DIGITAL INCLUSION ROADMAP
In June 2021, the Long Beach City Council approved the Digital Inclusion Roadmap (Roadmap). The Roadmap is a blueprint for ensuring that everyone in Long Beach has equitable access and use of computer literacy training, the Internet, technology devices and other digital inclusion resources and services. The foundation of the Roadmap includes a vision statement, goals, objectives and strategies through a Collective Impact Approach and equity lens in the following focus areas (e.g. capacity, connectivity, technology). Two major components of the Roadmap development included stakeholder and community engagement.
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Stakeholder Engagement Process
City staff contracted with McCormick L.A. and convened a 50-person multidisciplinary Digital Inclusion Stakeholder Committee (Committee) from August 2019 through October 2020 who consulted the development of the Roadmap. The Committee provided strategic guidance, vision and oversight on the development of the vision, goals, objectives and strategies that will advance digital equity and inclusion for all in Long Beach. The Committee reflected the entire spectrum of digital inclusion. These cross-sector partners included community ambassadors, City departments, community-based organizations, digital inclusion nonprofits, funders, Internet service providers, K-12/higher education institutions, Long Beach Housing Authority, private technology companies, Long Beach Public Library and Pacific Gateway.
Community Engagement Process
City staff contracted with Pueblo Planning to develop and implement community engagement activities for the Roadmap. To engage community members who are most impacted by the digital divide in Long Beach, collaborating with local trusted community partners was imperative. These community partners included Centro CHA, Long Beach Forward, United Cambodian Community and the YMCA of Greater Long Beach Community Development. The community engagement approach acknowledged that historically marginalized communities are typically left out of government decision-making because of institutional and systemic racism and oppression. Through the approach, community members were intentionally uplifted as experts in digital inclusion through power-sharing. They were able to use art-making and storytelling as a way for them to share their lived experiences, knowledge and vision for digital inclusion. More than 170 Long Beach community members were engaged through community pop-ups, workshops, interviews and a survey.
City staff will kick-off an equity-focused implementation process. This includes distributing the final Roadmap to the community and cross-sector partners, establishing an Implementation Committee and identifying funding, personnel and data collection and reporting structures to implement the strategies.