome.
Heather Lewis: And the Technology Matching Fund.
Jose Vasquez: For my last action as chair, I would like to adjourn this meeting. [applause]