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Digital Update: communication team, Station 52, and happy women’s day

Posted on March 8, 2019

Communications Team Kick-off Meeting

On February 26, we kicked off the first meeting of the Citywide Communications Team, a group of interdepartmental representatives charged with the strategic planning, coordination, and dissemination of Citywide communications and community engagement. The objective of the group is to build a more inclusive, participatory, and engaged community in San Rafael by:

  1. Making residents, community stakeholders, and business owners a part of the conversation;
  2. Improving strategic communication processes citywide;
  3. Building continuous learning and improvement into civic engagement processes.

During the first meeting the Communications Team conducted a brief workshop to discuss what is working well with current citywide outreach practices, what challenges the City faces in conducting effective community engagement, and what initial actions/projects the group should consider focusing on to improve current practices.   A follow up meeting has been scheduled to establish short-term goals and delegate smaller workgroups to focus on implementing priority projects.

We are also interested to know what you think about how well the City is doing with community engagement and what we can do to improve. Let us know by taking our survey.

Service Design for Climate Resilience

On Thursday evening, Cory Bytof and I attended a workshop on service design and climate change, hosted by San Francisco chapter of the Service Design Network. The evening included several breakout sessions with people from many sectors – government, nonprofit, advocacy, private – all interested in how we can apply human-centered design to issues of mobility and transport, waste, climate justice and equity, and disaster resilience. Cory and I shared the challenges smaller, less urban communities face in contrast to transit-rich, dense cities like San Francisco.

This chapter is co-founded by a resident of Marinwood, Aran Baker. For more on this work, check out her recent blog post.

Fire Station 52 gets Internet

Fresh off the wire, the bits and bytes are flowing at the new Fire Station 52. Station 52 will be the first city facility to have dual broadband services. We are building resilience into our new Essential Facilities by creating redundant connections. If one service goes down, the other can takeover to ensure steady flow of information and greatly minimize the risk of disruption of service. We’re looking forward to the ribbon cutting in May and happy to be part of this important project.

We’re Hiring: Digital Service Analyst

Now Hiring - Digital Service AnalystJust a reminder about our recruitment for a new Digital Service Analyst. We are looking for a team-member in an analyst role to help organize and coordinate our internal efforts to make all this happen. This position will be working with our team in on improvements to service design, administrative operations, management of internal projects, community engagement, policy development, and coordination of citywide training programs. If you are interested or know someone who might be a good fit please forward to qualified recruits. Learn more and apply online at

This position was created through a reclassification of a vacant network analyst position and is part of the administrative analyst job classification with a working title of Digital Service Analyst.

Public Safety Center Mural Project

As part of the Public Safety Center project the main lobby will include a mural highlighting the history of public safety in San Rafael. Rather than a traditional painted mural this project will be rendered on a metallic medium that converts grayscale photographs to perforated metal. Last Friday, Sean met with representatives from the Police Department, Fire Department, and public safety retirees working with the Marin History Museum to discuss the conceptual approach to the mural, identify historical resources, and discuss the City’s role in curating historical/archival materials related to the history of the Police and Fire Department, potentially with an audio or digital component. Our hope is the space will encourage an interest in local history.

Happy Women’s Day

2018 Top Women in Tech

In honor of Women’s Day, I’d like to #FBF a 2018 article from StateScoop recognizing the top women in tech. The list included several of the incredible women making waves in Bay Area local government. Here’s what they’re excited about:

  • Joy Bonaguro, Chief Data Officer for San Francisco: “I think commodity web services are reaching the point where cities could start experimenting with lightly coupled services as an alternative to large, expensive, risky, custom enterprise systems.”
  • Krista Cannellakis, Chief Innovation Officer for San Francisco: “Its exciting to see that, over time, we are driving a culture change and there is a growing demand for new ways of problem solving in a more open and collaborative way.”
  • Mai-Ling Garcia, Digital Engagement Officer for Oakland: “Unlike the private sector, government has the opportunity and the responsibility to design technology for everyone, regardless of what kind of phone they use, where they live or how much money they make.”
  • Linda Gerull, Chief Information Officer for San Francisco: “The city will use a public/private partnership to build dark and lit fiber infrastructure which will be open access to all ISPs. With requirements for net neutrality, privacy, measured performance and closing the digital divide to low-income residents, the FiberSF project will be the foundation for the next generation of advanced, Internet of Things, autonomous technology.”
  • Shireen Santosham, Chief Innovation Officer for San Jose: “We are about to launch several autonomous vehicle pilots throughout San Jose and I’m excited to be on the frontlines of this revolution. Autonomous vehicles, if done right, have the potential to radically reshape cityscapes, connect communities, offer independence to the elderly and disabled, and help us create a safer transit system.”

Not working for a local government, but always an inspiration:

Jen Pahlka, Executive Director for Code for America: “We see great potential in using practices prevalent in the technology industry to help knit technology, data, service design, operations, and policy into tight feedback loops with opportunities to continually improve. These practices have the potential to dramatically improve how government operates, particularly for those who need it most.”

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