PRESS RELEASE

333 W. Ocean Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90802
Phone: (562) 570-6099
5/10/2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # CM:032218A
Subject:
City of Long Beach Continues Efforts in Digital Inclusion
Contact:
Lea D. Eriksen, Interim Director
Department of Technology and Innovation
562.570.6234
Lea.Eriksen@longbeach.gov






In observance of Digital Inclusion Week, the City of Long Beach is proud to announce that it is officially an affiliate of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), joining more than 300 affiliated organizations in 38 states that work toward digital equity. Digital Inclusion Week, May 7-11, 2018, is a platform to bring attention to the digital inequities that exist nationally. The City is utilizing this platform to catalyze its efforts to reduce digital disparities for individuals and communities within Long Beach.

“Cities across America are facing the digital divide. In response, we have focused on a digital inclusion initiative, which allows us to address the needs of our community as a whole,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Long Beach currently offers over 300 public access PCs within our public library system, and most residents are within one mile of the City-provided Wi-Fi. We are just getting started.”

On January 23, 2018, the Long Beach City Council voted unanimously to establish the City as an official affiliate of the NDIA, at the request of Councilmember Lena Gonzalez.

“Many communities of color throughout the U.S. lack accessibility to computers and the internet,” said Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez. “I am proud to be a part of the City’s efforts in taking proactive measures to address existing digital inequities.”

Together as a City, the goal is to develop and implement community-based and equity-framed solutions that will:

  • Increase access to internet service and public use computers in “digital divide” communities.
  • Increase access to digital content designed to enable and encourage self-sufficiency, participation and collaboration.
  • Increase access to digital literacy training.
  • Expand the City’s programs and services that can be accessed digitally.

Examples of City of Long Beach efforts toward digital inclusion include:

  • Free Wi-Fi access in all 12 library branches, which have been upgraded to an ultrafast 1 gigabyte broadband connection. This allows City library branches to effectively provide the public with high-performance access to resources that constitute 21st century digital citizenship and most importantly digitally empower residents.
  • In-person and online computer and coding classes, available in English and Spanish, offered at Long Beach libraries.
  • The UpLink Smart Corridor project, which expands public Wi-Fi access and security cameras along Atlantic Avenue between Jordan High School and Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library.

Currently, the City’s Technology and Innovation Commission is conducting a community-based survey to assess how residents are currently accessing the internet and the barriers they face to connect to internet services. The survey will be translated into multiple languages, and distributed at community hubs and community-based organizations. Strategic efforts will be made to reach community-based organizations in the areas of immigration advocacy, job training and economic development. The survey will be available until the end of June 2018.  More information about the survey, and the City’s digital inclusion efforts can be found at www.longbeach.gov/ti/digital-inclusion/.

Residents can stay engaged and informed on social media by using the following hashtags:

  • #LBdigitalinclusion.
  • #DIW2018.

About Technology and Innovation

The Technology and Innovation Department provides a centralized resource for technology deployment and support throughout the City. It is our mission to provide a customer-focused environment that integrates people, processes, and technology to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of City services. To learn more about Technology and Innovation, visit: www.longbeach.gov/ti.