• Code for America at City Hall
    Code for America at City Hall
  • Seattle Channel Studio
    Seattle Channel Studio
  • Video Playback
    Video Playback

$470,000 in matching funds offered for technology projects

The City of Seattle invites community organizations and nonprofits to apply for nearly $500,000 in funding to increase digital equity. The Technology Matching Fund awards are matched by the community’s contribution of volunteer labor, materials, professional services or funding.

“As a city, Seattle is known for technology and innovation, yet too many residents do not have sufficient internet access or the skills necessary to participate fully in today’s economy,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “This funding leverages the resources of the community by matching time and funding.”

The Technology Matching Fund has been in existence since 1997 and this year the City has $470,000 available for matching awards of up to $30,000 each to community groups and nonprofits. The deadline to apply is March 19, 2015.

The funding will be awarded in July to organizations who will improve digital equity by connecting traditionally-underserved populations, empower residents with digital literacy skills, and encourage diverse communities to use technology for civic participation.

Application materials and more information are available at www.seattle.gov/tech/tmf/.

Two workshops will be held for those interested in applying for the matching funds. The free workshops will provide an overview of the grant program, explain how to apply and detail characteristics of a successful application. First time applicants are encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, Feb. 10: 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
2100 Building, 2100 24th Ave South, 98144

Thursday, Feb. 12: 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Solid Ground, 1501 N. 45th St, 98103

Interpretation and accommodations are available upon request by calling 206-233-2751 or emailing communitytechnology@seattle.gov by February 6.

City of Seattle supports assistive technology lab, empowers older adults

IMG_2188 Older adults with low vision reconnect with their independence in a new assistive technology learning lab funded by the City of Seattle’s Technology Matching Fund. Low vision caused by age-related eye diseases compromises the ability of older adults to continue activities of daily life, self-care, and even social interaction. One nonprofit, Sight Connection, enhances the ability of individuals with vision loss to lead active independent lives. The Technology Matching Fund provided Sight Connection with a wide selection of assistive technology devices for lab participants to experiment with for their personal goals. Over 440 low vision lab participants discovered assistive technology devices help them read, write, communicate and search online, and accomplish other tasks linked to independence. At age seventy and living with macular degeneration, Barbara Reedal found an electronic magnifier and an iPad could help her write cards to loved ones, send emails, and read paperwork to become a kitten foster mother. She claims, “Things started looking better as soon as I became aware of everything available. My next goal is to use a smart phone and I know I can try it at Sight Connection.” Through the Technology Matching Fund, older adults are living life with low vision on their terms and giving back to their community. Visit sightconnection.org to learn more about Sight Connection and the assistive technology learning lab.

Reshaping immigration, embracing technology in government at Civic Cocktail, Dec. 3

Rich Stolz of OneAmerica and tech executive Kurt DelBene among featured guests

SEATTLE –President Obama’s executive action to reform the nation’s immigration system and a discussion about the intersection of government and technology are the topics of conversation at Civic Cocktail, 5:30 p.m., Wed., Dec. 3, at the Palace Ballroom, 2100 Fifth Ave.

Obama’s plans to offer deportation relief and work permits to 5 million immigrants who are in the country illegally has set up a clash with Republicans who vow to fight his sweeping actions.

Washington state is home to an estimated 73,000 undocumented immigrants who are living in the country illegally and have a U.S. citizen child, according to OneAmerica, a Seattle-based immigrant rights advocacy organization.

Rich Stolz, executive director of OneAmerica, will join host Joni Balter for an in-depth discussion about the president’s immigration policy changes. How will the immigration orders be carried out locally and what impacts will they have? Will they lead to comprehensive immigration reform or will the projected political fallout further derail the debate?

The second half of the show will shift to a panel conversation on using technology to improve government’s interaction with the public. What happens when government and technology collide? Can government maintain the public trust while embracing new technologies to use data more effectively?

The panel discussion will feature Kurt DelBene, former manager of HealthCare.gov, and Michael Mattmiller, the city of Seattle’s new chief technology officer. DelBene is a former Microsoft executive who last year was tapped by the Obama Administration to help fix HealthCare.gov, the federal government’s online health insurance enrollment system. He recently joined the Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group, which focuses on funding early-stage technology companies primarily in the Northwest.

Mattmiller, who previously worked as a senior strategist for enterprise cloud privacy at Microsoft, leads the city of Seattle’s Department of Information and Technology. He’s heading the city’s new privacy initiative intended to show the public how the city collects and uses data.

A journalist panel will weigh in on the immigration and technology topics.

Civic Cocktail offers an evening of networking, civic conversation, Tom Douglas appetizers and a no-host bar. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The program begins at 6 p.m. Advance registration is recommended as these events sometimes sell out. Register at SeattleCityClub.org or call 206-682-7395. Advance ticket prices are $10 for CityClub and Crosscut members and $12 for non-members. Limited $15 tickets available at the door.

Seattle Channel presents Civic Cocktail in partnership with Seattle CityClub and Crosscut. The conversation is rebroadcast on Seattle Channel cable 21 and is available online at seattlechannel.org/civiccocktail.

Seattle Channel is a local TV station that reflects, informs and inspires the community it serves. Seattle Channel presents programs on cable television – channel 21 on Comcast (321 HD) and Wave (721 HD) – and via the Internet to help residents connect with their city. Programming includes series and special features highlighting the diverse civic and cultural landscape of the Pacific Northwest’s premier city.

Awareness & Recovery Institute shares their journalism successes

Recovery through Journalism has received wide support among the East African Community in Seattle. Under the newly established nonprofit called “Awareness and Recovery Institute (ARI)”, the project trained eight East African youth, the majority of whom are Somalis. During the training, the youth participated in reading, writing, computer aided reporting, and photography workshops. Soon after the training, the youth started practicing what they had learned; they are now providing photographs and some short writing to the East African newspaper, Runta.

The goals of the project were to: 1).Prevent young East Africans from involvement in unlawful and destructive behavior by providing them with useful, positive, and constructive skills, especially in civic engagement and technical aspects of media; 2) Provide a community structure of ongoing support and opportunity enabling youth to contribute meaningfully in an increasingly technological society; and 3) Provide a useful community role for youth who, due to war trauma, broken families, and street violence are at risk for destructive behaviors, thus improving their sense of hope and setting them on paths towards technically competent careers in community organizations and media.

Thanks to the City of Seattle’s Technology Matching Fund which funded this civic engagement project, students had the opportunity to visit many places including the Seattle Times, University of Washington, sports events, community events, and many more.  For more information about Awareness & Recovery Institute, please visit their website at: http://www.runtanews.com/category/youth/. — Submitted by Mohamud Yussuf, executive director.

Center for Digital Government names 2014 Digital Cities Survey winners

Re-posted from the Center for Digital Government:

Center for Digital Government Names 2014 Digital Cities Survey Winners
Cities with Best Practices in Public Sector Information and Communications Technology Honored

DIgCit_Wnr14_RGBe.Republic’s Center for Digital Government (The Center) today announced the top-ranked cities in the 2014 Digital Cities Survey.

In its 14th year, the annual survey is part of the Center’s Digital Communities Program, which focuses on collaboration among cities, counties and regions. Open to all U.S. cities, this year’s survey questions targeted which initiatives cities were most proud of in the areas of citizen engagement, policy, operations, and technology and data.

The top-ranked cities in their population categories – Los Angeles; Winston-Salem, N.C.; Avondale, Ariz.; and Dublin, Ohio – provided financial transparency, city performance measurement dashboards, and citizen feedback on city initiatives. They also made improvements in their infrastructure, open-data architecture, security levels and collaboration efforts, providing cost savings and enhanced services. Learn more about their accomplishments here.

“This year’s Digital Cities’ winners brought about impressive change across all aspects of government by leveraging information technology investments to expand open government, citizen participation and shared services,” said Todd Sander, Executive Director of the Center for Digital Government. “Winning cities spanned the nation, indicating a trend that more and more cities are making it a priority that digital government be easier to access, navigate and interact with.”

The top 10 ranked cities will be honored at a special awards ceremony during the National League of Cities’ annual conference in Austin on November 20th.

The Center for Digital Government thanks this year’s survey underwriters: AT&T, Laserfiche, McAfee and Sprint.

Congratulations to the 2014 Digital Cities Survey Winners:

250,000 or more population:

  • 1st City of Los Angeles, CA
  • 2nd City of Kansas City, MO
  • 2nd City of Seattle, WA
  • 3rd City of Jacksonville, FL
  • 3rd Louisville Metro Government, KY
  • 4th City of Philadelphia, PA

For more information, visit http://www.digitalcommunities.com/survey/cities/?year=2014.

The specific Seattle blurb is found in Government Technology magazine:

Seattle has a full slate of initiatives under way intended to strengthen government operations and engage citizens. Internally, the city is centralizing technology services, which includes consolidating multiple data centers and developing coordinated IT policies. The mayor’s IT Subcommittee – comprising the deputy mayor, city CTO and six city department heads – was creating in July to oversee the effort. Externally, Seattle makes extensive use of interactive technology like social media – through Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr – and mapping of crime statistics to build closer bonds between residents and its police force. A Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Committee makes recommendations to the mayor and city council on issues like community connectivity, e-government services and access to technology. Seattle also has multiple programs to promote technology use throughout the city, including a Technology Matching Fund that provides matching grants as large as $20,000 for community technology projects.

 

City of Seattle hires Chief Information Security Officer

Bryant Bradbury, CISO

Bryant Bradbury, CISO

The City of Seattle’s Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller today announced the hire of Bryant Bradbury as the citywide Chief Information Security Officer.

“The Chief Information Security Officer is a very important role for the city, ensuring a secure computing environment that enables City staff to serve the public,” said Mattmiller. “Bryant has proven himself while serving in the role on an acting basis for the past year. His skills and knowledge are well-suited to continuing to serve the city in this role.”

“I’m honored to continue my work in information security at the City,” said Bradbury. “It’s my privilege to work in the Department of Information Technology as we realize innovations and keep information security and privacy at the forefront of the work we do as a city.”

Bradbury joined the Department of Information Technology in March 2013 as the Deputy Chief Information Security Officer. His work history in technology spans over 25 years, including private sector service in the insurance, commercial software, airline and air cargo industries and in public service starting with the City’s Fleets & Facilities Department in 2007.

DoIT manages creation and enforcement of policy, threat and vulnerability management, monitoring, incident response, and security-related compliance activities for the City. The Chief Information Security Officer position was created to oversee the citywide strategic efforts to properly protect the City’s information technology systems and the data associated with it.

Summer success at the Eritrean community

erit2The Eritrean Community In Seattle and Vicinity, ECSV, has been serving Eritrean families since 1983.  Located in the Central District the organization has served as a bridge to help  Eritrean refugees and immigrants to adjust to the culture of their new home here in the United States.

With a $15,000 grant from the Technology Matching Fund, ECSV provided a much needed upgrade to their aging computer lab.  Five new computers and an air conditioner to beat the heat allowed the Technology Learning Center to launch in June with classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.  Computer Instructor Teshome Mesgun, has since helped over 50 adults learn basic and professional computer skills and provided Tigrinya language training (GEEZ).

Volunteers and Board members have been key to making the new Technology Learning Center a reality.  They have contributed more than 265 hours of volunteer effort in coordinating and promoting the lab.    Classes filled after they spread the word about the computer lab at key public events, such as graduations, wedding and picnics.  They continue to build awareness about what Technology Learning Center can offer through flyers and other channels.  For more information on the project, contact Kiflemariam Sequar at nkdmit@yahoo.com.

Big-Brained Superheroes Club rocks Yesler CC

tmfHave you ever wondered how computers think? Kids at the Yesler Community Center learning about this and more through workshops hosted by the Big-Brained Superheros Club (BBS), a group whose mission is to tap into the hidden strengths that all young people have through the exploration of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM). With support from the Technology Matching Fund, the Big Brained Superheros Club offers workshops on digital logic and electronics. While most kids spend ample time on Facebook, Twitter, and multiplayer web games, many of them have no idea how the machine they use every day actually works.  BBS volunteers teach youth how a computer “thinks” by  providing hands-on learning opportunities to build circuits and logic gates. Their circuit lab is modeled after the Exploratorium’s Tinkering Studio Circuit Boards. Youth attend regular BBS club meetings on Mondays and Wednesdays, starting by reciting the club oath.  They also attend Superhacker Saturdays to prepare for the workshops.   For more information on the project contact Meredith Wenger,   or visit the Big Brained Superhero blog and Facebook page.

23 projects receive Tech Matching Funds

2014 TMF GranteesMayor Murray and the Seattle City Council today announced the 23 organizations that will receive a total of $320,000 in Technology Matching Funds from the City of Seattle. The awardees passed unanimously out of committee. Watch the video here.
“While access to technology has increased for many, there is still a significant gap in the access to and use of technology in Seattle,” said Mayor Murray. “Technology skills are necessary for success in the 21st century and these funds play a critical role in preparing our residents.”

“These funds play an important role in leveling the playing field. They help our must vulnerable residents use technology in innovative and meaningful ways, including seniors, at risk youth, homeless women and children, immigrants and refugees, and people with disabilities,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee.

The money will support projects throughout the city to ensure all Seattleites have access to and proficiency using internet-based technologies. These projects were selected from Seattle’s Technology Advisory Board from more than 67 applicants and will contribute a projected $685,711 in community matching resources, more than double the City’s investment.

The funds will support greater digital equity in Seattle. Several projects will help Seattle build a diverse technology workforce, by providing STEM education programs for youth of color and computer and applications training to immigrants and low-income adults.  Other programs will help seniors and people with disabilities better engage using a variety of tools, including tablets, touch screens and social media. The projects will also enable greater electronic civic participation for many disadvantaged residents.

The 2014 Technology Matching Fund award recipients include:

  • Ballard NW Senior Center
  • Casa Latina
  • North Seattle Family Center/ Children’s Home Society of WA
  • Denny Terrace Computer Lab
  • Elizabeth Gregory Home
  • Filipino Community of Seattle
  • Helping Link
  • Hilltop House
  • Lao Women Association of Washington
  • Literacy Source
  • North Seattle Boys & Girls Club
  • Northaven Retirement and Assisted Living
  • Open Doors for Multicultural Families/STAR Center at Center Park
  • Ross Manor Computer Lab
  • Seattle Neighborhood Coalition
  • Solid Ground Sand Point Housing Campus
  • Somali Community Services of Seattle
  • South Park Area Redevelopment Center
  • The Jefferson Terrace Computer Lab Committee
  • University of Washington Women’s Center
  • Vietnamese Friendship Association
  • Washington Community Alliance for Self-Help (CASH)
  • YMCA of Greater Seattle – Y @ Cascade People’s Center.

For more information and a map of Technology Matching Fund awardees go here.

 

Online Safety for College-Bound Kids

8 online safety rules for college-bound kids

Previous generations didn’t need to have “the digital talk” but in a world where what goes online stays online, it’s essential.

1. The Internet is forever – Think about future employers, including those coveted summer internships Don’t post anything online, including inappropriate photos, which would make a future employer think twice about hiring you. Good judgment is something employers look for, show that you have it.

2. Don’t add your address to your Facebook profile – Keep your address private. Anyone who needs your address can get it from you directly.

3. Don’t broadcast your location – Go ahead and check-in at your favorite coffee place and post photos of you and friends at a concert. Just do it sparingly. People don’t need to know where you are all the time or when your dorm room or apartment might be empty.

4. Don’t “friend” people you don’t know – Be choosy when it comes to friending people on social media. Just because someone sends you a friend request doesn’t mean you have to accept it—especially if you have no idea who they are.

5. Guard your social security number – Your social security number is a winning lottery ticket to a fraudster. It is the key to stealing your identity and taking over your accounts. Keep your social security card locked away in a safe place. Memorize the number so you can minimize using the card itself. Question anyone who asks for your social security card. Employers, banks, credit card companies and the department of motor vehicles are some of the few legitimate entities who may need your social security number. Never give it out online or in email.

6. Don’t use the same password everywhere – All your accounts need a password, but not the same one. Consider using an all-in-one password manager. If you choose this option make sure that you log out of the service when not in use. Get in the habit of locking your computer and shutting it off at night.

7. Beware of emails phishing for personal information – Be very wary of any email with a link that asks you to disclose your credit card details, username, password or social security number. These emails can look official but no bank, or other legitimate business, should email asking for this information.

8. Be Wi-Fi savvy and safe – Free Wi-Fi at coffee shops, libraries and restaurants make these great places to hang out and study. However, free comes at the cost of security. Unsecured networks create the risk of identity theft and other personal information being stolen. Make sure sites you visit use encryption software (website addresses start with https:// and usually display a lock in the browser address bar) to block identity thieves when using public Wi-Fi. Additionally, be careful to avoid using mobile apps that require credit card data or personal information on public Wi-Fi as there is no visible indicator of whether the app uses encryption. In general it’s best to conduct sensitive transactions on a secured private network or through your phone’s data network rather than public Wi-Fi.