Join and Pacific Science Center for a day of STEM education!

by msjones
  • Share your experience and excitement for science, math, engineering and more
  • Volunteer a half or full day in local elementary and middle schools
  • Help to facilitate interactive exhibits as students explore STEM topics
  • Program topics include anatomy and physiology, engineering, geology, astronomy, math and physics.

Through our partnership with Pacific Science Center and Communities in Schools of Seattle, we’re pleased to help provide free STEM programming to qualifying schools for the 2018-2019 school year. To participate as a volunteer, please contact Outreach Education Program Supervisor, Holly Duskin, at to sign up or find out more!

Volunteer opportunities are at the following locations and dates:
4/15 Pathfinder K-8
5/10 Denny Middle School
5/13 Denny Middle School
6/5 South Shore Elementary
6/6 Van Asselt Elementary
Pending date – Aki Kurose
Pending date – Highland Park Elementary


February was a Great Month for Teachers

by msjones

Education is frequently the foundation for working in tech and innovation; it’s why we love supporting local public education. It is the vital first step to most meaningful and economically rewarding jobs. Seattle, with one of the most vibrant tech scenes in the country, should be the biggest champion of local public education as it supports a dynamic, diverse, and vibrant local economy. We are up to that challenge!

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Levies for the kids, high-fives for teachers, and lawmakers at lunch

by msjones

Winter is showing its personality here in Seattle and we’re hard at work bringing you community connections and important civic content. Our members get access to exclusive events focused on civic topics as they’re developing. We had great turnout at our legislative preview in January and look forward to bringing you more timely topics in the coming weeks. Keep up with us regularly on Twitter and remember to vote in the special election on February 12th!

Stay warm out there!

Nicholas Merriam CEO

Support our local public schools by voting YES on Prop 1 & 2

On this month’s ballot, Seattle residents will cast their votes on renewal levies for Seattle Public Schools. If you haven’t been following along, learn about why we support the levies. These levies will provide much-needed funding to our school district, ensuring each student in Seattle can earn a high-quality public education.

Learn more about why supports Prop 1 & 2

Volunteer with us at Van Asselt Elementary or South Shore prek-8 next week

See our community in action by volunteering with other tech and innovation workers at our partner Communities in Schools of Seattle. Next week we’re headed to Van Asselt Elementary and South preK-8 to show hard-working teachers we appreciate their work. Regularly, these teachers go above and beyond the call of duty of teaching and help young people overcome barriers like transportation, food, housing, or behavioral support.


Member Exclusive Event Recap: Legislative Session Preview with Representatives Davis, Frame and Macri

On January 11th, 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 Representatives were on hand to talk with their constituents, but underneath that was a real desire to hear from Seattle’s sometimes “elusive” innovation economy worker. This is what is about.

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Partner Program:
Go deep on collaboration with the Ion Program at WTIA
The Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) Ion Program brings together highly curious, open-minded individuals working in tech/business, government, and community-based organizations to learn about the community and create a team project addressing a civic challenge. Apply by 2/15 for their Spring or Summer cohort. Learn more.

Supporting Educational Levies is Good for the Community, Good for the Economy

by msjones

This month Seattle voters will cast their ballots on Propositions 1 and 2, levies to support Seattle Public Schools. These levies are critical to providing our district with the funds they need to educate our kids. We encourage you to vote YES on each of the levies to ensure every child can get a quality public education.

If you haven’t been following the levies, here are the basics. Proposition 1, the Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy, covers the operating gaps the State currently does not fund. For example, the State funds nine nurses, the district employs 63. Proposition 2, the Building Excellence V (BEX V) Capital Levy, funds the construction of new buildings, design for future schools, and equitable technology investments in classrooms. The list of projects to be completed by BEX V can be found here. has been making our own investments in local schools over the last few months. Our network of tech and innovation workers want all kids to thrive. We volunteer, raise flexible funds, source school supplies, and help connect education to work. We do this because supporting local public education is critical to maintaining a healthy community and strong economy here in Seattle.

Let’s make sure young people in our city get the education they deserve. Vote YES on Propositions 1 & 2 and make sure to return your ballot by Tuesday, February 12th.

If you want more details about the levies, make sure to look at Seattle Public Schools levies page. 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.

Holiday Food Insecurity for Students, How to help, and looking forward to 2019

by msjones

As the year comes to a close, I am proud in our strides to bring to life. We launched at the end of September with great support from industry and the broader Seattle community. We raised more than $45,000, facilitated 150 volunteer hours, sourced 15+ large boxes of supplies, and connected Science on Wheels to the schools we support with Communities in Schools of Seattle. We continue to strengthen relationships between community leaders, educators, and the innovation economy.

2019 promises to be an exciting year as we deepen our work in the community and build civic education with our memership. Plans are in place to update a teacher’s lounge and host teacher appreciation events with other student-focused events in the works. We are also excited to share the start Member Exclusive Lunch & Learn programming, where innovation workers can gain exposure to issues in our community.

Join us as we continue to build partnerships and establish programming that deepens the connection between our innovation economy and local community.

Have a joyous holiday and new year!


Nicholas Merriam CEO

Puget Sound Business Journal Opinion: by CEO Nicholas Merriam CEO Nicholas Merriam recently wrote a piece for PSBJ on the issue of increased food insecurity for students during the holiday season. In it, he highlights the great work of Food Lifeline in addressing food insecurity in our community and shares how Communities in Schools can help you make a difference.

Read the full PSBJ Article

Help Stop Student Hunger During the Holidays supports Communities in Schools of Seattle by connecting volunteers, relationships, and resources. Students in their network who rely on free and reduced lunch are at an increased risk of hunger during the holidays. Making a small donation to fund a gift card for their family can help reduce their food insecurity.

Help stop Seattle student hunger this holiday season!

Welcome new member Rover! is delighted to welcome Rover to the membership! Founded in 2011, Rover is the world’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers. Rover connects pet parents with dog people who’ll treat their pets like family. Welcome aboard Rover!

Visit their website!

Take our survey – You can be part of the solution. is here to help you navigate and take action on these issues. Working with member companies we provide innovation workers – like you – straightforward ways to digest the issues then become part of the solution.

Tell us what issues you want to help tackle.