Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell

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Archive for the 'Energy & Technology Committee' Category

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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Feb 15 2012

Public Safety, Civil Rights, And Technology Committee (2/15/2012)

Public Safety, Civil Rights, And Technology Committee Agenda for Wednesday, 2/15/2012, 2:00 PM

Click here to view the complete agenda:

1. Work Plan Presentation for the Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee | View Document

2. Seattle Human Rights Commission Report and Presentation on Police Reforms | View Report

3-6. Seattle LGBT Commission Appointments

7-8. Seattle Human Rights Commission Appointments

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Jan 23 2012

Seattle City Council approves marriage equality resolution

Press Release issued – January 23, 2012

Seattle City Council approves marriage equality resolution
Councilmembers unanimously support state legislative efforts

SEATTLE –Seattle City Councilmembers today unanimously approved Resolution 31356 declaring full support of state-wide marriage equality, urging the Washington State Legislature to swiftly pass Senate Bill 6239. This bill is explicitly intended to end discrimination in marriage based on gender and sexual orientation, while respecting the religious freedom of religious institutions to determine for whom to perform marriage ceremonies.

“I’m sure it’s no surprise that the Seattle City Council favors marriage equality,” said Council President Sally J. Clark. “We’ve long been on record in support, and many of my colleagues and I have actively lobbied for the cause. It’s heartening to hear the legislature has the support to turn the measure into law.”

“As chair of the committee that oversees Seattle’s Office for Civil Rights, I wish to thank the members of the Washington State Senate, House of Representatives, and Gov. Gregoire on fighting for marriage equality in our state,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell. “Families come in many forms and all families in our city and state should enjoy equal rights and opportunities. We all benefit from an environment that promotes equality.”

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Nov 07 2011

Money and energy saving LED streetlight installations continue under budget and ahead of schedule

Press Release issued – Nov. 7, 2011

LED streetlights now installed from North 65th street
in Seattle all the way through Shoreline

SEATTLE – In late September of this year, Seattle City Light began installing LED streetlights on residential streets from North 65th Street in Seattle all the way to the northern boundary of City Light’s service territory in Shoreline. The latest round of installations brings the total of installed LED streetlights to 18,000. This is ahead of the original schedule of 15,000 installations by the end of this year and nearly $5 million under budget. The savings are a result of the decreasing cost of the fixtures which are purchased each year instead of all at once.

“As our city continues to look for ways to save money, our new LED streetlights are already saving more than $300,000 each year and with the latest round of installations the annual savings is expected to grow to nearly $900,000,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Chair of the Council’s Energy, Technology and Civil Rights Committee. “These and future savings can be used to help fund libraries, social services and parks, they will pay for themselves in less than 10 years.”

In February of 2012, Seattle City Light is scheduled to begin installation of LED streetlights at the southern end of its service territory all the way up to Brandon Street in South Seattle. By the end of 2014, all of the City’s residential streetlights will be converted to LED. Once all 41,000 residential lights are installed, City Light expects a $2.4 million reduction in operating costs each year.

Customers seem to like the LED streetlights. City Light surveys have found that 85 percent of residents are satisfied with the new lighting and City Light has received complaints on less than 2 percent of the installations to date. The most recognizable change of the LED streetlights is the color of the light. The old high-pressure sodium streetlights had an amber hue, while the new LED streetlights have a hue that is more natural and comparable to moonlight.

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Nov 01 2011

Seattle City Light Goes Mobile

Press Release issued with Seattle City Light – Nov. 1, 2011

Mobile Web Features Available on All Smartphones

SEATTLE – Seattle City Light is making it easier for customers to connect with their utility while on the go.

“We want to give our customers the ability to connect with us wherever they might be,” Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said. “Making it more convenient to interact with us is our commitment. And we want customers to let us know how we are doing.”

Mobile phone users can now access mobile versions of key City Light web pages at http://m.seattle.gov/light. On the site, customers can report a streetlight problem, get information about outages, read City Light news, get money-saving energy conservation tips, or find links to contact the utility on other matters. Customers who are signed up for eBilling also can pay their bills.

The mobile site is accessible to any phone with an Internet connection. A free mobile app is now available on the Android Market that will launch the mobile-enabled web pages. An iPhone version is pending with Apple for distribution in the iTunes store.

“Smartphone use in our country continues to rise, with the latest figures showing 35 percent of adults owning a smartphone,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Energy, Technology and Civil Rights Committee. “This new smart phone app from City Light allows ratepayers to engage where they want and when they want. This reflects our commitment to great customer service.”

City Light already is looking at ways to enhance its mobile site. Customers who use it are encouraged to send feedback and suggestions for potential additions to webteam.scl@seattle.gov.

Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.

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Sep 27 2011

Council passes initiative to provide high-speed Internet access and technology skills training to low-income students

Press Release issued 9/27/11

Council passes initiative to provide high-speed Internet access and technology skills training to low-income students

The Great Student Initiative will help educate and prepare Seattle students

SEATTLE – The City Council voted unanimously on Monday to approve the Great Student Initiative (Resolution 31328). Legislated by Councilmember Bruce Harrell, the Great Student Initiative will serve as a model for the nation in bringing together and maximizing public-private partnerships to help students and families acquire broadband Internet access and technology skills training.

The program can help approximately 16,000 of the 47,000 students in Seattle Public Schools on the free lunch program. Only 46 percent of households in Seattle with incomes averaging under $30,000 receive high-speed Internet access. The public-private partnership will map out resources for a sustainable program to achieve Council’s policy directives in making sure students from all socio-economic backgrounds have access to high-speed Internet and vital job skills training.

“I am excited to launch Seattle’s Great Student Initiative and lead a national effort to educate our students on important digital literacy skills,” said Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell. “The information and communication technology job sector contributes over $3.5 billion to Seattle’s economy and information technology job growth is projected at 22 percent in this decade, one of the fastest and more sustainable job industries. We must equip children from all backgrounds with tools to access online educational resources to compete in this global economy driven by technology, science, engineering, and mathematics. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), 77 percent of jobs in the next decade will require technology skills.”

Data from the Federal Reserve show students without home Internet access have a high school graduation rate six to eight percentage points lower than students who have access in their homes. This is a major opportunity to ensure that more students graduate.

“Seattle Public Schools is pleased to partner with the city to begin to eliminate the digital divide,” said Susan Enfield, Interim Superintendent. “We thank these companies for stepping up and helping low income families throughout Seattle.”

Through the Comcast Internet Essentials program, students on the national free lunch program will have access to $9.95 a month Internet service and a $150 netbook computer.

“Educational enrichment cannot be confined to the walls of the classroom. Connecting students to online resources at home will remove obstacles to opportunity, allowing students to compete on an even playing field and live up to their full potential,” said Kelley Dunne, President and CEO, One Economy Corporation. “The Great Student Initiative is a collaborative digital inclusion program that fully engages city leaders, corporations, teachers, parents and the community in improving education for Seattle students.”

“Getting technology and Internet access into the hands of our students is essential in building a pathway toward graduation. This will not only lead to a healthy workforce, but help in creating jobs,” said Council President Richard Conlin.

“While the world has gone digital, many low-income families have not, making passage of the Great Student Initiative especially important. Through our Internet Essentials program and continued financial commitments to digital literacy programs we look forward to doing our part to help close the digital divide,” said Len Rozek, Senior Vice President, Comcast.

“All students should have access to the building blocks of a quality education so that they can go from learning to earning,” said Sig Behrens, General Manager of U.S. Education for Microsoft. “The link between education attainment and economic growth has never been clearer. Seattle is on the leading edge of Microsoft’s Shape the Future vision, which prioritizes ensuring that low-income students have access to the same digital tools that can help to put them on par with their more connected peers. This should be made an educational priority for all, not a privilege for some.”

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