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Are you interested in serving on the City of Seattle’s Community Surveillance Working Group?

The City of Seattle is looking for volunteers to serve on the Community Surveillance Working Group (CSWG). The seven-member work group advises the Council and the Mayor’s Office on matters of surveillance technology from a community perspective. The Surveillance Ordinance took effect in 2018 and provides greater transparency to the public when the City of Seattle acquires any technology that meets the City’s definition of surveillance.

The group is comprised of community members of whom at least five members must represent equity-focused organizations serving or protecting the rights of communities. Please review the information below to learn more about this working group, eligibility requirements, and the primary role and function of the group.

Applications are being accepted through August 17, 2023. Apply online at the City of Seattle Boards and Commissions homepage.

For questions, please email

More information about the Community Surveillance Working Group (CSWG):

  • Applicant must live in or work in the City of Seattle.  
  • Applicant must not be employed by the City of Seattle. 
  • For each new technology that meets the criteria for surveillance, the City department must prepare a Surveillance Impact Report (“SIR”). These reports include an in-depth review of privacy implications, especially relating to equity and community impact. 
  • The CSWG then reviews each SIR and completes a privacy and civil liberties impact assessment for each SIR. 
  • The time commitment includes quarterly meetings as well as any ad-hoc meetings needed to review technologies. The position terms are three years, but some current vacant position slots are only 1 – 2 years. 
  • At least five members of the Working Group shall represent equity-focused organizations serving or protecting the rights of communities and groups historically subject to disproportionate surveillance, including Seattle’s diverse communities of color, immigrant communities, religious minorities, and groups concerned with privacy and protest. 
  • If you are interested in applying, please submit your application online at this link by August 17, 2023. Under “Which Boards would you like to apply for?” select Community Surveillance Working Group. 

For more information about the Surveillance Ordinance and the overall SIR process, please go to