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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor
NEWS ADVISORY
SUBJECT: Mayor awards $175,000 for community technology projects
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
7/25/2008  4:00:00 PM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Delia Burke (206) 233-2751


Mayor awards $175,000 for community technology projects
Grants promote technology literacy, access and civic engagement

SEATTLE - Mayor Greg Nickels announced that fifteen organizations will receive $175,000 in Technology Matching Funds from the Department of Information Technology.  The money will support projects throughout the city to help close the digital divide.

The projects will support digital inclusion efforts for a wide range of residents in need, including at-risk youth, immigrants and refugees, seniors and people with disabilities,  reaching more than 1,500 residents in neighborhoods across the city.  The city's investment will be matched with over $287,000 in community contributions, including volunteer time, donated software and other cash contributions.

"Technology skills are essential to success in our 21st century economy," said Nickels.  "These projects provide educational training and workforce development so vital to good-paying jobs."

The East African Arts and Cultural Association, located in the Central district, is one of thirteen projects that will serve youth. They will teach at-risk East African youth multimedia video production and then create their own Youth TV programs.

"The Technology Matching Fund program is one of a kind in the United States.  The investment the city is making with these great community organizations is incredibly important.  As chair of Energy and Technology, I believe that programs like this are vital in our effort to increase access to technology for at-risk youth, seniors, people with disabilities, and the community," declared Councilmember Bruce A. Harrell.

Community volunteers on the Citizen's Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB) helped the city determine which projects to fund.  In this 10th year of the Technology Matching Fund, CTTAB Vice Chair Michael Davidson applauded the city's ongoing commitment.  "It's inspiring to see to the impact these projects have on their own communities. Technology projects can draw youth off the streets, empower immigrants to gain job skills and connect disabled residents with friends and essential online services," he said.

The public is invited to join Councilmember Harrell and other city and community participants at a Celebration Event to honor the work of the community organizations on Wednesday, July 30, 4-6 p.m., at Garfield Community Center.  The free event will feature displays, showcasing technology education projects of past grantees and other community technology projects.  To read more about the 2008 recipients, visit http://seattle.gov/tech/tmf/projects2008.htm.

The Technology Matching Fund was established in 1997 to support the community's efforts to close the digital divide and encourage the use of information technologies for civic engagement. 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's first grants in 1998, the city has contributed over $1,600,832 to 134 projects with community contributions totaling more than $3,549,000.   The fund furthers the city's commitment to education, inclusion, and race and social justice. For more information on the Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund, visit www.seattle.gov/tech.


MEDIA NOTE: PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU WOULD LIKE OUR HELP IN GETTING IN TOUCH WITH ANY OF THE GRANT RECIPIENTS.

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