Topics covered included: CTO Michael Mattmiller update; Toby Thomas on Digital Equity projects: Seattle Public Library Mi-Fi lending and program; Derrick Hall on Community Center WiFi expansion status; Cable and Broadband Committee update; updates on E-Gov, Digital Inclusion, and Privacy Committee; discussion of CTAB bylaws.
This meeting was held: September 13, 2016; 6:00-7:30 p.m., Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2750
Podcasts available at: http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/CTTAB/podcast/cttab.xml
Board Members: Amy Hirotaka, Karia Wong via phone, Christopher Alejano, Mark DeLoura, Joneil Sampana, Heather Lewis, Eliab Sisay, Nourisha Wells, Jose Vasquez
Public: David Doyle, Dan Stiefel, Dorene Cornwell, Dan Moulton, Sarah Abramowitz, Vanessa Ingram, George Richardson, Kate Schneier (YMCA), Christina Nguyen (Seattle Privacy Coalition), Greg Harmon (via phone)
Staff: Michael Mattmiller, Jim Loter, David Keyes, Derrick Hall, Cass Magnuski
24 In Attendance
Meeting was called to order by Amy Hirotaka.
Agenda and Minutes approved for the July meeting. Minutes approved with two abstentions.
Michael Mattmiller: Good evening. I’m trying to remember whether we did the Tech Matching Fund grant awards last month. I don’t think so. This is my third year as CTO going through the TMF process. I just want to share my utmost thanks to this group for all the hard work that went into picking this year’s grant recipients. When we have days where we’re dealing with crashing systems and customer service issues and the multitude of big projects we’re dealing with , there is something refreshing about being able to go and spend time with visionary community leaders who are working hard to make a difference for their communities through technology. One of the things I really like about how you structured the grant program this year is by focusing on a smaller number of recipients and encouraging them to partner. We got to spend more time understanding the cool projects they’re envisioning and giving them a funding stream that can have an even greater impact. I was really thrilled to learn of the grant recipients this year and spend some time with them, with Council President Harrell and the Mayor last month. I look forward to hearing the stories of how their programs play out.
In addition to the TMF grants last month, we had three pretty momentous things happen over the past couple of weeks. One, the City passed its PCI report on compliance level one for the second year in a row, meaning that we had an external assessor validate our security and data handling practices with how we handle credit card payments. If that sounds easy, you’re missing about nine months and 200 staff members’ worth of flurry and excitement and a very high degree of effort here in the City. It truly is a lift. If you think about how we process payments across 15 or 16 different departments on everything from paying utility bills to paying for parking on the street, with using apps, with Neighborhood Service Centers collecting payments, parking tickets, the whole nine yards. There was a lot of work that went into that effort, so hats off to all of our staff who made that happen. Really, while we’re required to do these things, we do take them seriously because we recognize the need to earn the public’s trust in how we use their information. We do want to make sure that when you present a credit card for payment here in the City that you can trust that it will be processed in a secure manner.
The next big thing: We went live with the utility billing system. Now, you may have read some things about this system over the recent months, and while there have been some really great parts of this project, there have been some challenges on this project. The net is that we’ve had more than 100 dedicated City staff who have been working on this effort for multiple years–some people have been working on this project for as many as five years now–and if you think about why is takes that much effort and why it’s such a big deal, this is the biggest cash register we have in the City. It’s true. Over the life of this system, it will transact more than $20 billion. Almost $2 billion per year. And it will affect the day to day work of more than 600 information workers, and hundreds of other workers that touch operational side systems connected to the billing system. It affects dozens of City processes and is requiring massive retraining. As an interesting aside, this one system replaced not one but five legacy systems and touched 40 side systems. The way we used to do billing for customers was a legacy system called Banners CSS. It was basically a set of interfaces to Oracle Tables. This new system is event driven. It actually can handle exception processing in workloads. It’s much more robust. It’s also handling commercial and industrial billing, something that our old system couldn’t do. And while I won’t pretend to know the specifics, this is more of a mechanized way to handle those customers in a professional manner. So, lots of goodness from the system. There are some issues that we are working through that are not uncommon in a system of this size. If you saw the Seattle Times story last week, yes, that first upload to our e-billing processor had a coding issue that we introduced in how files are communicated to the biller that did result in some people receiving an unfortunate volume of emails, and also in a period of time of a federal holiday when a small sub-set of our customers could see accounts that do not belong to them. I’m very pleased that the team recognized those things and acted quickly to resolve them. We will be following up with the customers affected to make sure that they understand what transpire and how we’re addressing that long term. So that is NCIS. We’re watching that very closely just to make sure that with all the complexity that our staff are using the system correctly, that our staff are being efficient in their use of the new system, that we are transacting bills correctly.
Third big update: On Monday, I had the honor of attending the ribbon cutting ceremony–there was no actual ribbon–of the Next Generation Data Center, something I know I have been talking with you about since my first day on the job. Quick recap: In 2012, the City data center located in this high rise tower in an urban metropolitan area literally melted down when we plugged too many things into the big power cord that powers it, and the City Council said we should be doing better as a City, and put us on a journey of IT modernization. I was lucky to come into a project that was running relatively well. What I can tell you now is that we have two operationalized data centers, one located in the south Seattle area, Tukwila, specifically, with a secondary facility located east of the Cascades in Liberty Lake, Washington. And today, the vast majority of City systems from 10 locations have been migrated to those two facilities. It was a huge lift and required staff from across about 15 different departments that have legacy IT staff. We are very well please with where we are now. I should point out that this wasn’t just a simple lift to shift migration. When we started this project, we had 15 departments with servers that they individually maintained, many of them on their own discrete networks, on discrete physical hardware. And what we agreed to do over the course of this project, was to enter into a shared services model where there would be one server team, one storage team, one network for the data center, and if that sounds easy, I’m glad it appears that way. There was a lot of teeth gnashing and thinking about responsibilities, who does what, and how do we have logical, physical security controls. But we got there. And, as a result of that cooperation across departments, as a result of those tough decisions we had to make, this project is coming in substantially under budget. Those are the three things that I’m incredibly proud of to share with you today. I’m very thankful for your work on TMF. And I’ll stop for questions.
Joneil Sampana: [unintelligible]
Michael Mattmiller: Yes, I don’t want to overstate because I haven’t been in the weeds on the project. But having a modern, supportive, third party system that is industry standard, like Oracle, it does raise a lot of process opportunities for us. You probably heard about the Utility Discount Program, which before was a series of forms saved to a file, and maybe there was a marker that pointed to a Sharepoint site, that is functionality that we now can generate workflows right in the system and make sure we’re processing efficiently. We also made a major investment in our architecture so that as new solutions come out, or as we upgrade other processes to more efficiently transact in a common architecture. So, I think that we made some technology forward decisions that will make life better.
I will tack onto that, some of you may have heard that Councilmember Burgess had sent a letter to the City Auditor back in April when it first came to light that the system was going to be over budget. He asked a series of questions of the auditor to look into: What happened on this project? Why did it go over budget? Who knew what, when? And also, he asked the question, How should we be developing technology systems in the future in this City. And the interesting dynamic here is, while the utilities, City Light and SPU have run this project, given what they have done, we now have a consolidated IT department. So any feedback is going to be given to Seattle IT, and we’ll be told to implement it. I’ve had a great relationship with the City Auditor, and we’re very engaged in this effort. I just saw a draft of the report on how we should be doing things better in the future. And I’m very pleased with the guidance we’re getting. So, once that report is finalized, I will share that with you so you can see what we’re thinking about as we implement the changes.
Dan Moulton: I just want to say, ‘congratulations.’ I worked on these types of projects on this scale and I know that you, like you said, have applied lessons learned along the way, but I can see questions when the new system will automatically create processes that the citizens [unintelligible….]
SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY MIFI LENDING AND DIGITAL EQUITY PROGRAM UPDATE
Toby Thomas: Hello! I’m about 10 minutes from losing my voice, so….
Amy Hirotaka: Uh, oh. We have you budgeted for 20.
Toby Thomas: My name is Toby. I work in the Virtual Instruction Services at the library. My specific responsibility has been dealing with a sub-set of our Hot Spot program which is designed to reach provisionally underserved populations, low income residents, insecurely housed people. I’m going to talk a little bit about what we’re doing here.
Download (PPTX, 3.21MB)
I’m going to give you a little history. As you may know, in 2015, we got a grant from Google that gave us a small number of Wi-Fi Hotspots. Most of those went into the regular catalog. Anybody could check them out like a book, every three weeks. And we had a small number–I think it was 25–to be more specifically targeting outreach. So, doing outreach to low income communities to get them access to these things. Over the year, we got more money. Eventually, the City pitched in as well. And this is basically where we are now with 800 total, 600 in the general pool, and then about 200 that are more specific. I’m dealing with those 200. So that’s what I’m going to talk about today.
We are distributing these Hotspots via partnerships, with a lot of community organizations like Goodwill, and Seattle Housing. Participants who get Hotspots have to have a library card, so we usually do some kind of library overview with them. We signed over 125 new cards since last year. And checkouts range from three to six months, depending on the different partnerships. Seattle Housing was our first partner to test long-term lending and we started with SHA because they already track income requirements and we didn’t want to have to track that on our end. We started at New Holly, because we already had some community connections there. That picture was from October last year. We checked out 50 Hotspots. After that first checkout period, we went back I think three or four times to offer one on one help sessions with people who had questions relating to the technology or the library in general. This is the result of that first piece that we did. Sixty percent reported incomes under $25,000. Sixty-seven percent reported no internet other than a phone at home. Seventy-two percent were Somali speakers primarily, and 87 percent had at least one student in Seattle Public Schools.
Joneil Sampana: Was it 200?
Toby Thomas: No, this was the first 50 that we did. Two hundred is just our recent numbers. Currently, we’re working on expanding to High Point and Yesler Terrace, so we’re in discussions there. We’re also working on getting some of our staff to go to Yesler Terrace Community Center, to teach some computer classes in their lab that’s in the sector. We also just started checking out a few to some insecurely housed populations. The first was just last month with the Ballard tent encampment. We checked out five Hotspots there. I think two or three weeks later, we went to the tiny houses installation at 22nd and Union. We checked out 10 more Hotspots there. Depending on how these partnerships go, we hope to expand that next year. I don’t have photos from Goodwill, but that’s one of our big partners. We’ve dedicated 50 Hotspots, and we also have 20 laptops that come with a MiFi USB toggle, that people can check out and keep during whatever the time period is. Goodwill has been an excellent partner. We are working with their instructors in their job training and their ESL classes. They identify patrons who meet certain criteria. We check out the devices to them. We follow up by going out once a month after the initial checkout to answer any questions related to the technology, or to the library in general.
We did ask what they expected to use Hotspots for, and what they thought the top benefits were. We’re going to follow up in the end and ask the same questions and see if they reflect those answers. But a lot of it was improving English, communicating with family outside of Seattle, job skills, computer skills. We also partnered on a smaller scale with a few other agencies: Casa Latina, I think we did 10 or 11 Hotspots to some of their day laborers. We also checked out five Hotspots to a women’s ESL class. In February this year, we worked with Connects 50, which was one of the Tech Matching Fund recipients from last year. It was at Washington Middle School, they had a whole program designed around helping 50 African Americans male students and their families achieve in school. We worked with the principal there, and they identified 15 families that didn’t have internet. So we gave them internet for that whole duration of the program. We actually hope to connect with two more Tech Matching Fund projects, starting next year, that we’re still working on.
I talked about the laptops earlier, and I want to talk a little more about those. With the laptops, we’re doing more of a class series situation. We’ve done several different series. One of our librarians grew up in New Holly. She’s a Somali woman. She teaches classes at New Holly to a group of Somali parents. This is one of those classes. At the end of class, they celebrate, they hand out certificates. It’s just a really exciting program. We think that there’s basically endless capacity as long as we have a teacher and computers available.
Another one of our staff taught Yes (Youth Equipped to Succeed) Parents with Dearborn Elementary, over six or eight weeks. And, we’re currently working on offering a class at Rainier Vista, to senior Vietnamese and Somali adults. And that will start in mid-October. All of those people are checking out the laptops, using them for the duration of the class. And they have built in Wi-Fi with them.
In 2017, we’re going to work, thanks to Youth Choice Youth Voice. We’re getting additional Hotspots. We’re going to try to partner with a project happening at New Horizons, and also the Coalition for Refugees from Burma. That’s a project that we’re going to try to help.
David Keyes: Youth Choice Youth Voice is the team participatory budgeting project that the City had, where teams across the City decided where–I think it was $500,000 altogether of the City funds. Doing MiFi project was one of the projects that the teams allocated City budget for.
Dorene Cornwell: I have a couple of questions. When you are doing your follow up surveys, maybe it would be good to specifically ask whether people are using their connections to access content online. This last year, we had a guy who wanted to always come in and listen to the Voice of America on BBC for Somalis. That was all he was interested in. He was a blind guy who didn’t have any other interest in computers. The second question was “can more than one person use the Hotspots?” If there were two people that were sitting next to a Hotspot, and they both have a laptop, can they use the same Hotspot?
Toby Thomas: Thank you for the suggestion. I wrote it down, so we’ll try to follow up. And up to 15 devices can connect to a Hotspot. Of course, it gets slower the more devices are attached.
Eliab Sisay: What are the speeds?
David Keyes: They’re contracting with Verizon> it’s a 4G LTE service, presuming that the location gets that kind of connectivity. And then I know that one of the things that the library had, they were actually using a state contract with Verizon. So, through that, they were able to get unlimited, so there’s not a bandwidth cap on it like there are on a lot of programs.
Joneil Sampana: I just want to say that this is a great program. Moving forward, will there be a systematic [unintelligible] for TMF grantees, once they’ve reached a certain level that you will automatically to those folks as sort of a next step.
Toby Thomas: You know, this is our first year doing this, and I’m certainly open to it, depending on how many we have available over time. But yes, I think it’s a good way to get together and all be working on the same page.
Joneil Sampana: Right now, the funding for most of those Hotspots is corporate funding?
Toby Thomas: It was Google. Now I think the City Cable Fund is covering it.
Joneil Sampana: But also be open to corporate funding for other companies so they can participate if they want to?
Toby Thomas: People could sponsor it through the Library Foundation.
Amy Hirotaka: Currently, is this part of the renewing budget, or is it something to ask for year after year?
Toby Thomas: It’s in the 2016 budget. As I understand it, the library has a request in to the Mayor. In September, around the 24th, the Mayor introduces his proposed budget for Council to vote on in November. As I understand it, the library is asking for continued funding through the budget. And I’m not sure exactly how that syncs with the participatory budget number that in a sense added a bit and filled in some of the gap from the Google grant ending. That budget, while it was awarded in 2016, the budget actually starts for the year 2017. I’m not sure what happens after 2017 for that portion of what it’s currently funding in the budget.
David Keyes: We started coming out of the Digital Equity Initiative sitting down with library staff and us together to look at what other projects were good meshing opportunities to complement and get their synergies together. Another one we’re working on right now is the Rainier Vista project to link them as we’ve gotten some support for a device program. This year we have 100 devices to hand out to low income families. Then we’re linking that to the Rainier Vista training with the library staff.
Jose Vasquez: Do you have a project for South Park?
Toby Thomas: I don’t.
Amy Hirotaka: Any more questions for Toby?
Joneil Sampana: Are food banks considered as a possible partner? I know you’re down in the central Yesler area. St. Mary’s there has a huge population every Tuesday and Thursday of people coming in.
Toby Thomas: We haven’t specifically worked with food banks yet. Part of the issue is we have a limited set of devices and right now they’re all spoken for. I think at the end of this year, beginning of next year, we’ll be doing a big step back and see where things are, and evaluating. I’m certainly open to it, but we haven’t done that at this point. I know that the people that I’m working with at the library who do regular outreach to homeless encampments and tent cities and the tiny houses are really interested in expanding it, so that is one thing that’s on our radar.
David Keyes: We’re actually meeting this week with the City’s human services folks. Sort of a follow up. Remember a few months ago, Sola Plumacher was here talking about the homeless programs? We’re meeting together later this week with some of the staff of Human Services Department to get a better sense, to look at more specifics on what we can do between us and the library and the Human Services Department.
Amy Hirotaka: Thank you, Toby.
Toby Thomas: Sure. And feel free to contact me by email if you have follow up questions.
Amy Hirotaka: Next up is Derrick Hall who is going to give us an update on Seattle Community Center Wi-Fi expansion.
SEATTLE COMMUNITY CENTER WI-FI EXPANSION STATUS
Derrick Hall: I don’t have any slides, but that’s okay, I guess. At the end of last year, Google had given us some money to be able to expand the wireless project that we had, covering 26 parks locations throughout the City. The wireless service that we had at that time only covered some of the computer labs that we have as well as some of the meeting rooms, but it didn’t cover the entire buildings. What Google said was, we’ll give you some money to help you with covering the entire indoor portion of the buildings. They gave us the funding and we’ve been working on installing services at the 26 sites this year. We are a little more than half way complete, having finished 14 community centers. We have 12 more community centers left to complete. We’ve noticed, so far, that there has been increasing usage since last year. For example, Rainier Beach Community Center increased over the last couple of months since they’ve had the service, over 50 percent, as far as the devices that were connected. Over the month of August, we have had over 10,000 devices connected. A year ago, we had only about 7,000 for the month of August. So that is an increase of over 3,000 users of the service.
Joneil Sampana: Is there a way to gauge the actual use, what they’re using it for?
Derrick Hall: Yes. We can see what the usage is in general. We don’t know exactly what users are searching for.
Amy Hirotaka: Has there been any talk of maybe surveying folks to find out what they’re using their Wi-Fi connections for?
Derrick Hall: No. But we could do that. Every 30 days, they have to accept the terms of service. If they go to the community center every day, we don’t require them to have to accept them every day, but we could throw in a short survey.
Dan Stiefel: Technically, you know what they’re connected to. Businesses monitor that kind of stuff all the time. I know it’s a big sticky wicket, but a survey obviously the way to go about it. I’ll just throw that out there for comment.
Derrick Hall: You’re talking about a survey on what they do and where they are? Yes, we can do that. But we’re not able to get what the uses are. We’re not able to see what they’re doing. We’re just able to know they went to Yahoo.com or someplace.
Dan Stiefel: So, you do know the sites they go to?
Derrick Hall: Yes. But most of them are Google.
Dan Stiefel: And there are no restrictions on top of that?
Derrick Hall: No. They’re only restricted by whatever bandwidth we are able to provide to the site. Most of them are using the Comcast numbers.
Jose Vasquez: Is the Wi-Fi only available indoors? Or is it available outdoors?
Derrick Hall: Currently, it’s available indoors. We talked about expanding it to the outdoors but we didn’t have budget for that. I have noticed, looking at some of the stats, that between 12:00 and 2:00 in the morning, there are people using the service.
David Keyes: It would be interesting to look at how many people are actually using it outside of business hours.
Derrick Hall: And on what kind of devices.
Eliab Sisay: Can you tell if it’s a laptop or other device?
Derrick Hall: None of the information coordinates together to be able to suggest whether it’s a laptop or what particular time they’re using it.
David Keyes: In terms of the breakdown of devices altogether….
Derrick Hall: Experts said they’re using Apple products of some sort. Laptops, phones, what have you.
Dorene Cornwell: [unintelligible]
Dan Moulton: In addition, the difference between a laptop and a cell phone, it’s very difficult to look for a job on a cell phone. Find out the services that are being used by those people that are sitting right outside.
Amy Hirotaka: Thank you, Derrick. Very interesting. Now it is time for Public Comment, so we have 10 minutes budgeted? Is there anyone who wants to make a comment?
Dan Moulton: I sent it to David Keyes, but there’s a $100,000 for somebody to come up with something that serves ‘x’ number of underserved people in the City. I did send that to David. Unless somebody asks about [unintelligible]
David Keyes: Yes, I just forwarded it to the CTAB list. If anybody else is interested, I could forward it out. This is the Future Cities Accelerator.
Amy Hirotaka: Thanks. I have one quick update. Lloyd Douglas had asked about amplification at City meetings, and that’s something that Michael Mattmiller has pinged the Department of Neighborhoods about. Potentially, you could start with portable mics and speakers and the Department of Neighborhoods is willing to do some outreach and training on it, so stay tuned. That is in the works. Are there any other announcements?
Kate Schneier: I’m Kate Schneier with Y-Tech and I have a community request. We’re looking for an adult who would be willing to mentor a young adult that’s working with our program that’s doing a redesign on WordPress, so somebody who knows WordPress well and be willing to spend–it could be just a couple of hours a month with this young man when he gets stuck. He knows WordPress but he needs little technical support. So, if you know of anybody, let me know.
David Keyes: I’ll send this out, but I just saw today that Comcast Internet Essentials has just published their national update on their program. We don’t have local numbers, but it is good to see where they’ve gone nationally.
Amy Hirotaka: Thanks, David. All right. Let’s take a 10-minute break.
Amy Hirotaka: Next on the agenda are committee updates. And I’m wondering if if Karia is still on the phone to give the Cable and Broadband Committee update.
CABLE BROADBAND UPDATE
Karia Wong: Yes, I am. I will be giving a short update on the Broadband committee. We met on August 29. Tony has shared the timeline for CTAB to submit our recommendation for Wave franchise review. We’re still trying to finalize the schedule. once we have it, we’ll share it out. The other thing that we have discussed, we did spend some time to discuss the potential recommendations. We spent a lot of time discussing the low income internet program. The other thing that we have discussed is the customer service experience. And the last thing is we are trying to create a contact database for all the people who have joined our meeting so that we’ll be able to keep in touch with those people who are interested in the Broadband and Cable Committee. That’s my update.
Amy Hirotaka: Great. And when is the next meeting?
Karia Wong: The next meeting will be the last Monday of September, which will be the 26th, 6:30 at City Hall.
Amy Hirotaka: Great. Thank you. One addition: As a member of the Cable and Broadband Committee, and Dan is vice chair, too–a lot of big things are coming up. We’ve got, as Karia mentioned, the letter to the Mayor and to Michael about the Wave franchise. We’ve also got formal comments that we are going to submit to the Council. We’re not that deep of a bench right now, so what I’m asking for is folks specifically around this table, CTAB folks, who might be willing to help us draft these, and review, and all of those good things. If you’re willing, please contact me or talk to me afterwards. I might be reaching out to folks individually, if that’s what it takes. Because I don’t think that we quite have the bandwidth right now to be doing all of the work that we need to be doing. Anything from you, Dan? All right. Did you like my pitch? Moving on to the E-Gov Committee.
Heather Lewis: Our biggest news is that our member, David Doyle, has joined the City as Data Manager, so we’re very proud of him and are happy to have City representation at E-Gov. Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, September 27, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Microsoft Westlake offices.
Joneil Sampana: Can we give David a round of applause?
David Keyes: We were hoping you’d bring cupcakes.
Amy Hirotaka: I know that Michael had been looking at the memo that you all had done. I’m not sure that he’s had the time to provide feedback yet.
Joneil Sampana: We having a meeting I think on October 4. We’ll be looking over that review then. We still seek more participants. If you want to learn more about what E-Gov does, check us out on Tuesdays. The minutes will be on our posts.
David Keyes: So, the October 4 meeting is with Michael Mattmiller and Jim Loter.
Joneil Sampana: And with David, of course.
David Keyes: Quick question: I saw that the TMF was on your agenda for last time.
Joneil Sampana: It was a line about how can E-Gov help scale the evolution and maturation of TMF grantees after they’ve received the grant, but are still working on ways that we can do that. Finding ways to fill systematic needs at the next level, involving the City, corporations, or citizens.
David Keyes: If it makes sense to have Delia or I from the staff working on that at one of your meetings.
Dan Moulton: [unintelligible] There is a service day in Washington, D.C. I’m asking CTAB to support these agencies in that manner.
Amy Hirotaka: Thank you. All right, moving on to the Digital Inclusion Committee.
DIGITAL INCLUSION COMMITTEE UPDATE
Chris Alejano: Jose and I are going to tag team this one. Nourisha Wells and I had a conversation with David Keyes, sometime earlier in the month or maybe late last month, just trying to jump start the work of the Digital Inclusion Committee. Nourisha is leaving us at the end of the year. Sad face. And Jose is busy with vice chairing and some other things. We’re trying to figure out a good transition to have different leadership for the committee. I kind of stepped up to fill that void. If there are other members around the table that want to be part of the committee, or even other community members, I’d be happy to share that workload. But one of the things we were able to do with David was to get the lay of the land of some of the potential topics that the committee could work on. It’s certainly a much longer list than we could probably tackle for this coming year, but I think it’s just an exercise in whittling it down to something more manageable. Our hope is that at the next meeting, which is happening next week on Wednesday, September 21, from 6:0 to 8:00 at Impact Hub (220 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104). One of our agenda items could be just to focus our plan of attack on what we want to accomplish through the committee. Some of those pieces were doing more work arounds, sort of Connect Home, and public housing, and Comcast Internet Essential pieces, the Wave contract–trying to surface the public benefits of that, trying to come up with a position statement for the franchise agreement, weigh in as the Digital Inclusion Committee. The Parks Department and Rec program, the Tech Ed and Community Center labs that are doing some good work, so that might be some fertile ground to support them or figure out a better way to take advantage of those community centers in a more coherent way. The programs for the homeless was another topic brought up, revisiting Tech Matching Fund and how we send out requests for proposals , and the parameters around that. I think it would be a good idea to just review what worked and what didn’t, and how we can improve for the next round in the coming year. So there are a bunch of different things that we can tackle hopefully at the next meeting next week. Jose was going to talk a little bit about the TMF celebration that I unfortunately missed.
Jose Vasquez: And that’s a big part of this committee. Overseeing the review of the applications. Over the last year, we expanded the amounts of the grants. We’re also encouraging more collaborations. That’s where this committee can really take a cue in enabling those networking opportunities, those connection opportunities. We’ve been working with David to maybe start scheduling some site visits of some of the grantees. I’m inviting the other board members to come and see them in action, see how the funds are being spent. Also, Nourisha and I talked about how we can continue promoting the work that the grantees are doing. How do we take it to the next step? We should possibly find sustainability funding, because this is start up seed funding for community projects. Maybe we should start having conversations about how to take that to the next level. I think that’s for your committee.
Brief update: We presented at the City Council two weeks ago. Always a very interesting day. Ours was very tame. (laughing)
David Keyes: It was the Uber proposal for unionizing.
Jose Vasquez: Yes, it was a busy day at City Council. We had to go into the back. We heard good things from Council. They are very supportive of this project. They did raise a question about the reasoning behind raising the amount of money to grantees. I think they understood what the reasoning was for that, but I feel we should do a better job of explaining why that was. Some people felt like we were giving fewer awards. That always brings up questions.
Nourisha Wells: This was the first time we did it, this year. Is there a greater success if we can target our resources and focus them on more groups. Are they accessible without with targeted attention.
Jose Vasquez: Yes, so if anybody is interested in joining us for next year’s TMF, we can never start too early for that.
Amy Hirotaka: Thank you. Digital Inclusion Committee has a lot on its plate. Thank you for that update. Did we have one other person join us on the phone besides Karia?
David Keyes: I think it was Greg. Hey, Greg, welcome. You want to do a quick intro?
Greg Harmon: Sure. My name is Greg Harmon. I’ve been to one or two meetings in the past and I went to CTAB Broadband a few times, but I’ve had a pretty limited time with it.
David Keyes: We’ll get Toby’s slides on library MiFi presentation. I’ll send it out to everybody.
Amy Hirotaka: The next agenda item is Privacy Committee, which Iga and Christopher Sheats are co-chairing. I don’t think that there have been any updates, except that they are still trying work on their first meeting. I”ll call them again to see what’s going on. The last agenda item besides the wrap up is talking about the CTAB bylaws, which we touched on briefly last month. I forgot about it until a few days ago, and I think everybody else did, too, because I didn’t hear anything from folks about it. But when I did look at it, I saw that it is not just sort of a light edit of a few things. The bylaws could really use strong rewriting. A lot of it will still apply, but some of it, like the way that we give notice, talking about the way that people dial in, here are a number of things that I think we could really modernize, and potentially think of better ways to engage folks who can’t be here at meetings. So, I think it’s an opportunity to not just do a couple of things, and make it better for now, but to make it better for the foreseeable future. And I’m certainly willing to take the lead on that. I’m wondering if by next month if there is someone else who could help me look at that, do a rewrite, and present it next month. You don’t have to tell me now, but if there is a volunteer who could help me look at that. And also I want to hear if you think that is the right way to go, or not, and so on.
Dorene Cornwell: I’m working on another bylaws project. One of the things we had to do, first thing when we looked at the stuff we were dealing with was what is procedure for amending the bylaws. Whether you could do the changes under the current bylaws.
Amy Hirotaka: Yes! And I did look at that a little bit. The main thing that I took away was that in order to update the bylaws there has to be consensus. There has to be a unanimous vote to approve the new bylaws. So if there are no objections to proceeding in that fashion, that is what we will do. David, were there any other updates that we should give about next month’s meeting? You wanted to talk about Virginia’s new role?
David Keyes: One related thing, you know Greg Harmon and Karia Wong are on via Skype, so we have set up Skype. For a little while, our Skype server was having some problems and it seems like the audio is consistent and Greg and Karia, has the audio tonight seem fine? Has it been okay?
Karia Wong: It was a little bit broken in the beginning, but right now it’s okay.
Greg Harmon: Some parts are hard to understand; I can only get two-thirds of it. So, it was so-so.
David Keyes: Thanks. I was a little hesitant about putting it on as a standard offering every month, if we’re not really sure that the quality is fine enough. Sounds like it’s still borderline right now.
Dan Stiefel: Can they comment on whether it sounds like we’re too far away from the microphone, or whether it’s really a transmission burble.
David Keyes: Dan asked from the side of the room if the audio is too far away. Trying to find out if we’re losing it in a way trying to pick up people on the far end of the room versus people around the table. I guess you can’t see who is around the table, so that might be hard to judge.
Karia Wong: I think it’s a problem of transmission.
Greg Harmon: I’m not sure. I could hear Dan’s question. It seems like the gain is way up, like it’s cutting off the tops, maybe.
David Keyes: Well, I’ll give that feedback and maybe we can keep trying it. We’ve made it available as people have asked for it, but maybe Derrick can check in with our server, and whoever it administering it and try that a little bit more.
Greg Harmon: From this end, the volume is greatly improved. It’s much clearer than it was in the past.
David Keyes: We’re hearing you guys really well here, which is good.
Greg Harmon: It’s dependent on who is speaking, perhaps.
David Keyes: Okay. Thanks for that, you guys. Virginia Gleason, who has been at some of the more recent CTAB meetings, is going to be taking over as the regular CTAB liaison from me. It’s so I can spend more time on the Digital Equity Initiative development work. I’ll still be liaison with the Digital Inclusion committee, and as needed. We’re just starting to work on a transition plan for that. Conveniently, I’m going out of town in October. We’ll come back, but you will be having more linkage with her on that. Heading into the January meeting, we still have an education representative position to fill, and Nourisha is coming to the end of her two years, which makes her a great committee member.
And then, it looks like Century Link’s Mary Taylor is not available, for some personal reasons. We know for sure that she can make it in November. She may or may not be here in October. So that may get pushed out a little further, to give the update on Century Link’s build out of their fiber initiative, the roll out of Prism service, and their Internet Basics program. So that will still be coming up.
We’re still waiting to get the schedule, as Michael mentioned last month, a woman by the name of Tara Duckworth is the new City applications director. She is interested in talking to CTAB. I just started giving her a little background on who you guys are, too. She can come and give an introduction, and get a sense of how that might link in, and give an overall state of applications development that’s under her wing, and what’s happening in the City. I know Michael has done some of that.
And then, another person I know that we’re looking at scheduling at some point right after the initial connect, is Susan Goodman is our privacy officer.
Jose Vasquez: Have we heard anything from the Department of Neighborhoods?
David Keyes: I have not heard back. Virginia had reached out to Department of Neighborhoods. They have this whole civic engagement redesign that they’re working on. Some of that relates to E-Gov Committee around the Smart Cities program, but I think a lot of the questions that you were looking at will link in well with what the Department of Neighborhoods’ charge is around building more inclusive civic engagement. We thought it would be good if they would come here so we can all get a better sense of what that is, and they can get a better sense of the skills you guys bring. I’m hoping that will be October.
Dan Moulton: Are you talking about what they’re doing in Lake City?
David Keyes: I know that there’s a community development process going on in Lake City. This is the broader, overall Department of Neighborhoods’ City charge.
Just so you know, one of the things that is non-tech, but it relates to skill building, is that the City is recruiting again for some specific languages for the Public Outreach Engagement Liaisons (POEL). When the City does engage in processes, hot training and then hiring these individuals who are engagement liaisons. And they are the trusted ambassador network, if you will, to the community. Just as you guys are looking at civic tech, they are kind of a point of presence about how well do they know–and they would have good input on civic tech with limited English speaking communities.
Jose Vasquez: I’m really interested in hearing that report, because as the Department of Neighborhoods is coming up with these strategies on providing the people outreach, I think that we can along with the IT Department provide the tools. Like the public library does in offering the public Hotspots. That’s a good incentive for people to come out and participate and join different programs. But then, as a City, how can we combine all of these tools to be more efficient?
Dorene Cornwell: What languages are they recruiting for?
David Keyes: I think it was Spanish, Somali, Mandarin. I’ll have to look it up.
Dorene Cornwell: This is one of those situations where you bump up against different government programs and it causes you problems. I know someone who has done this kind of work. His family lives in Section 8 Housing. They’re doing well, as in they’re in danger of losing their Section 8 subsidy, but they don’t really have a path to move to other housing. And in Seattle, the rents make my eyes cry every time I think about them. How do you build capacity and awareness in the community. I told this person to try to connect with a banker who speaks your language and look at some asset building programs. There are different programs but the people out in the community don’t necessarily know to use them. This particular person has trust issues with people in this country, and so I’m calling that out as part of the picture. Having a job is a good thing, but it can also screw up your life. I don’t want to say, don’t go to work, but it’s something to be aware of.
Joneil Sampana: Were you done, David?
David Keyes: I have one other thing. I wanted to do an update on the City’s Comprehensive Plan. There was discussion in this group last year or earlier this year about the City’s Comprehensive Plan. It has also been called Seattle 2035. Some of you may have gone to public meetings or seen things about it. The things related to technology are in essence in two major sections. One is Utilities, where it talks about developing broadband and greater infrastructure there. It also relates a little to the general framework for when the City contracts or franchises. So there is a related element to the Cable Franchise process and things about putting in sufficient infrastructure. There’s a component about building City facilities, and then there’s some things in Economic Development about job training and skills. It may not be strong in naming broadband and internet as we’d like, but there are some elements there. They’re kind of on their last run at it, so there’s a public hearing this week on the 15th. And then, September 20, Public Land Use and Zoning commission. And then it will go to full City Council to take up the legislation with the goal of updating it, after the budget. They’re on their last stretch of it. If you guys wanted to take a look at it, this is the last opportunity to submit some comments over these next couple of months before that is final. Would you like me to send out a link?
Amy Hirotaka: Joneil, did you have something?
Joneil Sampana: Dorene, I just wanted to share another nonprofit that may help. Interim. Something else I wanted to reference with my Microsoft hat on. October is the Microsoft Give Campaign. All through October, employees are encouraged to dedicate funding and hours to nonprofits in the area. So if you know nonprofits that are looking for either funding, new board members, or even day labor. What we’re trying to do is trade one day to help nonprofits to bring our Latino community members, or 17 different Asian organizations together, and say, during your lunchtime, try to translate all of these documents for these nonprofits. That one hour that you dedicate is your personal time. Each of those hours will come across as $25 that goes to a nonprofit. So if you can think of any nonprofit that might need that support, let me know and I’ll see if I can find a captain at Microsoft to lead that.
Jose Vasquez: Not just my organization, but a couple small organizations, when we’re working with Microsoft is for volunteer hours, it’s a huge [unintelligible]. Maybe they can come and present it to show us how that functions and how organizations can partner with Microsoft.
Joneil Sampana: For future reference, I can bring someone from the philanthropic group over, or I can sign people on to work in the non-profit. The first thing to do is get registered and get a platform, because the very first minute that somebody helps a nonprofit, that’s the kicker.
David Keyes: Joneil, if there is something you can send me, I can share it out with the community lab list and get it to the TMF grantees and the ones that didn’t get funded.
Joneil Sampana: Yes. I get platform registration and it’s done by a third party called Bendevity. They have a sign up thing you have to go through. On it, you have to list projects. And then what we try to do within Microsoft is have people sign on and a project manager will try to lead that project to its completion. And every hour is logged.
Dan Moulton: If you want to consolidate or create the spark for a larger partnership, if you can give me some of that information I can send it to the leadership for the project management office crew and the general outreach and see if we can be a synergy instead of everybody trying to do little bits all over the place. I can address that later offline. But the questions you have about Digital Equity and you were saying because you changed the format, [unintelligible]. Having these people do that in such a manner you can easily consolidate it. The other thing was the banks are required [unintelligible]. They are supposed to be devoted to helping them with understanding the financial and asset building, so that one’s there. And there are a number of assisted, if they come out of Section 8 [unintelligible]. For those that are lower income people that are stuck in that area and there are partners in the community that will help, not only will help but they are required by the federal government to do that work.
Dorene Cornwell: Thank you. This is actually helpful.
Amy Hirotaka: Quickly, I just want to say that David Keyes is not going to be at the next meeting. I’d like to thank him for being of service to CTAB for I don’t know how long. I first met him in 2009. I assume it’s many years before that. You’ve been amazing and we’ll really miss you. I’m glad that it’s going to free up some of your time. Thank you, David. [applause] Wrap up from Jose.
Jose Vasquez: I have just three things. We will welcome Virginia Gleason next month. Next month, we’re going to look to fill that education position. Committee meetings are coming up. If you’re interested in one of them, you’re welcome to join us.
Amy Hirotaka: Thank you everyone. Meeting adjourned at 7:33 p.m.