By Cristal Mojica
On May 4th, the Michelson 20MM Foundation joined 80+ fellow digital equity champions for the first Digital Equity Los Angeles Advocacy Day, a day of power-building, collective action, and learning.
We convened at Los Angeles City Hall for community constituent meetings with our City of Los Angeles Council offices, the Mayor’s office, and our County Supervisors.
Shayna Englin, Director of the Digital Equity Initiative, California Community Foundation, addresses attendees
The day’s agenda included sharing troubling statistics and illuminating fact sheets on the availability, speed, and pricing of broadband in the city and county of Los Angeles. The conversations underscored the steep price disparities for services in areas where there is a Internet Service Provider (ISP) monopoly or duopoly and the high number of households (by district) who are reliant upon mobile or low-bandwidth services for all of their internet needs.
We encouraged our Council offices to continue to ask ISPs tough questions about the quality of services they provide our communities, and identify pathways during the procurement process to address the inequities we know to exist.
Advocates also shared information on thriving municipal-owned broadband projects and cited examples across the country of successful models for community-owned solutions. Above all else, we encouraged our City and County leaders to guide their decision-making through active support of public investment in public solutions.
Local examples of projects included:
We will continue to call on our local leaders and policymakers to fight for digital equity for all Angelenos, and to steer us toward sustainable, equitable solutions by leaning on the collective knowledge of community organizations and advocates.
Michelson 20MM is a proud member of the Digital Equity Los Angeles coalition, which represents community-based and community-serving organizations in every LA City Council district and across LA County fighting for equity and justice in education, housing, health care, immigration, climate, transportation, the arts, and more.
Michelson 20MM is a private, nonprofit foundation seeking to accelerate progress towards a more just world through grantmaking, operating programs, and impact investing. Co-chaired and funded by Alya and Gary Michelson, Michelson 20MM is part of the Michelson Philanthropies network of foundations.
To sign up for our newsletter, click here.