Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell Announces City Initiative to Help Save Families Up to $23,000 Per Year 

New CiviForm program reduced time for residents to apply to City discount programs by 80%, offering up to $23,000 total possible savings.  

Benefits portal at seattle.gov/affordable makes it easier and faster for residents to get the help they need. 

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced the expansion of the City’s Affordable Seattle initiative – part of his efforts to make City discount and benefit programs easily accessible to all. Mayor Harrell has championed CiviForm – an innovative portal designed as a simple one-stop shop to quickly and conveniently apply for City services to save residents time and money by making it easier to apply for multiple benefit and discount programs at the same time. This initiative is supported by a new Executive Order directing all City benefit and discount programs to identify and implement changes that decrease the burden on residents. Among the changes, departments are directed to adopt or integrate with the CiviForm platform by the end of 2024.  

CiviForm is a tool that makes it faster and easier for residents to apply to City of Seattle benefit and discount programs and was designed with community input to ensure it works for the neighbors who will benefit the most. 

“Rooted in Seattle’s spirit of big ideas and support for those in need, we are leveraging innovation and collaboration to make it easier for people to understand what assistance programs they qualify for and then apply in just minutes. CiviForm exemplifies our One Seattle approach to public-private collaborations: its development was supported by know-how from technology companies and its design was informed by testing with community non-profit partners” said Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell.

Residents and community partners can learn about, check their eligibility, and apply for City of Seattle benefits and discount programs at www.seattle.gov/affordable.

Currently, the City of Seattle offers residents the ability to apply for the following programs via CiviForm: 

  • Seattle Parks and Recreation Scholarship Program: Residents can save 50-90% off recreation programs for all ages including aquatics, recreation, preschool and childcare.  
  • Seattle Preschool Program: Residents can get access to free or discounted preschool for children ages three and four. 
  • Gold Card: Residents ages 60 and older can save on retail, services, art, entertainment, and tourism with the Gold Card, including free passes to the Seattle Aquarium. 
  • FLASH Card: Residents ages 18-59 with qualifying disabilities can save on retail, services, art, entertainment, and tourism with the FLASH Card, including free passes to the Seattle Aquarium. 

The site is accessible via desktop and mobile in eight languages: English, Traditional Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Somali, Amharic, Korean and Tagalog.  

Daniela Lizarraga, Navigator Supervisor, El Centro de la Raza 

“Collaborating with the City of Seattle and Google.org has been amazing. My dedication is to serve families in Seattle who face language and technology barriers. I was honored to be able to provide valuable feedback and lift the voices of the community I work with in hopes to have more equitable access to resources through CiviForm.” 

Katie Yuen, Community Connector, El Centro de la Raza 

“It is a privilege to work closely with the city and google.org to design a platform to help our vulnerable community. They are such a professional and knowledge team. I believe technology can change life, especially for those who have language barriers.  Seattle’s cost of living has sky-rocketed, the CivicForm would impact many people to make their lives easier.”

Read more here.


Banning these five things would reduce plastic waste by 1.4M tons each year: report

Stopping the production of these items could also reduce humanity’s carbon footprint.

Five single-use plastic items like cigarette filters and plastic straws should be banned to reduce the amount of plastics polluting our oceans, according to a new report from the Ocean Conservancy.

Bans on single-use plastic bags, straws, cutlery, cigarette filters and Styrofoam food containers in the United States would reduce plastics usage by about 450 billion pieces a year.  

That reduction would shrink the country’s plastic waste by 1.4 million tons, according to the report.

Read more here.