Community Stories: A Decade Celebrating Diversity


Seattle Channel is celebrating 10 years of “Community Stories”, the documentary series that spotlights Seattle communities with a focus on diversity and inclusion.

In her blog, Community Stories producer Shannon Gee writes, “Since that first summer in 2005, Community Stories has told inspiring stories from all over the city. We met the tireless volunteers at Seattle’s VA Hospital; saw how Helping Link teaches computer literacy skills and English to Vietnamese immigrants; and followed the Post-Prison Education Program, which provides college tuition for ex-cons.”

She adds, “We met a lot of firsts, too. Harold Mills, the first African American hydroplane racer at Seafair. Bonnie Beers, the city of Seattle’s first female firefighter. Dr. Ruby Shu, the first Japanese American female doctor in Seattle. We examined history with the story of slain Seattle Filipino American and fishing cannery activists Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes and looked back at how Seattle responded to the emerging AIDS crisis in the 1980s. We said hello to new Hillman City coffee shop Tin Umbrella and goodbye to the beloved Bailey/Coy Books on Broadway.”

In 10 years, Community Stories has been honored with more than 30 Northwest Emmy™ nominations, including five for the series overall, and 10 wins. The latest win was this year. Ian Devier won a Northwest Regional Emmy Award for his editing of “Honor Totem.” The awards didn’t end there.

honortotemyoutubepicIn June, the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) recognized the Seattle Channel with a 2015 Kaleidoscope Award, which honors outstanding achievements in the coverage of diversity. “Honor Totem” is a documentary which chronicled the carving of a totem pole to honor John T. Williams, a First Nations woodcarver who was fatally shot by a Seattle police officer in August 2010. It also detailed the artistic legacy of his family.

Congratulations to Shannon Gee, Ian Devier and everyone at Seattle Channel for 10 years of quality storytelling. Here’s to many more years of celebrating the stories of people who are often overlooked and ignored, but that doesn’t make their voices any less important.

If you’d like to submit story input, want further information or might have a suggestion for Community Stories, please contact Community Stories Senior Producer Shannon Gee at

Watch the Seattle Channel’s elections coverage and remember to vote by Tuesday, November 6

This is the first Presidential Election that King County has voted all by mail. Voters are reminded to turn ballots into ballot drop boxes before 8 pm on November 6 or make sure the ballot is postmarked November 6 or earlier.

If you’re a new voter and you haven’t registered yet, it’s not too late. New voters can register in person until Oct 29. Here’s how:

Registered voters should receive ballots no later than October 23. Track your ballot packet and get questions answered at

The Seattle Channel has covered the election during the last few weeks, and a roundup of the video election coverage can be found below:

 Don’t forget to vote on or before Nov. 6!

Evergreen Apps Challenge winners announced

Over $75,000 in prizes was awarded in the Evergreen Apps Challenge on October 1 at Seattle City Hall. See the list of winners and try out their apps at

Entries were reviewed by a panel of expert judges, including Francis Benjamin, of Washington State University; Adam Gentz, of BizXchange; Mónica Guzmán, of Geekwire; Susannah Malarkey, Executive Director of the Technology Alliance; Manny Medina, CEO of GroupTalent; Jason Preston, co-founder of Dent the Future; and Bill Schrier, Deputy Director of the Center for Digital Government.

Read what judge Monica Guzman had to say in her Seattle Times blog at

The apps were assessed against a range of criteria including innovation, user experience and design, potential impact on Washington State, King County, and/or Seattle residents, visitors and businesses. They also had to be available for public use for the next year.

More than 100 people joined dignataries at the awards event, which  included Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and Washington Governor Chris Gregoire (via video).

Evergreen Apps Challenge to award $75,000 in prizes at Oct 1 event

Winners of the Evergreen Apps Challenge will be named on October 1, 2012, at Seattle City Hall. Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine will kick off  the event with $75,000 in prizes  awarded for the best new civic apps, including two people’s choice awards. The people’s choice awards will be decided by those in attendance and everyone who registers gets a vote.

 “The intersection of technology and society inspire our storytelling at GeekWire, and this event combines these themes along with one that is close to my heart: doing well by doing good.  I can’t wait to see what the app developer community has created for this challenge,” said Rebecca Lovell of GeekWire, who is emceeing the awards ceremony.

Registration is free at The event will be held Monday, October 1, in the Bertha Knight Landes Room, Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Avenue, in Seattle, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Music and light refreshments will be provided.

See entire announcement here:



$75,000 in prizes for best apps – deadline Sept 6

The State of Washington, King County, and the City of Seattle are alerting local applications developers that the deadline for submitting apps to the Evergreen Apps Challenge is only one week away. Eligible entries should be submitted before 5 pm PST on Thursday, Sept 6.

The Challenge is open to people who live, work or study in Washington State and Washington small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

 “The Evergreen Apps Challenge encourages people to find interesting and innovative ways to use government data to improve their community”, said Ted Schmitt, chair of Seattle’s Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board. “This is a great opportunity for application developers, designers, entrepreneurs and anyone with ideas for improving their community to leverage the data our government creates everyday to create fun, useful and accessible tools for everyone.”

 The StateCounty, and City have all made datasets available for public use, though any data about Washington State, King County or Seattle can be used for the challenge. Review detailed rules at to see if your application or idea is eligible.

 Prizes will be awarded on October 1 at a celebration at Seattle Center.



What do you want to ask Mayor McGinn?

Wednesday, August 22, at 7 p.m. is Ask The Mayor on the Seattle Channel. Got a burning question?  

Here’s how to get your question to Mayor McGinn:

  1. Call 206-684-8821 during the live show from 7-8 p.m. on Wed., Aug. 22.
  2. Email:
  3. Submit a question online:
  4. Twitter: @SeattleChannel
  5. Facebook:


15 Organizations Receive 2012 Boost grants

The Department of Information Technology has awarded the 2012 Communities Online Boost Grant to 15 Seattle organizations.   Funds of up to $1000 per organization were used to help enhance the use of online tools for community building and civic engagement. Congratulations to the following organizations awarded Boost Grants for 2012:

206 Zulu – The goals of the 206 Zulu project are to update their website as the ultimate resource hub for all things Hip Hop and community related. The site will include content and resources for the community to learn about the local history, news, resource directory, access archived multimedia, and be able to contribute their own stories through the site’s own integrated social media capabilities.

Afrique Service Center – The goals of Afrique Service Center’s project are to create a blog for their current website, creating an environment for community feedback and opportunities to collaborate on solutions to neighborhood and community issues.  The blog will also offer more opportunity to develop community partnerships, working together, and improving the local communities and neighborhoods

Backpack Academy – Backpack Academy will use Boost grant funds to develop a website for their local program, which will include a blog, event calendar and parent resources such as online registration and program schedule.  There will be a link to Seattle Public Schools and additional educational materials to help parents access their child’s student records and progress.

Coleman Neighborhood Association – The Colman Neighborhood Association will use Boost grant funds to transition their email listserv to a website using NextDoor.  They will also be purchasing 2 netbooks to be placed in two cafes where residents can go to blog and post other useful content relevant to their community.

El Centro de la Raza – The goals of this project are to create and online volunteer management system using their current Salesforce contact management system.  They anticipate this will lead to greater retention of their current volunteers and facilitate the recruitment of new volunteers, as more content will be available remotely.  They will continue to partner with NPower on this project as NPower originally created a customized Saleforce database for El Centro de la Raza.

El Comite Pro-Reforma Migratoria y Justicia Social – El Comite Pro-Reforma Migratoria y Justicia Social is seeking completely redesign their website, which will include a blogging feature, event calendar and education tool.  They will be using funds to purchase a desktop computer to better facilitate the upkeep of their site.

Feet First – Feet First will develop a widget for their current website that will allow city residents to report problem areas that prevent walkability.  The project will eventually lead to integration with a smart phone app.  Residents will be able to see the status of their actions, as this project will coordinate with SDOT and other city departments as needed.

Pinehurst Community Council – The goals of this project are to better integrate their web presence of their web blog/website ( and our Facebook and Twitter accounts using WordPress plugins and widgets.  They anticipate that by doing this they will be able to better focus on content and engaging with their audience, while making it easier for their audience to post content as well.

Powerful Voices – Powerful Voices will use grant funds to expand the use of social media to build community and connections with their stakeholders. The focus of this project is to continue implementing their strategies on these platforms: YouTube, Facebook, website, Pinterest and Constant Contact, while also launching a blog to support development of unique content.

Raja for Africa – Raja for Africa will use Boost grant funds to develop blogging capabilities for their website.  They will also be hosting classes for youth and parents to learn how to blog. The project seeks to have more engaged youth in news and blogging, building community through social media, developing user’s knowledge about Internet use, and promoting media literacy to generate real world impact.

South Beacon Hill Association – The South Beacon Hill Association will use Boost funds to create a website for their neighborhood, which will include a blogging feature, event calendar and feeds from the Seattle Police Department.

South Park Area Redevelopment Committee – The goals of the South Park Area Redevelopment Committee project will be to update their current home page with new website architecture.  The project will make it easier to navigate around the site; give a comprehensive overview of what the neighborhood has to offer; and give better connections to their government partners.

Southeast Seattle Education Coalition – SESEC has developed a basic WordPress website, This project will develop sister website pages branded for the All Fives in Five Action Summit. We will leverage WordPress functionality, including Event Manager, to manage the event and develop other functionality, including a members-only section where Action Teams can collaborate.

Unified Outreach – Unified Outreach will use Boost grant funds to expand their website to include updatable news/blog pages.  This new portion of the website will act as a hub for local artists and youth interested in participating in their charity’s programs.

Urban Financial Services Coalition – UFSC Puget Sound Chapter will upgrade their website by adding the capability of managing their contacts, connect with volunteers and to better interact with the community at-large.  They will be adding features such as a Community Talk link that will connect with government, exploring the use of Constant Contact to manage volunteer hours, and creating both volunteer and blog portals

Read more about the Seattle Communities Online Project, Neighborhoods on the Net, and access training materials and  resources at