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Archive for 'Councilmember Harrell'

Councilmember Harrell’s Statement on President Obama’s New Fair Housing Rule

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 7/9/2015
Councilmember Harrell’s Statement on President Obama’s New Fair Housing Rule
SEATTLE – Councilmember Bruce Harrell,chair of theCouncil’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee,issued the following state…

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Councilmember Harrell Statement on Launch of Body Camera Pilot

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 12/18/2014
Councilmember Harrell Statement on Launch of Body Camera Pilot
SEATTLE – Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of theCouncil’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, issued the following statement regar…

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Property Crime Reduction Laws Announced by Councilmember Harrell

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 12/4/2014
Property Crime Reduction Laws Announced by Councilmember Harrell
Seattle – Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, announced three new policy proposa…

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Councilmember Harrell Statement on President Obama’s Announcement of Body-Worn Cameras

City of Seattle
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 12/1/2014

Councilmember Harrell Statement on President Obama’s Announcement of Body-Worn Cameras

SEATTLECouncilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s body-worn camera announcement:

“I applaud President Obama’s announcement to allocate $263 million for a new program that will provide body-worn cameras for the police and expand training for law enforcement agencies. Specifically, the President’s proposal is a $75 million investment over three years that could help purchase 50,000 body-worn cameras nationwide. The Body-Worn Camera Partnership Program would provide a 50 percent match to states and cities who purchase body-worn cameras and hardware storage.

“I am in favor of our City applying for this grant with the goal of full deployment of body cameras for the Seattle Police Department in 2016. Seattle is currently on schedule to begin the body camera pilot at the end of this year with a complete assessment report completed September 2015.

“I have long advocated for body cameras, a progressive game-changing effort to improve public safety, police accountability, and transparency. Body cameras provide impartial evidence and build trust with the community. The public deserves to have clear video evidence of police and civilian interactions, so we can more accurately examine incidents of police misconduct and produce video and audio evidence when shootings occur. One solution to allow us to better understand what happened at Ferguson is to deploy body cameras on all police officers.”

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City of Seattle launches digital privacy initiative

City of Seattle
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 11/3/2014

City of Seattle launches digital privacy initiative

Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmembers Bruce Harrell and Mike O’Brien today announced a citywide privacy initiative, aimed at providing greater transparency into the City’s data collection and use practices.

“In the course of doing business with the public, the City is collecting and exchanging increasing amounts of data,” said Murray. “As we continue to make innovative technology investments, we need to implement practices that support public trust in the security and privacy of personal information.”  

“This initiative is a chance to demonstrate to the people of Seattle that their local government is managing their personal information responsibly,” said O’Brien. “It is yet another chance for Seattle to lead the nation on an important issue in people’s daily lives—we are not aware of any other cities proactively working to protect people’s privacy like this initiative sets out to do.”

“We will go through a robust process to completely re-examine how the City collects, use, retain, and delete data to ensure the privacy of our residents,” said Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee. “The city has never approached it in this kind of methodical and transparent manner across all City departments and engaging with privacy leaders in Seattle.”

The collection of data occurs in every day City processes, such as paying a utility bill, renewing a pet license, browsing a web page, or signing up for an email list. Police, fire and emergency services collect different forms of video and electronic data. The increasing complexity of emerging technologies, business systems and laws mean the City must take appropriate steps to facilitate the collection, use, and disposal of data in a manner that balances the needs of the City to conduct its business with individual privacy, in a manner that builds public trust.

As part of this initiative, the City has convened a group of stakeholders from across City departments including Police, Fire, City Light, Transportation, Information Technology, Law, and Seattle Public Library. This team will create a set of principles that govern how the City approaches privacy-impacting decisions and a privacy statement that communicates the City’s privacy practices to the public. In addition, the group will propose an approach to educating City departments on privacy practices and assess compliance.

“One of the challenges police departments face is how to maintain public trust while embracing new technologies to support officers in the field and using data to more effectively deploy resources to address crime and disorder issues,” said Seattle Police Department Chief Operating Officer Mike Wagers. “Protecting the privacy of citizens, while deploying useful technologies and being more data-driven as a department, is of paramount importance and is why this initiative is so critical.”

To advise the City’s efforts, Murray announced the creation of a Privacy Advisory Committee. Comprised of privacy researchers, practitioners, and community representatives, this group of experts will provide guidance on leading privacy practices and potential public impact of proposed solutions.

The City expects to deliver a completed privacy statement and plan for implementation to Council by June 2015.

City partners with University of Washington on privacy research
Working in partnership with the City of Seattle, University of Washington’s Dr. Jan Whittington was recently announced as the recipient of a grant to examine the relationships that exist between open data, privacy and digital equity and what harm municipal data could lead to with consumers or the marketplace.

This funding, $50,000, was awarded through a request for proposal from the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology on the exploration of implications of government release of large datasets. This research is funded by Microsoft, with a $25,000 match from the City of Seattle.

This joint effort will enable the City to be more transparent by making more of its data available through its open data platform, data.seattle.gov, while implementing the processes necessary to protect the privacy of data subjects. It will also result in a set of model policies and practices that can be leveraged by other municipalities seeking to enhance the privacy and utility of their open data programs.

-MoS-

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Councilmember Harrell to host Chief O’Toole for First SPD Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10/3/2014
Councilmember Harrell to host Chief O’Toole for First SPD Report
Seattle – Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, will host the Seattle Police Depar…

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Council Adopts Bill to Improve High-Speed Fiber Network Deployment

City of Seattle
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 9/29/2014

Council Adopts Bill to Improve High-Speed Fiber Network Deployment

SEATTLE – City Council unanimously approved legislation today that will help expand high-speed fiber network deployment by removing excessive administrative requirements for siting of new broadband cabinets, incentivizing smaller cabinets that deliver higher speeds and requiring landscaping and screening in neighborhoods.

All neighborhoods will benefit, but the changes will initially help companies like CenturyLink launch one-gigabit-per-second (Gbps) fiber internet service to Beacon Hill, the Central District, Ballard and West Seattle. New cabinets are necessary for the delivery of 1 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) service. One-gigabit-per-second is equivalent to 1,000 megabits-per-second (Mbps). According to speedtest.net in Seattle, the current average download and upload speeds are 34.95 Mbps and 19.85 Mbps.

“This critical change will bring next-generation broadband to unserved and underserved neighborhoods,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee.We have gone through an extensive community process to get to this point, balancing the concerns of home-owners, street character and the desire to push fiber further out into neighborhoods. Next-generation fiber broadband is vital for our students’ education, helps mitigate traffic by allowing residents to work from home, and businesses and startups benefit by stimulating innovation and jobs. We must continue to think outside the box to create an environment competitive for companies to build fiber to your home and business.”

“This legislation is a win-win for neighborhoods. Underserved neighborhoods will receive a lightning-fast level of broadband service, while the visual clutter typically associated with these communications cabinets will be greatly reduced. I look forward to the expansion of this service throughout the city,” said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, chair of the Transportation Committee.

Robert Kangas, chair of Upping Technology for Underserved Neighbors, said, “This is a great first step to opening our neighborhoods to improved broadband. Thank you to the Mayor’s office and the Seattle City Council for working with members of the community and the broadband providers to give us more competition and improved service. This will help Seattle remain a leader in the tech community for years to come. While this is an immediate win for the under-served areas of Seattle, it will benefit the entire city.”

Brian Hsi, chair of the Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board’s Broadband and Cable Committee, said, “I’m pleased to see progress being made toward bringing more broadband choices for Seattle residents. For too long parts of our City could not receive the infrastructure necessary to build out affordable, quality, high speed broadband options. That changes today with the passage of this legislation.”

Beginning in January 2013, SDOT began engaging with stakeholder groups and sought feedback on siting issues for new telecommunication cabinets in the public right-of-way and held meetings with stakeholders from North Beacon Hill, Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board, Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities, Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board, Public Space Management Task Force, Department of Information Technology, Department of Planning and Development, Office of Economic Development, Seattle City Light, CenturyLink, AT&T, Comcast, Wave, Verizon and various other community groups. The consensus of the group concluded that new legislation must prioritize:

  1. Improving broadband deployment, especially in underserved areas;
  2. Keeping our public spaces and rights-of-way free from visual clutter; and
  3. Maintaining other priorities for the public spaces and rights-of-way for community activation goals.

Council Bill 118208 will help broadband deployment by:

  1. Incentivizing smaller cabinets (less than 36″) that deliver faster connection bandwidth by streamlining the permitting and outreach requirements.
  2. Providing a dis-incentive for siting larger cabinets by requiring additional public outreach and visual mitigation for cabinets taller than 36″.
  3. Eliminating “veto power” from adjacent property owner as currently required in SDOT Director’s Rule 2-2009.
  4. Eliminating requirement of obtaining 60% approval from within 100 feet on proposed installation as currently required by SDOT Director’s Rule 2-2009.
  5. Requiring written notification to all residents, businesses, and property owners within 100-foot radius if the proposed installation cabinet is greater than 36 inches in height.
  6. Requiring screening mitigation such as landscaping and vinyl wrap for new cabinet installations in residential zones above 36 inches.
  7. Removing graffiti in a timely manner.
  8. Requiring all service providers to submit quarterly reports to SDOT that describe each complaint received, how complaint was resolved, and how long it took to resolve the complaint.

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Council Confirms New Immigrant and Refugee Affairs Director

City of Seattle
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 9/23/2014

Council Confirms New Immigrant and Refugee Affairs Director

SEATTLECity Council this week unanimously approved Cuc T. Vu as Director of the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA).

“Cuc’s compelling background as a refugee of the Vietnam War, immigrant upbringing and experience working on immigrant and refugee affairs issues makes her the ideal director to help the immigrant and refugee communities achieve success,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee. “Her previous experience in leading national and local immigrant rights groups and establishing the first national immigrant rights coalition will be invaluable as she engages with city departments to empower refugees and immigrants to advance their priorities.”

As director, Ms. Vu’s goal is to implement the City’s five-point plan:

  1. Expand citizenship programs and services
  2. Create career pathways through ESL and computer training for the most limited English-proficient immigrants and refugees
  3. Improve access to City programs, services and resources through ethnic media engagement
  4. Enhance public safety for immigrant and refugee communities through a Refugee Women’s Institute, where emerging refugee women leaders will learn to use City services to advocate for themselves, their families and their communities
  5. Implement a language access program to improve the City’s ability to engage its immigrant and refugee residents


Ms. Vu most recently served as the first Chief Diversity Officer for the Human Rights Campaign and has worked at SEIU, AFL-CIO and the U.S. Department of Labor. Vu earned an undergraduate degree at Pomona College and a graduate degree as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Immigrants account for nearly one-fifth of all Seattleites, and approximately one-third of children in Seattle are in immigrant families.

The Council created the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs in 2012.

Link to Cuc T. Vu Questions & answers
Link to Cuc T. Vu Confirmation Packet

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Harrell to host panel on downtown crime and street disorder

Harrell to host panel on downtown crime and street disorder LEAD program under review, discussion Seattle – Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, will host a special Public Safety meeting to discuss the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program. LEAD is one of the City’s major initiatives […]

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Council Passes Women’s Reproductive Health Rights Resolution

City of Seattle
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 9/8/2014

Council Passes Women’s Reproductive Health Rights Resolution

SEATTLE – The Seattle City Council today unanimously approved Resolution 31541, calling on the United States Congress and President Obama to repeal all federal bans on public coverage of abortion and supporting efforts to improve access to public and private insurance coverage for comprehensive reproductive health care.

“Every woman who enrolls in public government insurance should have the right to make their personal reproductive choices and receive coverage based on those choices, regardless of income or financial status,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee.

The Hyde Amendment, a rider attached to the federal spending budget each year and first passed by Congress in 1976, bans Medicaid coverage of abortion. Federal law also prohibits insurance coverage of abortion for women and their dependents who receive federally sponsored health care.

Rachel Berkson, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, said, “Given that there are over 4,000 women in Seattle are insured through the federal government and subject to these restrictions on abortion coverage, we commend Bruce Harrell and the Seattle City Council for taking a strong stand against the Hyde Amendment. For far too long, coverage bans like the Hyde Amendment have disproportionately limited access to abortion care for low-income women and women of color. Seattle is a pro-choice city and Washington is a state with a pro-choice majority—it’s time we embraced an agenda that reflects this, and identifies reproductive rights not just as an issue of gender equality, but one of economic and racial justice.”

Lisa Stone, Executive Director of Legal Voice, said, “Every woman should be able to make decisions based on what is best for herself and her family instead of based on what she can afford. The Hyde Amendment and other federal bans of abortion coverage affect Seattle women in a very real way. It’s time to tell Congress that when access to abortion is determined by the type of insurance a woman has, reproductive choice is meaningless.”

Andrea Miller, President of National Institute for Reproductive Health, said, “By withholding abortion coverage from women utilizing federal insurance plans, our nation has effectively created a class-based system for access to abortion care. But today Seattle joined the ranks of cities across the country—including Cambridge, New York City, Oakland and Philadelphia – that are leading the national movement to strike down the unjust bans that deny too many women access to abortion care. The National Institute for Reproductive Health is proud to support these efforts, and congratulates the women and men of Seattle.”

Councilmember Jean Godden, who chairs the committee overseeing the City’s efforts to eliminate gender inequity in the workplace, agreed. “Each of us should have the right to make reproductive health choices, based on what’s best for oneself and for one’s family.”

Seattle joins a grass-roots movement to repeal the Hyde amendment and becomes the first jurisdiction in the Northwest—and the sixth nationally—to declare its support for overturning the Hyde Amendment.

According to the most recent U.S. Census, over 311,650 women live in Seattle. 67,824 women in Seattle are enrolled in public insurance and over 4,000 women of reproductive age are insured through the federal government and are therefore subject to federal restrictions on abortion coverage.

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