The Smartypants Guide to December's Civic Cocktail: Immigration, government technology

Join us for drinks, snacks and smart talk about immigration reform and government's use (or misuse) of technology.
Crosscut archive image.

Michael Mattmiller, the new CTO of the City of Seattle.

Join us for drinks, snacks and smart talk about immigration reform and government's use (or misuse) of technology.

What does immigration reform mean for people in Seattle who lack legal documents or whose family members can't enter or stay in the country legally? And how is government doing in its efforts to make better use of technology as a tool to provide and even expand public services?

Both topics are on the agenda for this week's Civic Cocktail, sponsored by Crosscut, Seattle CityClub and the Seattle Channel, and happening Wednesday, Dec. 3 at Tom Douglas' Palace Ballroom (2100 Fifth Ave.) in downtown Seattle.

Host and veteran political journalist Joni Balter will chat with Rich Stolz, executive director of the Seattle-based immigrant support group OneAmerica, and then with City of Seattle Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller and former head of, Kurt DelBene. President Obama asked DelBene, the ex-Microsoft executive, to deal with his troubled health care reform. Balter will be joined in her question asking duties by audience members and a panel of journalists, including Crosscut Managing Editor Berit Anderson.

The doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the program begins at 6. Tickets are $10 for Crosscut or CityClub members, $12 for thegeneral  public and $15 at the door. You can register for the program here. We hope to see you there, but if for some reason you can't make it, you can catch the program later on Seattle Channel.

Whether you attend or watch later on TV, here's some background reading to turn you into a smartypants on immigration and government use of technology.


"Fixing the system" is the White House portal for all President Obama's actions on immigration. It includes a transcript of his recent speech, videos and links to more information.

"The power of one little story among 11.7 million undocumented immigrants," Crosscut, May 29.  

"Obama announces largest immigration overhaul in decades," Seattle Globalist, Nov. 20.

"How Tacoma's immigration protest spawned a national fight," Crosscut, April 28.

Government and technology

"City moves forward with privacy initiative," Crosscut, Nov. 3. 

"Another Seattle Internet hoax? CenturyLink vows real gigabit in Seattle," Crosscut, Aug. 5. 

"Who's responsible for tech industry ethics?" Crosscut, June 13. 

"Hazing Seattle's new CTO," Crosscut, June 10.

And, in case you missed November's Civic Cocktail, the program's excellent discussions on police reform with Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole and with filmmaker Lynn Shelton on her work in Seattle can be found here.


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