City eyes plan to bridge tech divide in communities

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To bridge gaps in digital literacy, the city of Chula Vista is drafting a digital equity and iInclusion plan and hosting a workshop on Wednesday, Jan. 29, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Civic Center Library to get feedback from the community.

“We want standing room only. It’s very important that the public takes advantage of these meetings,” Chief Sustainability Officer Dennis Gakunga said.

Last year city staff launched an effort to address the divide in accessibility to devices and residents’ skills to make use of the devices. Gakunga said the effort included speaking with local non-profit organizations and stakeholders to see where they perceived gaps in accessibility.

“The city is moving to automate a lot of our processes and a lot of our services,” Gakunga said.

The city of Chula Vista currently allows residents to make payments, request permits, explore interactive map data, register for classes and report non-emergency issues throughout the city online.

In addition to be being able to make use of processes the city is digitally optimizing, digital literacy can open a lot of doors for residents. According to the Pew Research Center, digital literacy helps people safeguard their personal information, determine the trustworthiness of information online and execute key processes like searching for a job.

“It’s mainly about economic opportunity. Research has shown that communities that don’t have access to digital literary devices are disadvantaged with job opportunities, economic empowerment and economic opportunities,” Gakunga said. “We have to ensure our residents have access to these devices.”

Anyone who wants to attend the workshop can register at www.chulavistaca.gov/smartcity. Check-in for the workshop will begin at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 29.

City eyes plan to bridge  tech divide in communities