Commissioner Gwen Shaffer, from the City Of Long Beach, CA Technology and Innovation Commission, explains how Long Beach is taking input from residents regarding the implementation of its Smart City Initiative. That input includes, Ms. Shaffer explains, focus groups for which Shaffer is soliciting participants and a survey which she has passed out to each attendee. She then plays a short video that gives an overview of what is meant by “Smart City”.
I only happened to be at this Jan 08, 2020 Belmont Heights Community Association meeting to support a friend who is running for school board in the district in which Belmont Heights is located. I had not heard anything about Long Beach collecting input from residents the implementation of Long Beach’s Smart City initiative. Belmont Heights is a majority White, majority high income area. I live in a majority non-white area that is decidedly more mixed income.
I am concerned that POC and people who are working class and poor may be left out of giving their input concerning the implementation of the Smart City initiative. I wondered what outreach was being done to the part of the city where I live. I asked Ms. Shaffer about this. Her answer was rather blunt. She said that there were there were six, or was it seven, commissioners but some of them didn’t bother really doing anything. She promised to send me a link to the survey so that I could share it on social media. I signed up to be part of her focus group. I want to make sure that Black and Brown people are represented in the feedback the City of Long Beach is getting.
It’s important to note that the California Consumer Privacy Act, which just went into effect in 2020, specifically exempts municipalities from the prohibition against selling collected data to third parties AND from the prohibition against having to pre-disclose that collected data is sold to third parties.
Here’s an hour long panel video from The Milken Institute about Smart Cities. On the panel is Long Beach, CA Mayor Robert Garcia: the unique identifier for the video on YT is uQvXv5wY5O0 .