Mayor and City Continue to Bridge the Digital Equity Gap for Residents

Published on October 04, 2022

Mayor Hancock and the City and County of Denver Continue to Bridge the Digital Equity Gap for Residents

DENVER - Mayor Michael B. Hancock and the Mayor’s Office of Social Equity and Innovation (OSEI) are joining a nationwide movement to amplify the need for digital inclusion for Denver residents this week. To further underscore our commitment to equity, Mayor Hancock has officially declared October 3-7 as Digital Inclusion Week in the City and County of Denver.

“Lack of digital connectivity, resources and education continues to be a barrier for many of Denver’s most vulnerable residents,” Mayor Hancock said. “Digital Inclusion Week is an opportunity to elevate the need to close that gap and collaborate on how we, along with our community partners, can bridge the digital divide.”

According to a 2018 U.S. Census Bureau Report, 13.7 percent of all Denver households were recognized as digitally disconnected. People and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by the digital divide, which was widened during the COVID 19 pandemic. The Mayor’s OSEI continues to work on strategies to offset this issue with our most vulnerable communities and level the playing field for residents to fully participate in education, the economy, healthcare, and civic and cultural life.

“With the three pillars of digital inclusion in mind, the Mayor’s Office of Social Equity and Innovation is dedicated to working to build digital equity for Denver’s residents to ensure they have access to affordable high-speed internet from their homes, computers or smartphones, and relevant digital literacy training,” Dr. Aisha Rousseau, Denver’s Chief Equity Officer, said.

The Mayor’s OSEI recently hired a dedicated digital equity program manager, to convene city agency representatives with community stakeholders in a joint effort to bridge the digital divide in Denver. This will include launching its Digital Equity Program where OSEI will work to build and strengthen coalitions, expand existing programs and integrate digital equity resources with the City’s existing assistance programs.

To commemorate Digital Inclusion Week, the Mayor’s Office of Social Equity and Innovation will hold a workshop with key community stakeholders including PCsforPeople and Denver Public Library, which will focus on digital equity in Denver and the city’s commitment to the sustainable growth of the Denver Digital Equity Coalition. For more information on OSEI’s digital equity initiatives, you can visit denvergov.org/social equity.