L.A. Councilman Seeks To Give More Residents Access To Technology, Internet

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A motion intended to provide more people in Los Angeles with access to the internet and technology during the COVID-19 pandemic was introduced today by Councilman Bob Blumenfield.

The motion sets several short-term and long-term goals with plans to identify funding sources to improve connectivity in disadvantaged communities.

“From doing school work, to tele-health, to succeeding in almost every job, the COVID-19 emergency has further highlighted the absolute need for equitable access to the internet,'' Blumenfield said.

“It's become a basic necessity for all facets of our lives and there are too many Angelenos who are on the wrong end of the digital divide. We need to do more.''

The motion instructs the offices of the city administrative officer and chief legislative analyst to craft a “Digital Equity Plan'' and report back with policies at the federal and state level that will assist Los Angeles in promoting digital inclusion and to report on best practices implemented by other cities.

Blumenfield said all Angelenos need equal access to connectivity, the appropriate devices and literacy programs regardless of income level.

Blumenfield said without these basic tools, seniors cannot access services such as meal deliveries, employees cannot work remotely and students cannot access remote learning.

Blumenfield said many reports show Los Angeles Unified School District students have had to “jump through hurdle after hurdle'' to access remote learning.

In some circumstances students have missed consecutive weeks of remote learning while working through connectivity issues, log-in issues and malfunctioning of district-loaned computer devices.

The motion will first be heard by the council's Information, Technology and General Services Committee.

Photo: Getty Images

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