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a smart City for ALL

Release Date: 0001-01-01

Dear Friends, 

This week, in an op-ed in the Grunion Gazette, I discussed the importance of our city’s Digital Inclusion Policy and the need to develop an inclusive smart city. Across the country, cities have been partnering with the tech industry to identify ways to leverage technology for the social good. Tech companies have created innovative solutions to a host of challenges facing communities, such as parking, mobility, public safety, and workforce development.

In Long Beach, we launched a smart cities initiative to engage community stakeholders and begin piloting technological solutions to traffic issues along Anaheim Street. We also have established a Fiber Master Plan to expand our high-speed internet infrastructure and connect all City facilities, which will allow us to provide more City-owned Wi-Fi and access through public schools and libraries. And we are working with companies like Verizon and Crown Castle to get small cell 5G capabilities across the city.

These are important developments that make Long Beach a leader in the 21st Century innovation economy. Yet it’s critical to ensure that the work we are doing to support technological advancements in Long Beach also addresses the needs of our most vulnerable and underserved residents. Nearly 30% of our residents lack broadband internet access at home and more than 15% have no access at all.

That’s why we need to build a Smart City for All!

As we develop smart city technologies and cultivate an innovation ecosystem, we must leverage these resources to bridge the digital divide and make our economy more inclusive. In addition to providing digital access through broadband and Wi-Fi, we need to address achievement gaps and promote equity in STEM curriculum, so that all youth have an opportunity to get jobs in the digital and technological innovation fields.

For more information on our City’s digital inclusion efforts, make sure to check out the resources below, and please join us in co-creating solutions to make Long Beach a smart, inclusive city.
 
•    The City of Long Beach website for Digital Inclusion
•    A City Memo on Digital Inclusion, with a comprehensive report from the Technology & Innovation Commission
•    A recent Press-Telegram article about the commission’s report 
•    The Long Beach Media Collaborative’s series on digital divide

My staff and I work hard to ensure that the First District is a fun and safe place for all to live, work and play. If you need any assistance, please feel free to contact my office at 562-570-6919 or email district1@longbeach.gov. 

All my best,
 
LENA GONZALEZ
Councilwoman, First District
City of Long Beach