Roadmap to Recovery: Environmental Sustainability After COVID-19

by msjones

Kristi England, Executive Director of Earth Day NW 2020 at Forterra joined us at our first Virtual Lunch & Learn. For the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Earth Day Northwest 2020 celebrates the #NEXT5 decades of Earth Day by asking organizations and individuals across the spectrum to make a public commitment to do something big, tangible and extra that preserves and protects the environment and our communities.

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2020 Legislative Preview Recap

by msjones

The Washington State Legislature plays a vital role in shaping our communities. From education to affordable housing to taxes, the policies they craft and approve impacts daily life across the state. Representatives and Senators convene annually for anywhere from 60 days to six months to establish policy, develop the bi-annual budget, and debate Washington’s most pressing topics. Read more and Google host an Engaging Discussion on Homelessness in Seattle

by msjones

On May 31, 2019, 160 innovation workers from six tech companies, including Amazon, Amperity, and Verizon, joined and piled into a room at Google to learn how a few of the leading nonprofits in Seattle are addressing homelessness. The event, per usual, was basic; mics, nibbles, chairs, and a panel of leaders on an engaging topic. There was so much interest in the event that Google offered an employee closed video stream. We’ve clearly seen tech workers in Seattle educating themselves at our events, they  want to understand the challenges and issues in Seattle and take direct action to improve their communities.

Read more hosts State Representatives to discuss their priorities for the upcoming legislative session at Amazon

by msjones

On January 11th at noon, a number of tech and innovation workers from across the community gathered in an Amazon conference room – both to engage with each other, and to hear some of their State Representatives talk about Democratic Caucus priorities for the upcoming legislative session. The session was purposefully modest – no fancy presentations, giant banners, or tv cameras. The Lunch & Learn was simply that: have some food and engage in a dialogue.

Representatives Lauren Davis (District 32), Nicole Macri (District 43), and Noel Frame (District 36) were on hand in part to talk with their constituents. But underneath that was, we think, a real desire to hear from Seattle’s sometimes “elusive” innovation economy worker. Our ilk has grown rapidly over the past decade and while policymakers and elected officials know we are here, they don’t always know how to find venues where they can offer thoughts and receive important input. CEO Nicholas Merriam and Amazon executive Eileen Sullivan led the conversation which included a broad range of topics, providing these Democratic Representatives an opportunity to highlight their priorities, especially the “must address” issues for the upcoming session. As they spoke a few themes emerged:

  1. Mental health and addiction have a domino effect across the community. They noted these issues exacerbated already challenging problems and must be stemmed using more aggressive services as well as more funding to support these services.
  2. Updating laws to reflect current technology. While the companies across Seattle and the state may be at the cutting edge, the state government is not. Specifically, Rep. Frame noted that many of the current laws have not kept pace and there is a real need to connect the ubiquity of today’s devices, services and uses with how law enforcement and others intersect with the private, public and personal arenas.
  3. Affordability was an overarching theme specific to lower- and moderate-income residents. It included affordable housing, childcare, healthcare, and student debt. Rep. Macri noted they specifically plan to push on housing policy throughout the session.

Following their moderated conversation, audience members asked a few questions. They only had time to discuss two of them: 1) What can we do to promote a more progressive tax structure? and 2) Public safety and security in areas like Ballard feels in decline. What can we do about it?

Attendees were encouraged to reach out to their own representatives if they supported a more progressive tax system while Ballard public safety was more of a Seattle City Council question – yet they also gave both personal and policy guidance to the questioner.

Following the event, many participants had a chance to ask one-on-one questions with the Representatives. Participants left knowing more, at a deeper level about what some of their elected officials are going to prioritize and how they could support those issues if they wanted too. This is what is all about.

Our next member exclusive Lunch & Learn will be at Vulcan on February 1st where we will talk to experts about educational funding including McCleary and the upcoming Seattle School Levies.

Member exclusive events, like these, are just one benefit of becoming a member. To learn more about how your company can join, visit our membership page.

A Successful Launch at Aki Kurose Middle School!

by msjones

35 volunteers from seven member companies joined us last Thursday. We appreciate that you stuck with us through the schedule change as we started our work with Seattle Schools. Our first campaign raised more than $40,000 for our partner Communities in Schools to support students and provided thousands of dollars of school supplies. We hope that you learned something new, made friends with a student, or high-fived a teacher for being awesome.

The feedback from Aki Kurose’s staff has been wildly positive. Teachers and administrators alike, were deeply appreciative of you sharing your career path with students. The supplies were definitely a hit with the students, closely rivaled by Blitz. And who doesn’t love pizza and ice cream?!

Check out our recent press on Geekwire and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Perhaps this experience sparked your interest in doing something more to support our local public education system. Here’s what you can do:

Your Feedback: Please take 90 seconds to fill out this survey so we can provide fantastic additional experiences.

Volunteer Regularly: sign up here to learn more about volunteering regularly with Communities In Schools of Seattle.

Donate: contributions get kids more extracurricular activities or can be used to address family emergencies that keep them from learning.

Thank you again for supporting schools in our community,

Nick CEO