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City of Seattle
Seattle City Council

SUBJECT: Seattle awards funds for community technology projects

6/9/2005  4:00:00 PM

Seattle awards funds for community technology projects

SEATTLE — The City of Seattle awarded $100,000 in funding for 14 community technology projects. The Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund (TMF) projects will increase residents’ access to the Internet and grow their technology skills for employment, education and civic participation. This year’s projects will increase access to technology particularly for homeless people, youth, and immigrants.

“These organizations understand the importance of applying technology to build economic opportunity and healthy, educated families,” says Mayor Greg Nickels. “The Technology Matching Fund projects will reach some of our neediest residents and will provide training and computer access to engage them in our civic and economic life.”

The organizations awarded TMF funding will match the City’s dollars with approximately $249,633 in community contributions, including volunteer labor, professional services and donated equipment and software.

In looking at the needs of Seattle ’s immigrant communities, this year the fund will support ESL training for East African and Lao immigrants, video training for Ethiopian/Amharic youth with a focus on cultural heritage, and a “New American Voters” webpage to facilitate new voter registration and community leadership.

“I am pleased to see the range of projects, technology and communities served,” says Jim Compton, Chair of the City Council Utilities and Technology Committee. “Providing better access to local government is a great use of technology and an important complement to the City’s use of the Seattle Channel and web as a democracy portal to increase meaningful participation in government and the affairs of the city.”

Recommendations for funding projects are made by the Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB). CTTAB is a fifteen member volunteer board appointed by the Mayor and City Council. CTTAB’s purpose is to advise the City of Seattle on issues of community-wide interest relating to telecommunications and technology.

The Technology Matching Fund was established in 1997 to support the community’s efforts to close the digital divide and encourage a technology-healthy city. Funds for the Technology Matching Fund come from city collected cable television franchise fees. The City named the matching fund in memory of Bill Wright, a Central District community leader who embodied the program’s goal of creating digital opportunity for all and using technology tools to build strong neighborhoods. Since the program began, the City has contributed over $1,161,000 to 91 projects with community contributions totaling more than $2,635,000. For more information on the Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund, visit


2005 Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund Awards

911 Media Arts Center
Young Producers Project Scholarship Program
Open up summer classes on media literacy to economically challenged youth and offer up-to-date computers for the young producers program.
Awarded: $5,000
Match: $24,104

Boys & Girls Clubs of King County North Seattle Club
Technology Learning Center
Expand the North Seattle Technology Learning Center to accommodate 20 computers, projector and screen. Offer training to volunteers and staff to teach computer basics using the Club Tech curriculum.
Awarded: $10,000
Match: $17,406

Compass Center
Teach the Teachers Project
Develop a curriculum to teach basic life and computer skills to formerly homeless men and women. Recruit and train volunteers to become teachers. Assess student skills and track outcomes to measure curriculum effectiveness.
Awarded: $4,625
Match: $5,000

Digital Promise
STAR Rising: Increasing Self Sufficiency
Improve access to technology for disabled populations by upgrading hardware and software and developing trainings and a Training Guide primarily devoted to disabled users. The program will be delivered at the Special Technology Access Resource (STAR) center in collaboration with Seattle Housing Authority, and will increase levels of self sufficiency for Center House residents and the surrounding community.
Awarded: $9990
Match: $12,591

Ethiopian Community Mutual Association
Ethio-Techno Mobile Multimedia Project
Provide two three-month sessions of multi-media project training to Ethiopian/ Amharic youth with a cultural heritage content focus. Sessions will be held at three locations in north, central and south Seattle and efforts will be made to recruit low-income, disadvantaged Ethiopian youth.
Awarded: $10,000
Match: $10,000

Hate Free Zone Washington
Log On For Your Community
Develop a “New American Voters” webpage to facilitate registration of 2,000 new voters; develop a webpage for their Community Leadership Council to provide a forum for member participation; and provide up to 240 community members the opportunity to participate in a series of live online discussions with local elected officials.
Awarded: $9,400
Match: $9,675

Horn of Africa Services
Intermediate Computer Training
Develop and test a curriculum for intermediate level computer training class to better serve East African refugees and immigrants in the greater Seattle area.
Awarded: $5,000
Match: $11,725

Computers for Community
Donate one hundred Internet ready, refurbished computer sets to low-income clients of Fremont Public Association and FamilyWorks. Conduct a marketing campaign to gain computers and market computer hardware training and recycling opportunities.
Awarded: $7,400
Match: $16,877.6

Lao Community Services Office
Technology Improvement Program
Help Lao youth improve their computer skills, academic achievement, and knowledge about their cultural heritage through Internet research and computer training. Help Lao adults increase their computer skills so they are more self-sufficient.
Awarded: $3,600
Match: $11,600

Low Income Housing Institute
LIHI Technology Initiative
Develop a mobile laptop lab and three mini labs which will increase computer access and training opportunities for low-income and formerly homeless residents at three housing sites. Teach job search skills, resume writing, computers and financial literacy.
Awarded: $9,000
Match: $25,538

Neighborhood House
Rainier Vista Technology Center
Provide six computers, serving residents of all ages. Offer training modules specifically designed to meet the needs of the low-income residents in Rainier Vista, including children, adults, limited English proficient adults, seniors and people with disabilities.
Awarded: $6,180
Match: $71,985.32

Rainier Beach Community Technology Center
Family Tech Training & Computer Give-Away Program
Provide low-income, minority families training in computer hardware management, software installation and utilization and accessing online government and school district resources. Participants take home refurbished computers they build.
Awarded: $6,000
Match: $10,540

Salvation Army White Center Community Center
Seattle White Center Computer Lab
Hire two UW work study students to staff the lab for 20 hours per week. Students will teach basic computer and Internet classes to adults, seniors and youth and web page development to teens. They will also assist during open lab hours.
Awarded: $4,900
Match: $14,150

Yesler Community Center
Basic Computer Training Project
Teach poor working refugees and immigrants coming out of welfare and illiteracy basic computer skills in conjunction with English as a second language. Classes will use simple English words to fit the levels of the participants.
Awarded: $8,905
Match: $8,441.95

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