What is the goal?
The goal was to engage a critical mass of key Local Government Officials throughout California to become active champions in closing the Digital Divide. We set out to explore and exchange information about the key roles of Local Government Officials as Policy Leaders, Planners, Regulators, Consumers and Providers of Broadband Services. We further sought to understand and discuss the challenges facing broadband providers in deploying infrastructure to meet increasing consumer demands and identify options for addressing concerns and resolving conflicts.
Why is this important?
The digital divide in our region and throughout the State of California has created barriers to economic vitality. Digital literacy skills are necessary to fill out job applications, fully participate in Common Core Curriculums, access medical services and fulfill civic responsibilities. Access to high-speed Internet gives companies and individuals the competitive edge to fully participate in a growing global economy. By working on projects where we bring together elected officials and key stakeholders, we are creating solutions to closing equity gaps in our communities.
What is Valley Vision doing about it?
Valley Vision partnered with the California Emerging Technology Fund, the California State Association of Counties, the League of California Cities and the Rural County Representatives of California and hosted a two-day roundtable that brought together 80 participants, 24 of which were elected officials from across California. There were six moderated panels discussing topics such as: Smart Riverside: How the City of Riverside Became the “Most Intelligent Community of the Year”, Policies in General Plans, Environmental Reports and Specific Plans, Cities of the Future: Fresno’s Strong Cities Strong Communities Partnership, Libraries as Digital Hubs and Hot Spots, Mapping of State owned facilities available for co-location, and many more. Opportunities were created after each panel for elected officials and observers to join the dialogue and further help in the transition from conflict to solution. The Roundtable concluded with a positive response across the board and high hope that there would be another facilitated roundtable prior to the planned reconvening in 2015.
October 17 & 18, 2013