Written Testimony for Public Hearing
November 19, 2018

Pamela and John Selders

Dear City Council Members,

We are Pamela and John Selders and Hartford residents. Due to other commitments we are unable to attend the public hearing of the council meeting this evening, we wanted to have our testimony entered into the public record noting our strong support of An Ordinance Amending Chapter 2 of the Hartford Municipal Code (Section 2-48 & Section 2-49).

As humanity expands and grows, there is an inevitable reality. We are always going to invent, to create, and to push the envelope of technology to explore new frontiers. And we hope will find ways to use these tools for the benefit of the common good.

We also understand the importance of partnership and oversight at the local level. And that in our democracy, we have entrusted you with the responsible to govern and create good sense policy that effective support those of us who are citizens of this city.

We are concerned about vulnerable populations of our community like immigrants, black and brown people, youth, people with disabilities, and even activists like ourselves and the potential of any of us being targeted by drone usage.
We are concerned that the Mayor and City Council moved quickly to accept grant funds that have impacts in our community without a robust community conversation. This Ordinance allows for the community to be included in the process when new surveillance and potential other technologies will be purchased in the future by calling for mandatory public hearings, something which does not occur now.

We strongly disagree with deferring to the Hartford Police Department establishing policies on how they will use drones and new surveillance technology bypassing public discussion/debate/conversation.
We believe public input is a must.

The community should be made aware of the new technology that departments like the Hartford Police Department wants to use. The community ought to know the plans and proposals regarding purchases such technology. The community ought to know how and in what way such technology/technologies will be used with more disclosure and transparency. (i.e. reports, evaluations, etc.)

Again, we strongly support An Ordinance Amending Chapter 2 of the Hartford Municipal Code. And we urge the Council to move forward with the amendments in Section 2-48 & 2-49 as proposed by the five Council members who signed it.

Thank you for your consideration.

Pamela and John Selders

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