23 projects receive Tech Matching Funds

2014 TMF GranteesMayor Murray and the Seattle City Council today announced the 23 organizations that will receive a total of $320,000 in Technology Matching Funds from the City of Seattle. The awardees passed unanimously out of committee. Watch the video here.
“While access to technology has increased for many, there is still a significant gap in the access to and use of technology in Seattle,” said Mayor Murray. “Technology skills are necessary for success in the 21st century and these funds play a critical role in preparing our residents.”

“These funds play an important role in leveling the playing field. They help our must vulnerable residents use technology in innovative and meaningful ways, including seniors, at risk youth, homeless women and children, immigrants and refugees, and people with disabilities,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee.

The money will support projects throughout the city to ensure all Seattleites have access to and proficiency using internet-based technologies. These projects were selected from Seattle’s Technology Advisory Board from more than 67 applicants and will contribute a projected $685,711 in community matching resources, more than double the City’s investment.

The funds will support greater digital equity in Seattle. Several projects will help Seattle build a diverse technology workforce, by providing STEM education programs for youth of color and computer and applications training to immigrants and low-income adults.  Other programs will help seniors and people with disabilities better engage using a variety of tools, including tablets, touch screens and social media. The projects will also enable greater electronic civic participation for many disadvantaged residents.

The 2014 Technology Matching Fund award recipients include:

  • Ballard NW Senior Center
  • Casa Latina
  • North Seattle Family Center/ Children’s Home Society of WA
  • Denny Terrace Computer Lab
  • Elizabeth Gregory Home
  • Filipino Community of Seattle
  • Helping Link
  • Hilltop House
  • Lao Women Association of Washington
  • Literacy Source
  • North Seattle Boys & Girls Club
  • Northaven Retirement and Assisted Living
  • Open Doors for Multicultural Families/STAR Center at Center Park
  • Ross Manor Computer Lab
  • Seattle Neighborhood Coalition
  • Solid Ground Sand Point Housing Campus
  • Somali Community Services of Seattle
  • South Park Area Redevelopment Center
  • The Jefferson Terrace Computer Lab Committee
  • University of Washington Women’s Center
  • Vietnamese Friendship Association
  • Washington Community Alliance for Self-Help (CASH)
  • YMCA of Greater Seattle – Y @ Cascade People’s Center.

For more information and a map of Technology Matching Fund awardees go here.


Tapping Central District’s tech potential

How might we create fertile ground for the African American community in Seattle to grow with the City’s current tech boom?

Let’s ask the community… let’s have a hackathon!
What’s a hackathon? Imagine an entrepreneurial jam session with Central District residents, business owners, community organizers, designers, and developers. An event like this can spur new and unique business creation through entrepreneurial education, community investment through collaboration, and social innovation through tech mentorship.

Go here for more info. Date to be decided.

Enable power saving mode when battery is dying

As you may have noticed, smartphones and tablets use a lot of power, and their batteries only last a few hours.  This, at times, leaves you searching for a power outlet. And that only works  if you remembered to bring your power cord.

If you have an iPhone, you can also save your battery life. Here is a link that will show you 26 ways to help you conserve your battery life.

If you have an Android phone, you can simply select the “power saving mode” that is part of the drop down menu when you slide the menu to the left. Just turn it on and it will instantly throttle things down to use the least amount of power. This includes turning off haptic feedback, the vibration your phone does when things happen. It throttles the CPU of the device to be gentler on the battery. Lastly, it reduces the frame rate of the screen and lowers the brightness, since the display is the worst offender.

Warning: It is best not to plug your phone directly into your computer.  Today’s malware can be transferred from your computer to your phone when you do.  If you plan to do this it is best to make sure both your phone as well as the computer you’re connecting to have malware software as well as an antivirus on it.

Should your organization consider The Cloud?

Once upon a time, all software had to be directly installed onto computers—but more and more, vendors are hosting software that users access via the Cloud. Maybe you use Google Drive or Dropbox, Office 365, or a Cloud-based database. Maybe you’re interested in what such hosted services offer, but are worried about the security risks. Moving to the Cloud is not for everyone–how do you know if it’s right for your organization? The answer is simple: by evaluating it against your own particular needs.

Idealware.org, a nonprofit organization helping nonprofits make smart software decisions, has created a free new workbook, Should Your Organization Consider The Cloud, to help you to make decisions about using cloud software.

Read the full article here and receive your free copy of  help to get you started.

Youth digital media & online civic engagement lead opportunity

The YMCA is seeking a Civic Voice Lead working with teens and young adults around digital media, online civic engagement and leadership development.  The Civic Voice Lead will coordinate all aspects of the PugetSoundOff.org project including the supervision of two AmeriCorps staff who will facilitate workshops and participate in PugetSoundOff.org conversations through blogging and commenting.   Additionally, this position will also support the annual recruitment and selection of 16 young, diverse leaders to the Get Engaged program where they serve one-year terms on City of Seattle Boards and Commissions.  PugetSoundOff.org is a local online hub for youth-led movements and meaningful dialogue with peers and invested adults.  They are currently looking for someone with a passion for digital media, youth development, and wants to take online civic engagement to the next level!  For more information, please visit  this job posting and share with your connections!

Mayor Murray’s letter to FCC on Net Neutrality

Dear Chairman Wheeler and Commissioners Clyburn, Pai, O’Reilly and Rosenworcel:
As the Mayor of Seattle, I have made working for a safe, affordable, vibrant, innovative and connected
city the focus of my Administration. A free and open Internet is a critical element of implementing this
vision. I call on you to preserve non-discriminatory access to the Internet for all users.
The Internet is one of history’s greatest innovations and an unparalleled platform for economic growth,
social development and free expression. The extraordinary Internet applications and services that are
transforming commerce and industry and allowing local governments to provide residents more
innovative and cost effective services have all been developed in a world without discrimination. The
introduction of practices such as paid prioritization and content blocking must be prevented because they
are a threat to the Internet’s future growth and potential. They will have a chilling effect on innovation,
hurt the economy of our cities and degrade the quality of our civil discourse.
Non-discriminatory access is particularly important to Seattle. Seattle is a world center for the software
development industry and Internet commerce. It is home to technology giants like Microsoft and
Amazon and many smaller technology companies and entrepreneurs that understand how to exploit
Internet connectivity to create new business models. Together they have transformed our local economy
and attracted a critical mass of intellectual capital to Seattle. In addition, Seattle has a vibrant start up
community that needs non-discriminatory access to the Internet in order to grow and thrive. The mere
threat that a new service could be thwarted by the network owner will inhibit innovation, decrease
research and development, and hurt Seattle’s economy.
History shows us that the Internet as we know it would not exist without nondiscriminatory access. In
the early days of ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet, developers were able to use the underlying
connectivity of the telephone networks to send data packets among connected computers. The Internet
thrived because anyone could use the network to communicate, collaborate and create applications,
without any unnecessary interference from network owners that occupy scarce and valuable rights of
way that are funded by the taxpayers. In the words of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide
web, “When I invented the Web, I didn’t have to ask anyone’s permission.”

Digital Research Tools

Digital Research Tools – The DiRT Directory offers a collection of tools geared for scholars but useful to anyone. Items include tools for task management, collaboration, research, using tablets and more. Fun to browse. This is supported by the Andrew Mellon Foundation.