I N S I D E
City Grants Available
"We’re one of the most wired cities in the world, but there’s still much we can do to bring the benefits of this technology revolution to all segments of our city." -Mayor Greg Nickels Free seminars and workshops are planned for Information Technology Day 2003. It concludes the annual Black Family Technology Awareness Week, February 9 through 16. Location: Seminars and workshops:
"We’re one of the most wired cities in the world, but there’s still much we can do to bring the benefits of this technology revolution to all segments of our city."
-Mayor Greg Nickels
Free seminars and workshops are planned for Information Technology Day 2003. It concludes the annual Black Family Technology Awareness Week, February 9 through 16.
Seminars and workshops:
Greg Nickels, Mayor
and cable tv
D.H. CASS MAGNUSKI
Seattle's Department of Information Technology is now seeking applications for the 2003 Technology Matching Fund (TMF). Through the Department of Information Technology, the TMF provides Seattle neighborhood groups and organizations with money for citizen-driven projects which increase technology literacy and access, especially for underserved communities. This year the City will award 5 -10 grants of up to $10,000 each from a total fund of $50,000. Seattle neighborhood groups and organizations that provide citizen-driven projects to increase technology literacy and access for underserved communities are encouraged to apply.
The application deadline is 5:00 p.m., March 10, 2003. Applications and guidelines are available online at the TMF site, Neighborhood Service Centers, or by calling the Department of Information Technology, Community Technology at (206) 684-0600.
Local groups are encouraged to think creatively about how they can better use technology to meet the needs of their communities. "Many organizations are already providing clients with technology access and training," according to Community Technology Manager David Keyes. "This year, our goal is to help improve existing technology programs and services so that organizations can strengthen their ability to address key community needs."
Applicants are encouraged to contact city staff with their ideas at email@example.com. If a group has a project idea, but lacks the computer equipment, it should partner with an existing technology provider. For a list, visit the Seattle TechMap.
For more information and other resources, visit the City's Community Tech website seattle.gov/tech, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Community Technology program at (206) 684-0600. Community Technology Program staff are also available for consultation on IT projects applying to the Neighborhood Matching Fund.
Seattle Jobs Initiative is currently placing a number of TechTalent graduates as interns. These internships are part of their training. Graduates have completed an intensive, full time training regimen with rigorous program expectations such as attendance, punctuality, and professionalism.
Susan Goodwin, (206) 621-0498, email@example.com, has several TechTalent interns available now for placement at technology-related sites. These interns will be placed for 12 weeks, full time. There is no limit to the number of interns placed at a site.
Now community tech centers, libraries, legal aid and the web are helping families to easily get the tax refunds they need. Icanefile.org is available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese and provides a new and simple way for low-income workers to clair their Earned Income Tax Credits and file their federal taxes electronically online. The Legal Aid Society of Orange County (California) created this web-based system specifically for low-income taxpayers. The program is certified by the IRS and uses text and video with simple screens to guide users through the process of completing their tax forms. When all of the questions are answered, the completed tax forms can be printed and mailed to the IRS or electronically filed, if the user has an email address.
South Park Community Center, Seattle Public Library, Northwest Justice Project and King County Libraries have signed up to help residents use Icanefile.org. Other CTCs can sign up by contacting Gabrielle Hammond at firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to icanefile.org/programs. Contact her soon!
The Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC or EIC) gives certain taxpayers up to $4,140 back in their federal tax refund. The average credit for eligible workers with children is $2,000. Some very low-income people without children may qualify for an average credit of $200. Most people do not know about the credit, so they do not claim it on their tax return. Someone who is eligible but did not file for the credit in years past can claim the credit for up to three years.
Many low-income families commonly fall victim to high priced “Refund Anticipation Loans” (RALs), commonly offered by most commercial tax preparation offices. While these loans speed an advanced payment to a worker by a few weeks, families lose needed money in fees. E-filing still speeds up refunds and also ensures that families get all the money they deserve.
Did you know that Seattle residents help guide the City's telecommunications policy? Well, they do, and congratulations are in order as leadership changes on the Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB).
At a recent election, Jeffrey J. Techico, of PeaceHealth, has been elected 2003 chair of the board. He has been serving on the Tech Matching Fund Review Committee. Jeff replaces Brad Stilwell, of RealNetworks, who provided strong leadership through his term in office.
Harriet Wasserman, assistant dean for information technology at Seattle Central Community College, has been elected vice-chair. She takes the helm from Shannon Frisbie of Preston, Gates and Ellis. Both Brad and Shannon remain on CTTAB.
CTTAB has 15 members, eight appointed by the Mayor and seven appointed by the City Council. Thirteen members are at-large, while there is one representative each from education and public access. See seattle.gov/cttab for more information.
"Making Connections has helped me realize how many options I have out there, and as a senior, being open minded about other areas makes me feel that the 'sky's the limit' again. I'm proud to be a woman, and I'm proud to be in this program." - Anonymous Student
Making Connections is a 2002 Technology Matching Fund recipient. The program is offered through the UW Women’s Center. Annually, the program works with 100 high school students of underserved populations to increase the likelihood that they’ll enroll in college and enter careers in math, science, and technology. This program is open to all, but specifically targets girls, students of color, students from low-income households, and first-generation college bound students. Currently, 90 percent of their students are girls of color.
Through mentoring and interactive workshops, the program develops participants’ confidence, prepares them for the college admissions process, and provides the skills necessary to pursue further studies in these fields. One participant commented, “As a person interested in a career in physics or aeronautics, seeing so many women being successful in their careers made me realize that if they can do it, I can do it too.” Participants also benefit from a new initiative supported by the 2002 Technology Matching Fund that provides much needed technical training to increase their literacy, confidence, and frequency in using computers and the Internet. Another participant reflected, “Making Connections has opened my mind to new careers that I find interesting. Also, it has helped me learn about computers and astronomy through the workshops.”
All students participating in the Making Connections program benefit from a commitment to providing students with the organizational, personal, and academic tools that lead to a successful future. “I am planning to study pharmacy next year when I attend college. I am happy that I got a chance to join Making Connections and I recommend others to join this wonderful program!” This student is currently enrolled at the UW. For more information, to volunteer, or to donate to this program, please contact: Jo Anderson, (206) 616-2366, email@example.com.
Raising children is hard work. It can also be expensive. Parent Power is a statewide advocacy organization working to improve the well-being of Washington's children. On this site, you'll find information on Childcare subsidies, scholarships; free or low cost health insurance, school and summer meals for your children, food; tax credit help, and cash for job expenses.
Here you'll find an extensive listing of federal, state, local and international consumer related agencies and organizations. Look for bargains, research complaints, find price comparisons and more.
If you wish to subscribe or unsubscribe to Brainstorm, please email us, and we'll add you to our mailing list. We welcome your feedback and opinions. If you have ideas for future stories, please let us know and we'll try to accommodate them.
We encourage you to visit the City of Seattle's Community Tech pages, seattle.gov/tech.