2017 is a City election year. Mayor Jackson is the front runner in his bid for an unprecedented fourth term, but he has a lot of opponents, including some relatively strong ones. Most City Council Members also have one or more opponents. The primary will take place September 12, and the general election on November 7.
This election is a unique opportunity to get the digital exclusion of tens of thousands of Cleveland citizens recognized as a priority target for City action. The campaign is an opportunity to turn affordable broadband access and funding for community technology into questions that the candidates must answer. The answers they give can shape the possibilities for City action and leadership on digital inclusion in 2018 and beyond.
Faced with similar digital exclusion problems — though often much less severe — city governments across the country have stepped up to take leadership. Many communities are investing in their own broadband networks to make sure their residents and business can get fast, affordable access. Cities like Seattle, Boston, Austin and others provide public operating support for community technology programs that offer training and connection assistance to unconnected neighbors.
It’s long past time for the elected leaders of Cleveland, confronting a much bigger digital divide than any of these communities, to start following their examples.
Connect Your Community plans to approach each candidate for Mayor and City Council during Cleveland’s general election this Fall. We’ll ask for their commitments to support specific City actions to increase Internet access, reduce Internet costs, and help all our fellow citizens to become digitally connected and literate.
If you’re a Clevelander, please help us get this campaign started by clicking below and taking our “Cleveland Election Issues Survey”.
What are the major technological challenges that the City of Cleveland (as an organization) faces and how do you plan to approach fixing them (The city is way behind most other municipalities with the adoption of technology)
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