Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell

Archive for May, 2012

May 17 2012

City of Seattle seeking candidates for Human Rights Commission

Press Release Issued: 5/15/12

SEATTLE – The Seattle Human Rights Commission is seeking to fill five Commissioner positions. The Commission advises the Mayor and City Council on human rights and social justice issues.

The Commission works with the Director of the Office for Civil Rights to end discrimination based on race, religion, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, political ideology, ancestry, age, marital and parental status, disability, Section 8 status, and retaliation. The Commission works to have an impact on the lives of people in Seattle through its policy work and community outreach.

“I am proud to work with the City’s Human Rights Commission,” said Councilmember Harrell. “The Commission continues to play a vital role in hearing discrimination appeals and shaping the City’s dialogue on human rights for all Seattle residents.”

Participation in the Commission requires a minimum time commitment of 10-15 hours per month. This includes attendance at monthly meetings held the first Thursday of each month in the evening, participation in committee work, meeting with city departments, lobbying the state legislature, and addressing human rights concerns.

The Commission also hears and adjudicates appeals of discrimination cases from the Seattle Office for Civil Rights. Commissioners are appointed to two-year terms and all appointments are subject to confirmation by the Seattle City Council. Commissioners must reside within the City of Seattle. The Commission is particularly interested in applicants with backgrounds in human rights, education, law, public policy, and advocacy. Commissioners serve without compensation.

To be considered, send a letter of interest and resume to felicia.yearwood@seattle.gov by May 31, 2012.
Or mail to: Felicia Yearwood
Seattle Human Rights Commission
810 Third Avenue, Suite 750
Seattle, WA 98104-1627

The City is committed to promoting diversity in its commissions. Women, people with disabilities, youth, sexual minorities, and people of color are encouraged to apply.

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May 16 2012

Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell’s statement on the next step to bring back the Sonics

My statement regarding agreement on proposed new sports arena:

Today, Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, released the following statement in response to the agreement reached by Chris Hansen, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Mayor Mike McGinn on a new multi-purpose sports arena. The agreement includes no new taxes to build a new arena.

“The potential $800 million dollar private investment in a new arena and NBA/NHL team is nationally unprecedented. We will assure unparalleled security provisions to protect taxpayers. The Sonics left four years ago and to speak bluntly, this could be our one shot, one opportunity to bring the Sonics back for a long time.”

“It is important for the public to understand that the proposed arena project will be self-financed through the use of revenue that would not exist without the project. Admissions tax, parking tax, sales tax, business & occupation tax, and property tax from arena operations will pay back the City bonds. The Council will be diligent, prudent and timely in reviewing this agreement. I understand the importance of the port and maritime industry and I look forward to working with them to protect their future and the $3 billion in revenue they bring to our region.”

“I applaud Mr. Hansen, the Executive and the Mayor for transmitting the proposed Memorandum of Understanding and the Interlocal agreement to the City and County Council and the ball is now in our court in moving this forward.”

“The team formerly known as the SuperSonics will play the Lakers tonight and I can only imagine the buzz and energy in this town.”

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May 14 2012

Council Passes Resolution 31380 to Regulate Corporate Political Spending

Published by under Featured

The City Council passed Resolution 31380 this afternoon to regulate corporate political spending. As you may recall, in 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporate entities have the same rights as individuals to unrestricted spending on political speech. As a result, unlimited corporate spending joined individual big donors to influence campaigns, elections, and lawmaking. Independent Expenditures jumped to $294.2 million in the 2010 election cycle from just $68.9 million in the 2006 cycle. This is no way to run a democracy. All campaign donations should be subject to public disclosure and full transparency. In a January 2012 poll, only 54% of registered voters are aware of this problem. This is about the character of our country and it started with the good hearts and minds of more than 50 people who testified at Full Council this afternoon.

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May 09 2012

Cultural Competency and Bias

I am hosting a brown bag discussion next week with Dr. Edwin Nichols on Cultural Competency and Bias. Dr. Edwin Nichols is a nationally renowned psychologist specializing in organizational development and the philosophical aspects of cultural difference.
Thursday, May 17, 12:30—1:30 p.m.
Council Chambers, Seattle City Hall
600 Fourth Avenue, Second floor
Seattle, WA 98104

Dr. Edwin J. Nichols, Ph.D
Director of Nichols & Associates, Inc.
www.Ejnichols.org

Edwin Nichols is a clinical/industrial psychologist specializing in organizational development. He is currently director of Nichols and Associates, Inc., an applied behavioral science firm that focuses on the philosophical aspects of cultural difference. He has served as a consultant and trainer of trainers to Fortune 500 companies, national and international government agencies and health and mental health systems.

Dr. Nichols previously held various clinical administrative positions at the National Institute of Mental Health. He was visiting professor at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, where he established a child’s clinic for psychological assessment and evaluation. He served as associate director of the Cleveland Job Corps Center for Women, taught psychiatry at Meharry Medical college in Nashville and worked at Kansas Neurological Institute, an affiliate of the Menninger Foundation, in Topeka. He has consulted with organizations in Argentina, Austria, Canada, Columbia, Germany, Guyana, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Venezuela. He has worked since 1997 with organizations in China, Malaysia and Singapore specifically on developing culturally competent global managers.

He is graduate of Assumption College in Canada, Eberhardt-Karls Universitat in Germany and Leopold-Franzens Universitat in Austria, where he received his Ph.D. cum laude in psychology and psychiatry. He is a fellow of the Austrian Ministry of Education, a visiting scholar for the Rockefeller Foundation at the Bellagio Study Center in Italy, and a distinguished clinical psychologist for Harvard University Foundation.

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May 09 2012

Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell’s message to students: Don’t text and drive

News Release issued May 9, 2012.

Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell’s message to students:
Don’t text and drive

SEATTLE – In an effort to raise awareness of the dangers of texting and driving, Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Seattle City Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, met with students at Garfield High School this morning to discuss the issue.

The Peer Awareness Foundation and AT&T made available a driving simulator on campus to demonstrate how dangerous it is to text and drive. Students had the opportunity to sit behind the wheel of a real car and experience the dangerous impact of texting while driving through a pair of virtual reality goggles.

“Driving and texting is against the law. Fatalities related to distracted driving are among the highest for people under the age of 20,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell. “Do not risk your life and the lives of others by thumbing lol, cul8r, ttyl, idk, gtg; no text message is worth the risk. Education is the answer for this national epidemic and we will work with teen drivers, families, and schools to stop this.”

This educational program is part of AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign, a national effort to educate the public about the dangers of texting while driving.

Below are some startling facts about texting and driving:
• Slower reaction time when required to brake:
-Unimpaired: .54 seconds to brake
-Legally drunk: add 4 feet
-Reading email: add 36 feet
-Sending a text: add 70 feet
• Texting takes your eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field completely blind.
• Those who send text messages while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a crash.
• Some studies indicate that texting while driving is twenty times more dangerous than drinking and driving.
• One in three teens sends more than 100 text messages a day, or 3000 texts a month.
• One in three texting teens ages 16-17, say they have texted while driving.
• 48% of all teens ages 12-17 say they have been in a car when the driver was texting.

For more information, visit: http://www.seattle.gov/council/harrell/donttextanddrive.htm

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May 04 2012

Evergreen Apps contest invites new uses for government data

News Release issued with the Department of Information Technology – May 2, 2012.

Evergreen Apps contest invites new uses for government data

First Startup Weekend Government announces awards

SEATTLE – During the first ever Startup Weekend Government held at Seattle City Hall, Mayor Mike McGinn announced the Evergreen Apps Challenge to more than 120 developers, entrepreneurs and community members. The Evergreen Apps Challenge is a partnership between the City of Seattle, King County and Washington State designed to encourage the development of applications using government data while stimulating economic development throughout our state.

“After seeing what ten great teams could accomplish over the course of a weekend, I am very excited to see what the public will generate in the next five months for the Evergreen Apps Contest,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee. “We hope the awards give the Startup Weekend Gov teams incentive to keep going and encourage even more people to participate in this inclusive apps challenge.”

The following five applications won awards at Startup Weekend Gov.
• First place (tie): WhichBus, which combines trip planning and real-time arrival info in one app, and includes a great Twilio-powered SMS interface that lets you text [starting address] – [ending address] to 206-745-6287 and texts you back a bus itinerary, complete with arrival times. Art Rover, which uses the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs public art database on data.seattle.gov, among other sources, to create walking maps of public art for tourists and scavenger hunts for locals.
• Second Place: Reporta, a quick & easy way to report issues in your neighborhood to the City in the same data format the City uses.
• Third place: Civic Rally, a cross between Kickstarter and the Neighborhood Matching Fund that lets community members post projects and solicit money and volunteer time from their neighbors to complete them.
• Honorable mention: My Spot, a smartphone app that would let you pay for parking, remind you when your time is up, and let you feed the meter remotely.

Developers across the state are invited to participate in the Evergreen Apps Challenge. Ideas can be shared at the Evergreen Apps ideascale site. Developers looking for an idea for an app to build can look there for suggestions as well.

“Washington’s digital economy, from broadband to software to e-commerce, is key to our recovery, growth and competitiveness – it’s part of what makes this a great state to launch your ideas,” said Rogers Weed, Washington State Commerce Director. “The Evergreen Apps Challenge brings together state, county, city and private talent to help government reach citizens and help Washington companies reach markets. I’d like to thank and encourage the companies, agencies and individuals who are trying out this innovative opportunity to solve civic and economic challenges.”

Prize money based on quality, implementation and impact

The Evergreen Apps Challenge is open to people who live, work or study in Washington State. More than 10 prizes totaling over $75,000 is available for award winning apps based on their quality, implementation, and potential impact on WA state, King County and Seattle residents and visitors.

This challenge will officially open on July 9, 2012, and close on September 6, 2012. Further details and requirements for entry will be announced in the coming weeks at www.evergreenapps.org

Browse the available open data sets from the three sponsors at:
• City of Seattle: http://data.seattle.gov
• King County: www.datakc.org
• Washington State: http://data.wa.gov

The competition is funded in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) through the Washington State Broadband Office in the Department of Commerce. It will promote the goals of the national broadband plan, and will help drive demand for broadband services among mobile users across the state by demonstrating the value of connecting with information and services from the state’s digital economy.

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