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.

Get Online Seattle provides online job resources & tools

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NEWS RELEASE

Get Online Seattle provides online job resources and tools

SEATTLE (July 17, 2014) The City of Seattle has launched Get Online: Jobs & the Internet, an online toolbox for residents who are new to job searching on the web. The Seattle.gov/getonline web site and print materials provide information to help understand and manage your online presence, use the right tools for your job search, and tips for making job connections both on and offline.

Get Online Seattle education materials also promote options for affordable home Internet and locations with free access to computers and the Internet.

“Using the Internet is critical to finding and applying for jobs,” says Michael Mattmiller, Acting Chief Technology Officer for the City of Seattle. “This campaign is part of our effort to advance digital equity – ensuring all Seattleites have access to and proficiency using internet-based technologies.”

Jobs & the Internet is the second topic of the ongoing Get Online Seattle campaign to provide residents with the necessary skills to navigate the Internet, find content relevant to their needs, and access affordable Internet. The first topic focused on health resources, including what to look for in a reputable health site and what sites to avoid. The next Get Online Seattle campaign, to be launched in October, will focus on learning and education resources.

Visit www.seattle.gov/getonline for more information about the jobs campaign, resources and tips for use. Posters and leaflets are also available via the web site or by calling 206-233-7877.

The Get Online Seattle: Jobs & the Internet campaign is run by the City of Seattle’s Community Technology Program in partnership with the City’s Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board, Seattle Public Library, Seattle Goodwill, and YWCA Works.

The City of Seattle’s Department of Information Technology’s Community Technology Program works to ensure all residents have the opportunity to access online city services and get online for civic and cultural participation, education, and employment. For more information, visit http://www.seattle.gov/tech/.

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Contact Vicky Yuki at vicky.yuki@seattle.gov or 206-233-7877 for more information

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.

Low-cost Internet options, Comcast special until 3/18

Seattle was recently named 1 of 15 “Gold Medal” communities nationwide by Comcast. As a result, they’re offering six months of free Internet service through their Internet Essentials program, for eligible households who apply and are approved for their $10/month program by March 18, 2014, next Tuesday.  Their low-income discount is for families with students who qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Comcast is one of several companies in Seattle who offer Internet for low-income residents for around $10/month. They all have income and other eligibility guidelines for the discounted service.  The City of Seattle has more information about these programs and Solid Ground’s program to help residents with the choices on their community technology low cost Internet page.

CenturyLink Internet Basics (866) 541-3330

  • Eligible if on most public assistance programs (broader than Comcast)
  • Internet wired to your home via phone line
  • Laptop purchase available for $150
  • Not eligible if you have existing CenturyLink Internet service
  • Internet safety and education materials offered

Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program (855) 846-8376

  • Must have a child eligible for free or reduced lunch
  • Cable Internet wired to your home
  • Laptop purchase available for $150
  • Not eligible if you have existing Comcast Internet service
  • Internet safety and education materials offered

Interconnection/Mobile Citizen (Clear) (206) 633-1517

  • Offers Clear mobile Internet for $8 per month with laptop purchase or about $10 per month without laptop purchase
  • Eligible if on most public assistance programs
  • Refurbished  laptops with a full range of software for $99
  • They have a store in Seattle offering products and assistance

Looking for a computer to use or for computer training? Visit our Free Access to Computers and the Internet page for locations and hours of public access computer centers.

UPDATED: Critical Vulnerability in Apple iOS and OS X

UPDATED: 03/04/14

A patch for  Macs [OS X] has now been released by Apple.  Follow the instructions below to update your system.

Apple revealed a major vulnerability in its software that affects its devices, allowing hackers to intercept and alter communications such as email and login credentials.  Apple released a patch for iOS on Friday.  The vulnerability has been confirmed in iOS versions 6.1.5, 7.0.4, and 7.0.5, and OS X 10.9.0 and 10.9.1. Security researchers haven’t ruled out the possibility that earlier versions are also affected. Users should immediately update their iPhones and iPads to versions 7.0.6 or 6.1.6, preferably using a non-public network.

To patch your device(s):

  • Run “Software Update“ from your device’s “settings” menu   – OR -
  • Connect your device to your personal computer, open iTunes, select the device you just connected, and click the “Check for update” button.

For more details, see these articles:

http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/02/extremely-critical-crypto-flaw-in-ios-may-also-affect-fully-patched-macs/

http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2014-1266&cid=2

Tech Matching Fund Workshop Feb 4

Attend a Technology Matching Fund grant workshop on Tuesday, February 4 at 6:00 PM.  Here you will learn about the eligibility requirements, how to apply and what makes for a successful application.

The City is awarding matching grants of up to $20,000 per project to increase technology literacy or use of technology tools for civic engagement for Seattle residents.  The deadline to apply is March 12.

The workshop will be held:

Tuesday, February 4, 6:00 to 7:30 PM
Beacon Hill Library
2821 Beacon Avenue S
Seattle, 98144

The City is encouraging applications for community based civic engagement projects that build the digital skills of our residents, raise awareness of city resources online and use the internet, social media and/or mobile devices for community engagement and interaction with government.

For more information on the Technology Matching Fund, including history and success stories, visit www.seattle.gov/tech/tmf, email communitytechnology@seattle.gov or call Delia Burke at 206.233.2751.

Workshops offered for Technology Matching Funds

Student learning technology skillsThe 2014 Technology Matching Fund grant cycle is now open!

The City is awarding matching grants of up to $20,000 per project to increase technology literacy or use of technology tools for civic engagement for Seattle residents.  The deadline to apply is March 12th!

Important dates for grant applicants:

            Thursday, Jan. 30, 10 – 11:30 a.m., free grant workshop
            2100 Building, 2100 24th Avenue South, Seattle

            Tuesday, Feb. 4, 6 – 7:30p.m., free grant workshop
            Beacon Hill Library, 2821 Beacon Avenue South, Seattle

            March 12, Technology Matching Fund application deadline

The free grant workshops will both cover the same information: grant basics, how to apply, grant requirements and what makes a successful application.

The City is encouraging applications for community based civic engagement projects that build the digital skills of our residents, raise awareness of city resources online and use the internet, social media and/or mobile devices for community engagement and interaction with government.

For more information on the Technology Matching Fund, including history and success stories, visit www.seattle.gov/tech/tmf, email communitytechnology@seattle.gov or call Delia Burke at 206.233.2751.

December brainstorm eZine now online

The December Brainstorm, City of Seattle Community Technology Program eZine, is now online. View it here.

This month, we feature:

  • 2013 Brainstorm Survey;
  • Seattle Channel’s new mobile app;
  • Seattle hosts National League of Cities Congress & digital inclusion workshop;
  • Iu-Mien American Association’s new computer literacy program;
  • Seattle Public Library’s Tech Impact survey
  • Seattle the top Twitter trendsetter in US; and
  • Much, much more!

Contribute announcements and articles to vicky.yuki@seattle.gov or call Vicky at 206-233-7877 to discuss an article idea.

Enjoy!

City of Seattle Director named NATOA President

Tony Perez, the Director of the Office of Cable Communications in the City of Seattle’s Department of Information Technology was recently chosen by his peers to serve as the President of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) at their annual meeting in Orlando.

“I’m honored to serve as the President of NATOA,” said Perez of his presidency. “These are exciting times. We are in the midst of a technological revolution that is fundamentally changing the communications industry. The convergence of increased computing power and internet protocol is transforming traditional services like cable and voice into internet applications and enabling a revolution in mobile communications. As computing power and storage capacity increase, and become less expensive, the pace of change will accelerate.

“These advances have the potential to lead to increased consumer choice and better, more innovative services across a variety of platforms. However, they also present serious challenges to the interests of all local communities because the public interest benefits historically associated with traditional communications services may not survive this transformation. I look forward to working with NATOA members, other national organizations, the communications industry and the FCC to ensure that the social compact between communications providers and the communities they serve is preserved in an all IP environment.”

NATOA is the leading local government professional association that advises and supports its members on the many local, state, and federal communications laws, administrative rulings, judicial decisions, and technology issues impacting the interests of local governments.

Perez has served on the NATOA board of Directors for the last four years where he co-chaired the Community Broadband and Conference Planning committees. In addition to his work with NATOA, he also serves on the Federal Communications Commission Committee for Diversity in Communications in the Digital Age (Diversity Committee). The Diversity Committee makes recommendations to the FCC regarding policies and practices that will further enhance the ability of minorities and women to participate in telecommunications and related industries.