CivicMakers Salon – Public Broadband with Startup Policy Lab

In what seems almost a lifetime ago, the City of San Francisco announced efforts to blanket the city with free WiFi. That effort took years and ended up stalling out in dramatic fashion. Since then the City has been working to cover the parks, lower income housing developments, and parts of Market St. with free internet access.

This is a great start. But, CivicMakers believes that addressing the digital divide is critical for a more inclusive democracy and economy built for the 21st Century. We’ve been pushing for a public broadband network in San Francisco and nationwide, as our city continues to get passed over for Google Fiber. As President Obama has recently said, “Today, high-speed broadband is not a luxury…It’s a necessity.” We agree.

Join us and Startup Policy Lab for a conversation about connectivity and democracy. We’ll hear from city officials on a newly released connectivity plan and next steps, as well as the successful public broadband effort in San Leandro. Here’s the schedule, feel free to drop by for an hour or the whole evening!

  • 6pm – Networking with the best and brightest in civic tech
  • 7pm – Welcome & program:
    • Update on broadband efforts statewide from Commissioner Catherine Sandoval, California Public Utilities Commission
    • Update on San Francisco’s recently introduced connectivity plan from Jay Nath, Chief Innovation Officer, San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation
    • Panel discussion:
      Deborah Acosta, Chief Innovation Officer, City of San Leandro (*East Bay city has one of the first public broadband networks)
      Supervisor Mark Farrell, City & County of San Francisco
      Charles Belle, Founder, Startup Policy Lab
  • 8pm – Closing & more networking


Drinks and refreshments will be served. Special thanks to our event sponsor Orange Silcon Valley. Come prepared to be inspired!