Addressing the digital divide falls squarely within the city’s responsibility to foster the health and welfare of Austin residents, and ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to thrive. It is increasingly difficult to participate in any aspect of modern life without a working knowledge of, and access to, digital devices.
As a council member, I spearheaded the development of the community’s Digital Inclusion Strategic Plan under Resolution 20140320-056, which was adopted on November 20, 2014 and is now being implemented. This was a critical step for our city to bring community partners together to prepare an actionable guide for coordinating efforts to reach our goals for digital inclusion.
I also was a strong supporter of the City’s GTOPS Grant program and a regular Digital Assessment done in partnership with UT, always focused on ensuring adequate resources for these efforts.
With tens of thousands of Austinites who are not connected to the Internet, as mayor, I will strongly support continued dedication in this arena, in resources and focus. Given that we will reach the 5th anniversary of adoption of this plan in 2019, and our continually evolving community and technology, it will be time to reevaluate the Strategic Plan and assess successes, failures, and set new goals.