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Exploring municipal broadband in Seattle with Chris Mitchell 10/8 at City Hall

The City of Seattle’s Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB) is exploring implications of a municipally-owned broadband system in Seattle with a presentation and discussion with Christopher Mitchell, director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Mitchell is a leading national expert on community networks and speaks at conferences across the United States on telecommunications policy.

On October 8, 6:30 p.m. at Seattle City Hall (Bertha Knight Landes room, 600 4th Avenue, Seattle), Mitchell will discuss the realistic feasibility of a municipally-owned broadband network that delivers high-speed internet access, such as:

  • Case studies of successful and unsuccessful attempts to create a publicly-owned network
  • Considerations in planning and implementation of a publicly-owned network
  • Social benefits of a publicly-owned broadband network
  • Audience questions

As the City evaluates strategies to increase the availability of competitive, affordable and equitable broadband options, this session will help inform the decisions that will be made. Come to this educational event to gain valuable insight and information regarding the possible future of Seattle’s broadband infrastructure.

Are you ready for elections? Check out the Living Voters Guide & King County Elections

LVG 2014Living Voters Guide.org

Unlike voter guides generated by government, newspapers or advocacy organizations, Seattle CityClub’s Living Voters Guide.org is created by the people and for the people of Washington State. It’s your platform to learn about candidate and ballot measures, decide how to vote and share your opinions. CityClub believes that sharing our diverse opinions leads to making wiser decisions together.  In addition to pros/cons posted by citizens and on-demand fact checking provided by Seattle Public Library, LVG provides information about federal candidates through MapLight.org.

Living Voters Guide.org evolves as people use it.  The more citizens adding their perspectives, the more valuable a voter resource it becomes so please join the Living Voters Guide.org community now at LivingVotersGuide.org.

Bug to report? Have a comment? Confused? Email LVG (admin@livingvotersguide.org).

KCEKing County Elections

King County Elections has some great tools to help you in the voting process:  You can use My Voter Guide, which will give you a custom voter pamphlet based upon your voter registration information.  Ever wonder whether your ballot made it?  You can use My Ballot Tracker, which will track your ballot at three points: (1) Ballots are mailed to you from Elections by US Postal Service; (2) Your ballot is received by King County; and (3) Your signature on returned ballot is verified.

For more information on these tools or about the King County election process, contact them by email (elections@kingcounty.gov) or by phone at (206)296-VOTE (8683).

Office 365 Business/Personal Tip

If you are using office 365 business it is important to know that you will have 2 network share folders.  If you want to save data to your organizations network share you need to save your files to “One Drive – NAME OF ORG.” Saving files to just the “One Drive” folder saves to your personal one drive account.

Free workshop – Office 365 for Nonprofits

Are you interested in moving part of your IT infrastructure to the cloud? Have you registered for Office 365 for Nonprofits but are unsure what to do next? Join us for a free presentation and discussion on Office 365 for Nonprofits with the Seattle NPO Techie Group sponsored by 501 Commons, Phinney Neighborhood Association, and the City of Seattle. Office 365 is available for eligible nonprofits at free or reduced rates. In this session, we will cover:

  • Benefits of moving to the cloud generally
  • Office 365 features
  • Migrating to Office 365
  • Plus, an open Q & A with the presenters

We hope to see you there!

About the presenters:

Graham Ford is Senior Strategist and Technology Services Manager at 501 Commons. Graham applies innovation, technology, and process improvements to further the missions of both 501 Commons and its clients. For eight years, Graham has led technology design and implementation in mission critical business environments. Additionally, Graham has worked and volunteered in non-profit and governmental institutions in technical and non-technical roles. Enhancing his practical experience in technology and business, Graham has an MBA in Technology Management from the UW Foster School of Business.

Crystal Cheairs is the Technology Administrator at the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA). In over six years at the PNA, Crystal has worn many hats including roles in development, membership, technology support, and primarily database administration. Along with co-leading the Seattle NPO Techie group with Derrick Hall (City of Seattle), Crystal has been active in the Seattle nonprofit Salesforce community for 5 years. Crystal managed the PNA migration from an onsite exchange server into Microsoft BPOS (now Microsoft 365) at the end of 2010.

Please RSVP to Derrick Hall at derrick.hall@seattle.gov or 206-233-5061

Data & Location

Phinney Neighborhood Association
6532 Phinney Ave N
Room 5 (upstairs)
Seattle, WA 98103

Tuesday September 9th 2014 at 10AM thru 11AM.

Seattle’s broadband and IT strategy

Seattle Mayor Murray recently announced three goals as the foundation for his broadband strategy. The three goals are:  1) Reduce regulatory barriers;  2) Explore public/private partnerships; and 3) Explore municipal broadband.

See more and add your comments at murray.seattle.gov/broadband/. The Mayor is also sending legislation to Council that changes the rules about placement of telecommunications cabinets and will enable an increase in buildout of broadband. This will help enable more competition in areas of Beacon Hill and elsewhere, which have had limited DSL service. CenturyLink has announced a plan to build more fiber and broadband infrastructure in Seattle, in conjunction with this.  See more on this here.

You can also see the City’s Information Technology three key objectives and supporting actions.  These are guiding the Department of Information Technology (DoIT’s) work.  See the DoIT Plan here.

Join the Central District’s tech entrepreneurial jam session

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

Let’s find out. Let’s have 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.

The Central District Startup Weekend event will be held at Garfield High School from Friday, 9/26 – Sunday, 9/28, with 40-50 students and 40-50 designers, developers, and entrepreneurs, and up to 150 total participants in the Sunday night musical celebration of the weekend’s achievements. 

Go here for more info and to get tickets.


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!

Sit down, plug in, change the world – Seattle Give Camp

GiveCamp is a weekend-long event where software developers, designers, and database administrators donate their time to create custom software for non-profit organizations. This custom software could be a new website for the nonprofit organization, a small data-collection application to keep track of members, or an application for the Red Cross that automatically emails a blood donor three months after they’ve donated blood to remind them that they are now eligible to donate again. The only limitation is that the project should be scoped to be able to be completed in a weekend. All activities take place at Microsoft Building 37 in Redmond; developers can go home in the evening or camp out at the event for the week.

Some of our past projects have included:
• Data-collection applications to keep track of members or clients
• Websites to communicate with stakeholders and constituents
• Mobile phone applications
• Mobile websites

GiveCamp is looking for non-profits who would like to be a candidate for participation – you can fill out an online application here by August 12. They are also looking for technical and nontechnical volunteers before, during and after the event, so click here for those opportunities.

Get Online job search tools and resources

The Internet offers many tools that can help you with managing your online job search process.  There are a lot out there, so be selective, look into them and select the one that you think you can stick with.  Some things to consider are whether you can access these sites from anywhere, are they simple to use, and do they offer more of the features you like or want in one place.

Here are some that we’ve found that are free and come recommended by our partners:

LinkedIn.com is the world’s largest professional online networking site, with over 277,000,000 members.  Here you can post your profile information, which includes your past jobs, your photo, and your interest areas both personal and professional.  You can also connect to others through your email accounts and encourage them to endorse your skills, while you endorse theirs.

Becomed.com is a free online tool that you can use to manage your job search.  You can track applications you’ve submitted, store your resume and cover letter templates, and strategize what the next steps in your job search will be.

JibberJobber.com is an online tool to help you manage your job search process and progress.  You can keep track of your contacts, what information you have sent them, interview dates, follow up notes, and tracking people you know working at these companies.  The regular account is free and includes the ability to keep track of up to 500 contacts and 500 companies.

GlassDoor.com not only helps to connect you with the jobs that are available out there, it also provides a listing of over 6 million company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reports, interview reviews and questions, office photos and more.

Seattle City Light builds, you save

Participate in City Light’s Community Solar project on Phinney Ridge and enjoy the benefits of clean solar energy. Receive annual City Light energy credits and Washington State incentive payments which result in lower electric bills. Solar units cost $150.  Buy one or several (while supplies last).

Get more info here.