Seattle Votes campaign aims to lower barriers to immigrant and refugee civic engagement

Join ARTS and the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs’ (OIRA) to support Seattle Votes. The Seattle Votes campaign aims to identify barriers to voting and civic engagement for Seattle’s immigrant and refugee residents. The campaign consists of an anonymous survey that will provide data for organizations, King County, and the City to better understand the civic needs of specific immigrant and refugee communities within Seattle.

“Immigrants and refugees are a vital thread in the fabric of Seattle, with one out of five residents foreign-born,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “Often these communities face significant obstacles to gaining citizenship and participating in elections. Through Seattle Votes, we will gain community-level data to help us better serve these communities, creating more opportunity for refugees and immigrants to participate in our democracy.”

The Seattle Votes survey has been translated into ten languages: English, Spanish, Chinese (Traditional), Vietnamese, Tagalog, Korean, Somali, Amharic, Oromo, Tigrinya, and Arabic. Immigrant and refugee residents of Seattle-King County who are at least 18 years of age can fill out a printed version or an online version, which takes approximately seven minutes to complete and are anonymous.

The City will publish the findings in an official report in August. The disaggregated results will help inform policies to improve naturalization, voter registration, and voting rates.

Immigrants and refugees living in Seattle-King County and members of organizations interested in becoming Seattle Votes Partners are encouraged to visit seattle.gov/seattlevotes

Seattle: How online are we? Join the conversation May 22

From 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, May 22, join the Department of Information Technology and the City’s Technology Advisory Board at Seattle Goodwill’s new training center to learn about new findings on technology access and adoption by Seattle residents.

Discover what more than 2,600 residents who participated in phone and online surveys and focus groups in multiple languages had to say about their use, concerns and barriers to using the Internet, social media, cable TV and online government services. Information will also be presented about how to communicate with immigrant and refugee communities.

The forum is being presented by the Department of Information Technology and the City’s Technology Advisory Board, with assistance from the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs and Seattle Public Library. Copies of the report will be available at the event and released online afterwards.

The Seattle Goodwill Job Training and Education Center is located at 700 Dearborn Place S, at the northwest corner of South Dearborn and Rainier Avenue, just off the I-90 Dearborn exit or #7 or 9 bus. Free parking is available.

For more information about this event, click HERE, email communitytechnology@seattle.gov or call 206-233-7877.