Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell

Archive for October, 2009

Oct 26 2009

What else can Seattle do to help address the digital divide?

I am currently in the process of working with local high-speed Internet providers and the Office of Cable Communications to develop a “Project Share” program to help low-income residents receive access to affordable high-speed Internet service. For example and to use Comcast as an example, I want to explore the possibility of soliciting from customers a small voluntary donation that can be used to help those who are unable to obtain Internet access. I have previously written about how Internet access is a potential gateway relative to education, job opportunities, training, networking and economic growth.

I will request the Department of Information Technology via a Statement of Legislative Intent (SLI) during this year’s budget to report back to Council next year on the implementation of this new program.

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Oct 20 2009

Special Energy and Technology Committee Meetings to Discuss City Light Budget, Rate Process and Financial Policies

The City Council’s Energy and Technology Committee (ETC) will meet on Wednesday, October 21 at 9:30 a.m. to discuss Seattle City Light’s proposed budget, rate adjustment process, and revenue requirements. The meeting will be the first of three final meetings on the rate process and its components. Jorge Carrasco, City Light Superintendent, will brief the Committee, along with other City Light officers and Council’s central staff. In addition the ETC will hold special meetings Wednesday, November 4th at 5:30 p.m. and Thursday, November 5th at 2:00 p.m. I am encouraging the public attend the meetings and voice their opinion.

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Oct 18 2009

“Performance First” Launched

Councilmember Harrell and PSRC Launch “Performance First”
Program boosts regional business organizations, minority-owned businesses

SEATTLE – On Oct. 15, Councilmember Bruce Harrell and the Puget Sound Regional Council’s (PSRC) Prosperity Partnership launched the “Performance First” program and website. Performance First was developed in response to the Prosperity Partnership’s regional economic strategy, and its focus on supporting small business and entrepreneurship in creating jobs and ensuring long-term economic prosperity. This innovative new program helps large employers in the region – including current participants like Swedish Hospital, Puget Sound Energy and Starbucks – implement best practices that include minority-owned businesses in their procurement and purchasing efforts.

“Our quality of life, as we know it in this region, is at stake,” said Councilmember Harrell, chair of Performance First. “The PSRC and the Prosperity Partnership are committed to protecting it, and this program helps companies boost the bottom line and better connect to their customers by more effectively partnering with minority-owned businesses.” Harrell also emphasizes the importance of companies learning to use changing demographics to their strategic advantage.

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Oct 11 2009

Burl Garnett Jr. vs. SDOT: A Happy Outcome

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For fifteen years Burl Garnett, Jr. reluctantly put up with a 4-way “right turn only” traffic star in his neighborhood. Well, Burl decided he was not going to put up with it anymore! You see, the star intersection at 44th Avenue South and South Holly (the only one of its kind in the city) caused Burl, his neighbors and visitors to drive blocks out of their way because of the “right turn only” situation. Disobedience would often times result in a traffic citation. It suffices to say that Burl and his neighbors decided to take this matter into their own hands and correct the situation.

In January of 2009 Burl successfully gathered enough signatures for a petition to have the traffic star changed to a traffic circle that would allow turns in all directions. However, he encountered bureaucratic roadblocks at the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) which made it difficult for the neighborhood’s request to have the star removed become a reality. Burl placed a call to my office for help. My staff assisted Burl along with SDOT’s Tracy Burrows and Luke Korpi in making the star become a circle. But the real hero in this is Burl Garnett, Jr. I commend him for his tenacity to get this job done. Great job Burl!

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Oct 08 2009

Gov. Gregoire appoints Joanne Harrell to UW Board of Regents

Published by under Community Leaders

I am excited to share with you the exciting news of Joanne Harrell’s appointment to the UW Board of Regents. I am honored that she is being recognized for her commitment to the University of Washington and this region. Thank you Governor Chris Gregoire for this fantastic appointment.

For Release: Immediate
Date: Oct. 8, 2009
Media Contact: Governor’s Communications Office
Phone: 360-902-4136

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today announced the appointment of Joanne Harrell to the University of Washington Board of Regents. Harrell is the chief of staff for the Original Equipment Manufacturing division at Microsoft, where she has worked for the past eight years.

“Joanne brings an extensive history of service to this position,” Gregoire said. “Not only is her career experience impressive, her willingness to give back to her community is admirable. I know Joanne will add additional leadership to the board of regents, and will serve her alma mater well.”

Harrell graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications. She later earned a Master of Business Administration in marketing at the Foster School of Business before being appointed trustee at UW’s Evans School of Public Affairs.

“I am deeply honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve the University of Washington, as well as all Washington state citizens,” Harrell said. “This is a rare opportunity to give back to my alma mater – which gave me so much, and work with an impressive team to further improve our state’s higher education system.”

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Oct 04 2009

What We are Doing to Prepare for Plug-in Electric Vehicles

During the budget process of 2009, my ETC committee developed a Statement of Legislative Intent (SLI) which directed Seattle City Light to explore policies and procedures meant to encourage and accommodate the use of plug-in electric vehicles in Seattle (EVs). Given the overlapping policy issues of building an electric vehicle infrastructure, theses efforts are being handled jointly by our Office of Sustainability and Environment (OSE) and City Light.

EVs are coming to Seattle. We currently have 150 EVs registered in our city which are mostly the “neighborhood electric vehicles” that are not permitted to exceed 35 MPH. As the technology continues to emerge, the number of EVs on our streets and highways will grow.

On September 30, 2009 at our Energy and Technology Committee meeting, I requested the Interim Director of OSE, Michael Mann to present the response to the Council’s SLI. Following is language from OSE and City Light’s SLI response which describes steps to ensure that our city is prepared for electric passenger vehicles in the fall of 2010. I think you will find it interesting.

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