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City of Seattle
Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Seattle to award funds for community technology projects

6/27/2006  3:00:00 PM

Seattle to award funds for community technology projects
Grants will promote literacy, access and civic engagement

SEATTLE - Mayor Greg Nickels announced today that the city will award $104,000 in Technology Matching Funds for 13 community projects aimed at helping close the digital divide. The Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund (TMF) projects will provide education, employment training, survival assistance, civic lessons and leadership training through non-profit organizations across Seattle.

“Technology can be a powerful tool for building strong communities and creating opportunities for people and neighborhoods to thrive,” Nickels said. “These grants will help some of our neediest residents get the skills and resources they need to reach their goals.”

While access to technology has increased for many, studies still show a gap in access and literacy skills that are essential for obtaining meaningful education, employment, civic participation, and essential online services. These projects will provide education and new opportunities for a wide range of technologically-under served residents, including youth, seniors, disabled residents, immigrants and refugees. The organizations awarded TMF funding will match the city’s dollars with approximately $301,580 in community contributions, including volunteer labor, professional services and donated equipment and software.

The City Council’s Energy and Technology Committee will review the grants at its meeting on June 28, 2006. The proposed projects were selected from 26 applications submitted for the city’s 2006 Technology Matching Fund program. The Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB) reviewed the projects and recommended 13 for funding.

CTTAB ( is a fifteen-member volunteer board appointed by the mayor and City Council that advises the city on telecommunications and technology issues. Money for the matching fund comes from revenue the city receives from franchise fees paid by local cable operators.

The Technology Matching Fund was established in 1997 to support the community’s efforts to close the digital divide. The city named the matching fund in memory of Bill Wright, a Central District community leader who embodied the program’s goal of using technology tools to build strong neighborhoods. Since the program began, the city has contributed over $1,265,832 to 104 projects with community contributions totaling more than $2,936,000. For more information on the Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund, visit


2006 Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund Awards

ArtWorks Computer Learning Center


Artworks. Through a graphic design employment program, youth will learn basic computer skills, graphic design skills and basic job search skills.


Delridge Neighborhood Development Association


Youngstown Cultural Arts Center . Youth will learn how to operate a recording studio and to manipulate digital media through classes and open lab time in the new Youngstown arts-oriented media lab.


Enhancing Life

Hilltop House


Enhancing Support. Seniors will have improved access to technology and enhance their computer skills at the Hilltop House Computer Learning Center ; this will help increase their self-sufficiency and reduce isolation.


Municipal League Foundation


Seattle Civic Engagement Project. Residents will have the opportunity to learn about civic issues and participate through web surveys, discussion forums, streaming video and other mechanisms. The Municipal League will analyze and report the results to participants, policy makers and the media.



Digital Literacy Program Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA)


Greenwood Senior Center . PNA will implement a digital media literacy program to help seniors find, critically evaluate, and effectively apply information from digital media sources, as well as produce their own media content.




Computer Camp for Children with Disabilities. Underserved children with disabilities will be able to attend a weeklong camp where they will learn to use computers, adaptive equipment and specialized hardware and software. Parents will have an opportunity to understand the equipment and skills learned, and learn how to obtain appropriate technology.



Reel Grrls


Media That Matters Summer Program. Teenage girls will increase their media production and project management skills. Participants will produce videos for selected community nonprofits.


Seattle MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement)


Seattle MESA Robotics Academy . Students of color and girls will learn computer programming through a fun, hands-on, collaborative robotics project and competition.


Sustainable Seattle


Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods Initiative. Youth will be trained to serve as field assistants for community street-level surveys in 10 Seattle neighborhoods. They will help volunteers use handheld computers, digital cameras, and other technologies to collect data and communicate community priorities.



Technology Access Foundation (TAF)


TechStart Expansion Project. TAF will expand their TechStart after school programming to middle school students of color at the Rainier Beach Community Technology Center . This program introduces technology through engaging lessons that strengthen their math and reading skills and instill a love of learning.



Tigrean Community Association


Integrating Technology into Daily Life. Ethiopian immigrants and refugees will learn basic computer skills in an atmosphere where technology is used as a dynamic learning environment linking schools, government resources and instant communication to distant families.




Washington Asian Pacific Islander Families Against Substance Abuse (WAPIFASA)


API Youth Voices. Young Asian and Pacific Islanders will use audio and video technology to engage their peers in conversations about social justice issues, such as asset based community development, media literacy, gang culture and the immigrant and refugee experience.


Washington CASH (Community Alliance for Self-Help)


Computer Resource Center Usage Expansion. Low-income entrepreneurs will increase their potential for business success through computer workshops that teach focused content and experiential learning techniques, as well as new one-on-one technical assistance in the computer lab.





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