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Got 0 bytes response, method=default Response decode error Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell » Citizen Engagement

Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell

Archive for the 'Citizen Engagement' Category

Sep 08 2009

10 Technology Initiatives for 2010


Councilmember Harrell announces technology initiatives for 2010
Plan aims to improve city’s accountability, transparency, and effectiveness

SEATTLE – Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Chair of the Energy and Technology Committee, today proposed a Government and Technology outline that will optimize the use of technology, resulting in increased transparency, enhanced access to customer service and city information, and improved government effectiveness and efficiency.

The initiatives were developed after reviewing the city’s technology, governmental systems and protocols. The next step involves the Department of Information Technology and the Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board working with other city departments to provide feedback on the recommendations.

“I am proposing the applications that I believe we should use internally and support externally, both of which can determine the effectiveness of service to our citizens,” said Harrell.

The Seattle Government and Technology outline calls on the city to implement the following in the coming years:

1. Migrate to a system where publishing and release of city data are in an open format that is more readable and favorable for programming. This allows the public to use city data in the most appropriate way and enhance its original purpose by allowing data collaboration and integration through mashups and semantic web technologies.

2. Declare an “Apps for Seattle” contest and call upon local web developers to program innovative mobile applications and Internet-based applications using open city data.

3. Provide service for mobile phone applications that allow residents to report a city complaint such as potholes, graffiti, streetlight outage, or abandoned vehicles.

4. Use web video conferencing tools for meetings conducted by employees, boards and commissions, resulting in reduced travel time, cost and fuel.

5. Provide residents with new personal conservation management tools that allow them to maximize their home energy efficiency.

6. Provide a suite of applications and products that allow residents and businesses to communicate remotely with their security, heating, cooling, and lighting systems. This will increase consumer utilization and awareness of a smart grid network.

7. Deploy a “My.Seattle.gov” Public Engagement Portal that consolidates the city’s multiple sign on accounts and provides single sign-on access with features including a customizable interface, status report checks on problems reported, public polling, and enhanced collaboration with the public using tools such as IdeaScale or Google Moderator.

8. Maximize the use of technology in reporting, posting, and tracking photos of graffiti and tree inventory on Google Maps or the city’s Geographic Information System (GIS).

9. Develop a “Wiki” website format for city information that allows online public collaboration, editing and content moderation.

10. Implement new city-wide software to reduce the volumes of wasted printed pages at the end of print jobs from the Internet.

“These technology initiatives will engage our local high-tech industry and spur entrepreneurs and development of business,” said Councilmember Harrell. “Now, more than ever, we must embrace the use of new technology as a strategic tool to better communicate with residents, drive innovation and economic development in our local workforce and save money by improving operational efficiencies in governmental systems. I look forward to working with our Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board to help drive the process of moving forward in 2010.”

Additional information regarding “Apps for Seattle” will soon follow.

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Jan 26 2009

Strategic Policy for City Government Communications

Our recent discussions regarding how the City responded to our ice and snow covered roads have brought to my attention the City’s methods in disseminating critical information to its citizens and whether it is maximizing its use of technology. This is part of my work plan for 2009. Certainly, King County should share this concern. The lack of clarity on how to get bus routes and conditions disseminated effectively reminded me of the incredibly funny skit performed by Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, “Who’s on first. What’s on second and I Don’t Know is on third.” Of course Lou Costello would ask, “But who’s on first” and Abbott would reply “Who.”

In all seriousness, the City must pride itself on how well it informs citizens of their responsibilities, rights and safety conditions. For example, each citizen should know it is their responsibility during a period of snow and ice to make sure the sidewalk in front of their home or business is clear. What technology exists that can maximize our ability to do so? The City controls a 911 system and the general numbers (206) 684-3000 and (206) 625-5011. It controls the Seattle Channel 21 on cable and offers live streaming and video-on-demand via www.seattlechannel.org.
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Nov 01 2008

Youth Voter Registration Drive

At last month’s Youth Voter Registration Drive at City Hall, over 1,200 youth voters registered over a course of several weeks leading up to the Drive. Seattleites are aware of the hurdles that prevent youth from engaging in the election process and we wanted to do our part to help! I agreed to co-sponsor this event with King County Elections, Clear Channel Communications, local businesses and other nonpartisan organizations. The event provided a fun and safe environment to assist with voter registration, while finding solutions to barriers that may keep youth ages 18 to 25 from voting.

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Aug 06 2008

Councilmember Bruce Harrell Calls for the Development of a
Citizen Engagement Portal

Citizen Website and technology strategy will solicit feedback from public to help shape and enhance public policy.

SEATTLE — Councilmember Bruce Harrell has evaluated the process and method in which the citizens of Seattle communicate their opinions to the Seattle City Council and how citizens receive legislative information regarding key issues. Earlier this year, he announced as part of his work plan a key initiative to improve Citizen Engagement through Technology. After communicating with constituents on major issues through e-mail, community meetings, public hearings and telephone, Councilmember Harrell has concluded that the City has not prioritized a communication strategy or policy that captures and quantifies the majority of citizens who do not historically participate in public process. They are the “silent” majority.

Approximately 83% of Seattle residents use the Internet and have a computer at home and Seattle is one of the most wired cities in the United States. Costly advisory ballots are not the answer and our continued reliance on traditional polling strategies and archaic note taking are outdated and inexact. “Listening and leading are not mutually exclusive. We value public process in order to gain input. Most of the input usually comes from listening to a limited number of committed citizens, community activists, special interest groups and professional lobbyists. Listening is a science and the technology exists that can significantly broaden our city’s outreach capability and quantify the opinions of our citizenry. If we prioritize this policy, it will dramatically change how we serve our public.”

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Citizen Engagement Portal