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OKAY,

[00:00:01]

WE'RE ABOUT, AS ABOUT JUST CHECKING.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

OKAY.

WELL EVERYBODY, LET'S GO AHEAD

[CALL TO ORDER ]

AND JUMP IN.

I'D LIKE TO CALL THIS MEETING TO ORDER.

HELLO EVERYONE.

MY NAME IS NEHEMIAH PITTS, THE THIRD CALLING TO ORDER THE COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION SPECIAL CALL MEETING TODAY, TUESDAY, MARCH THE 26TH, 2024, 6:30 PM IS OUR SCHEDULED START TIME.

WE'RE LOCATED AT THE PERMITTING AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER HERE, EVENT CENTER ROOM 1 4 0 5 6 3 1 0 WILL AMINO, EXCUSE ME, WILLAMINA DELCO DRIVE, AUSTIN, TEXAS 7 8 7 5 2.

SOME OF THE BOARDS, UH, RATHER, OUR COMMISSION MEMBERS ARE PARTICIPATING VIA VIDEO CONFERENCE.

AND THAT MEETING CAN BE VIEWED ONLINE AT HTTP SLASH SLASH WWW.AUSTINTEXAS.GOV/PAGE/WATCH AT XN LIVE.

PUBLIC COMMENT WILL BE ALLOWED, UH, AT THIS TIME IF ANYONE HAS SIGNED UP AND THERE HAS BEEN NO ONE THAT SIGNED UP EITHER REMOTELY OR IN PERSON.

SO WE'LL GO AHEAD AND PROCEED WITH OUR ROLL CALL.

UH, AS I MENTIONED, MY NAME IS NEHEMIAH P III, REPRESENTING DISTRICT ONE.

I'LL GO AHEAD AND PASS IT TO, UH, COMMISSIONER PEN VIA COMMISSIONER HERE.

AND I REPRESENT THE MAYOR OF THANK YOU AND COMMISSIONER, UH, RATHER, VICE CHAIR APODACA, STEVEN APODACA, PRESENT REPRESENTING DISTRICT TWO.

THANK YOU.

AND COMMISSIONER ALDERETTE CAR ALDER AT THE PRESENT, UH, REPRESENTING DISTRICT THREE.

THANK YOU.

AND COMMISSIONER RICE.

UH, COMMISSIONER RICE, REPRESENTING DISTRICT, UH, FIVE.

THANK YOU.

UH, COMMISSIONER KU COUP.

COMMISSIONER KU REPRESENTING DISTRICT SIX.

THANK YOU.

AND COMMISSIONER ISLAND DISTRICT SEVEN.

UH, THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER ISLAND.

I COULD HEAR YOU, BUT IF, IF THERE'S ANYTHING COULD BE DONE TO INCREASE YOUR VOLUME, UH, THAT WOULD BE APPRECIATED.

BUT I DID HEAR YOU CONFIRM YOUR PRESENCE, SO THANK YOU.

WITH THAT, WE ARE CALLED TO ORDER.

UH, THERE MAY BE ANOTHER COMMISSIONER JOINING US, UH, REMOTELY, BUT WE DO NOT NEED THEM PRESENT AT THIS TIME TO ESTABLISH OUR QUORUM, WHICH HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED.

UH, WE'LL PROCEED AGAIN, AS I MENTIONED, UH, EARLIER, UH, WITH PUBLIC COMMUNICATION, UH, THERE IS NO ONE SIGNED UP.

SO WE PROCEED, UH, TO

[APPROVAL OF MINUTES]

THE APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES TO ITEM ONE.

UH, WITH THAT, I'LL GIVE OUR COMMISSIONERS A CHANCE TO REVIEW THE MINUTES, ALTHOUGH WE'VE HAD THEM IN FILE FOR SOME TIME NOW.

UH, THEY DO REPRESENT THE MINUTES INITIALLY FOR THE DECEMBER 13TH MEETING, UH, THAT WE NEED TO VOTE ON.

AND THEN THE SECOND ITEM IN OUR AGENDA, THE APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FROM THE JANUARY 11TH MEETING.

I'LL LOOK FOR A MOTION TO APPROVE THE MINUTES AND A SECOND, AND THEN WE'LL HOLD A VOTE.

CHAIR PITTS, I'LL MAKE A MOTION TO APPROVE THE MINUTES AS PRESENTED.

I'LL SECOND IT.

THANK YOU.

GOT A MOTION TO APPROVE THE MINUTES AS PRESENTED BY VICE CHAIR APODACA, SECONDED BY COMMISSIONER ALDERETTE.

WITH THAT, WE CAN HOLD A VOTE.

ALL IN FAVOR OF APPROVING THE MIN MINUTES AS PRESENTED, PLEASE SAY, AYE.

AND SHOW YOUR HAND.

AYE.

AYE.

AYE.

AYE.

AYE.

IS THERE ANYONE OPPOSED? ANYONE ABSTAINING? OKAY.

WITH THAT, THESE MINUTES ARE APPROVED, UH, WITH A VOTE OF SEVEN IN FAVOR AND ZERO OPPOSED.

NOW, WE'LL PROCEED IN THE AGENDA WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE JANUARY 11TH MEETING.

I'LL PAUSE FOR A MOTION TO APPROVE AND A SECOND, AND THEN WE'LL HOLD A VOTE.

FAIR PITS I.

MOTION TO APPROVE.

SECOND.

THANK YOU.

I'VE GOT A MOTION TO APPROVE THE MINUTES AS PRESENTED BY COMMISSIONER ALDERETTE, UH, SECONDED BY VICE CHAIR POCA WITH THE APPLICANT.

HOLD THE VOTE.

ALL IN

[00:05:01]

FAVOR OF APPROVING THESE MINUTES AS PRESENTED, PLEASE INDICATE BY SHOWING YOUR HAND AND SAYING, AYE.

AYE.

A AYE.

AYE.

IS THERE ANYONE OPPOSED? IS READ ONE ABSTAINING? OKAY.

WITH THAT, THESE MINUTES ARE APPROVED, SEVEN OH IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

NOW, MOVING FORWARD WITH OUR AGENDA, OUR NEXT ITEM

[3. TARA Office briefing on the Request for Proposals for Community Technology Access Lab Management Services (Jesse Rodriguez – Program Manager, Telecommunications and Regulatory Affairs Division of the Financial Services Department, City of Austin) ]

NUMBER THREE, THE TERRA OFFICE BRIEFING ON THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS BY THE COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY ACCESS LAB MANAGEMENT SERVICES.

THIS WILL BE PRESENTED BY JESSE RODRIGUEZ, OUR PROGRAM MANAGER FROM THE, UH, TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS DIVISION OF THE FINANCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT FOR THE CITY OF BOSTON.

UH, JESSE, THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

THANK YOU, CHAIR.

THANK YOU COMMISSIONERS.

UH, JESSE RODRIGUEZ WITH THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT.

UM, THANK YOU ALL FOR HAVING ME HERE.

TODAY, I'M GONNA BE GIVING YOU ALL A QUICK BRIEFING ON THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL THAT HAS RECENTLY CONCLUDED, UM, AND THE UPCOMING REQUEST FOR COUNCIL ACTION ON THE COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY ACCESS LAB MANAGEMENT SERVICES CONTRACT.

UH, THIS IS A CONTRACT THAT THIS COMMISSION HAS HISTORICALLY BEEN INTERESTED IN.

IT IS ONE OF THE, UH, PRIMARY CONTRACTS THAT THE CITY HAS THAT DEALS WITH DIGITAL EQUITY IN THE COMMUNITY, UM, AND THE SERVICES THAT ARE BEING PROVIDED SPECIFICALLY BY THIS CONTRACT.

I'M GONNA RUN OVER THE FIVE KEY AREAS FOR THIS CONTRACT REAL QUICK.

UM, THIS CONTRACTOR WILL PROVIDE DIGITAL SKILLS TRAINING NECESSARY TO PARTICIPATE IN DIGITAL SOCIETY TO THE AUSTIN COMMUNITY AT NO COST PARTICIPANTS.

UM, THAT THAT IS THE PRIMARY SERVICE.

THE SECOND SERVICE IS GOING TO BE SUPPORTING THE CITY'S COMMUNITY PC PROGRAM, WHICH IS MY OFFICE'S EFFORT TO REFURBISH CITY COMPUTERS AND MAKE THEM AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC BENEFIT.

THIS CONTRACTOR WILL ASSIST WITH, UH, PROVIDING THOSE COMPUTERS DIRECTLY TO INDIVIDUALS IN THE COMMUNITY WHO HAVE A NEED.

AND THEY'LL ALSO TRY TO, UH, OR BE RESPONSIBLE FOR, UH, SOURCING DEVICES FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR, UH, TO ADD TO OUR INVENTORY OF DEVICES.

THIRD, THIS OR, UH, THIS CONTRACTOR WILL MAINTAIN PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE INTERNET BY MANAGING CTAL FACILITIES.

SO THESE ARE COMPUTER LAB LOCATIONS, UH, THAT ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

UH, FOURTH, THIS CONTRACTOR WILL PROVIDE TRAIN THE TRAINER SERVICES TO INCREASE COMMUNITY'S CAPACITY TO SHARE DIGITAL EQUITY INFORMATION THROUGH DIGITAL NAVIGATORS.

UM, SO THIS ENTITY WILL DO, UH, TRAIN THE TRAINER ACTIVITIES, UH, BOTH ONE-ON-ONE, UH, BOTH PROVIDING ONE-ON-ONE TRAINING AND, UH, PROVIDING TRAIN THE TRAINER SERVICES.

AND LASTLY, THIS ORGANIZATION WILL ASSIST, UH, WITH THE GROWTH OF THE DIGITAL AUSTIN, UH, THE AUSTIN DIGITAL EQUITY COMMUNITY BY PARTICIPATING IN DECA, THE DIGITAL EMPOWERMENT COMMUNITY OF AUSTIN, AND ASSISTING WITH THE COORDINATION AND PLANNING OF LOCAL DIGITAL INCLUSION EVENTS.

THIS IS A SOLICITATION THAT HAS TAKEN US A WHILE TO GET TO, UH, THE PROCESS STARTED IN JANUARY OF LAST YEAR.

UM, AND, UH, BECAUSE OF VARIOUS DELAYS WITH THE PROJECT, WE ARE NOW, UH, READY TO SELECT THE, THE VENDOR.

UM, WHILE WE HAD, UH, ABOUT FIVE ORGANIZATIONS THAT WERE INTERESTED AT VARIOUS POINTS IN THE PROCESS, WE ONLY HAD ONE ORGANIZATION APPLY.

UH, SO THE, THE CITY HAS REVIEWED THE APPLICATION.

UH, THE APPLICANT WAS THE INCUMBENT, UH, TO THIS CONTRACT, AUSTIN FREENET.

UM, AGAIN, THE ONLY ORGANIZATION THAT ENDED UP SUBMITTING IN THE APPLICATION DESPITE HAVING A EXTENSION OF THE APPLICATION PROCESS.

UM, AND SO THE, UH, REVIEW PANEL DID REVIEW, UH, THE APPLICATION.

UH, IT DID MEET THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS OF THE PROPOSAL.

UM, AND WE ARE CURRENTLY UNDER, UH, UNDERWAY WITH NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE ORGANIZATION TO SECURE THE CONTRACT.

UM, THIS, UH, OUR, THIS ORGANIZATION HAS BEEN SUBMITTED, UH, AS THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER, UH, AND WILL BE PRESENTED TO CITY COUNCIL, UM, ON THEIR APRIL 18TH AGENDA.

THE CONTRACT AMOUNT IS GOING TO BE $300,000 PER YEAR, WHICH IS AN INCREASE FROM THE EXISTING CONTRACT AMOUNT.

UM, THE, THE PREVIOUS FIVE YEAR CONTRACT PERIOD THAT JUST EXPIRED HAD AN ANNUAL VALUE OF $198,000.

AND SO WE'RE UP TO 300,000 FROM THAT.

UM, THERE WERE A COUPLE OF ANNUAL INCREASES DURING THE LAST CONTRACT PERIOD, UH, FIRST TO 223,000 ANNUALLY, AND THEN TO $264,000, UH, FOR THE LAST CONTRACT PERIOD.

UM, AND

[00:10:01]

AGAIN, WE'LL HAVE THE NEW CONTRACT FOR $300,000 PER YEAR.

UM, THE INITIAL PERIOD OF THIS CONTRACT THAT WE'RE NEGOTIATING IS GONNA BE FOR THREE YEARS.

UH, SO A $900,000 VALUE FOR THE IN, UH, INITIAL CONTRACT PERIOD.

AND WE'RE PROPOSING TWO, THREE YEAR EXTENSION OPTIONS.

UH, THAT'S WHAT, UH, THAT'S WHY THE TOTAL VALUE OF THE, UH, THE CONTRACT BEING PRESENTED IN THE RCA IS FOR $2.7 MILLION.

UH, THAT'S FOR A PERIOD OF NINE YEARS WITH, UH, WITH THAT BEING IN, IN ONE GUAR OR ONE PERIOD OF THREE YEARS, AND TWO, UH, POSSIBLE EXTENSIONS OF THREE YEARS EACH.

UM, THOSE ARE ALL OF THE HIGH LEVEL ITEMS THAT I WANTED TO TOUCH ON, BUT I CERTAINLY AM HAPPY TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS THAT YOU ALL MIGHT HAVE ABOUT THIS CONTRACT.

THANK YOU, JESSE.

I APPRECIATE THAT.

UH, I KNOW I'VE GOT A FEW QUESTIONS AND OTHERS MAY AS WELL.

BEFORE, UH, WE BEGIN WITH QUESTIONS I DID WANT TO ASK, UH, IS THERE ACCESS TO THE, UH, RFP ITSELF FOR THE COMMISSION TO REVIEW AT ALL? THE, UH, YOU'RE ASKING ABOUT THE, UH, SUBMISSION? THE, UH, WELL, TO BE SPECIFIC, UH, I'M THINKING IN TERMS OF THE, UH, REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL, UH, NOT THE SUBMISSION, UM, BUT THE REQUEST FOR SERVICES.

THE PROPOSAL FOR SERVICES.

UNDERSTOOD.

YEAH.

AND I'M, I'M HAPPY TO SHARE THAT WITH THE, THE COMMISSION.

UM, I DON'T HAVE IT ON HAND, BUT I'M, UH, FAIRLY CERTAIN I, I CAN SHARE THE, THE POSTING OR AT LEAST THE SCOPE OF WORK THAT THE, UH, THE, THE POSTING HAS.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

UH, THAT WOULD BE GREAT.

UH, ONE OTHER QUESTION RELATED TO THAT, IN, IN TERMS OF THAT SCOPE OF WORK, JUST SO I UNDERSTAND WHAT TO ANTICIPATE FOR THE COMMISSION, UH, THE ADDITIONAL BACKUP INFORMATION THAT'S PROVIDED, UH, HERE, UH, IS THIS THE CONTENTS REGARDING, UH, SUPPORT FOR THE ACCESS LABS, UH, COLLECTIVE RETIRED DEVICES? UH, I THINK THAT YOU MENTIONED THAT WAS A KEY PART OF, OF THE EFFORT.

SO I ASSUME THAT MUST BE A CORE PART OF THE SCOPE OF WORK? OF THE INITIAL SCOPE OF WORK.

YES.

UM, I'D LIKE TO MAKE SURE I UNDERSTAND CORRECTLY, ALONG WITH THE OTHER STATEMENTS HERE LISTED.

UH, THIS ALSO STATES THE CONTRACT WILL SUPPORT DECA AND ANNUAL CITY AND ANNUAL CITY CELEBRATION OF DIGITAL INCLUSION WEEK.

UH, AND DESCRIBES HOW THOSE SERVICES ARE IN ALIGNMENT WITH, UH, A VARIETY OF THE DIFFERENT INITIATIVES OF THE CITY.

IS THAT PIECE PART OF THE ORIGINAL SCOPE OF WORK? YES, IT IS.

OKAY.

GREAT.

AND, AND JUST TO BE CLEAR, EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS THAT SUPPORT HAS BEEN PROVIDED HISTORICALLY AS WELL, UH, DATING BACK AT LEAST A YEAR OR SO, IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN.

UH, SO FOR DIGITAL INCLUSION WEEK, OR IS THAT A NEW THING? THE, YEAH, SO THE, THAT ITEM IN THE SCOPE OF WORK, I DON'T BELIEVE WAS REPRESENTED IN THE, UH, SOLICITATION OF THE PRIOR CONTRACT.

UH, BUT IT WAS AN ADDITION FOR, FOR THIS RFP PROCESS.

OKAY.

OKAY.

AND, AND SO THEN TO BE CLEAR, THAT'S A, THAT'S A NEW OPPORTUNITY FOR SUPPORT THAT WE HAVE NOT YET RECEIVED FROM A COMMUNITY CONTRACTOR.

CORRECT.

OKAY.

UH, GREAT.

AND THEN RELATED TO THAT, I WANTED TO, TO ASK, IN TERMS OF, UH, THE CONTRACT COMPONENTS, UH, IS THERE ANY ESTIMATION FOR WHAT THAT MIGHT INCLUDE FOR THAT COMPONENT, WHICH IS ADDITIONAL TO THIS CONTRACT OF THE ALLOTMENT? I'M NOT SURE I UNDERSTAND.

ARE YOU ASKING ABOUT THE, UH, THE, UM, FOR INSTANCE, THE BUDGET OF ALLOCATED TO THAT PORTION OF THE ACTIVITY? THAT'S CORRECT.

UH, SO WE DON'T HAVE, WE ONLY HAVE A SINGLE BUDGET FOR THE PROPOSAL.

WE DON'T HAVE IT BROKEN OUT BY SERVICE DELIVERED.

OKAY.

GREAT.

UH, THAT ANSWERS SEVERAL OF MY QUESTIONS.

UH, I'D LIKE TO GO AHEAD AND PRESS PAUSE THERE AND COULD GET EVERYONE TO RAISE THEIR HAND TO LET ME KNOW IF YOU'VE GOT EVERYONE ELSE'S ONLINE.

SO IF YOU COULD, UH, INDICATE YOU'D LIKE TO ASK A QUESTION JUST FOR RAISING YOUR HAND.

I SEE VICE SHERIFF HAS GOT A QUESTION.

UH, YES.

VICE SHERIFF ABCA, PLEASE PROCEED.

YEAH.

THANK YOU.

UH, I HAVE A COUPLE QUESTIONS, JESSE.

UM, FIRST QUESTION IS, IS, UH, I'M JUST CURIOUS HOW THE OPPORTUNITY, THE RFP WAS ADVERTISED.

UM, UH, JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT, YOU KNOW, AS WE'RE GOING

[00:15:01]

THROUGH THESE OPPORTUNITIES, UM, INTO THE FUTURE THAT THERE ARE HOPEFULLY, UM, MANY APPLICANTS.

UM, SO JUST CURIOUS HOW THAT WAS DONE THIS TIME AROUND.

SURE.

SO, UH, THIS, THE MARKETING FOR FORMAL REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS IS HANDLED BY THE PURCHASING DEPARTMENT.

UM, IT, EVERYTHING GOES THROUGH THE FORMAL CITY'S, UH, UH, BACKEND.

UH, SO EACH PROPO, EACH RFP THAT IS ENTERED IN THE SYSTEM, UH, HAS A CERTAIN SET OF COMMODITY CODES THAT ARE ALLOCATED TO THAT, UH, PROPOSAL.

AND THEN ANY VENDOR THAT'S REGISTERED WITH THE CITY OF AUSTIN, UH, UNDER THOSE COMMODITY CODES WILL GET, UH, AN INVITATION TO BID.

UH, SO, SO THAT'S THE PROCESS THAT WAS FOLLOWED.

WE DO HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY, UH, IN, IN THE PROCESS TO ADD SPECIFIC VENDORS, UH, TO, TO THE LIST THAT HAVE EXPRESSED INTEREST.

AND, UH, AT THE BEGINNING OF THE, THE PROCESS, UH, I, I DID INCLUDE A LIST OF FIVE OR SO ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAD EXPRESSED INTEREST, UM, PRIOR THAT, THAT WE MADE SURE WERE, UH, MARKETED TO SPECIFICALLY.

UM, BUT, AND DID THEY JUST NOT RESPOND? I HAVE CURIOSITY.

SO WE, WE HAD A NUMBER OF ORGANIZATIONS, UH, AGAIN, IT WAS ABOUT FIVE OR SO THAT PARTICIPATED IN THE, UH, PRE-OFFER CON CONFERENCE.

UM, AND, AND SO THERE, IT LOOKED LIKE THERE WAS GONNA BE MORE COMPETITION THAT THAN THERE ENDED UP BEING, BUT, UM, BUT AGAIN, YEAH, ONLY ONE ORGANIZATION ENDED UP SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION.

OKAY.

THANKS FOR THAT.

AND NO, THANK YOU FOR THOSE QUESTIONS.

UH, VICE BADAKA, A QUICK FOLLOW UP.

UH, WHEN WAS THAT CONFERENCE THAT YOU REFERRED TO? OH, I DON'T HAVE THE DATE UP.

I THINK IT WAS EARLY DECEMBER.

UH, SO IT WAS AHEAD OF THE FORMAL OPENING OF THE RFP, UM, WHICH THE FORMAL OPENING WAS ON DECEMBER 11TH, SO I THINK IT WAS THE FIRST WEEK OF DECEMBER.

OKAY.

AND I DID HAVE ONE MORE QUESTION.

UM, YOU ALLUDED EARLIER, JESSE, THAT, UH, UH, AUSTIN FREENET MET, UH, UH, ALL THE HIGH LEVEL REQUIREMENTS.

JUST CURIOUS IF YOU COULD GO THROUGH SOME OF THOSE REQUIREMENTS THAT WE WOULD EXPECT OF A VENDOR LIKE THIS, LIKE THE BIG TICKET ITEMS IN YOUR MIND, JUST SO THAT THE COMMISSION CAN HAVE A GOOD UNDERSTANDING.

SO, YEAH, ABSOLUTELY.

I, I CAN'T, I DON'T HAVE THE, UH, SPECIFIC, UH, I'M GONNA TRY AND PULL IT UP WHILE I'M HERE, BUT, UH, EVERY APPLICATION, UH, WOULD HAVE, WOULD BE SCORED AGAINST THE EVALUATION CRITERIA THAT WERE POSTED IN THE RFP PROPOSAL.

UM, AND ESSENTIALLY, UH, IT'S BROKEN OUT INTO, I BELIEVE IT WAS FOUR CATEGORIES.

THERE'S THE, UM, COM COMPETITIVENESS ON THE FINANCIAL SIDE, SO WHO, WHO SUBMITTED THE MOST COMPETITIVE OFFER FINANCIALLY.

UM, THAT'S A PORTION THAT IS EXCLUSIVELY REVIEWED BY, UH, THE PURCHASING OFFICE.

UH, THE OTHER, UH, THERE'S ANOTHER BUCKET FOR, UH, PAST EXPERIENCE OF PERSONNEL AND, UH, THERE'S A, UH, THIRD BUCKET FOR, UH, THE FIT OF THE PROPOSAL.

AND SO ESSENTIALLY, UH, THAT INVOLVED THE REVIEW PANEL, UH, LOOKING AT EACH CATEGORY OF THE SCOPE OF WORK, UH, AND, UH, ASSESSING THE ORGANIZATION'S RESPONSE AGAINST THE REQUEST.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

ABSOLUTELY.

AND I, I DON'T HAVE IT IN FRONT OF ME AGAIN, BUT I, I'M ALSO HAPPY TO SHARE THE EVALUATION CRITERIA.

YEAH.

THANK YOU FOR THOSE QUESTIONS.

VICE ACA, I GUESS PLEASE, UH, IF YOU'D BE SO KIND TO SHARE THE EVALUATION CRITERIA, UH, AS WELL AS THE SCOPE OF WORK, UH, AS YOU MENTIONED EARLIER, UH, THAT WOULD BE GREAT.

I KNOW THAT WE'VE DISCUSSED THIS, UH, CONTRACT RENEWAL IN THE PAST AND, UH, CERTAINLY MAINTAIN OUR INTEREST IN BEING INVOLVED AS MUCH AS WE CAN.

ANY OTHER QUESTIONS FROM COMMISSIONERS? UH, YES.

COMMISSIONER PEN? YES.

UH, QUICK QUESTION, LIKE, FOR HOW MANY YEARS HAS THE CITY OF AUSTIN WORKED WITH THIS, UH, WITH THE INCUMBENT, UH, VENDOR? GREAT QUESTION.

UM, THIS IS THE SECOND TIME THAT THIS CONTRACT WAS COMPETITIVELY BID.

UH, SO THE EXISTING CONTRACT PERIOD WAS, UH, THE FIRST TIME THAT IT WAS COMPETITIVELY BID.

UM, AND BEFORE THAT, IT WAS A SOLE SOURCE CONTRACT WITH THIS VENDOR.

UH, AND IT WAS, IT'S, UH, OUR CONTRACT WITH AUSTIN FREENET HAS BEEN SINCE, UH, PROBABLY 2000, 2001.

UH, SO OVER 20 YEARS,

[00:20:01]

UH, WITH THIS VENDOR.

GOT IT.

THANK YOU.

GREAT QUESTION, THOUGH.

UH, COMMISSIONER PENA.

GREAT QUESTION.

ANY OTHER QUESTIONS FROM THE COMMISSION? OKAY.

WITH THAT THEN, THANK YOU, JESSE.

I REALLY APPRECIATE THAT.

LOOK FORWARD TO THOSE ADDITIONAL UPDATES.

UH, LET'S GO AHEAD AND PROCEED IN OUR AGENDA.

UH, AND THIS WILL BE QUICK.

UH, THE NEXT ITEM IN OUR AGENDA

[4. “You’re Being Watched – AI & Surveillance in Public Places” Presentation (Sharon Strover – Director, Technology & Information Policy Institute, Phillip G. Warner Regents Professor of Communication, Moody College of Communications, University of Texas at Austin) ]

IS THE, YOU ARE BEING WATCHED AI AND SURVEILLANCE IN PUBLIC PLACES.

PRESENTATION BY SHARON, UH, DR.

SHARON TROOVER, UH, DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGY AND INFORMATION POLY POLICY INSTITUTE FOR THE PHILLIPS G WARNER REGENTS, UH, SCHOOL RATHER, PROFESSOR OF COMMUNICATION AT THE MOODY COLLEGE OF COMMUNICATIONS FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS.

UH, AND, UH, APPRECIATE THE PRESENTATION BEING TEED UP.

UH, DID WE CONFIRM THAT OUR SPEAKER IS PRESENT? SHE'S NOT.

OKAY.

UH, SO LET'S GO AHEAD AND NOT, UH, LET'S GO AHEAD AND REMOVE THE PRESENTATION.

UH, THANK YOU UNDERSTANDING, UH, PUBLIC THAT WE'LL HAVE TO SCHEDULE THIS FOR ANOTHER TIME.

UH, DR.

STROGER MADE HERSELF AVAILABLE FOR THIS MEETING, BUT SHE WAS UNDERSTANDING THAT WE DID HAVE A ROBUST AGENDA.

UH, SO, UH, DEFINITELY APPRECIATE THE FACT THAT SHE'S MADE HERSELF AVAILABLE TO US, AND WE'LL, WE'LL SCHEDULE HER, UH, FOR A, A FUTURE PRESENTATION.

UH, BUT MOVING FORWARD NOW IN OUR AGENDA, I'D LIKE TO GO AHEAD AND PROPOSE A CHANGE IN SCHEDULE IF THERE'S NO OBJECTION.

UH, I KNOW THAT WE GOT SOME COMMISSIONERS HERE, UH, WITH, UH, TIGHT SCHEDULES, AND I'D LIKE TO PROPOSE WE DELAY, UH, ITEM FIVE AT THIS TIME, UH, TO LAST.

UH, SO WITHOUT OBJECTION, I'LL GO AHEAD AND DO THAT AND MOVE FORWARD.

I'D LIKE TO PAUSE AND SEE IF THERE'S ANY CONCERNS ABOUT THAT.

OKAY.

UH, LET'S GO AHEAD AND PROCEED NOW

[6. Digital Inclusion Town Hall – University Hills (2/17/2024) Report out and discussion over possible follow up action.]

TO AGENDA ITEM NUMBER SIX, THE DIGITAL INCLUSION TOWN HALL, UNIVERSITY HILLS, UH, FEBRUARY 17TH, 2024, REPORT OUT AND DISCUSSION OVER POSSIBLE FOLLOW-UP ACTIONS.

UH, SO EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE HOPEFULLY, UH, BEEN SENT A COPY OF THE REPORT.

I'M GONNA GO AHEAD AND SHARE IT ON MY SCREEN.

OKAY.

UH, WE, IN CONSISTENT WITH OUR WORK PLAN, UH, WE HOSTED ANOTHER DIGITAL INCLUSION TOWN HALL.

UH, THIS ONE WAS HOSTED AT THE UNIVERSITY HILLS BRANCH LIBRARY ON FEBRUARY THE 17TH, SATURDAY FROM 10 TO TWO, I HAD THE PLEASURE OF FACILITATING THAT ALONG WITH LEE DAVENPORT, UH, WITH US IGNITE, WHO TOOK NOTES AND HELPED, UH, FACILITATE.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT US IGNITE WAS ALSO OUR SPONSOR FOR THAT EVENT, ALONG WITH THE AUSTIN PUBLIC LIBRARY.

AND COLLEEN'S, UH, KITCHEN, WHO WAS THE PROVIDER FOR, FOR LUNCH.

UH, US IGNITE, UH, PLAYED A CRITICAL ROLE AS OUR FISCAL SPONSOR, UH, WHO ENABLED US, UH, TO HOST THE DIGITAL INCLUSION SUMMIT ON DECEMBER THE FIRST, UH, AS WELL AS ENABLED US TO HOST THE PRE-LAUNCH EVENT, UH, PREVIOUSLY, UH, THE WEEK OF DIGITAL INCLUSION ON OCTOBER THE SECOND.

UH, WHICH BECAUSE OUR BODY IS NOT A SOVEREIGN BODY WAS CRITICAL IN ORDER FOR US TO BE ABLE TO BOTH ACCEPT FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM SPONSORS AS WELL AS, UH, TO BE ABLE, UH, TO ACCEPT ACTUAL IN KIND SPONSORSHIP OFFICIALLY AND FORMAL SPONSORSHIP FROM DIFFERENT ENTITIES.

BECAUSE OF THE SUMMIT AND THE WAY THAT THINGS WORKED OUT, WE WERE ABLE TO USE PROCEEDS FROM THAT EVENT TO BE ABLE TO THEN REMEDIATE PARTICIPANTS IN THIS DIGITAL INCLUSION TOWN HALL, UH, FOR THEIR TIME.

UH, SO TO BE CLEAR, AGAIN, THIS WAS CONSISTENT WITH OUR WORK PLAN, UH, WHICH IS FOCUSED ON DIGITAL INCLUSION AS A MAJOR SUBJECT AND TOPICAL AREA.

UH, BUT WHEREIN FROM OUR FIRSTHAND AND AND PAST EXPERIENCES, WE'VE IDENTIFIED, UH, THE IMPORTANCE AND NEED FOR CONNECTING WITH COMMUNITY MEMBERS

[00:25:01]

DIRECTLY ABOUT THEIR LIVED EXPERIENCES WITH THE DIGITAL DIVIDE, AS WELL AS WITH, UH, SOLUTIONS AND DIFFERENT THINGS THEY EMPLOY, UH, TO LIVE THEIR LIVES.

UH, AND THEN OF COURSE, ALSO, UH, TO SHARE IMPORTANT RESOURCES THAT WE HAVE TO OFFER OR THE PARTNERS WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY HAVE TO OFFER, UH, FOR DIGITAL INCLUSION, THE EVENT ITSELF, UH, WAS A SUCCESS.

UH, WE WERE GIVEN GREAT FEEDBACK, UH, BY THE PARTICIPANTS, BUT IT'S IMPORTANT TO NOTE, UH, THAT IN KEEPING WITH PREVIOUS STRATEGIES, UH, FOR OUR EVENTS, THAT, THAT THE OUTREACH STRATEGY WAS LOCALIZED.

UH, AS WITH EVERY OTHER PRIOR TOWN HALL, WE'VE WORKED TO RECRUIT DIRECTLY FROM THE LIBRARY OR COMMUNITY SPACE OUT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE EVENT.

AND THAT WAS CONSISTENT AT THIS LOCATION.

SO RECRUITMENT TOOK PLACE DIRECTLY FROM THAT BRANCH, UH, AS WELL AS AT THE NEIGHBORING DOTTIE JORDAN COMMUNITY CENTER AND THE NEIGHBORING WINDSOR PARK, UH, RATHER, UH, WINDSOR, UH, I BELIEVE, YEAH, WINDSOR PARK, UH, BRANCH LIBRARY.

UH, KEY FINDINGS HERE, UH, REALLY WERE, UH, THAT THE PARTICIPANTS IDENTIFIED VARIOUS MEANS OF ACCESSING THE INTERNET, INCLUDING MOBILE PHONES, UH, HOME CABLE THROUGH SPECTRUM, UH, AUSTIN AND OTHER, OTHER PROVIDERS, UH, AUSTIN PUBLIC RESOURCES, UH, LIBRARY RESOURCES RATHER, UH, FIXED WIRELESS THROUGH T-MOBILE, UH, BUNDLED SERVICES THROUGH ASTO.

UH, ALSO SOME ASKED FOR WIFI PASSWORDS WHEN NOT AT HOME, AND CONNECTING WITH PREPAID PHONES.

MOST OF, UH, THE PARTICIPANTS USE SMARTPHONES, UH, BUT THEY ALL ACKNOWLEDGED THAT IT WAS INSUFFICIENT FOR INTERNET ACCESS, UH, AND EMPHASIZED THE NEED FOR DESKTOPS AND LAPTOPS.

AFFORDABILITY AND AVAILABILITY, UH, OF WRAP OF LAPTOPS REMAIN A CONCERN FOR THE PARTICIPANTS.

THEY, THEY EXPRESS VARYING, UH, CONCERNS ABOUT, UH, A NEED FOR JOB TRAINING AND GUIDANCE TO CONNECT TO AVAILABLE WIFI, UH, LACK OF AFFORDABILITY, AGAIN, FOR EQUIPMENT, PLAYED A ROLE IN THEIR FEEDBACK.

THERE.

PARTICIPANTS ACTUALLY ALSO HAD RECOMMENDATIONS FOR RESOURCES, INCLUDING PLATFORMS LIKE GF, GCF, LEARN FREE.ORG FOR SKILL DEVELOPMENT AND ADVOCATE LIKE WE DO, AND OTHERS FOR THE AFFORDABLE CONNECTIVITY PROGRAM, UH, AND FREE WIFI TO ENHANCE ACCESSIBILITY.

IMPORTANTLY, UH, WE WERE DISMAYED TO HAVE TO EXPLAIN THAT THE AFFORDABLE CONNECTIVITY PROGRAM WAS IN JEOPARDY.

AND, UH, WE ENCOURAGED EVERYONE TO LOOK VERY CLOSELY AT ANY ENROLLMENT AT THIS TIME, UH, WITH THOSE THAT ASSIST THEM.

AND WITH PROVIDERS, A VARIETY OF, UH, THE PARTICIPANTS EXPRESSED CONCERNS OVER PRIVACY AND SECURITY, INCLUDING BEING MONITORED AS IS CONSISTENT WITH PRIOR TOWN HALLS.

AND, UH, A DESIRE FOR TRAINING ON SECURE WEB SEARCHING, UH, FINANCIAL SAFETY, UH, AND IDENTIFYING OTHER THREATS LIKE PHISHING AS WELL, UH, THAT CONSISTENTLY, UH, EXPRESSED, UH, A NEED FOR TRAINING ON VARIOUS TECHNOLOGIES, INCLUDING, UH, MOBILE APPLICATIONS THAT ARE MORE PRACTICAL TO THEIR EXPERIENCE IN USING MOBILE DEVICES LIKE GOOGLE WALLET, PAYPAL, AND VIDEO CONFERENCING.

UH, THROUGH FACETIME AND GOOGLE MEET AS EXAMPLES, THEY EXPRESSED CONCERNS OVER THE PRIVACY IMPLICATIONS OF DEVICES LIKE ALEXA AND GOOGLE NEST, AS WELL AS A NEED FOR TECH SUPPORT, WHICH IS CONSISTENT WITH OUR PREVIOUS FINDINGS.

UH, MANY RELY ON FAMILY FOR TECH SUPPORT.

OTHERS TURN TO SOCIAL MEDIA AND, UH, RECOMMENDED AND HAVE BEEN UTILIZING TOOLS LIKE YOUTUBE AND OTHERS, UH, FOR SELF-LEARNING.

PARTICIPANTS E EMPHASIZE THE NEED FOR EXPOSURE, UH, TO BE ABLE TO USE TOOLS, UH, BETTER AND, AND MORE FLUENTLY.

THEY STRONGLY, UH, FELT AS THOUGH ACCESSING WIFI FACILITIES, UH, WAS A KEY REALLY TO, TO LEARNING, UH, ALTHOUGH THEY HAD AND MAINTAINED CONCERNS ABOUT, UH, FREE WIFI AND THE CHALLENGES THAT PRESENTS COMPARED TO WIRED DEVICES.

THE PRELIMINARY RECOMMENDATIONS, UH, THAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW, UH, BASED ON, ON MY FEEDBACK, UH, ARE OF COURSE, THAT WE CONNECT ATTENDEES WITH AFFORDABLE CONNECT, UH, UH, LAPTOPS AND DESKTOP COMPUTER INITIATIVES FOR LOW-INCOME RESIDENTS FACILITATING ACCESS TO ONLINE RESOURCES AND SO ON.

UH, THEY WERE IMMEDIATELY CONNECTED TO, UH, THE RESOURCES MADE AVAILABLE, UH, THROUGH THE CENTRAL TEXAS DIGITAL RESOURCE GUIDE.

[00:30:01]

AND ALL THOSE PROGRAMS WERE HIGHLIGHTED IN DETAIL.

UH, WE, OF COURSE, ENCOURAGE, UH, CONNECTING ATTENDEES TO THOSE LITERACY PROGRAMS I MENTIONED, UH, THAT WERE HIGHLIGHTED, UH, AND TO CONTINUE TO EMPOWER THEM.

UH, WE ENCOURAGE, OF COURSE, UH, GENERALLY, UH, EXPANDING CONNECTIVITY PROGRAMS AND PARTNERING WITH ISPS, UH, TO OFFER DISCOUNTED OR SUBSIDIZED INTERNET PLANS FOR LOW INCOME HOUSEHOLDS.

UH, WE UNDERSTAND THAT WE'VE ALREADY DONE, I THINK, A YEMEN JOB AS A CITY, UH, AND SPINNING UP A PATHWAY FOCUSED ON THE AFFORDABLE CONNECTIVITY PROGRAM, AND GTOP S CONNECT, EVEN THOUGH, UH, AS WE RECOMMENDED, UH, THE REALLOCATION OF THAT PATHWAY TO THE OTHERS, BECAUSE THAT PROGRAM, THE AFFORDABLE CONNECTIVITY PROGRAM, IS IN JEOPARDY.

BUT THAT BEING SAID, UH, JUST CONTINUING TO, TO BASICALLY ENCOURAGE THAT IDEATION ABOUT SOLUTIONS THERE, AS WELL AS, UH, ENACTING THE, THE FUTURE RECOMMENDATIONS, UH, FORTHCOMING RATHER, THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THIS COMMISSION, UH, FOR, UH, GTOP S UH, WE RECOMMEND PROMOTING EXISTING PROGRAMS, UH, AS WE MENTIONED EARLIER, AND, UH, NEW COMMUNITY, UH, UH, BASED TECH SUPPORT CENTERS.

UH, ONES THAT EXIST AND ONES THAT ARE, UH, INCREASINGLY BEING ENABLED IS A RECOMMENDATION ON INVESTMENT IN CYBERSECURITY EDUCATION.

UH, THIS IS CONSISTENT WITH, UH, RECOMMENDATIONS WE'VE MADE IN THE PAST.

AND, UH, WITH WORK, WE KNOW THAT'S BEING DONE BY, UH, THE COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY DIVISION OFFICE WITH OUR PARTNERS, AND WE CONTINUE TO ENCOURAGE THE PROMOTION OF INCLUSIVE, UH, DEVELOPMENT TECHNOLOGIES AND PLATFORMS THAT ARE ACCESSIBLE AND USER FRIENDLY.

UH, WITH THAT BEING SAID, AGAIN, THE CONCLUSION IS, UH, THAT THE COMMUNITY MEMBERS EXPRESS REALLY SINCERE APPRECIATION, UH, FOR THEIR EXPERIENCES BEING TAKEN TO HEART AND RECEIVED AND FORGETTING THE INFORMATION ABOUT THE CENTRAL TEXAS RESOURCE GUIDE.

AND AS, UH, WE HAVE VOICED IN THE PAST, UH, THAT ADDRESSING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE IN AUSTIN IS GOING TO CONTINUE TO REQUIRE A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH, UH, THAT COMBINES INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT, EDUCATION INITIATIVES, AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT EFFORTS.

UH, AND BY IMPLEMENTING THESE, UH, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONTINUING THE WORK THAT WE'VE BEEN DOING, UH, I'D SAY COLLECTIVELY AS A COMMUNITY, UH, WE FEEL CONFIDENT THAT THE CITY CAN CONTINUE TO WORK TOWARDS, UH, BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE GAP.

THERE ARE DETAILED NOTES HERE ON THE PARTICIPANTS, OF COURSE, LEAVING OUT THEIR, UH, SPECIFICS.

UH, WE HAD NINE PARTICIPANTS, UH, REPRESENTING A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT, UH, SKILL LEVELS, UH, FRANKLY, UH, TECHNOLOGICALLY AND, UH, GENDERS AS WELL, UH, AS A VARIETY OF ETHNICITIES REPRESENTED.

UH, THERE'S A LISTING OF THE QUESTIONS, UH, THAT WERE ASKED, AND THE, THE SPECIFIC RESPONSES THAT WERE PROVIDED.

I WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU ALL TO REVIEW THOSE AND TO LOOK THROUGH THOSE.

BUT WITH THAT, ESPECIALLY ACKNOWLEDGING THAT YOU ALL HAVE A COPY OF THIS, UH, TO REFER TO IN MORE DETAIL, I'D LIKE TO JUST PAUSE AND TO GIVE EVERYONE A CHANCE TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS THEY MIGHT HAVE, UH, ABOUT OUR TOWN HALL REALLY QUICK.

I DON'T THINK WE WERE GIVEN A COPY.

I DIDN'T SEE IT ATTACHED IN THE MEETING.

UM, OKAY.

THE MEETING INVITE.

SO IF WE CAN GET THAT, UM, AFTER THE MEETING.

AND ALSO JUST WANNA MAKE SURE THAT'S INCLUDED IN THE, UH, BACKUP DOCUMENTS FOR THIS MEETING.

DAN AND JESSE.

YEAH.

THANK YOU FOR THAT.

UH, VICE, UH, I'VE BEEN ASSURED THAT IS GOING TO BE DONE.

UH, I'M NOT SURE IF WHAT I'M GONNA DO IS GO AHEAD AND REPLY.

ACTUALLY, I, I DON'T, I WANNA AVOID, I GUESS, IN THE MEETING THAT I CAN DO IT, BECAUSE WE'RE CLEARLY TALKING ABOUT IT.

UH, THERE'S NO WALKING QUORUM.

'CAUSE WE'RE WE CONDUCTING, I'M GONNA GO AHEAD AND SEND IT TO YOU ALL.

NOW.

UH, THERE'S NOT ANY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION IN THE DOCUMENT, IS THERE, OF THE, OF THE PARTICIPANTS THAT ATTENDED? UH, NO.

AS I JUST MENTIONED, UH, I'M, I'M SORRY IF YOU COULDN'T HEAR THAT.

UH, YEAH, THERE'S NOTHING PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE IN THE REPORT.

OKAY.

OF COURSE, WHICH WOULD BE BAD FOR 'EM.

OKAY.

UH, BUT YOU SHOULD ALL HOPEFULLY NOW BE RECEIVING, UH, BOTH OF THOSE ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS THAT I PROVIDED.

SEND AN UPDATE, JUST RECEIVED IT.

OKAY, GREAT.

GREAT.

THANK YOU.

SURE.

SURE.

UH, LET ME GO AHEAD AND, UH, GO OFF THE SHARE

[00:35:05]

JUST TO SEE IF THERE'S ANY OTHER QUESTIONS.

UH, YES.

UH, COMMISSIONER DAS GUPTA.

UH, YOU'RE MUTED RIGHT NOW.

COMMISSIONER DAS GUPTA, OR, YES, YOU ARE MUTED.

OKAY.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? YES.

OKAY.

UH, MAYBE I'M MISSED, MISSED IT WHILE YOU WERE SPEAKING, BUT LET ME ASK THE QUESTION JUST TO REPEAT.

UM, THIS IS REALLY GOOD.

BUT WHAT'S THE NEXT STEPS? ARE THERE ANY NEXT STEPS, UH, UH, THAT CAME OUT OF THE MEETING? YEAH, THANK YOU FOR ASKING THAT.

UH, THE IMMEDIATE NEXT STEP, UH, WAS EMAILING ALL THE PARTICIPANTS THE SOFT COPY OF THAT DIGITAL RETO, UH, RESOURCE GUIDE.

UH, I, I THINK THAT WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO, BASICALLY, PART OF OUR DISCUSSION TODAY IS TO TALK ABOUT OUR AFTER ACTIONS.

IN ADDITION TO THIS, UH, OUTSIDE OF THE REPORT.

UH, I KNOW THAT THE BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WE HAVE ARE GREATLY INFORMED BY THIS REPORT AND, UH, PREVIOUS TOWN HALLS.

UH, SO I, I, I WOULD SAY THAT, UH, ONE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION IS WE'RE, WE'RE, WE'RE ACTIVELY DOING THE MEETING AFTER ACTION, UH, BECAUSE WE'RE GONNA BE REVIEWING THOSE BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS HERE IN OUR AGENDA TONIGHT.

THANK YOU.

SURE.

ANY OTHER QUESTIONS? OKAY.

CHAIR PITS, UM, YES.

VICE COM REAL QUICK.

YEAH.

UH, SO YEAH, REALLY APPRECIATE US IGNITE FOR HELPING US WITH HOW MANY SESSIONS NOW? IT'S BEEN AT LEAST TWO, MAYBE THREE, INCLUDING THE, INCLUDING THE TOWN HALL.

YEAH.

YEAH.

IT WAS, IT WAS, IT WAS BASICALLY THE, IT WAS THIS DIGITAL INCLUSION, UH, TOWN HALL LISTENING SESSION, AND THEN TWO PREVIOUS DIGITAL INCLUSION SUMMIT, UH, EVENTS, UH, THE SUMMIT ITSELF, AND THEN THE LAUNCH EVENT WHERE WE CONVENED SPEAKERS, UH, AND TALKED ABOUT THE PROGRAM.

OKAY.

AND, UM, THE, IT, I ASSUME THAT, UH, THEY HAVE AN APPETITE TO CONTINUE, UH, HELPING US WITH EXECUTING SIMILAR EVENTS IN THE FUTURE.

AND THEN, ALONG WITH THAT, UM, ARE THERE ANY FUNDS LEFT OVER TO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT, UM, ADDITIONAL TOWN HALLS? YES.

AND, UH, YES.

I THINK THAT THE, THE FIRST ANSWER, UH, TO CLEAR, UH, WOULD, WOULD CERTAINLY REQUIRE SOME IDEATION ABOUT SPECIFICS ON THE EVENT.

BUT THEY ARE GENERALLY SUPPORTIVE OF THE DECA COMMUNITY AND GLAD TO BE SUPPORTIVE AS DECA MEMBERS.

UH, AND WHEN IT COMES TO, UH, YOUR SECOND QUESTION, UH, JUST TO CLARIFY, THAT WAS REGARDING FUTURE TOWN HALLS, UH, AT BUDGET, RIGHT? YEAH.

FUTURE TOWN HALL.

YEAH.

AND I, I THINK, UM, AFTER THE, UH, DIGITAL INCLUSION SUMMIT, WE HAD A, I BELIEVE IT WAS MENTIONED, WE HAD A SURPLUS OF FUNDS THAT WOULD BE LEVERAGED FOR EVENTS LIKE THIS.

THAT'S RIGHT.

SO I'M WONDERING, ARE THERE ADDITIONAL FUNDS LEFT OVER? THAT'S RIGHT.

YEAH.

THANK YOU FOR, FOR RAISING THAT.

YEAH.

AGAIN, JUST TO ESTABLISH THE, THE PROCESS AND THE WAY WE GOT THE FUNDS, AND THEN THE FUNDS THEMSELVES.

SO YES, THE REMAINING FUNDS FROM THE DIGITAL INCLUSION SUMMIT WERE USED TO PAY FOR LUNCH AND TO REMEDIATE THE NINE PARTICIPANTS IN THIS TOWN HALL, WHICH LEFT US, UH, WITH AN ADDITIONAL, UH, 22, UH, NO, NO, EXCUSE ME, 18, RIGHT? AN ADDITIONAL 18 GIFT CARDS.

SO WE STILL HAVE THOSE TO USE FOR FUTURE TOWN HALL.

THOSE WERE ALLOCATED IN, IN BUDGET, SO TO SPEAK, FOR THE VETERANS TOWN HALL, UH, PLAN FOR A CC.

SO THEY'VE BEEN COMMITTED, UH, TO THAT EVENT.

UH, BUT THAT EVENT IS ALSO, UH, IN OUR AGENDA TO DISCUSS.

THANK YOU.

THOSE ARE ALL MY QUESTIONS.

OKAY.

ANY OTHER QUESTIONS HERE ABOUT, UH, THE DIGITAL INCLUSION TOWN HALL REPORT FOR THE UNIVERSITY HILLS BRANCH? OKAY.

WELL, THANK YOU.

WITH THAT, UH, I'D LIKE TO JUST BRIEFLY MENTION BEFORE WE PROCEED AGAIN.

UH, JUST WANT TO, I REALLY CAN'T, CAN'T SAY ENOUGH ABOUT HOW MUCH, UH, THE TOWN HALLS HAVE ENRICHED MY EXPERIENCE AS A COMMISSIONER,

[00:40:01]

UH, AND, UH, IN SERVING ON THIS COMMISSION, BECAUSE IT DOES GIVE US A CHANCE TO REALLY CONNECT DIRECTLY WITH OUR COMMUNITY MEMBERS.

UH, YOU KNOW, AS, AS MEMBERS THAT SERVE ON THE COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY AND TELECOM COMMISSION.

UH, I, I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW, UH, REWARDING THAT IS, UH, YOU KNOW, TO HEAR ABOUT THE CHALLENGES, BUT NOT ONLY THAT, UH, TO LOOK COMMUNITY MEMBERS IN THE EYE AND TO LET THEM KNOW THAT YOU CARE ABOUT THEIR CONCERNS, UH, AND OFTEN TIMES TO BE ABLE TO SHARE RESOURCES WITH THEM IMMEDIATELY THAT THEY CAN BENEFIT FROM, WHETHER WE'RE TALKING ABOUT LAPTOPS OR WE'RE TALKING ABOUT SERVICES.

UH, THE FACT IS, UH, THAT I CAN, CAN SAY WITH, YOU KNOW, FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE THAT, UH, I'VE SEEN HOW REWARDING IT IS AND SEEING THAT, UH, IN FACT, BEFORE I MOVE ON, UH, I'D LIKE TO GIVE, UH, YOU A CHANCE TO RELATE TO THAT EXPERIENCE, UH, VICE CHAIR BCA, UH, COMMISSIONER ISLAND, UH, AND OTHERS, UH, THAT HAVE PARTICIPATED.

YEAH, ABSOLUTELY AGREE.

UM, YOU KNOW, FOR ME, IT'S BEEN A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE TO, UM, TO, TO INTERACT WITH POPULATIONS AROUND THE CITY THAT I DON'T NORMALLY HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE WITH.

AND, UM, YEAH, I, I, I, I AGREE WITH YOU SHARING, SHARING THOSE RESOURCES IN REAL WITH, WITH THESE FOLKS IN REAL TIME.

UM, DEFINITELY WAS, UM, I, I VIEWED IT AS A DIFFERENTIATOR FOR US AND THE, THE ACTIONS THAT WE'RE DOING, UM, UM, ON THE COMMISSION AND, AND, AND, UM, IN THE COMMUNITY.

UM, I KNOW THAT, YOU KNOW, I'VE, I'VE TAKEN SOME LEARNINGS AND, AND, AND APPLIED THEM TO ACTIVITIES WE'VE DONE WITHIN THE COMMISSION, AND, UM, ALSO TAKEN SOME OF THE THINGS I'VE HEARD DIRECTLY TO MY COUNCIL MEMBER.

UM, SO I, I WOULD ENCOURAGE THAT FOR OTHER COMMISSIONERS TO, UM, AS WE CONTINUE TO PLAN THESE EVENTS, UM, TO GET ENGAGED.

AND, UH, HOPEFULLY YOU CAN DO THE SAME.

THANK YOU.

VICE, AKA, COMMISSIONER ALLEN, WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADD ANYTHING? UM, YOU CAN HEAR ME OKAY? YES.

OKAY.

I THINK, UM, YOU KNOW, JUST IN ADDITION TO, UM, WHAT Y'ALL BOTH HAVE SAID, I THINK IT ALSO REINFORCES SOME OF THE IMPORTANCE AND JUST SOME OF THE, THE DIFFERENT THINGS THAT WE'RE LOOKING AT TRYING TO, UM, UPDATE OR CHANGE WITHIN THE COMMUNITY.

SO HEARING, YOU KNOW, WHAT THIS, WHAT THE CHALLENGES MIGHT BE AMONGST THE COMMUNITY THEMSELVES FROM THEIR OWN WORDS, UM, IS REALLY, I THINK, IMPACTFUL JUST FOR THE WORK THAT WE DO OURSELVES.

THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER ARLAND.

UH, AND, AND, UH, WITH THAT, I KNOW WE GOT OTHER THINGS TO GET TO OUR AGENDA, SO THERE'LL BE ANOTHER CHANCE FOR PLANNING ON THIS, BUT THANK YOU SO MUCH.

UH, LET'S GO AHEAD AND PROCEED.

UH, NOW MOVING ALONG IN OUR AGENDA.

UH, THE NEXT ITEM IS

[7. Austin Community College Digital Inclusion Town Hall for Veterans & Military Families Planning Discussion ]

THE, UH, FOR MENTIONED AUSTIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE DIGITAL INCLUSION TOWN HALL FOR VETERANS AND MILITARY FAMILIES, UH, PLANNING DISCUSSION.

UH, SO I'M GOING TO SHARE MY SCREEN AGAIN.

NOW.

CAN YOU ALL SEE THE PDF FOR THE TOWN HALL? NOT YET.

I SEE A GRAY SCREEN YET.

IT'S JUST A GRAY SCREEN.

YES.

NOT YET THE GRAY SCREEN.

OKAY.

LEMME TRY THIS DIFFERENTLY.

HMM.

OKAY.

I THINK YOU CAN SEE IT NOW.

YES.

YES.

OKAY, GREAT.

GREAT.

OKAY.

SO, UH, AS MANY OF YOU KNOW, I HAD THE PLEASURE OF PARTICIPATING IN THE OPENING OF THE A CC VETERANS AND MILITARY FAMILIES RESOURCE CENTER, AND, UH,

[00:45:01]

TO CONFIRM, UH, GREAT INTEREST IN, UH, THE TEAM THERE IN SUPPORTING A FOCUSED EVENT ON VETERANS, UH, FOR DIGITAL INCLUSION.

AS MANY OF YOU MAY OR MAY NOT KNOW, UH, VETERANS ACTUALLY REPRESENT A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF THOSE AFFECTED BY THE DIGITAL DIVIDE, UH, REPRESENTING, UH, NOT LESS THAN, UH, 1.5 MILLION TEXANS.

UH, AND WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY HERE, UH, REALLY, UH, WITHIN CENTRAL TEXAS, SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS, AND CENTRAL TEX IN GENERAL, UH, REPRESENTING SURELY A MUCH LARGER, UH, NUMBER PERCENTAGE WISE, THIS IS BASED ON DATA THAT'S BEEN RECEIVED BY THE TEXAS DIGITAL OPPORTUNITY SURVEY, UH, WHICH REFLECTED A, EVEN WITH A SMALL, UH, RESPONSE RATE, A SIZABLE PORTION, UH, OF VETERANS, UH, THAT WE KNOW ARE AFFECTED.

THE THING ABOUT VETERANS, UH, WHICH IS DISTINCT THAT MANY OF YOU MAY HAVE ALSO, UH, REFLECTED ON, IS HOW VETERANS THEN REFLECT EVERY OTHER COVERED POPULATION, UH, FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY THE DIGITAL DIVIDE.

SO, WHETHER WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, UH, LOW INCOME INDIVIDUALS, THE UNHOUSED, UH, THE DISABLED, HISTORICALLY AFFECTED GROUPS, UH, YOU NAME IT, UH, REALLY VETERANS ARE REPRESENTED, UH, AMONGST THOSE GROUPS, WHICH THEN INCREASES, UH, THE POTENTIAL FOR INTERSECTIONALITY AND IMPACT WITHIN THE SPACE.

UH, IT WAS QUICK THAT WE GAINED SUPPORT FROM A CC TO SUPPORT AN EVENT THERE, AND TO PROVIDE IN KIND SPONSORSHIP BY GIVING US THEIR SPACE TO HOST AN EVENT.

WE INITIALLY PLANNED, UH, TO HOST AN EVENT, UH, ON MARCH THE 23RD.

HOWEVER, UH, THERE WERE SOME A CC PARTNER CONFLICTS THAT REQUIRED THAT DATE BE CHANGED.

AND SO, UH, WE'VE NOW BEEN GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY, UH, TO SCHEDULE THIS AT A FUTURE DATE IN MAY OR JUNE.

ALTHOUGH THE DATES THAT HAVE BEEN DISCUSSED AT THIS POINT ARE PRIMARILY, UH, HAVE BEEN OFFERED BY PROSPECTIVE SPONSORS.

THIS PIECE HERE WAS CREATED BY OUR TEAM AT A CC, AND IT REFLECTS THE $50 HONORARIUM THAT'LL BE PROVIDED, UH, WHILE SUPPLIES LAST, UH, FOR ANY QUALIFYING ATTENDEES.

WHAT I'D LIKE TO DISCUSS AMONGST THE GROUP IS OUR EXPANSION OF SUPPORT, UH, THAT WE'VE RECEIVED, UH, FOR THIS EVENT BY THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AND THE ROTC PROGRAM, AS WELL AS BY PARTNERS OF THE VETERANS RESOURCE CENTER TO SPONSOR LUNCH, UH, FOR THE EVENT.

SO THIS EVENT WILL HAVE LUNCH PAID FOR, AS WELL AS, UH, INCLUDE REMEDIATION FOR, UH, THE ATTENDEES THAT QUALIFY, UH, AND ADDITIONAL SPONSOR SUPPORT, UH, THAT CAN BE UTILIZED, UH, FRANKLY, JUST TO, IM, IM, I IMPROVE FROM IT BEING A BOXED LUNCH, UH, PERHAPS LIKE WE'VE HAD IN THE PAST AND, AND TO IT BEING MORE OF, UH, A CATERED LUNCH.

BUT THIS IS OUR OPPORTUNITY BASICALLY TO DISCUSS HOW, UH, TO STRUCTURE THAT, UH, TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL INPUT ON THAT, AND TO PROVIDE GUIDANCE FOR OUR PARTNERS, UH, WHO WE'LL BE HOSTING THE EVENT WITH.

WE ARE IN, IN THE PROCESS OF CONFIRMING THE DATE, AS WELL AS CONFIRMING THE DATE FOR A PARTNER ZOOM TO TALK ABOUT THE PROGRAM.

ONE OF THE KEY THINGS THAT'S DISTINCT ABOUT THIS PROGRAM IS THAT IT IS MEANT TO HELP TO ENGENDER PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AND SMALL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES REFLECTIVE OF THE TEXAS DIGITAL OPPORTUNITY PLAN, AND ITS ENABLEMENT OF SUB-GRANTEE RELATIONSHIPS AND PARTNERSHIPS WITHIN SPECIFIC COMMUNITIES.

SO, AGAIN, TO BE CLEAR, THE WAY THAT WORKS, TDOP IS GOING TO ENCOURAGE PARTICIPATION AMONGST ENTITIES WITHIN THE COMMUNITY TO CONNECT WITH THEIR DISTINCT COMMUNITIES OR, OR POPULATIONS

[00:50:01]

ABOUT THEIR LIVED EXPERIENCES WITH THE DIGITAL DIVIDE, AND TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE SOLUTIONS FOR THEM.

IN ADDITION, THERE'S GONNA BE A TREMENDOUS FOCUS ON WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, AND IN PARTICULAR, CYBERSECURITY.

I CALL THESE THINGS OUT BECAUSE FROM PAST EXPERIENCE WITH OUR, OUR TOWN HALLS WHEREIN WE'VE INTERACTED WITH VETERANS, THERE'S BEEN A CONSISTENT TREND THAT VETERANS HAVE TENDED TO HAVE, UH, MORE AWARENESS OF CYBERSECURITY THREATS AND ISSUES AND DYNAMICS, UH, JUST GENERAL SECURITY DYNAMICS, UH, FOR THAT MATTER, UH, AND THEREFORE HAVE INSIGHTS TO BEAR.

WELL, ONE OF THE KEY THINGS ABOUT THIS TOWN HALL IS TO ENCOURAGE A NETWORK OF VETERAN RESOURCE PROVIDERS TO IDEA ABOUT, ABOUT DIGITAL INCLUSION AND HOW THEIR PROGRAMS CAN BE ENRICHED BY INCLUDING DIGITAL INCLUSION PROGRAMMING, AND BY ALSO THINKING ABOUT WAYS TO PARTNER WITH EXISTING DIGITAL INCLUSION PROVIDERS ON DELIVERING SERVICES TO THEIR CONSTITUENCIES.

SO IT'S MEANT TO CREATE AN EXPANSIVE OPPORTUNITY FOR RESOURCING WITHIN THE COMMUNITY, WITH VETERANS BEING THE SEED, BUT BY NO MEANS THE END ALL, BE ALL, AGAIN, BECAUSE OF THE MULTIPLICATION EFFECT.

THE PROGRAM IS GONNA BE VERY SIMILAR TO OUR PREVIOUS PROGRAMS, ALTHOUGH IT'S GOING TO INCLUDE A PORTION OF THE PROGRAM.

AND BY THE WAY, THAT INCLUDES WHERE WE START, WE HAVE A GREETING, UH, WE GO THROUGH OUR USUALLY COFFEE AND SOME SNACKS.

UH, WE GO THROUGH OUR LISTENING, TAKE A BREAK FOR BIOLOGY, UH, MORE LISTENING.

UH, WE THEN HAVE A LUNCH BREAK, AND WHERE WE THEN COMMUNE AND HAVE THE MEAL TOGETHER AND TALK ABOUT RESOURCES PRESENTED BY THE PARTICIPATING PARTNERS.

UH, AND IT'S IMPORTANT TO NOTE AT THIS TIME THAT THIS EVENT IS BEING PARTNERED WITH IN COLLABORATION WITH THE TEXAS VETERAN COMMISSION, AND AS I MENTIONED EARLIER, UH, THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AND A CC.

BUT THIS WILL BE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR A SPECIFIC AMOUNT OF DECA PARTNERS THAT DELIVER SERVICES FOR VETERANS AND OR HAVE IDENTIFIED VETERAN POPULATIONS WITHIN THEIR CONSTITUENCIES, UH, TO ALSO PARTICIPATE.

SO, WITH THAT, I'D LIKE TO PAUSE, UH, AND, UH, GIVE COMMISSIONERS A CHANCE TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS.

AND LET ME GO AHEAD AND GO TO THE SCREEN HERE SO I CAN SEE YOUR FACES.

UH, I'M GONNA HAVE TO STOP SHARING FOR THAT, SO THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING.

OKAY.

UH, YES, COMMISSIONER DA.

I SEE YOUR HAND.

IS THAT, UH, I, I NOTICED YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT MILITARY FAMILIES.

UH, IS THAT SPECIFICALLY FAMILY MEMBERS OF THOSE WHO ARE IN THE MILITARY, OR DOES IT ALSO INCLUDE PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THE MILITARY AS WELL AS THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS? AND THE SECOND PART OF IT IS THAT IF YOU ARE, UH, TRYING TO IMPROVE THEIR DIGITAL, UM, CAPABILITIES, UH, WILL THERE ALSO BE POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS PARTICIPATING? THANK YOU FOR THOSE QUESTIONS.

COMMISSIONER SUPTA.

UH, SO JUST TO MAKE SURE I, I UNDERSTAND THE QUESTION, THE, THE FIRST QUESTION, UH, PLEASE REPEAT THE FIRST QUESTION.

OKAY.

THE FIRST QUESTION IS MILITARY FAMILIES.

YES.

ARE, ARE YOU FOCUSING ON MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY, MEMBERS OF THOSE WHO ARE IN THE MILITARY, OR DOES IT ALSO INCLUDE THE, THOSE WHO ARE IN THE MILITARY TOO? THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

UH, YES.

UH, SO YES, IT, IT IS VERY, UH, DELIBERATE IN THE MENTION OF VETERANS AND MILITARY FAMILIES, UH, AND THAT IT INCLUDES VETERANS THAT ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND AS WELL AS, UH, ACTIVE DUTY AS WELL AS THE FAMILIES OF MILITARY MEMBERS, WHETHER THEY'RE VETERANS OR ACTIVE DUTY.

AND, AND, AND THE SECOND PART OF MY QUESTION, AND, AND TO YOUR, TO YOUR SECOND QUESTION, UH, UH, I APOLOGIZE FOR SOME REASON I'M HAVING A HARD TIME.

UH, WOULD YOU PLEASE REPEAT THE SECOND QUESTION? YEAH.

THE SECOND WAS THAT, GIVEN THAT WE ARE TRYING TO IMPROVE THE DIGITAL CAPABILITIES OF THESE, UH, FOLKS, WILL THERE ALSO BE EMPLOYEE

[00:55:01]

EMPLOYERS, POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS PRESENT, SO THAT AS WE IMPROVE THEIR SKILLS, THERE'S POTENTIALLY A JOB WAITING FOR THEM AT THE END OF THE LINE? UH, YES, OF COURSE.

THANK YOU FOR THAT.

AGAIN, UH, MY APOLOGIES, UH, FOR NEEDING TO HAVE YOU RESTATE THAT QUESTION.

UH, YES.

IN FACT, UH, THERE WILL BE, UH, PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYERS PRESENT, UH, AND OTHER RESOURCES, BUT I THINK THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY, UH, FOR US TO SPREAD THE WORD.

UH, AND I KNOW THAT WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT, THERE IS ONLY SO MUCH SPACE, UH, BUT I THINK THAT WE CAN BE STRATEGIC ABOUT, UH, THE RESOURCING.

I SHOULD MAKE MENTION THAT THE FOLLOWING, THE FOLLOWING, UH, RESOURCE PROVIDERS, UH, WILL ALSO BE INCLUDED.

UH, THEY INCLUDE, OF COURSE, AS I MENTIONED EARLIER, THE A CC VETERAN RESOURCE CENTER, UH, THE ELIZABETH DOLE FOUNDATION, THE UT VETERAN SPOUSE NETWORK, THE TEXAS LANDLORD, AND THE TEXAS VETERAN COMMISSION, EXCUSE ME, THE TEXAS WORKFORCE COMMISSION.

THANK YOU.

SO THERE IS CERTAINLY GOING TO BE, UH, A SIGNIFICANT, UH, REPRESENTATION AMONGST ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE ALSO CONNECTED, UH, TO ORGANIZATIONS WITH, UH, RESOURCES AND OR EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES.

AND THAT'S AN IMPORTANT THING, I THINK, UH, RIGHT.

BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH, UH, WE KNOW THAT CONNECTING THOSE WHO ARE AFFECTED BY THE DIGITAL DIVIDE WITH EMPLOYERS THAT CAN HELP THEM WITH UPSKILLING, HELP THEM WITH OPPORTUNITIES IS IMPORTANT.

BEING ABLE TO TAP INTO ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE CONNECTED WITH VETERANS, TO BE ABLE TO CONNECT VETERANS AND MILITARY, MILITARY FAMILIES TO THOSE OPPORTUNITIES WILL BE THAT MUCH MORE, I THINK, FRUITFUL, UH, WHEN IT COMES TO THIS PARTICULAR AUDIENCE AS THE SAME WOULD BE, I THINK, FOR ANY PARTICULAR COMMUNITY WHERE WE'RE FOCUSED ON SERVING THAT SPECIFIC COMMUNITY.

UH, YEAH, AGAIN, APOLOGIES FOR THAT.

UH, NO, THANK YOU.

LITTLE, LITTLE, UH, MENTAL HICCUP THERE.

ANY OTHER, UH, QUESTIONS? CHAIR PITTS, UH, VICE CHAIR? YEAH.

SO FAR, WHO'S BEEN TAKING THE LEAD ON, ON PLANNING THIS EVENT? HAS, HAS IT BEEN YOU SO FAR? IT'S BEEN ME, UH, AND, UH, IT'S BEEN, UH, VANESSA ERCO WITH A CC, UH, OKAY.

AS, AS WELL AS, UH, CONTACTS WITH THE VETERAN, UH, TEXAS VETERAN COMMISSION.

OKAY.

IS, DO WE HAVE ANY DECA PARTNERS COMMITTED TO THIS EVENT YET? NOT YET.

UH, WE DID HAVE, UH, WE DID HAVE AN RSVP, UH, BY, UH, PHILIP ELAND, UH, WITH CHANGING EXPECTATIONS.

HE'S A DECA MEMBER, UH, AND I'M EXCITED ABOUT, UH, THEIR PARTICIPATION.

UH, BUT THAT'S ALL WE HAVE AT THIS TIME.

I DID, I DID, I SHOULD MENTION, I SHOULD MENTION THAT, UH, I DID SPECIFICALLY ENGAGE THE DECA COMMUNITY ABOUT THIS.

UH, AND I DID GET FEEDBACK, UH, FROM A COUPLE OF MEMBERS, UH, INCLUDING, UH, FROM, UH, CATHERINE CRAIGO WITH THE HOUSING AUTHORITY.

UH, BUT NO ONE, UH, THAT SPECIFICALLY COMMITTED TO TABLE OR, UH, THAT HAD IDENTIFIED VETERAN OR MILITARY FAMILY MEMBER CLIENTS TO PARTICIPATE.

OKAY.

UNDERSTOOD.

UM, YEAH, WE'LL NEED TO, I GUESS, UH, WHEN WE GET SOME POTENTIAL DATES LINED UP, UM, THAT MIGHT HELP WITH COMMUNICATIONS, DIRECT OUTREACH TO THOSE ENTITIES, I IMAGINE WE COULD, IT WOULD BE A PRETTY EASY SELL TO GET THEM TO COMMIT.

I HOPE SO.

UH, I KNOW THAT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT, THAT I WANTED TO DO TODAY IS TO KIND OF GET A SENSE FOR EVERYONE'S HERE, UH, RIGHT.

UM, BECAUSE WE ARE LOOKING AT FIRMING UP DATES, BOTH FOR THE PLANNING CALL YEAH.

AND FOR THE EVENT RESCHEDULE DATE.

UH, SO WE'RE LOOKING AT TWO DIFFERENT DATES RIGHT NOW, THE 30TH, WHICH IS A THURSDAY.

UH, AND WE'RE LOOKING AT THE FIRST OF AP, UH, EXCUSE ME, 1ST OF JUNE, UH, WHICH IS A SATURDAY.

AND SO I WOULD ASK JUST NOW FOR THE, FOR THE GROUP, UH, IF YOU WOULDN'T MIND CHECKING YOUR CALENDARS AND GETTING A SENSE FOR YOUR AVAILABILITY FOR SUCH AN EVENT, MAY 30TH OR JUNE 1ST.

UH, THAT'S CORRECT.

[01:00:05]

JUNE 1ST IS THE BEST FOR ME, WHICH IS A SATURDAY.

THAT'S CORRECT.

THAT'S CORRECT.

AND THERE'LL BE TIME, BY THE WAY, UH, FOR, FOR EVERYONE.

UM, BUT THEN SECONDARILY, UH, NEXT THURSDAY, UH, WE'RE LOOKING AT SCHEDULING A ZOOM CALL.

UH, HOW DOES EVERYONE'S AVAILABILITY LOOK? I, I'D LIKE TO, UH, WELCOME ANYONE THAT'S INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING, AND THEN IF WE HAVE A QUORUM CHALLENGE, A WALKING QUORUM CHALLENGE, THEN THAT'LL BE GREAT.

BUT ANYONE LIKE TO JOIN US FOR, UH, DISCUSSION ABOUT THIS VETERAN TOWN HALL NEXT THURSDAY, AND THAT INCLUDES CITY STAFF AS WELL.

THURSDAY.

WHAT TIME? WHAT TIME? UH, I'M SO GLAD YOU GUYS ARE ASKING.

UM, WELL, WHAT TIME ARE YOU AVAILABLE? WE'RE LOOKING AT THE AFTERNOON TENTATIVELY, BUT, SO ON THE FOURTH, I HAVE A DOCTOR'S, UH, THE AFTERNOON CHIEFS.

I THINK I'M AVAILABLE AFTER FOUR IN THE AFTERNOON.

I'M, FOR ALL DAY I CAN.

OKAY.

IS IT LIKE A 30 MINUTE CALL OR AN HOUR? UH, ONE SECOND.

COMMISSIONER DOCO, UH, COMMISSIONER ALLEN.

IS IT AT LIKE A 30 MINUTE CALL OR AN HOUR? IT, IT'S GOING TO BE ABOUT 30 OR 45 MINUTES.

WE'RE GONNA KEEP IT, KEEP SHORT AND SWEET.

OKAY.

UH, BUT SO FAR, UH, COMMISSIONER SUPTA, DID YOU WANT TO WEIGH IN ON THAT? YEAH, I SAID, UH, I'M AVAILABLE AFTER FOUR.

OKAY.

AFTER FOUR.

UM, LET'S SEE HERE.

THAT GIVES US ONLY ONE HOUR IN THE BUSINESS DAY.

UM, BUT THAT GIVES US SOMETHING TO POTENTIALLY SHOOT FOR AT LEAST TO LEVEL SET WITH OTHER PARTNERS.

UH, SO, UH, DO YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL FEEDBACK, COMMISSIONER SUPTA? YEAH, I, I, YOU KNOW, IF YOU WANT TO HAVE IT IN THE MORNING, I CAN DO IT AFTER 11.

OKAY.

IS AFTER 11 IS AFTER 11 GOOD FOR YOU.

COMMISSIONER ISLAND? YEAH.

YEAH, I CAN DO, UM, BETWEEN 11 AND FOUR 30.

OKAY.

OKAY.

THEN THAT'S WHAT, UH, OKAY, THEN THAT'S WHAT WE'RE GONNA SHOOT FOR IN TERMS OF SCHEDULING THE PARTNER ZOOM.

UH, SO YOU GUYS CAN BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THAT.

I'LL SEND THAT OUT NO LATER.

THEN, UH, TOMORROW WE'LL GET THAT LOCKED IN.

IF YOU CAN DO IT BETWEEN 11 AND TWO, I CAN ATTEND AS OF RIGHT NOW.

OKAY.

ANY OTHER FEEDBACK FROM OTHER COMMISSIONERS THAT MIGHT WANNA PARTICIPATE IN THIS? YEAH, ONE FOR ME.

I'M SORRY.

COMMISSIONER .

I SAID BETWEEN 11 AND ONE FOR ME.

OKAY.

THAT TIME WORKS FOR ME AS WELL.

OKAY, GREAT.

THIS IS WONDERFUL.

OKAY, WELL, WITH THAT THEN, WE HAVE FIVE COMMISSIONERS, UH, THAT ARE GONNA BE PARTICIPATING.

SO, UH, THAT GETS US WELL COVERED THERE.

UM, THE CHAIR PITS, UH, YES.

COMMISSIONER SUPTA, WILL YOU BE SENDING OUT ANY KIND OF MEETING, MEETING NOTICE, OR ANY KIND OF, YOU KNOW, UH, YES.

UH, JUST TO REITERATE, UH, AS I MENTIONED EARLIER, UH, I'M GONNA SEND, UH, OUT A CALENDAR HOLD NO LATER THAN TOMORROW.

UH, BUT WE'RE LOOKING AT THURSDAY, AND SO WE'RE CLEAR.

RIGHT.

SO IT'S GOING TO BE BETWEEN 11 AND ONE, UH, DURING YOUR, THE AVAILABILITY THAT'S BEEN SHARED AMONGST THE FIVE OF US.

UH, RIGHT.

AND SO THEN THE KEY THING IS IT'S ALSO GONNA BE, UH, ACCESSIBLE TO THE PARTNERS WHO NEED TO BE ON THE CALL AS WELL.

SO I'LL FIND A TIME THAT WORKS FOR EVERYBODY DURING THAT TIMEFRAME.

AND THEN I SEND OUT THAT CALENDAR HALL NO LATER THAN TOMORROW MORNING.

OKEY DO.

OKAY.

OKAY, GREAT.

UH, WELL, WITH, WITH THAT, UH, I THINK WE'RE PRETTY CLEAR ABOUT THE PURPOSE OF THIS, THIS TOWN HALL AND THE FOCUS, I'D LIKE TO GIVE, UH, PAUSE FOR ANY OTHER QUESTIONS OR, OR FEEDBACK HERE BEFORE WE MOVE ON TO OUR AGENDA, AND WE'RE GETTING TO THE VERY IMPORTANT PART.

SO I HOPE THAT EVERYONE'S STILL GONNA BE ABLE TO HANG WITH US.

OKAY, GREAT.

WITH THAT, MOVING FORWARD WITH OUR AGENDA NOW TO ITEM NUMBER EIGHT, WHICH WE'VE MOVED UP TO FINALIZE THE LANGUAGE

[8. Finalize language for and approve FY25 budget recommendations ]

FOR AND APPROVE THE FY 25 BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS.

UH, WITH THAT, WE DO HAVE MEETING DOCUMENTS, UH, THAT CAN BE SHARED.

DO I NEED TO SHARE THEM? THE BUDGET, THE ONES THAT, THAT WERE SUBMITTED, THE BUDGET? UH, YES.

THEY'RE ALREADY ON THE CALENDAR.

OKAY,

[01:05:01]

GREAT.

GREAT.

OKAY, THEN I'LL JUST SHARE MY SCREEN AND WALK YOU OFF THROUGH THE SLIDES THAT I HAVE PRESENTED.

OKAY.

UH, NOW FOR OUR FY 25 BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS, GOTTA LOVE TYPOS.

UH, FIRST, THE GRANT FOR TECHNOLOGY OPPORTUNITIES PROGRAM.

THE CTTC ACKNOWLEDGES, UH, IT'S OUR RESPONSIBILITY, UH, AS DEFINED BY OUR BYLAWS TO ADVISE CITY COUNCIL ON COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY AND TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES, AS WELL AS NEW SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY PROJECTS IN ALIGNMENT WITH OUR, WITH THE VISION FOR AUSTIN TO BE A BEACON OF SUSTAINABILITY, SOCIAL EQUITY, AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY.

D, WE RECOGNIZE THE ESSENTIAL ROLE OF GTOP S IN IMPLEMENTING OUR DIGITAL INCLUSION STRATEGY AS ADOPTED IN 2014 THROUGH CITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION.

AS WE ALL KNOW, UH, THE PANDEMIC HAS HEIGHTENED THE NEED FOR, UH, DIGITAL INCLUSION EFFORTS, EMPHASIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF ACCESSIBILITY FOR RESOURCES AND INNOVATION WITHIN THE DIGITAL INCLUSION ECOSYSTEM, AND ALIGNMENT OF OUTCOMES AS G OS PLAYS A CRITICAL ROLE FOR THIS COMMISSION.

UH, AS WE DISCUSSED EARLIER, UH, AND REMAINS IMPORTANT.

THE BUDGET ITSELF REMAINS IMPORTANT.

HOWEVER, UH, THAT BUDGET HAS REMAINED UNCHANGED AT 400 K ANNUALLY SINCE FY 20, DESPITE AN INCREASED DEMAND FOR AND INVOLVING, UH, DIGITAL INCLUSION NEEDS.

THE GRANT ITSELF IS, UH, CRUCIAL, UH, IN ITS ADMINISTRATION, UH, BY OUR COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY DIVISION AIMED AT ENHANCING OUR COMMUNITY'S CAPACITY TO ENGAGE FULLY IN A DIGITAL SOCIETY.

IT'S STRUCTURED IN THREE DISTINCT PATHWAYS, TAILORED TO MEET THE DIVERSE NEEDS OF LOCAL AUSTIN NONPROFIT GROUPS SEEKING FUNDING OR DEVICES, INCLUDING CORE MANY AND CAPACITY AS THE FUNDING PATHWAYS.

IN A MEMO DATED SEPTEMBER THE 13TH, THE CITY ACTUALLY RECOMMENDED, UH, THAT WE REALLOCATE THE GTOP S CONNECT FUNDING PATHWAY THAT I DISCUSSED EARLIER, UH, WAS SPUN UP SPECIFICALLY FOR THE AFFORDABLE CONNECTIVITY PROGRAM, WHICH IS NOW CURRENTLY IN JEOPARDY.

UH, THAT OF COURSE, BEING THE REASON FOR THAT RECOMMENDATION.

BUT G OS ITSELF, UH, G OS CONNECT ITSELF HAD BEEN A SUCCESSFUL PATHWAY, UH, WITH A PERSISTENT NEED REFLECTED IN AUSTIN.

AGAIN, UNFORTUNATELY, WITH THAT FUNDING BEING IN JEOPARDY AS OF JUNE, 2022, TRAVIS COUNTY DATA REFLECTED THAT THERE WERE A HUNDRED TWENTY FOUR EIGHT HUNDRED TWENTY FAMILIES OR HOUSEHOLDS ELIGIBLE FOR THE AFFORDABLE CONNECTIVITY PROGRAM IN THE AUSTIN AREA.

AND AS OF MARCH OF 2023, OF ALL OF THOSE ELIGIBLE HOUSEHOLDS, 104,832 WERE STILL UNENROLLED, REFLECTING ONLY 18% ENROLLMENT AT THAT TIME.

AND SINCE THAT TIME, THE CTTC HAS HEARD CONSISTENTLY FROM THE DIGITAL EMPOWERMENT COMMUNITY OF AUSTIN PARTNERS COMMITTED TO A CP SIGN UP, AND OTHERS THAT THE PROGRAM RECIPIENTS HAVE FACED HURDLES WITH ENROLLMENT, AND THAT THE ENROLLMENT RATES REMAIN LOW, UH, FOR THAT REASON.

UH, SO FAR, WE HAVE A DRAFT RIGHT NOW, UH, IN OUR RECOMMENDATION TO ALLOCATE $500,000 FOR G OS IN THE FY 25 C OF AUSTIN BUDGET, REFLECTING AN INCREASE FROM PREVIOUS ALLOCATIONS TO ADDRESS THE GROWING NEEDS OF DIGITAL INCLUSION EFFORTS TO CONTINUE SUPPORTING DIGITAL INCLUSION, RESOURCE ACCESSIBILITY, FOSTERING ECOSYSTEM INNOVATIONS, AND ENSURING OUTCOME FOCUSED ALIGNMENT WITHIN THE GTOP S PROGRAM TO EFFECTIVELY ADDRESS THE CHALLENGES POSED BY THE COVID PANDEMIC AND BEYOND.

I WANNA MAKE SURE TO STATE, UH, FOR THE RECORD, UH, THAT, UH, THIS DRAFT, THESE BULLETS WERE TAKEN

[01:10:01]

SPECIFICALLY AND DIRECTLY FROM THE DRAFT OF THIS BUDGET RECOMMENDATION, WHICH WAS CO-AUTHORED BY MYSELF AND VICE CHAIR ACA, UH, DRAWING FROM PRIOR RECOMMENDATIONS.

IT'S IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT, UH, WE HAD INITIALLY MADE A SUGGESTION FOR ALLOCATION OF 600,000 FOR G OS BETWEEN VICE CHAIR ACA AND I, UH, BUT THAT WE DID ENGAGE WITH OUR SUPPORTING TERRA DEPARTMENT, AND WITH FEEDBACK, UH, FROM JESSE RODRIGUEZ, THE PROGRAM MANAGER, UH, I HAVE REDUCED THIS RECOMMENDATION TO 500, UH, WITH INSIGHT THAT THERE ARE OTHER THINGS, UH, THAT WE BUDGETED OUT OF THE TERRA OFFICE PROSPECTIVELY, UH, TO HELP ADDRESS SOME OF THESE NEEDS.

AND THAT SUCH A LARGER INCREMENT OF, OF 200,000 AN INCREASE WAS PERHAPS NOT THE BEST WAY TO GO.

WITH THAT BEING SAID, I WOULD LIKE TO PAUSE NOW AND, AND GIVE VICE CHAIR APODACA A CHANCE TO WEIGH IN, UH, AND THEN TO OPEN IT UP TO THE OTHER COMMISSIONERS FOR FEEDBACK ON THIS RECOMMENDATION.

YEAH, THANKS FOR THAT.

UM, I'M NOT SURE I HAVE MUCH MORE TO ADD.

UM, I MEAN, I, I'LL JUST REEMPHASIZE, UH, THE GTOP S UH, PROGRAM IS REALLY, UM, ONE OF OUR MOST IMPORTANT RESPONSIBILITIES AS A COMMISSION AND AS, UH, CHAIR PITTS HAD INDICATED, UM, GIVING THE HISTORY OF, UM, CITY OF AUSTIN MANAGING THE, THE FUND AND THE GRANT, IT'S, IT'S BEEN A WHILE SINCE THERE'S BEEN AN INCREASE.

UM, AND GIVEN THAT, UM, A CP IS, IS VERY LIKELY GOING AWAY, I, I DON'T KNOW IF ANYONE ELSE HAS, HAS BEEN FOLLOWING THE NEWS LEGISLATION AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL.

I THINK THAT THERE'S GONNA BE SIGNIFICANT GAPS AND, UM, OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY AND, UH, NONPROFITS TO, TO REALLY PLAY A ROLE IN, UM, HELPING TO, UM, UM, SUPPORT THOSE UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS IN OUR AREA.

SO, UM, YEAH, I UNDER UNDERSTAND THAT, UM, MAYBE WE WENT A LITTLE, UM, TOO FAR WITH, UH, THE $200,000, UM, INCREASE, BUT, UM, I, I'M, I, I WOULD BE HAPPY WITH A $100,000 INCREASE.

SO HOPEFULLY WE CAN FIND SUPPORT FOR THAT WITH THE REST OF THE COMMISSION.

THANK YOU FOR THAT VICE CHAIR PCA.

UH,