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Subject:   City of Seattle gets new friendly face for the Web
For Immediate Release:   
7/20/2005  2:00:00 PM
For More Information Contact:

City of Seattle gets new friendly face for the Web
New home page and expanded language services mean better citizen service

SEATTLE - Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels launched Seattles new home page today (Seattle.gov), introducing the public to improved customer assistance and a variety of new foreign language services.

Were going to use the internet to better serve all of Seattles citizens, Nickels said. More people are looking to find city services on the internet. Today, were making that happen. With the new home page, language portal, and other service, we can help people get the services they need, especially non-English speaking residents.

At an English as a Second Language (ESL) class at the New Holly Learning Center, Nickels introduced the new website and some of the new features, including:

Language Portal: This site helps non-English speakers navigate public services in 26 languages. Site visitors select their language and are presented with a list of all the City information available to them in that language. http://www.seattle.gov/html/citizen/language.htm

Seattle City Light in Spanish: SCLs new Spanish language web site will help reach and serve business and residential customers. Site visitors can sign up for new utility service, get information about bill payment, learn about electrical safety and conservation, and more.
http://www.seattle.gov/light/spanish/

"The Hispanic community in the Seattle area is one of the fastest growing populations within Washington state, said Cris Guillen, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce president. Hispanics are also very active Internet users. This web site will provide another avenue for them to connect to their excellent public utility."

On-line permits from DPD: The Department of Planning and Development is constantly increasing the number of online services. Site visitors can now track land use and building applications status during review; check inspection status during construction; apply for side sewer repair permits; and apply for electrical permits.
http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/permits/

Citizens can also file complaints about land use, housing and construction violations at:
http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/CSC/complaint.asp

Office of Civil Rights Spanish Portal: The new Spanish-language web site explains the laws that protect people from illegal discrimination in housing, employment, public places and contracting. The site also helps people access our services, including free language interpretation. In addition to the new Spanish site, SOCR offers printed information in nine other languages. http://www.seattle.gov/civilrights/Spanish/Portal.htm

This is just the beginning, Nickels said. Were going to continue to add services and information in a variety of languages, so that all communities have real-time, practical access to city government.

Get the mayors inside view on initiatives to promote transportation, public safety, economic opportunity and healthy communities by signing up for The Nickels Newsletter at www.seattle.gov/mayor/newsletter_signup.htm.

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