City launches new Seattle.gov

The City of Seattle recently launched its redesigned website, http://www.seattle.gov/, to better connect the public with their government.

“Seattle.gov should reflect the City’s vibrant and innovative spirit,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “Thanks to the hard work of our Department of Information Technology’s Citywide Web team, the updated site makes it easier for the public and businesses to access services, find information, and participate in critical conversations with City government.”

The new website is based on a mobile-friendly design approach and a desire to help visitors find information easily. The new website strives to be user-centric, organizing content primarily by City services instead of City departments.

“The new Seattle.gov makes it easier to access city information any time, especially from the mobile devices increasingly used to request city services,” said Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller. “Using modern tools and technology to connect the public with their government is critical to the civic health of Seattle and we look forward to evolving the new website, adding content and new features that increase user engagement on a regular basis.”

City staff is designing and building the new Seattle.gov over a three-year period, with all City pages updated in phased releases. The initial launch release includes the following:

The design of the entire City website will be completed in 2018.

Mayor, officials weigh in on historic FCC votes

Today, after the FCC voted in favor of net neutrality and municipal broadband choices, Mayor Ed Murray, Councilmember Bruce Harrell and Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller issued the following statements:

“I applaud the FCC for passing the strongest net neutrality rules in Internet history, a vital decision for not only entrepreneurs, but for the future of our democracy,” Mayor Ed Murray said. “High-quality, high-speed Internet is essential to an open society and I thank the FCC for allowing municipalities to make local choices about how to increase competition for high-speed Internet that is appropriate for their cities.”

“This is a historic moment in preserving and protecting our right to a fast, inclusive and open Internet,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee. “The Internet is now a necessity, giving everyone a voice, access to education, and opportunity in our economy. Today’s ruling ensures a tech startup or a small business are able to compete on equal footing with larger companies by prohibiting paid prioritization and throttling of content and services.”

Although the decision of the FCC directly affects Tennessee and North Carolina, it sends a resounding message nationally that local choice is vital for next-generation Internet adoption. Local government knows the needs of our residents and businesses best and local officials are directly accountable to their constituents, which is why this decision is so important. It’s critical for communities to have the ability to choose the best way to provide high-quality Internet for its public,” said Michael Mattmiller, Seattle’s Chief Technology Officer. “Competition benefits all members in a community and similar to any other market, high-speed broadband Internet is frequently better and cheaper when communities have choices about how that Internet service is provided. The City of Seattle commissioned a study in November to explore creation of a municipal broadband internet utility in Seattle. We look forward to receiving the results of this study in April.”

Mayor, officials weigh in on historic FCC votes

Today, after the FCC voted in favor of net neutrality and municipal broadband choices, Mayor Ed Murray, Councilmember Bruce Harrell and Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller issued the following statements:

“I applaud the FCC for passing the strongest net neutrality rules in Internet history, a vital decision for not only entrepreneurs, but for the future of our democracy,” Mayor Ed Murray said. “High-quality, high-speed Internet is essential to an open society and I thank the FCC for allowing municipalities to make local choices about how to increase competition for high-speed Internet that is appropriate for their cities.”

“This is a historic moment in preserving and protecting our right to a fast, inclusive and open Internet,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee. “The Internet is now a necessity, giving everyone a voice, access to education, and opportunity in our economy. Today’s ruling ensures a tech startup or a small business are able to compete on equal footing with larger companies by prohibiting paid prioritization and throttling of content and services.”

Although the decision of the FCC directly affects Tennessee and North Carolina, it sends a resounding message nationally that local choice is vital for next-generation Internet adoption. Local government knows the needs of our residents and businesses best and local officials are directly accountable to their constituents, which is why this decision is so important. It’s critical for communities to have the ability to choose the best way to provide high-quality Internet for its public,” said Michael Mattmiller, Seattle’s Chief Technology Officer. “Competition benefits all members in a community and similar to any other market, high-speed broadband Internet is frequently better and cheaper when communities have choices about how that Internet service is provided. The City of Seattle commissioned a study in November to explore creation of a municipal broadband internet utility in Seattle. We look forward to receiving the results of this study in April.”

Reshaping immigration, embracing technology in government at Civic Cocktail, Dec. 3

Rich Stolz of OneAmerica and tech executive Kurt DelBene among featured guests

SEATTLE –President Obama’s executive action to reform the nation’s immigration system and a discussion about the intersection of government and technology are the topics of conversation at Civic Cocktail, 5:30 p.m., Wed., Dec. 3, at the Palace Ballroom, 2100 Fifth Ave.

Obama’s plans to offer deportation relief and work permits to 5 million immigrants who are in the country illegally has set up a clash with Republicans who vow to fight his sweeping actions.

Washington state is home to an estimated 73,000 undocumented immigrants who are living in the country illegally and have a U.S. citizen child, according to OneAmerica, a Seattle-based immigrant rights advocacy organization.

Rich Stolz, executive director of OneAmerica, will join host Joni Balter for an in-depth discussion about the president’s immigration policy changes. How will the immigration orders be carried out locally and what impacts will they have? Will they lead to comprehensive immigration reform or will the projected political fallout further derail the debate?

The second half of the show will shift to a panel conversation on using technology to improve government’s interaction with the public. What happens when government and technology collide? Can government maintain the public trust while embracing new technologies to use data more effectively?

The panel discussion will feature Kurt DelBene, former manager of HealthCare.gov, and Michael Mattmiller, the city of Seattle’s new chief technology officer. DelBene is a former Microsoft executive who last year was tapped by the Obama Administration to help fix HealthCare.gov, the federal government’s online health insurance enrollment system. He recently joined the Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group, which focuses on funding early-stage technology companies primarily in the Northwest.

Mattmiller, who previously worked as a senior strategist for enterprise cloud privacy at Microsoft, leads the city of Seattle’s Department of Information and Technology. He’s heading the city’s new privacy initiative intended to show the public how the city collects and uses data.

A journalist panel will weigh in on the immigration and technology topics.

Civic Cocktail offers an evening of networking, civic conversation, Tom Douglas appetizers and a no-host bar. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The program begins at 6 p.m. Advance registration is recommended as these events sometimes sell out. Register at SeattleCityClub.org or call 206-682-7395. Advance ticket prices are $10 for CityClub and Crosscut members and $12 for non-members. Limited $15 tickets available at the door.

Seattle Channel presents Civic Cocktail in partnership with Seattle CityClub and Crosscut. The conversation is rebroadcast on Seattle Channel cable 21 and is available online at seattlechannel.org/civiccocktail.

Seattle Channel is a local TV station that reflects, informs and inspires the community it serves. Seattle Channel presents programs on cable television – channel 21 on Comcast (321 HD) and Wave (721 HD) – and via the Internet to help residents connect with their city. Programming includes series and special features highlighting the diverse civic and cultural landscape of the Pacific Northwest’s premier city.

Center for Digital Government names 2014 Digital Cities Survey winners

Re-posted from the Center for Digital Government:

Center for Digital Government Names 2014 Digital Cities Survey Winners
Cities with Best Practices in Public Sector Information and Communications Technology Honored

e.Republic’s Center for Digital Government (The Center) today announced the top-ranked cities in the 2014 Digital Cities Survey.

In its 14th year, the annual survey is part of the Center’s Digital Communities Program, which focuses on collaboration among cities, counties and regions. Open to all U.S. cities, this year’s survey questions targeted which initiatives cities were most proud of in the areas of citizen engagement, policy, operations, and technology and data.

The top-ranked cities in their population categories – Los Angeles; Winston-Salem, N.C.; Avondale, Ariz.; and Dublin, Ohio – provided financial transparency, city performance measurement dashboards, and citizen feedback on city initiatives. They also made improvements in their infrastructure, open-data architecture, security levels and collaboration efforts, providing cost savings and enhanced services. Learn more about their accomplishments here.

“This year’s Digital Cities’ winners brought about impressive change across all aspects of government by leveraging information technology investments to expand open government, citizen participation and shared services,” said Todd Sander, Executive Director of the Center for Digital Government. “Winning cities spanned the nation, indicating a trend that more and more cities are making it a priority that digital government be easier to access, navigate and interact with.”

The top 10 ranked cities will be honored at a special awards ceremony during the National League of Cities’ annual conference in Austin on November 20th.

The Center for Digital Government thanks this year’s survey underwriters: AT&T, Laserfiche, McAfee and Sprint.

Congratulations to the 2014 Digital Cities Survey Winners:

250,000 or more population:

  • 1st City of Los Angeles, CA
  • 2nd City of Kansas City, MO
  • 2nd City of Seattle, WA
  • 3rd City of Jacksonville, FL
  • 3rd Louisville Metro Government, KY
  • 4th City of Philadelphia, PA

For more information, visit http://www.digitalcommunities.com/survey/cities/?year=2014.

The specific Seattle blurb is found in Government Technology magazine:

Seattle has a full slate of initiatives under way intended to strengthen government operations and engage citizens. Internally, the city is centralizing technology services, which includes consolidating multiple data centers and developing coordinated IT policies. The mayor’s IT Subcommittee – comprising the deputy mayor, city CTO and six city department heads – was creating in July to oversee the effort. Externally, Seattle makes extensive use of interactive technology like social media – through Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr – and mapping of crime statistics to build closer bonds between residents and its police force. A Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Committee makes recommendations to the mayor and city council on issues like community connectivity, e-government services and access to technology. Seattle also has multiple programs to promote technology use throughout the city, including a Technology Matching Fund that provides matching grants as large as $20,000 for community technology projects.