Video Voters’ Guide for the General Election Launches

The Seattle Channel's non-partisan video voter's guide.

The Seattle Channel’s non-partisan video voter’s guide.

We told you about the Seattle and King County Video Voters’ Guide for the primary election last July. Now we’re approaching the general election.

– Want a transparent look at the candidates and issues on the Nov. 3 general-election ballot? With the launch of the 2015 general-election Video Voters’ Guide, voters can hear directly from the candidates for various offices as well as learn about city of Seattle and King County ballot measures.

The non-partisan video guide offers candidates on the ballot up to two minutes to issue a prepared statement that outlines the key planks of their platform. Proponents and opponents of ballot measures also issue short statements. The segments are unedited and published online and broadcast on local television. In all, the guide features 42 video statements, which are captioned for increased accessibility.

The Video Voters’ Guide is available on Seattle Channel’s website at For easy reference, the video statements are organized by race and ballot measure. City and county versions of the Video Voters’ Guide are also airing on Seattle Channel cable channel 21 and King County TV cable channel 22.

“The Video Voters’ Guide is a unique and valuable public resource. It allows voters to hear directly from the candidates and weigh statements on ballot measures,” said John Giamberso, Seattle Channel’s general manager. “Working with our partners, we’re pleased to provide this comprehensive guide which offers another vantage point for voters. The guide brings to life the candidates and the issues in a convenient format.”

The Video Voters’ Guide features candidates who will appear on the ballot for Seattle City Council and Seattle School Board. New this year, seven City Council members will be elected by district, with two others elected citywide. The guide also features candidates for seats on the Port of Seattle Commission, Metropolitan King County Council, director of the King County Department of Elections and King County Assessor.

The guide also features pro and con statements for several city and county ballot measures: the city’s Proposition 1 property-tax request, known as the Move Seattle transportation levy; Initiative 122, which would make changes to the way city elections are funded; a county levy to fund early-childhood programs, known as the Best Start for Kids levy; and King County Charter Amendment No. 1, which would strengthen the role of the county’s civilian Office of Law Enforcement Oversight.

Primary ballots must be postmarked or returned to a ballot drop box by 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 3.

The Video Voters’ Guide is a project of Seattle Channel, Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission and King County TV.

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.

Seattle Is Rolling Out Its Innovative Privacy Program

The City of Seattle continues to lead the nation in protecting citizens’ privacy.  Last fall, the Mayor and City Council launched the City’s new Privacy Initiative.  In February 2015, Seattle’s Privacy Principle’s were announced.

privacytoolkitThe next phase, the toolkit for Seattle’s Privacy Initiative, is now being implemented.  The toolkit will guide City departments on how to incorporate these principles into daily operations.

“Seattle is leading the nation to implement a comprehensive privacy program across all City departments,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “Our privacy principles are designed to protect individual privacy while still providing government transparency.”

The Privacy Toolkit will provide guidelines for how each department will implement a privacy assessment. Departments will also identify a privacy champion who will work with a privacy manager at the Department of Information Technology.

“This is a game changer in how we operate and do business to ensure we uphold the highest standard for your privacy,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee. “We have come up with the right balance of transparency, accountability and flexibility.”

The privacy principles and the toolkit were created by an interdepartmental team comprised of more than 10 departments and an external Privacy Advisory Committee comprised of community members and privacy experts from private industry, law firms, privacy advocates and academia. The mayor’s budget for 2016 includes funding for a Chief Privacy Officer for the City who will be charged with implementing the principles.

“This is the first time any city in the country has taken steps to protect the public’s private information whenever possible,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien. “This groundbreaking toolkit will help city employees think proactively about potential privacy implications with regards to any data or personal information we collect in the course of regular City business or when evaluating a new policy or program,”

In November 2014, the City launched its Privacy Initiative, led by the Seattle Police Department and Department of Information Technology. The initiative defined how the City collects, uses, and disposes of data in a manner that balances the needs of the City to conduct its business with individual privacy. For more information on the City’s Privacy Initiative, visit

Seattle is one of the first cities in the nation to establish its own privacy principles to protect personal information. City partners and vendors are instructed to follow the same guidelines.


From Data to Action: Open Data and You

SPLlogo“Open Data” is one of the most popular phrases in technology right now, but what exactly does it mean? More importantly, how can you use it to make a positive impact on your life and society? It’s not as intimidating as it sounds. Learn more at an event on Tuesday October 13 at the Seattle Public Library’s central location in downtown Seattle.

Join us as our panelists introduce you to data that is open and available, and how to make it work for your project. They will discuss:

  • resources for open data on a range of topics, with a special focus on
  • ways to combine data sets and make maps
  • best ways to learn about data if you are starting out on a project
  • examples of the creative ways people have used open data

Bring your questions, data-related or otherwise!


  • Ryan Biava, ‎Senior Policy Advisor, Mayor’s Office of Policy & Innovation
  • Abe Diaz, Mobile Program Manager at NBC-Universal, Inc. and Independent Developer
  • Amy Laurent, Assessment, Policy Development and Evaluation Unit, Public Health, Seattle & King County
  • Domonique Meeks, Masters of Science Information Management graduate student at the University of Washington and the co-organizer of Hack The CD
  • Jenny Muilenburg, Data Curriculum and Communications Librarian, University of Washington Libraries Research Commons


  • Jim Loter, Director, Information Technology, The Seattle Public Library

Tuesday, October 13 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

It’s free, but space is limited. For more information,  call the Central Library 206-386-4636 or Ask a Librarian

National Radio Day

August 20, 2015 is National Radio Day

August 20, 2015 is National Radio Day

National Radio Day is a celebration of the history of radio. Radio serves many people in many ways: on the community level, providing a voice and a platform for those who often struggle to be heard, on the local level, entertaining and informing when critical news breaks and on the national level, with a sense of immediacy and detail that other mediums can’t quite replicate.

On August 20th, there will be a celebration at the Seattle Central Library Plaza from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m that will include a pop up station. Seattle has plenty to celebrate – seven new low-power FM neighborhood radio stations. They’ll cover 90% of the city and be community resources, like The Seattle Public Library.

The Seattle Public Library has even come up with a reading list covering broadcast radio, HAM radio and more.

For more information, go to


Seattle Chosen as Part of “What Works”

The City of Seattle is a leader in utilizing Open Data.  Websites like  and have demonstrated the City’s commitment and effective use of open data resources.

Performance Seattle home page.

Performance Seattle home page.

Now, Bloomberg Charities just chose Seattle as one of the first eight cities to participate in the “What Works Cities” program.

In the next three years, Bloomberg Charities will give 100 cities part of a $42 million initiative aimed at helping cities develop data-driven projects that improve their communities.

Seattle will focus on integrating data and evidence into their contracts to achieve better results.

To learn more and apply to be a What Works City, visit

2014 was a year of accomplishment and transition for the Seattle Department of Information Technology.

The Annual Report also shows what DoIt has learned about internet access and use in Seattle

The Annual Report also shows what DoIt has learned about internet access and use in Seattle

Seattle Channel took home many Emmy Awards. DoIT laid the groundwork for Seattle’s national leadership on our municipal Privacy Principles and Toolkits. We also transferred just over 55% of the City’s 102,000 Web pages into our Content Management System (CMS) and ramped up the migration to the cloud in Office 365.

You can read about these accomplishments and more in the City of Seattle Department of Information Technology 2014 Annual Report.

The projects, metrics and analytics that were either started or completed in 2014 you can find them: our digital cities survey, the technology access and adoption report, infrastructure enhancements, WMBE purchasing, uptime statistics and much more.

2014 was a year where DoIT moved forward with major projects that will take years for completion, while, at the same time, accomplishing some very distinguished goals within the calendar year. The City of Seattle Department of Information Technology 2014 Annual Report  is an user-friendly accounting of DoIt’s accomplishments, metrics and outlook for the future.

Shaping Seattle Lets You Swipe Through The Construction

Construction. Sometimes it seems like it’s happening everywhere in the City of Seattle.

A wide aerial view of active Seattle development projects that require Design Review.

A wide road view of active Seattle development projects that require Design Review

Now, with a new online map, you can easily keep up with every project on your desktop, laptop or mobile device.

Mayor Ed Murray announced Shaping Seattle: Buildings, a new interactive tool from the Department of Planning and Development. It’s an interactive, online map that provides locations and detailed information of active Seattle development projects that require Design Review.

An aerial view of projects in the South Lake Union area of Seattle.

An aerial view of projects in the South Lake Union area of Seattle.

Shaping Seattle: Buildings offers both road (blue) and aerial views (above).

The interactive map gives you many detailed options and opportunities to comment online and in person.

The interactive map gives you many detailed options and opportunities to comment online and in person.

The app gives users the ability to:

  • View proposed building design and project status
  • Download project documents
  • Comment on the project
  • View upcoming public meetings about the project

You can click on any project and it brings up more detail including the timeline and any upcoming public meetings.

The app was designed using a mobile first approach and uses location awareness. The app was developed with flexibility to scale and add new map layers and additional data sets. It was developed by the IT team of Ken Schell, Julie Gephart, Reiko Feinstein and Tara Zaremba in collaboration with key business staff. From concept through implementation, the team delivered in just under 4 months.