Public comments are once again needed on the six surveillance technologies reviewed by the Community Working Group as part of the Seattle Surveillance Ordinance. These six technologies will be up for City Council discussion, possible amendments, and a final vote to approve, amend, or reject their proposed continued use. Two ways to comment:
- Verbal comments for Wednesday Feb 8th 9:30am in Seattle City Lights Committee! These can be virtual or in-person at City Hall!
- written comments should be sent by email, and are ideally before the committee meeting on the 8th or just after the meeting by the 9th!
Signups for verbal comment open 2hrs before meeting begins.
Remote Public Comment – Register online to speak during the Public Comment period at the meeting at http://www.seattle.gov/council/committees/public-comment.
You can also sign up IN PERSON at City Hall. There tend to be a very small number of people signed up to comment, so the comments go by quickly. It’s important to sign up by 9:30 and arrive to the meeting promptly to make sure you don’t miss it! Often, the comment period is so short that it’s less than ten minutes long.
THAT’S HOW BADLY WE NEED MORE PUBLIC INPUT!
Here’s the official agenda link for the Economic Development, Technology, & City Light (EDTCL) Committee meeting on Wednesday, the 8th: https://seattle.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=A&ID=1079513&GUID=58675B92-5274-4E49-93B8-1F100EA07922
Written Comments are best-timed if emailed by the 7th/8th (before committee meeting) or by Feb.9th (as a follow-on to meeting). But, written comments are accepted up until the City Council votes, which I believe is the 20th-ish? The goal is for comments to hopefully have influence in Council Member votes /amendments, so that is why earlier is better.
Folks who can’t make the comment jam session can just email your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This emails the entire Seattle City Council, not just the EDTCL Committee, but it ensures that all members of the City Council have seen your feedback before they consider amendments/eventually vote.
We recommend using a different email address that is not your main and/personal email for public-records-available communications. If you’re at a racial justice or equity-focused organization or business, use your work email!
We’re holding a virtual Comment Prep Jam Session on 2/7 TUESDAY night at 6pm to help Seattle residents and other concerned folks & orgs in WA to get prepped to offer their public comment and provide a place to ask any questions they have about the comment process, or the six technologies, and get tips about how to safely and securely offer comment!
The Comment Jam Session will not be recorded, it’s going to be a meeting, not a webinar.
Here’s the zoom reg link for Tuesday 2/7: bit.ly/Group4BCommentJam
Here are the slides we’re using! You can page through them quickly and get the key info if you can’t make it to the Jam, or missed it, and they should help!: Feb 7 2023 Comment Jam Slides
For those who like watching/listening to video, here’s the webinar we made about all six technologies last summer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TAqj5LSS5g
And here’s the public comment guide we made for Group 4b technologies for the initial round of comments last summer that enabled the community working group to offer more informed feedback on for the Surveillance Impact Reports (SIRs) on each technology. You’ll find detailed lists of what each technology does, a list of questions and our recommended talking points to choose from to offer City Council in your comments! https://wapeoplesprivacy.org/take-action-offer-public-comment-on-seattle-police-departments-surveillance-technologies/
You don’t have to be a resident of Seattle in order to give written or verbal public comments!
If you aren’t a resident, then feel free to add something like: “As someone who lives in X but frequently travels to Seattle…” or “As someone who would visit Seattle more if there was less surveillance technologies in the city…” or some other similar thing.
Thank you for taking action and spreading the word!
We have a post on our Instagram wall with the flyer and the info that folks can share!