Our Plan to Address the Inequities and Advance Digital Inclusion
Digital Inclusion Roadmap Development
The City of Long Beach is in the process of co-creating a Digital Inclusion Roadmap with community members and local stakeholders. This Roadmap will be a blueprint for ensuring that everyone in Long Beach has equitable access and use of digital literacy training, the Internet, technology devices and other digital resources. The foundation of the Roadmap will include a vision, goals, objectives and strategies for advancing digital inclusion through a collective impact approach and equity lens in the following focus areas (e.g. capacity, connectivity, technology). Once the Roadmap has been developed, City staff will work closely with the community and local stakeholders to develop action plans for implementation.
- The Digital Inclusion Roadmap Development Process.
- The Digital Inclusion Council Letter.
- The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) Recognition Council Letter.
- The Recycling Technology Infrastructure Council Letter.
- The Fund Transfer for Digital Inclusion Roadmap Council Letter.
- The Digital Inclusion Initiatives Status Update Memorandum for May 2018.
- The Digital Inclusion Initiatives Status Update Memorandum for February 2019.
Digital Inclusion Full-time Staffing
At the beginning of Fiscal Year 2019 (FY 19), the City hired a Project Lead for Economic and Digital Inclusion. The Project Lead is responsible for managing the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of economic and digital inclusion initiatives and projects. The Project Lead will collaborate with the community and local stakeholders through a collective impact approach and equity lens to develop and implement the Digital Inclusion Roadmap.
Digital Inclusion Trailblazer
The City of Long Beach is officially recognized as a “Digital Inclusion Trailblazer” by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA). This is a public inventory of local government initiatives that are promoting digital equity and inclusion efforts for residents most in need. NDIA and Mobile Citizen established this effort as an advocacy tool for local, state and national digital inclusion leadership.
Digital Inclusion Community-based Survey
Understanding the digital divide landscape is critical before developing any strategies or action plans. The City’s Technology & Innovation Commission (TIC) conducted a community-based digital inclusion survey to assess how Long Beach residents are currently accessing the Internet and the barriers they face to connect to Internet services. The survey was provided in the four languages covered under the City’s Language Access Policy which includes English, Khmer, Spanish and Tagalog. The survey was distributed at local community hubs around Long Beach. The summary report includes strategic recommendations for advancing digital inclusion efforts citywide. The survey analysis and recommendations will be incorporated into the development of the Roadmap.
See the Analysis and Recommendations for Advancing Digital Inclusion in Long Beach Summary Report.
2018 International Digital Inclusion Week
The City celebrated International Digital Inclusion Week (IDIW) on October 15 through October 21, 2018 in alignment with the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) and the Australian Digital Inclusion Alliance (ADIA). During IDIW, City staff developed and implemented a social media engagement campaign to educate the Long Beach social community about the digital services, resources and tools that are available in the City. In collaboration with the City's Office of Public Affairs and Communications, City staff posted information on the City's Facebook and Twitter pages that highlighted the various City digital services and resources.
The Technology and Innovation Department is pleased to announce that we received the 2019 CAPIO Award of Distinction for the International Digital Inclusion Week Social Media Engagement Campaign under the Social Media Campaign category. These awards are presented annually by the California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) to honor outstanding public agency information and communications programs.
- Facebook Live at Mark Twain Neighborhood Library: City staff hosted a Facebook Live on October 16, 2018 at the Mark Twain Neighborhood Library. During the Facebook Live, the Project Lead partnered with the Librarian to showcase the resources and services the Mark Twain Neighborhood Library provides for the community. The Facebook Live reached 3,873 people and had close to 1,300 video views.
- Facebook Public Wi-Fi Contest: City staff spearheaded a Public Wi-Fi Contest on Facebook where participants had to identify as many locations in Long Beach that offer free public Wi-Fi. Participants were directed to use the hashtags #LBDigitallnclusion and #IDIW2018, providing a creative way to share with the Long Beach social community some of the locations throughout Long Beach that have free public Wi-Fi available for everyone. Nearly 50 locations throughout the City were mentioned during the contest. To ensure equitable and inclusive participation, the contest announcement was also provided in English, Khmer, Spanish, and Tagalog.
- In-Person Grassroots Community Outreach: City staff developed and implemented a grassroots and equity-based community outreach strategy to engage with communities of color in West and Central Long Beach. City staff visited over 60 community hubs and passed out factsheets that highlighted the digital services, resources and tools that are available. These locations included barber/beauty shops, laundromats, local grocery stores, bakeries, party supply stores, restaurants, libraries, community centers, parks, among other locations. To ensure equitable and inclusive community outreach, City staff who are bilingual in Spanish participated in the community outreach and the factsheets were also provided in Spanish. Collectively, staff reached over 100 community members.
In collaboration with City staff, the TIC hosted a Digital Inclusion Community Forum on July 26, 2018 to hear the lived experiences of community members who are directly aﬀected by the digital divide. During the Forum, the TIC and City staﬀ facilitated an open dialogue with over 20 community members where they co-created solutions that would address the digital barriers they shared. The Forum was hosted at The Guidance Center and Spanish interpretation was provided. The community input received from this Forum will be used to help inform the development of the Roadmap.
See the Digital Inclusion Community Forum Report.
City staff collaborated with Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez's Office and the Office of Civic Innovation to convene a cross-sector group of local stakeholders in a series of roundtable meetings. On August 9, 2018, the City hosted a Stakeholder Roundtable at a local architectural firm called Studio One Eleven. During the meeting, local stakeholders provided essential input for advancing digital inclusion efforts in Long Beach. Through a facilitator, groups discussed and co-developed solutions to some of the key challenges and barriers in the focus areas of capacity, connectivity, and technology. The input received from the stakeholders will be incorporated into the development the Roadmap. A second Stakeholder Roundtable was held at the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library on January 30, 2019 to continue this work. City staff will continue to convene Stakeholder Roundtables with the community and cross-sector stakeholders through the development of the Roadmap.
Citywide Fiber Network Infrastructure
City staff are in the process of identifying potential partners for the Citywide Fiber Network Infrastructure Plan that will expand the City's fiber municipal network infrastructure. Increased fiber will improve wired and wireless connectivity throughout Long Beach to advance the City's business and functional operational needs, public safety requirements, digital inclusion goals, and economic development goals. The City owns approximately 50 miles of fiber optic cable throughout Long Beach and another 13 miles is currently being built. To ensure that high quality services are available to all areas of the City, it is important to expand capacity and connect all City facilities to the fiber infrastructure network. The City expects to make recommendations in the next 12 months. The PowerPoint presentation provides an overview of the Citywide Fiber Network Infrastructure project.
See the Fiber Network Infrastructure Update Presentation.