City of Seattle Wins 2016 EPEAT Sustainable Purchasing Award

The Green Electronics Council (GEC) today announced the winners of the 2016 EPEAT Sustainable Purchasing Awards, which recognize excellence in the procurement of sustainable electronics. EPEAT is a free and trusted source of environmental product ratings that makes it easy for purchasers to select high-performance electronics that support their organization’s sustainability goals. EPEAT is managed by the Green Electronics Council.

The City of Seattle was one of 38 award winners representing a wide range of organizations, including national and provincial/state governments, leading academic institutions and the healthcare sector.

Read the EPEAT press release.

Mayor Murray announces agreement with Shenzhen to advance biomedical research

Mayor Ed Murray announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Seattle and the City of Shenzhen, China, to support biomedical research and the establishment of a joint institute between the University of Washington School of Medicine and Shenzhen-based BGI, one of the world’s largest genomics organizations.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) commits both cities to greater cooperation on issues of medical research and health care. UW and BGI signed a separate MOU in Shenzhen agreeing to collaborate on development of the joint institute.

“This agreement between the Cities of Seattle and Shenzhen will encourage and support meaningful cooperation between two global leaders of innovation in medical research and technology,” Murray said. “Ultimately, it will create new opportunities for our biotech and health care industries, and help advance pioneering medical technology that will benefit patients, doctors and communities around the globe.”

“We at the UW are looking forward to working alongside BGI in charting the future of genomics research, especially in accelerating the application of new sequencing technologies to human health,” said Dr. Jay Shendure, an M.D./Ph.D scientist and professor of genome sciences at the UW, and a national advisor on precision medicine initiatives.

The joint institute is part of BGI’s goal of developing an innovation center in Seattle. The City of Seattle looks forward to working with BGI on the process to develop this significant addition to the city’s innovation economy.

Shenzhen, a coastal city of over 10 million people, is considered the high-tech and life sciences hub of China. “With a sound foundation in the fields of biotech and health technology, a host of well-positioned industries have taken shape in Shenzhen, including gene medicine, polypeptide medicine, anti-tumor medicine, medical imaging equipment and life information monitoring,” according to the MOU.

The MOU was signed during the third day of a Murray-led trade delegation to three cities in China, which includes Hong Kong and Hangzhou. The mission is part of an ongoing effort to encourage more foreign direct investment in Seattle, expand economic opportunities for local companies, and establish international partnerships.

“We are thrilled to be part of this historic moment between Seattle and Shenzhen,” said Kristi Heim, president of the Washington State China Relations Council. “Deepening the partnerships between our two cities will support economic growth, scientific advancement and long-term collaboration in public health and environmental protection.”

The agreement builds on two earlier MOUs signed in 2015 between Seattle and Shenzhen pledging cooperation issues such as low carbon urban development, electric vehicles, information technology, life sciences, and people-to-people exchanges. Murray also hosted visits by Shenzhen Mayor Xu Qin and former Deputy Mayor Tang Jie.

The trade delegation includes: Murray, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, representatives from the Washington State China Relations Council, the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle, Alaska Airlines, Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft, Vulcan, and the University of Washington.  They met with government officials and business representatives in Hong Kong and Shenzhen before Murray is joining a separate group of e-commerce companies on a trip organized by the Washington State China Relations Council to the City of Hangzhou.

For most of its history, Seattle has had deep cultural connections to China. Throughout the trip, Murray will seek to deepen those ties as he meets with local officials and business representatives.

Seattle Channel Receives 17 Emmy Nominations

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Originally Posted April 4, 2016 by Seattle Channel

Seattle Channel is honored to receive 17 Northwest Regional Emmy-award nominations from the Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS). The station’s nominations include overall station excellence with the channel competing against some of the region’s commercial and public television stations.

The 2016 nominations were announced Friday night and highlight the quality of several Seattle Channel series, including public-affairs program City Inside/Out; documentary series Community Stories; weekly magazine show CityStream and several Art Zone segments.

“These nominations underscore Seattle Channel’s commitment to helping Seattle residents connect with their city from its history, to its artists, to its public policies,” said John Giamberso, Seattle Channel general manager. “I congratulate the staff on its work.”

The Northwest regional Emmy awards will be announced June 4. The NATAS region includes five states: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

Here is a listing of Seattle Channel’s 17 Emmy nominations:

Overall Excellence – Seattle Channel
• Seattle Channel • John Giamberso, general manager

Arts/Entertainment – Feature/Segment
Art Zone: Ernie Sapiro: Musician Project:  Ralph Bevins, producer/photographer; Valerie Vozza, photographer
Art Zone: Glenn Rudolph: Ralph Bevins, producer/photographer/editor

Arts/Entertainment – Program/Special
Community Stories: Enfu: Ian Devier, producer; Shannon Gee, senior producer

Historic/Cultural – Feature/Segment
CityStream: Taiko!: Ian Devier, producer
CityStream: Georgetown Steam Plant: Ralph Bevins, producer/photographer/editor
Art Zone: Louie Gong: Valerie Vozza, DP/editor; Kathy Tuohey, producer

Historic/Cultural – Program/Special
Community Stories: An American Hero: Shiro Kashino: Shannon Gee, producer/director; Randy Eng, animation; Stephen Thomas Cavit, audio engineer/sound designer; Lawrence Matsuda, writer

Health/Science – Program/Special
CityStream: Science Fun: Megan Erb, senior producer; Shannon Gee, producer; Randy Eng, photographer/editor; Roberta Romero, host

Politics/Government – Program/Special
City Inside/Out: Juvenile Justice: Susan Han, senior producer; Brian Callanan, host/producer; Matt Peterson, photographer/editor

Interview/Discussion – Program/Special
Art Zone: Duff McKagan Interview: Nancy Guppy, senior producer/host; Ralph Bevins, photographer/editor; Peggy Lycett, editor
City Inside/Out: Rental Rules: Susan Han, senior producer; Brian Callanan, host/producer; Matt Peterson, photographer/editor

Promotion/Program/Campaign
Seattle Channel: It’s Not What You Think: Ian Devier, producer/editor/photographer; Kevin Patnik, creative director; Lori Patrick, producer/communications manager; Bryan Cox, art director; Judy Stuhmer, senior designer; Molly Beier, project manager

Photographer/Video Essay
Art Zone: Hak Bo Lee: Valerie Vozza

Editor/Program
Community Stories: Enfu: Ian Devier
Art Zone: Ernie Sapiro: Musician Project: Ralph Bevins
Community Stories: An American Hero: Shiro Kashino: Shannon Gee and Randy Eng

Hacking for Oceans and Fish — Seattle IT Dives Deep at Fishackathon

All Earth Day weekend long, April 22-24, teams of Seattle technologists joined together at Impact Hub Seattle to explore how we can use data and technology to protect our fish and oceans. “Seattle is defined both by technological innovation and commitment to environmental sustainability,” said Candace Faber, City of Seattle’s Civic Technology Advocate. “What better way to celebrate Earth Day than for both sides of that community to tackle the overfishing challenge together?”

Photo of Fishackathon Participants

Seattle Fishacking Teams 2016

A global event, Fishackathon was coordinated by the U.S. Department of State and held simultaneously in 41 different sites on six continents. Its goal was to find solutions to world fisheries and ocean issues, anchored in 9 narrowly scoped challenges submitted by global experts. In Seattle, the event was organized by Microsoft, Vulcan Inc., the University of Washington, and Open Seattle, with support from Seattle IT. Civic Technology Advocate Candace Faber and Open Data Manager Bruce Blood both supported the event.

Photo of fish hackers at work

Fishackers at work

Hackers had access to multiple public, global databases that track things such as vessel identification, as well as expert mentors from the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and Vulcan’s Illegal Fishing programs, among others. World-leading expert Ray Hilborn gave the keynote, and local celebrity chef Ethan Stowell personally served fresh, sustainably caught seafood on the first night.

Photo of happy fish hackers

Fishackers Tackle Overfishing

Seattle’s teams created apps and prototypes aligned with several of the challenges. The most popular were fish identification and monitoring lost fishing gear. One team also took on a challenge not listed, visualizing GIS data from a boat’s point of view rather than a bird’s-eye. King Triton, Seattle’s winning team, developed a solution that uses fishing vessel data to catch those breaking international and other laws governing the fishing industry.

The team’s proposal will be submitted to the U.S. State Department’s global competition and the winner will be announced on World Ocean’s Day, June 8, 2016. The winning team will receive a $10,000 cash prize, and their solution will be funded by a third party developer funded by the State Department.

Photo of Teams receiving awards

Candace Faber, City of Seattle’s Civic Tech Advocate, Lures Hackers with Prizes

Thank you to the event sponsors and mentors, and also to Smart Catch restaurants, the Living Computer Museum, and the Seattle Aquarium for their prizes.

David Keyes, City of Seattle’s Digital Equity Manager, Wins Charles Benton Digital Equity Champion Award

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David Keyes
City of Seattle Digital Equity Manager

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) has named David Keyes, Digital Equity Manager for the City of Seattle, the first recipient of the Charles Benton Digital Equity Champion Award.

“The NDIA is proud to recognize David Keyes, who has championed a holistic approach to closing the ‘Digital Divide’,” said Angela Siefer, NDIA Director.  “David’s approach goes beyond computers and wires to include affordable broadband service, the skills needed to make the most of technology, and the content and services relevant to user’s lives.”

Named for Charles Benton, the founder of the Benton Foundation, the award was created by NDIA to recognize leadership and dedication in advancing digital inclusion:  from promoting the ideal of accessible and affordable communications technology for all Americans, to crafting programs and policies that make it a reality.

In nearly 20 years of public service in Seattle, David Keyes has used data to document community needs and direct programs, been committed to racial and social justice, and built a movement over time by engaging local elected officials, businesses, education partners, and community organizations in solutions.

“In 1997 David was appointed Seattle’s Community Technology planner and within a couple of years he was a leading figure nationally in the movement we then called ‘community technology’,” said Siefer.  “Despite being busy leading the City of Seattle’s model digital equity programs, David continually lends his leadership skills and thoughtful guidance to state and national efforts.”

Keyes will be presented his award on May 18, 2016 at Net Inclusion: The National Digital Inclusion Summit in Kansas City by Adrianne B. Furniss, Executive Director of the Benton Foundation.

CenturyLink Announces Prism TV Price Increase

CenturyLink announced that the price of Prism TV video service will increase by $7.00, effective with March 18, 2016 billings. Except for customers who are on a ‘Price Lock’ agreement, the increase will effect all service packages and promotional offers. With the price increase CenturyLink’s new standard service rates will be:

Prism TV Package New Pricing
Basic $29.99
Essential $81.99
Complete $96.99
Preferred $111.99
Premium $141.99

The price of CenturyLink’s High Speed Internet modem will also be increased by $1.00.

If you are currently a CenturyLink Prism TV customer receiving a promotional discount on your service, but didn’t not sign up for ‘Price Lock’ when you subscribed, then your monthly service rate will increase by $7.00. You will also continue to receive the discount applied to the new rate for the remainder of your promotional period. Your rate and any discount should be clearly indicated on your billing statement.

CenturyLink has sent customers a notice alerting them to these upcoming price increases. If you have questions on how this increase will impact your individual bill, contact CenturyLink Customer Care at (866) 755-7435.

If you are a low income CenturyLink customer and would like information on whether you are eligible for CenturyLink’s service discount programs, call (877) 837-5738 or visit CenturyLink Low Income Assistance Programs.

 

Apply now for Technology Matching Funds

The City of Seattle is now accepting applications for the Technology Matching Fund. Grants of up to $50,000 are available. The deadline is Wednesday, May 4, at 5:00 p.m.

The Technology Matching Fund provides funds for digital equity projects.   The goals of the fund are to increase access to free or low-cost broadband, empower residents with digital literacy skills, and ensure affordable, available and sufficient devices and technical support.

This year the fund seeks to support creative and collaborative approaches.  Priority will be given to projects that strengthen community partnerships, leverage existing expertise, and engage historically underserved or underrepresented communities.

More information is available here, or contact Delia Burke at (206) 233-2651 or communitytechnology@seattle.gov.

2016 Technology Matching Fund

The City of Seattle is now accepting applications for collaborative technology projects up to $50,000. City dollars are matched by the community’s contribution of volunteer labor, materials, professional services, or cash.  Get the 2016 guidelines and apply here: http://seattle.gov/tech/tmf.

The Technology Matching Fund provides funds for digital equity projects. The goals of the fund are to:

  • Increase access to free or low-cost broadband;
  • Empower residents with digital literacy skills; and
  • Ensure affordable, available and sufficient devices and technical support.

Deadline: May 4 at 5:00 p.m. 

City of Seattle launches Digital Equity Initiative Action Plan

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Today, Mayor Edward Murray announced the launch of the Digital Equity Initiative Action Plan. The Plan provides steps forward for the City to provide equitable technology opportunities for all Seattle residents and communities through device and technical support, greater Internet connectivity and skills training.

“Seattle is a city known for its technology and innovation, yet too many residents do not have sufficient Internet access, a high-quality device or the skills necessary to participate fully in our high-tech economy and community,” said Murray. “Working together, we can make Seattle a leader in ensuring digital equity and opportunity for all our residents.”

The Digital Equity Initiative was launched in response to the City’s quadrennial Technology Indicators Report, released in May 2014. The Report found significant disparities in internet access and digital literacy skills for those of lower education, low-incomes, seniors, disabled, minorities, and immigrants. The Initiative is one part of the Mayor’s broadband strategy to increase access, affordability, and public-private-community partnerships. It seeks to ensure all residents and neighborhoods have the information technology capacity needed for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services.

Through a combination of reallocated City staff time, financial investments, and community partnerships, the City is investing $1.6 million on this Initiative this year, focused on the three prongs of the Action Plan: devices and technical support, skills training, and connectivity.

Both Google and Comcast have pledged their support. Through their partnership in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ConnectHome program, Comcast is expanding the eligibility criteria for their discounted Internet service nationwide, called Internet Essentials, to all public housing residents, opening eligibility up to over 4900 Seattle households. Starting today, they are also offering Internet Essentials to low-income seniors in Seattle.

As part of today’s announcement, Google pledged $344,000 toward Internet connectivity and technology skills training for Seattle, including WiFi access at 26 Seattle Parks’ community centers, 31 computers for their technology learning labs, and a grant to provide three years of internet service for 800 low-income students residing in Seattle Housing Authority facilities. These investments are based on the specific areas identified during the research phase of the Digital Equity Initiative.

“With these grants, we hope to increase Internet access for those who need it most, whether to do their homework, connect with loved ones or to access important services,” said Darcy Nothnagle, head of external affairs for the NW at Google. “Google is thrilled that these grants will provide WiFi in all of the city’s community centers and equipment for their digital literacy labs, as well as home Internet access for very low income Seattle Housing Authority residents.”

“The Digital Equity Initiative Action Plan will be collaborative and data-driven,” added Michael Mattmiller, Chief Technology Officer for the City of Seattle. “We could not do this important work alone—we are grateful for the ongoing partnerships with businesses, non-profit organizations, community groups, educational institutions, and volunteers. We will continue looking for additional partnerships to stretch the City investments.”

The City of Seattle announced the cycle and focus for their annual Technology Matching Fund awards. This year the fund seeks to support creative and collaborative approaches toward increasing access to free or low-cost broadband, empowering residents with digital literacy skills, and ensuring affordable, available and sufficient devices and technical support. A total of $320,000 will be awarded through matching grants of up to $50,000. Applications are due Wednesday, May 4. Additional information and dates for grant workshops can be found at http://www.seattle.gov/tech/tmf.

Launched in January 2015, the Digital Equity Initiative is co-sponsored by the Department of Information Technology and the Office of Civil Rights. The Action Plan is a culmination of year-long research and community engagement with more than 100 community members, technology leaders, civic and education leaders, businesses, and City department staff.

For more information on the Digital Equity Initiative, visit Seattle.gov/digital-equity.

White House recognizes Seattle as a TechHire community

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Today Seattle was recognized as a TechHire community as part of the White House’s national jobs initiative. This program for underemployed adults convenes employers, educators and workforce partners to provide accelerated training, internship and employment opportunities in the technology sector.  Seattle’s commitment has an explicit focus on historically under-represented communities: women and people of color.

“With the TechHire initiative, more Seattle residents will fully participate in this growth industry with access to pathways leading to life-changing, meaningful careers,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We will leverage this program and the White House’s support to launch new local initiatives, extend the impact of our Summer Youth Employment Program, and accelerate the incredible work of community partners.”

TechHire is a multi-sector White House initiative and call to action to empower Americans with the skills they need through universities and community colleges, as well as nontraditional approaches like “coding boot camps” and high-quality online courses that can rapidly train workers for a good-paying job. Employers across the United States are in critical need of talent with these skills.

With partnership from local tech employers EnergySavvy, Skytap, Substantial and Moz, as well as stakeholders including Seattle Colleges, LaunchCode, the Workforce Development Council of King County, the City of Seattle will train over 350 people this year, and place at least 2,000 in tech jobs by 2020.

Seattle is experiencing unprecedented growth, with over 63,000 new jobs created in the last five years, primarily driven by a booming technology sector. The city has also been recognized as one of the fastest growing startup ecosystems in the nation.  All of this growth brings opportunity; in the last 30 days, Seattle businesses have posted 1,800 job openings for software developers alone.

Through its Office of Economic Development, the City of Seattle will work to ensure educational curriculum is aligned with real-time job openings, collecting and analyzing job data by partnering with Linkedin and Burning Glass Labor Insight. Employer engagement is critical to success for this initiative, and industry leaders Amazon, Boeing, Expedia and Microsoft have pledged their support.

In addition to training providers such as the WTIA Workforce Institute, Galvanize and Code Fellows, Seattle’s TechHire initiative will also work to increase diversity and inclusion in the technology sector. Training providers include: Ada Developers Academy, a software development training for women; Unloop, training for people who have been in prison to succeed in careers in tech; and Floodgate Academy, a developer operations training focused on underrepresented communities will focus on this work.

Shadae Holmes is a local graduate of Ada Developers Academy, a tuition-free programming school for women.

“I am a woman, I am a software developer, I am black and I am a mentor to others like me,” said Holmes. “However, the current system is not set up for me.  Like many others in high school and college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.  Through a fluke, I found the Ada Developers Academy. I was soon placed at an internship at Foundry Interactive, a small tech consulting company, which boasts a 50/50 male-to-female ratio.  Not only are they committed to diversity with their deeds—they are thriving. I’m happy to report I have been working full time at Foundry for over two years, gaining experience and finding my own voice.”

EnergySavvy is a Seattle technology company that launched in 2008 with a commitment to improving energy efficiency through software. The firm has been a sponsor of Ada Developers Academy since its inception.

“We’ve had fantastic results with Ada as a talent source — we’ve hired 3 graduates full-time, have a 4th completing her internship soon and a 5th beginning her internship in April,” said Scott Case, Chief Operating Officer of EnergySavvy and Board Chair of Ada. “EnergySavvy’s software engineering organization is now 30 percent female — that’s three times the national average. The biggest limiter for our continued success as a company is the ability to attract great tech talent. Ada has allowed us to do that while increasing the diversity of our workforce, making our company better and more productive overall. We’re thrilled that the City of Seattle is now part of this broader national effort. It gives us a chance to ramp up the scale of what is already working really well.”