FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Media Contact
Lenée Richards
(213) 709-9334
lrichards@bos.lacounty.gov

Board of Supervisors Accelerate Efforts to Close the Digital Divide Across Underserved Communities of Color

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LOS ANGELES, CA – Today the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion authored by Second District Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, and co-authored by Board Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District, to instruct the Chief Executive Office to invest up to $500,000 of American Rescue Plan funds towards the creation of a block-by-block financial analysis for expanding affordable and reliable internet services to communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the Digital Divide. 

“From accessing the vaccine to going to school, broadband access continues to be a fundamental necessity to live in today’s modern age and to connect to vital resources and information,” shared Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “We cannot fully recover from this pandemic if any of our communities remain disconnected from internet access. I applaud the Board in expanding public, open access to broadband networks.” 

“As the County continues to navigate the pandemic, it is imperative that residents have access to quality internet services to work remotely, participate in online learning and access information online,” shared Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair, Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “Through this motion, the County can identify neighborhoods with the highest need and allocate resources to bridge the digital divide that predominantly impacts low-income communities of color.”

In Los Angeles County more than 182,000 households do not have a computer and nearly 365,000 households lack internet service. Across the Second Supervisorial District, the disparities are highest among Black and Latinx populations with over 20% of households lacking a broadband connection in some neighborhoods. This motion allows for a clear assessment of the magnitude of LA County’s broadband and infrastructure challenges to help position the County for accessing resources from the Biden Administrations’ recent $65 billion infrastructure bill.

Today’s motion also directs the County’s Chief Information Officer, alongside the CEO Director of ISD and the Department of Public Works to report back in 120 days with an implementation plan to close the digital divide based on the plan.

To read the full motion click here.

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