Californians have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the fight for digital equity.
The proposed legislation AB414, known as the Digital Equity Bill of Rights, aims to ensure that all Californians have access to the internet. However, the bill has been temporarily placed on hold — it is in the Suspense File of the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
The bill is not dead, though. On May 18, the committee will hold a hearing to decide whether to push the bill forward.
How Can You Support the Digital Equity Bill of Rights?
- Contact Your Legislator: Legislators are elected to represent their constituents, and they are more likely to support a bill if they know that their constituents care about it. By calling or emailing your representative and expressing your support for the Digital Equity Bill of Rights, you can help sway their decision and demonstrate the importance of this issue. Your message can be as simple as “I would like to tell the Assemblymember that I support AB 414. My name is _________, I am a resident of your district and I support AB 414, the Digital Equity Bill of Rights. Thank you.” Find out which assemblymember represents your community.
- Sign a Petition: The California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) and its partners have launched a drive to gather supporters for the Digital Equity Bill of Rights and to secure passage in the California Legislature. You can add your name to the list of supporters and help advance digital equity as a 21st-century human rights issue.
- Raise Awareness: Finally, you can help spread the word about the Digital Equity Bill of Rights by sharing information about it with your friends, family, and colleagues. By raising awareness about the importance of digital equity and the need for the Digital Equity Bill of Rights, you can help build a groundswell of support that can help push the bill over the finish line.
Why Is This Important?
The Digital Equity Bill of Rights aims to ensure that California remains a leader in the nation as a champion for digitally disadvantaged communities. It establishes that all Californians — including those in low-income neighborhoods, rural areas, and tribal lands that have historically been ignored — have the right to high-speed internet access. The bill also mentions that the internet must be affordable and that Californians should have access to resources to gain the digital skills necessary in today’s society. Moreover, it mentions the benefits of digital equity, including increased economic growth, as well as improved healthcare, education, and quality of life.
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