There’s no question that the digital divide is real and that it disproportionately harms our most vulnerable populations. Our immigrant communities, low-income families without internet access, a lack of online fluency and skills.
COVID has only made it worse. With almost everything shifting almost entirely online, our families without access to the internet or the skills to use it became even more isolated. That has resulted in devastating outcomes for our most vulnerable students.
As a state representative, Jon fights for these issues every single day on Beacon Hill, including recently co-sponsoring and advocating for a budget amendment that would provide funding specifically for expanding high speed internet for public housing.
But we cannot wait for legislation to get passed in order to take action. As mayor, Jon will:
- Expand municipal broadband. Jon is committed to exploring the expansion of municipal broadband in Boston. Right now, over 200 local governments across the country have built or overseen municipal broadband and we need to be considering it as a way to increase access and drive down cost. In that same vein, we should be welcoming new cable and Internet competition. As mayor, Jon will ensure that our lowest income, most underserved neighborhoods, and communities with highest density of public housing are prioritized.
- Focus on equity. As mayor, Jon will appoint a Chief Information officer that will prioritize addressing the digital divide by making sure that any program or policy put forth is done so within the framework of a racial equity lens
- Amplify skills through the Boston Public Schools. Jon will ensure that BPS students will receive the training and education necessary to improve their digital fluency. He will also ensure that this curriculum includes techniques and strategies for students to share their skills and fluency with their parents and grandparents, amplifying family access to the internet to help bridge the gap.