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.

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.

 

Report highlights how Seattleites use technology

SEATTLE 5/23 - At a launch event last night, the City of Seattle released new findings on technology access, adoption and interaction by Seattle residents. These findings are based on feedback from 2,600 residents via online and phone surveys and in-person focus groups in multiple languages about their use, concerns, and barriers to using the Internet, social media, cable TV and online government services.

“This data shows that we’re making great strides in technology, but a digital gap still exists between our neighbors,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We’re already using the data in this report to influence how the City of Seattle interacts with our neighbors and to better target our outreach and engagement strategies.”

Every four years the City of Seattle conducts community research to find out how Seattle residents are using technology.The technology adoption study findings were detailed at the interactive launch event, and are available online at www.seattle.gov/tech/indicators. The summary of findings and recommendations are available in multiple languages.

“The continued rise of smart phone and tablet use provides outstanding opportunities for government to reach more residents,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee. “The information from the focus groups will help us improve services and how we reach all communities. We will take action on improving access to web services by making them available in multiple languages.”

Since 2000, the City’s Community Technology Program has been collecting extensive and statistically valid data on residential use of cable TV, broadband adoption and uses (including health, work, education, finance and civic engagement), barriers to broadband adoption, use of online city services, and customer service needs. The measures used were based on goals for a technology-healthy city developed in collaboration with the City’s volunteer Technology Advisory Board.

Nine focus groups were also conducted to help understand the needs of communities who are often under-represented in the online and phone surveys or may be technologically-underserved.

Findings of the report include:

  • The report finds that 85 percent of Seattle residents have Internet at home and that more residents now own laptops than desktop computers.
  • Since 2009, Seattle has seen mobile phone ownership grow by 11 percent (80 to 89 percent), and has seen a 66 percent growth in the number of residents with smart phones (35 to 58 percent).
  • Broadband and cable TV prices continue to be of concern, but increasing broadband speed is important to those surveyed, with high interest in using higher bandwidth applications.
  • Cable subscribership has dropped 13 percent in the past four years as options for viewing video over the internet have grown.
  • Lower income residents have lower-speed broadband service, though a broad cross section of Seattle residents are interested in using higher speed internet services for activities like medical appointments or taking classes.
  • The study funds that there is still a significant gap in access to internet and the skills to use it, though the digital equity gap is more focused in skills and uses of the internet than on basic access.
  • Email was noted as the preferred way for residents to give their opinion to a community group or the City.
  • Education and age are the most significant factors differentiating technology access and adoption, but the data also shows important differences based on the income, ethnicity, and abilities of those surveyed.
  • The research also found that those with less education tend to make less use of the internet than users with more education.

For more information, visit www.seattle.gov/tech/indicators or contact communitytechnology@seattle.gov or 206-386-9759.

Mayor recommends projects to promote broadband, digital literacy

Mayor Mike McGinn is recommending 24 community based technology  projects for support through the City’s 2013 Technology Matching Fund. These broadband adoption and digital literacy projects are being forwarded to City Council.  See the list of projects and more information in the press release.

Mayor at Ethiopian Community in Seattle computer learning center

Mayor McGinn at the Ethiopian Community in Seattle computer learning center, a Technology Matching Fund recipient. The center is located in Rainier Beach.

Great Turnout at Hack for Change – Seattle

Thank you to all who joined us!

 More than 100 software developers and 50 Washington MESA students, coaches and parents gave up a lovely Seattle Saturday to gather at Seattle City Hall for Hack for Change – Seattle, part of the National Day of Civic Hacking.  Developers formed teams to use from data.seattle.gov, and other open data sources to create applications such as an online parks features inventory, customized calendars and feral cat relocation tracking.  At the end of the day the MESA teams presented their apps designed to help students manage their time and assignments.

Hack for Change – Seattle presenters, the City of Seattle and Code for Seattle are delighted to thank:

  • Event sponsor and data.seattle.gov hosts, Socrata who not only provided Mighty-O donuts and a fine lunch from Husky Deli, but showed up in force to lend a hand and stayed all day.  Special thanks to Will Pugh for leading the Open Data Workshop, and Bryant Lau and Saf Raban for handling all the arrangements. 
  • Washington MESA, especially Phyllis Harvey-Buschel.  It was a treat to have you all there and to see the results of all your hard work.  Congratulations to all of you!
  • Data gurus Will Saunders from the State of Washington, Al Boss from King County, and Neil Berry from data.seattle.gov

And finally, many, many thanks to everyone who participated!  It was truly amazing to watch you work and see how much you accomplished with open data in a few short hours!

Hack for Change – Seattle: TOMORROW!

#Hack4Seattle

#Hack4Seattle

We’re putting the final touches on tomorrow’s Hack for Change – Seattle event and wanted to share the following updates with you:

  • 100 coders are signed up to attend and transform the datasets at data.seattle.gov into functional applications.
  • More than 40 high-school students, MESA Advisors and parents from the MESA Washington program will also attend Hack for Change Seattle. MESA students are developing an application to address the problem of managing students’ assignments and projects. The students’ application is called “MESA Solutions for Learning” which should make managing any student tasks fun, inspiring and attainable for the struggling, as well as motivated, students. Learn more here.

If you can’t make it to Hack for Change – Seattle, you don’t have to miss all of the fun.

  • The event will be live-streamed at http://seattlewiki.net/Hack4Change
  • Follow the live-tweeting and blogging with #Hack4Seattle
  • Watch what is happening nationally – there are over 90 events like this happening – by visiting hackforchange.org or following the #hackforchange and #civichacking hashtags.

 

MESA Students join Hack for Change – Seattle

We’re thrilled that more than 40 students, MESA Advisors and parents from the MESA Washington program will join Hack for Change – Seattle on Saturday, June 1. MESA students are developing an application to address the problem of managing students’ assignments and projects. The students’ application is called “MESA Solutions for Learning” which should make managing any student tasks fun, inspiring and attainable for the struggling, as well as motivated, students.

The high-school students will also work with software developers in workshops and open-data advocates to build applications and visualizations. These applications are based on the data available on data.seattle.gov, Seattle’s open data platform. The day-long event will culminate in the presentation and judging of MESA team projects, and awarding prizes to the winners.

Register to join the MESA students at Hack for Change – Seattle at: RSVP

For more information, visit codeforseattle.org or follow #Hack4Seattle on Twitter or seattle.opendata on Facebook.

 

Thanks to 2,931 Seattle residents!

A big THANK YOU to more than 2,900 residents who completed our residential technology survey!

Over the past few months, 803 people completed our random phone survey and 2,128 people took the survey online.  Thank you for caring about Seattle’s technological future and taking the time to tell us how we can communicate more effectively throughout the city.

Your survey responses will help guide the City of Seattle’s work on digital equity, broadband services, public outreach and engagement, cable franchising, the Seattle Channel, and the City’s web and social media.  We also hope your responses will be useful to community groups and educators, and others planning to deliver information and applications to our diverse residents.

If you’d like to receive a note when the results come out, email us at communitytechnology@seattle.gov.

THANK YOU.