Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg will participate in a discussion with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Boston.
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Sheryl Sandberg To Address Nation's Mayors In Boston
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So I think the big question people have is you know do we know we were too slow to slow on election interference fake news and data protection and we do. But it's not enough to be sorry what matters is the action we are taking. And I think what you're seeing from us is a pretty big philosophical shift that for the first 10 12 years of the company we were very focused on the good social connections could do right. I've had the honor of being with the mayor in Houston. I visited many other of your cities and city by city street by street town by town. People connect on Facebook whether it's during a disaster whether it's for a birthday whether it's the everyday things in your life. But I don't think we paid enough attention to the things that could also happen on our platform. I gave the MIT graduation speech this morning and I talked about an MIT grad is here. And I talked about how this is a group that's OK. It's an enthusiast. But what I talked about was how we know that it's not just about technology it's about people. And when you build something it's going to be used by people and people are capable of immense beauty and people are capable of real harm. And our goal now is that philosophical shift where we're paying attention not just to the good that can come but also making sure we prevent harm. That said we need to make sure our tools are used for good.
And one of the reasons I'm so excited to be here because it's stuff we've all worked on together is what we can do in local communities. So right now there are 10 million small businesses in the United States that use Facebook at least once a month. And these are not tech companies. These are the companies you and I visited together right. Dog owner cupcakes right. Like yes companies that are using Facebook to grow. Forty two percent of those companies will say they are hiring because they're growing on Facebook and you all know better than I do and you all know deeply what happens when we invest in local communities when we invest in local jobs. And that's part of what makes all the places you work thrive and so our goal is to protect against the bad but keep our foot on the gas pedal of the good. And I think a lot of the good is happening in all the cities that you represent. Thank you. Thank you. I want to broaden the conversation a little bit to our colleagues and technology as a whole. As many of you know you see the focus on infrastructure and innovation and inclusion it's good to see my friend are and I see already who helped coalesce around those ideas. Just a couple of years ago. MARTIN You've been doing a great deal in technology here in Boston to help manage the city better tracking incidents and response times when other metrics to help deliver better services you mind talking a little bit about that in those efforts. Yeah I mean making better service more accessible is important for our constituents. It's a way for us to connect with our constituents.
And one of the things that we did when we first came in that we really we were measuring thing year to year we were measuring thing on a daily basis and we created actually Mike my former chief of staff to Yanko who was running for Congress right now and myself created the city school where we monitor every single stat in the city of Boston. Give yourself a score on the course of a day. And it really one example is that we were able to look and see that ambulance response times were down. It was in the red. And we looked at the City Square and we said what's going on there brought in the chief of the mass and said you know why is our response time so slow. And two things pop. One was the crisis that we're going to be talking about later substance use crisis that's going on but also our population is growing and we have more people working in the city of Boston living in the city of Boston and we weren't keeping up with the growth. So we were able to use that engaging our services. We're also able to when we transfer out eyeline over 3 1 1 we thought that we had of 65 4500 was the main number for City Hall. And when when we finally switch over 21 many cities had done that before. We thought we're going to have to increase the capacity four times the amount of people working up there. And we also launched an app at the same time and we didn't see was an increase in phone calls but we did see was an increase to the app.
So technology is a very important and big part of government right now. And I think that if you're a city in America and you don't you're not using technology you're missing an opportunity. Number one to connect to your constituents. But number two to allow your constituents to connect to the city and get services through that app. And I think that that's what's so important. And we also we're also have alerts on social media where we're able to alert Boston residents whether it's a nor'easter coming or a parking ban or what have you. And the last thing I'll say is we have we went to a master planning process over the last three years called The Magic Bhasha 2030. It was the first time in 50 years we have done it and we haven't.