Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell

Archive for the 'Technology' Category

Jan 09 2013

Seeking volunteers for City of Seattle Technology Advisory Board – Apply by Jan 18th

Published by under Technology

The City of Seattle is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to join our tech advisory board. Applications are being taken through January 18th, 2013. The Board and committees help guide city strategies and investments in our digital future. The ten member Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB – advises the City on broadband deployment and adoption, mobile and web based services for, social media, open data, online public engagement, the Seattle Channel, cable tv franchise agreements, Technology Matching Fund grants and efforts to close the digital divide. There are currently two positions open on the Board, as well as opportunities to participate in project committees. We strongly value broad experience and diverse participation.

See more about the technology advisory board at Please email any questions or apply by sending your resume and letter of interest to

The City of Seattle is committed to promoting diversity in the city’s boards and commissions. Women, persons with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, young persons, senior citizens, persons of color, and immigrants are encouraged to apply. You must be a City of Seattle resident or work in Seattle.

Additional information:

• Applicants must:
– either reside or work in Seattle
– not be employed by the City of Seattle
– not serve on more than one City of Seattle board or commission
– attend monthly meetings (2nd Tuesday, 6-8 pm, generally held downtown at Seattle Municipal Tower)
– participate in at least one CTTAB committee (times set according to committee members’ schedules)
• Service to the board expected to begin February 2012
• This is a two-year appointment, potentially renewable for one additional term
• Time commitment (5-10 hours per month, depending upon activity)

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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, 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

Browse the available open data sets from the three sponsors at:
• City of Seattle:
• King County:
• Washington State:

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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Apr 18 2012

Apps for Seattle: Share an idea, build an app and make a difference

News Release issued with the Department of Information Technology – April 17, 2012.

Seattle seeks community ideas for government apps
Share an idea, build an app and make a difference

SEATTLE – Do you have an idea for a new application that could help people use government information? Community ideas are needed for Startup Weekend Government, where technical developers will create new mobile apps and business ideas to help people better access government data and services.

Not a developer or technical guru? Not a problem. Residents can share ideas with developers at or come to City Hall Thursday, April 19, from 6-9 p.m. for the Startup Weekend orientation. During this event, participants will learn more about Startup Weekend, brainstorm with other community members and talk to teams who might want to develop community focused applications. Register for this free event at

Startup Weekend Government can help make government more transparent while also promoting small business development in Seattle,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “I’m excited to see the innovative apps people will create based on government data.”

Join us for Startup Weekend Government Orientation
Thursday, April 19, 6-9 p.m.
City Hall – Bertha Knight Landis Room
600 4th Ave., Seattle, WA

“This technology summit is an exciting opportunity to call on Seattle’s programming talents to help build apps for Seattle in an inclusive and forward thinking partnership,” said Seattle Councilmember Bruce Harrell. “Mobile phone use in Seattle households has reached 90% and approximately 1 out of 2 mobile phones is a smartphone. As chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, I am enthusiastic to see user-friendly neighborhood block watch apps to connect neighbors.”

Projects like OneBusAway and Seattle Rain Watch were created by developers using government data in new ways. The Green Lake Park Tree Walk Map is a great community example of using public data to enhance our lives. An app may involve anything government does, from recycling to parks to public safety, neighborhoods, energy, or helping people in need. The City wants to encourage ideas from a diverse range of community members and interests. The City wants to encourage ideas from a diverse range of community members and interests. Available datasets can be found at,, and

Designers, developers, technology entrepreneurs, community members and government staff who gather at Startup Weekend Gov on April 27-29 will pick projects to work on during a 54-hour work weekend in Seattle’s City Hall. Make your case to be one of them online or during the orientation.

See more about Startup Weekend Gov at Tickets for this event and the orientation session are still available.

Learn more and get involved:
• Share your ideas at
• Register for Startup Weekend Gov at
• Free registration for the orientation event at:

See more about Startup Weekend Gov at Tickets for this event and the orientation session are still available.

Browse available government data and suggest additional data sets at:
• City of Seattle:
• King County:
• Washington State:

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Feb 14 2012

Technology grants available for civic engagement and broadband adoption

Joint Press Release – February 13, 2012

Free workshops offered for applicants

SEATTLE – The city of Seattle is enlisting community organizations in the effort to help close the digital divide in Seattle, especially for vulnerable residents. Technology Matching Fund grants up to $20,000 are available for projects that meet goals for increasing online civic engagement, technology access and adoption, internet and digital media skills, or community building.

“This grant program exists to support the strong and diverse community of people in Seattle who use technology to help others,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “I look forward to seeing the work that this fund will help make possible.”

Applications will be accepted online from February 29 through April 3, 2012.

“The Technology Matching Fund grant program is an inclusive program exemplifying the City’s commitment to Race and Social Justice by providing resources and technology access to all of our residents. 2012 will be the fifteenth year of the program and it continues to be a critical partnership with the community by empowering residents with technology skills to find jobs and helping neighborhoods develop online public safety networks,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell.

Two free workshops will help applicants learn more about the application process, grant requirements and what makes a successful application. Meetings will be held on Thursday, March 1, 10:30 a.m. to noon, at Solid Ground, 1501 N. 45th St. in Seattle and on Saturday, March 3, 10:30 a.m. to noon, at Delridge Community Center, 4501 Delridge Way SW. Interested groups may download grant applications and guidelines at or contact Delia Burke at (206) 233-2751 or

Last year 23 organizations received a total of $320,000 in grant funds, which are being matched with in community contributions, including volunteer labor, professional services and donated equipment and software. A list of grantees and a map of their locations is available online.

Grant applicants must state whether their project will meet technology literacy and access goals or civic engagement goals. The Ethiopian Community Mutual Association received a $17,000 grant to improve technology literacy by upgrading their resource center with state-of-the art desktop and laptop computers and software that provided Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans with English and Amharic learning resources, homework help, job and Internet skills. The Rainier Beach Community Empowerment Coalition received $10,000 to teach young people like sophomore Christen Blackwell how to blog, text and shoot photos to cover community forums on a wide range of issues, from schools to safety to environment, and to encourage others to get involved.

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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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Sep 21 2011

Seattle City Council President Conlin Congratulates Councilmember Bruce Harrell on National Honor

Published by under Technology

Press Release issued by Council President Richard Conlin on 9/21/11

Seattle City Council President Conlin congratulates Councilmember Bruce Harrell on national honor

Seattle – Council President Conlin released the following statement regarding Councilmember Harrell’s national honor, presented today by the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA):

“I want to extend congratulations to my colleague, Councilmember Bruce Harrell, as the 2011 NATOA Community Broadband Visionary of the Year Award recipient.

“This is a terrific recognition of Bruce’s work on the Great Student Initiative and championing a partnership between the City and the private sector to provide low-cost, high-speed internet access, hardware and software for low-income students in the Seattle Public School district.

“It is critical that the City engage in programs like this that will help our students succeed and be prepared in a global economy.”

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