STPP works with community partners to anticipate the social, equity, and political implications of emerging science and technology to inform their advocacy for more ethical and just technology policy. We have worked with community partners on policy topics such as:

Topic Areas

    • Security and safety in the context of weather emergencies and other climate change-related disasters
      The City of Detroit recently completed a process of developing a climate plan that did not include directed conversations with people with disabilities. This project involves a landscape analysis of other cities’ plans, and whether and how they explicitly address the needs and vulnerabilities of disabled people. (Community Partner: Detroit Disability Power)  
    • Automated Hiring Systems for Jobseekers with Disabilities 
      We are examining whether and how automated hiring systems discriminate against jobseekers with disabilities and identifying appropriate policy responses at the local, state, and federal level. (Community Partner: Detroit Disability Power).
    • Voting Accessibility Tools for People with Disabilities
      We are assessing how Detroit selects and maintains voting machines and trains poll workers, and the needs, challenges, and experiences of disabled voters, to identify changes needed to improve voting accessibility. (Community Partner: Detroit Disability Power)

    • Credit-reporting Algorithms on People with Felony Convictions. We are analyzing whether and how automated tools that calculate credit scores–which impact background checks performed by lenders, employers, landlords, and schools–discriminate against those convicted of felonies. (Community Partner: We the People Action Fund)

    • Acoustic Gunshot Detection Systems (AGDS) 
      We issued a brief about the implications of AGDS like Shotpotter, which are designed to detect, record, and locate the sound of gunfire, and offered policy solutions. We supported our partner, We the People Action Fund, in their campaign against a $7M expansion of Shotspotter in Detroit. (Community Partner: We the People Action Fund)
    • Automated License Plate Readers (ALPR)
      We issued a brief about the implications of Automated License Plate Readers (ALPR), a surveillance technology that can alert law enforcement about vehicle locations in real time or provide information on past movements, and offered policy solutions. 
    • Social Media Scanning Tools
      Automated Tools for Preventing Community Violence. We examined whether social media scanning tools might help prevent fights and shootings. We identified a variety of privacy and safety considerations, and they decided not to pursue the use of these technologies. (Community Partner: FORCE Detroit)

    • Decentralized Wastewater Management
      Decentralized Wastewater Treatment to Reduce Costs. Detroiters have extremely high water bills, and wastewater treatment costs are a major contributor. We wrote a brief analyzing whether a decentralized approach to wastewater treatment, which increases community control of wastewater resources, will bring down costs. (Community Partner: We the People Detroit)
    • Open Access Fiber Networks (OAFN)
      The Office of Digital Inclusion is working on a project to bring Open Access Fiber Networks (OAFN) to areas of Detroit that are under or unconnected to internet service. STPP is researching and writing a policy brief about the implications of OAFN. (Community Partner: City of Detroit Office of Digital Inclusion)
    • Electrical Grids and Outages in Michigan
      Electrical Grids and Outages in Michigan. We are analyzing the technical dimensions of Michigan’s electrical grid and outage rates, in order to help communities respond to DTE’s effort to raise electricity prices. (Community Partner: We the People Action Fund)