Jan 13, 2020
We rely on access to high-speed internet to meet the demands of everyday life. We pay bills, apply for jobs, look up children’s school assignments, and get real-time updates on bus arrivals. But at least 20 million Americans live without digital access. They are our neighbors and family members from cities and rural regions who lack the infrastructure (physical wires) and/or the financial means to afford internet connectivity. How do we solve this opportunity gap? Francella Ochillo leads Next Century Cities, a resource to a growing cohort of mayors from 200 cities and counties in 40 states that are building out broadband infrastructure and getting constituents connected. NCC is also at the forefront of a movement to ensure that those without digital access participate in the 2020 Census. So much is at stake, from federal resources to political representation, that NCC published a census toolkit and is working with local leaders to make Wi-Fi enabled kiosks available to those without connectivity. Francella opens minds and hearts about our collective responsibility to become stewards for those who are disenfranchised from our digital world.