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Digital Update: WiFi, Remote Work Survey, and more

Posted on May 22, 2020

Stick with it, San Rafael!

Canal WiFi Project Update

We continue to make great progress on building a WiFi network in the Canal neighborhood. The latest project update is that we are fully funded thanks to a $125K contribution from the County and another $125K donation from the Marin Community Foundation. DC Electric also told us this week they will perform the installation largely pro bono.

We kicked off the “User Experience” subcommittee – Jill Tokutomi and Gaby Farias from Library & Recreation, Air Gallegos from Canal Alliance, Sarah Ashton from San Rafael City Schools, and me. The goal of this group is to learn about what’s working and what we should change to address digital equity issues. Our first project is to develop a survey to collect feedback about barriers and challenges to connecting to the internet.

Recent new coverage:

Keeping the Community Informed

It’s been a little over two months since the stay at home order went into effect to slow the spread of COVID-19. Even with virtual get-togethers and grocery delivery, I think we can all agree on one thing—this is getting old. While the curve is flattening, we can’t rest on our laurels -so reminding residents the stay at home order is still in effect and advising the community to continue wearing their face coverings is our top priority.

We continue to support the County to improve and promote Last week we helped stand up reopening guidelines for businesses, including a fillable Site-Specific Protection Plan and requirements and FAQs for curbside retail.

We also worked with Finance and the City Manager’s office to help convey the information Nadine has presented to the City Council over the last several weeks about the financial impacts from COVID-19 on the website and through designing a COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.

Take our Remote Work Survey

When the shelter-in-place order took effect, we quickly stood up a remote work program so as many people as possible could work from home. This involved issuing every laptop we had available (which was not a lot), creating a way for people to access software and files from home, and adding new measures to protect the City’s network against an unprecedented number of new security threats. We also created a Working Remotely webpage with resources and training, including tips for how to be productive in a remote environment.

As we continue to support employees working from home, we’d like to know how it’s going. Please take this survey and let us know how easy it is to do your job from home.

Snack & Learn: How to Get Stuff Done with Trello

Did you miss the last Snack & Learn about using Trello to get stuff done? No problem! The session was recorded and is available online. When you’re free and looking to brush up on your task management skills and more efficient ways to collaborate, check out the video (it’s just 20 minutes). Zak covers the Kanban methodology and how to use Trello to keep track of your projects and collaborate with others. If you are someone who likes to make to-do lists, you are in for a treat because Trello is like a to-do list on steroids!


The last two months have been a whirlwind. And I don’t even have kids at home – so y’all with the kids, RESPECT. I want to take a moment to celebrate some recent digital achievements and give some virtual high-fives.

  • Lindsay and Brenna are helping us save over $20K per year by moving to YouTube and ProudCity Meetings. Not only does this save money, but the user experience is also awesome. This has been no small feat and is still a work in progress – check. it. out.
  • Thanks to grant funding from the State, we have been able to keep moving on a project to reimagine our permitting process. This effort builds off the great work started in the Learning Lab. Major kudos to Ethan and Don for keeping this project alive and we’re so excited to do this work with Lalo and Camino.
  • High-fives to Michelle, Erin, and the rest of the Community Development team for making online permits and payments happen. What an incredible feat over such a short period of time!
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