The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced businesses, schools, and resources to move 100 percent online, making access to technology and technology skills a basic necessity in today's economy. In today’s world, stable and steady broadband internet access is essential for access to jobs, education, and human connection. However, not everyone has access to the internet or opportunities to develop technology skills, further leaving behind those that are low-income, underserved, and underrepresented.
COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted those from underrepresented communities, exposing the negative effects of the digital divide and consequences of income inequalities. In Texas, more than two million households lack high-speed internet access and 4.1 million Texans are living in poverty.
In order to assist Texans with the greatest need for technology education and internet access, Austin Urban Technology Movement (AUTM) has partnered with other organizations to launch a regional campaign for low-income, underserved, and underrepresented communities. Our Texas Technology for All nonpartisan campaign has three components:
1. Provide internet access for low-income, underserved, and underrepresented communities.
2. Connect low-income, underserved, and underrepresented communities with technology devices (mobile hotspots and computers).
3. Upskill and reskill low-income, underserved, and underrepresented communities to transition into the technology industry (using tech, developing tech, and/or working in tech) in order to apply for the technical and nontechnical jobs on our job board.
This petition will gather signatures for those that support digital equity for our most vulnerable communities and present to Governor Greg Abbott for the purpose of:
1. Broadband Development Council: Asking Governor Abbott to work with AUTM, and other organizations led by people from underserved communities, to the Broadband Development Council. The Texas legislature created the Broadband Development Council to research and identify ways to provide internet access to underserved areas of Texas. Involving groups such as AUTM and other organizations will help ensure that the voice of underrepresented communities, including those in rural and urban areas, are represented in discussions for the development of broadband access plans throughout the state.
2. Operation Connectivity Partnership: Asking Governor Abbott to work with AUTM. and other organizations led by people from underserved communities, to the Governor’s Operation Connectivity partnership. The Governor’s Operation Connectivity partnership was created in an effort to “connect all of Texas’s 5.5 million public school students with a device and reliable internet connection.” Involving groups such as AUTM and other organizations to the Governor’s Operation Connectivity partnership helps advance the goal of developing actionable playbooks that is inclusive of all Texas students, regardless of their socioeconomic status.
If you support reliable and high-speed internet access for all Texans for economic growth, the development of technology skills, and access to education, please consider signing this petition.
Individuals and families needing access to technology or interested in training and development to enter the tech industry can complete a needs assessment via https://www.autmtx.org/needs-assessment-form.
Please email Austin Urban Technology Movement at email@example.com if you would like to support our efforts.