Closing the Digital Divide for Low-Income Communities

Closing the Digital Divide for Low-Income Communities

Greenlining is helping communities of color and families from low-income backgrounds connect to economic opportunity. We’re proud of what we’ve been able to achieve this year. A prosperous and connected California requires a commitment to making sure that every child has access to the internet so they can learn and be prepared for our increasingly tech-based workforce. As a telecom policy expert, it’s been exciting to see 2020 presidential candidates, such as Elizabeth Warren, unveil ambitious plans to improve internet access across America.  This is more important than ever because 40% of low-income households in California don’t have access to the internet at home. This means no access to job…
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Big Data and Social Justice are on a Collision Course

Big Data and Social Justice are on a Collision Course

Have you ever felt like you missed the boat on a huge opportunity? I do. A friend once told me to buy bitcoin when it was $80; now it’s almost $5,000 and my stomach clenches thinking about what could have been. I get that same feeling when I think about big data and the opportunity it presents for communities of color. The world’s most valuable resource is now big data; it’s even been called the “new oil.” Machine learning and predictive analytics are the oil rigs and refineries that mine and process data to find valuable business insights. Corporations race to tap into big data because it helps them innovate…
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Confessions of a (Know-It-All) Public Interest Lawyer

Confessions of a (Know-It-All) Public Interest Lawyer

Over the next several weeks we’re posting a series of blogs from our current Greenlining Fellows, exploring their own personal transformation and #ChangeFromWithin, and what that means for leadership development. You can read Patrick Brown’s introduction to the series here. Here at Greenlining’s Leadership Academy, we’ve been on a journey. We invite you to join us. There’s a classic Joni Mitchell lyric from the song Big Yellow Taxi that goes, “Don’t it always seem to go/That you don’t know what you got ‘till it’s gone.” For me, the Greenlining Fellowship was the opposite. I didn’t know I wanted it. I didn’t know I needed it. But once it was part…
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Why Net Neutrality is a Racial Justice Issue

Why Net Neutrality is a Racial Justice Issue

First off, what is net neutrality? It means that you have the right to access all internet content on equal terms. With net neutrality, your ISP — think Comcast or AT&T — can’t decide that it doesn’t like the reporting from a content provider like the Washington Post and make the Post’s site load slowly (or not at all). This is a big deal.  Because we have short attention spans, people will visit a website less often if it loads more slowly than a close competitor by more than 250 milliseconds – literally less than the blink of an eye  (400milliseconds). The new FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, wants to get…
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Congress Doesn’t Want to Let You Control Your Internet Privacy

Congress Doesn’t Want to Let You Control Your Internet Privacy

Hey, quick question: Do you mind if I take a look at the web pages you visit, the links or ads you see and follow, what apps you use, your social security number, location history and the things you search for? If you’re anything like most people, the answer would be a resounding “hell no.” After all, our browsing data is a window into our thoughts, our anxieties, our plans, and personality (click here to see what I mean). This data allows corporations to track information about you, like your gender, ethnicity, and income, which might seem harmless. However, those companies can look at your internet use and determine your interests,…
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The FCC Has It All Backwards on Competition and Consumers Will Pay the Price

The FCC Has It All Backwards on Competition and Consumers Will Pay the Price

The FCC just got a new chairman, Ajit Pai. I got to hear him talk at a recent consumer advisory meeting and I have to admit, he charmed me – at least at first. I got excited when he told us that he wanted to close the digital divide between “those who can use cutting-edge communications services and those who do not.”  This is crucial because broadband is essential for professional success. Just ask the laid off coal miners in Kentucky who became software coders, or any student that has to upload a homework assignment to Blackboard.com. According to Pai, the way to improve internet adoption is by giving every…
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