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connect / 2018

EveryoneOn Digital Equity Champions Initiative: Bringing Angelenos Online

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Activation Challenge by EveryoneOn

EveryoneOn will seek to identify, recruit and train community stakeholders in LA County with established touchpoints with residents to support access and enrollment to low-cost high speed internet.

Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.

EveryoneOn would like to launch the local effort of our Digital Equity Champions initiative seeking to identify established touchpoints in community organizations where a question around access to affordable internet could be inserted into existing processes.

Which of the connect metrics will your activation impact?​

  • Access to free wifi
  • Total number of local social media friends and connections Angelenos have

Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?

  • LA is the best place to LEARN
  • LA is the best place to CREATE

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles

How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?

  • Digital organizing or activism
  • Trainings and/or in-person engagements

Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to connect?

Technology has changed the way we do business, pursue education, find jobs, and communicate. Yet in the country that invented the Internet, nearly one in five Americans (64 million), disproportionately from low-income and minority communities, are not connected to the Internet at home, forcing them to use inconvenient public sources to access basic services. The global impact of the digital divide lies in how it compounds and deepens other social inequalities. For example, 80% of K-12 students need Internet to do homework, 90% of college applications are filled out online, and 90% of job applications are hosted online. An unemployed person who has Internet at home will be employed over seven weeks faster, due to availability of online job search platforms and advice, which translates into over $5,000 in additional income over a year. Across the realms of education, employment, and beyond, the means of advancement are digital in this day and age.

EveryoneOn is committed to eliminating the digital divide by making high-speed, low-cost internet, computers/tablets, and free digital literacy training accessible to all unconnected people in the U.S. By employing a dynamic strategy through the Digital Equity Champion Initiative, we plan to connect low-income households throughout the county, a population that is dramatically underserved and the least likely to be connected. If we can eliminate the digital divide within low-income communities with this initiative, we can use connectivity to create social mobility for all.

Connecting people to the internet creates opportunities for an abundance of connections. Internet connectivity is imperative in providing all Los Angeles students with access to early education programs, the capability to graduate from high school and be college and career ready, and acts as a key tool in parents ability to be engaged and empowered to direct their children’s learning. Connecting through social media, technological products and an increasingly interconnected society allows residents to feel like the world is their backyard. Today, the ultimate vehicle for opportunity is through the internet.

How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to connect

Working with local partner organizations that support low-income communities, we seek to add a question around home internet access to existing processes for various benefit and assistance programs. Our challenge will seek to increase capacity in each organization and highlight the increased return on investment through employee hours and increased access to online resources for residents. Being online is so critical for nearly everything you do today, from applying to social services to submitting job applications and turning in homework for students. It is imperative that stakeholder organizations that are anchors in their community be equipped with the tools and resources necessary to support residents attempting to navigate barriers to access.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.​

EveryoneOn on will track the number of low-income people in public housing who receive connectivity and get connected to the Internet at home, tracking outcomes in education post connectivity. In short, not only will we track the actual number of Internet adoptions, but the benefits of which these adoptions yield long term results in regards to educational progress and economic mobility. Through local data collection, on the ground surveys, standardized questions, and real time evaluations, we will be able to analyze the effectiveness of our outputs versus outcomes, measuring our findings against comparable data. Rigorous monitoring and evaluation for EveryoneOn thus far has yielded useful insights which have guided our overall operations. In addition, we plan to highlight success stories to help show the real life impact that digital inclusion provides.

Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?

We hope that this activation will allow us to sunset our efforts in Los Angeles County because the work of digital inclusion will be integrated in existing processes within anchor organizations and community stakeholders that are already doing work with low-income populations. By empowering the organizations to take up this work, we will no longer be needed.