The TechConnect Digital Inclusion Initiative focuses on the technology needs of the Citys most underserved neighborhoods and communities include disabled, low-income and limited-English speaking populations.
Access to information technology is increasingly necessary to obtain employment, education opportunities, health information and city services. Yet an estimated 18% of San Francisco households lack a home computer and 20% do not access the Internet at home, according to the 2007 City Survey. The lack of technology access is especially acute in certain neighborhoods and populations.
This initiative is a joint effort of the City and County of San Francisco and various government, corporate, nonprofit and philanthropic partners. The Department of Telecommunications and Telecommunications (DTIS) is coordinating the effort amongst City agencies and public and private partners.
Mayor Gavin Newsom declared that bridging the digital divide would be a top priority of the City in his first State of the Union address.
In May of 2006, the Mayors Office and DTIS convened the TechConnect Task Force consisting of fifteen community leaders representing community-based, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations and local businesses. Over six months of public meetings, the Task Force outlined the technology needs of the City's underserved communities and existing community resources. DTIS also met with community leaders and members of the public at community and neighborhood events, and held workshops to find out their needs and aspirations for the initiative.
DTIS integrated the Task Force's and community input into a citywide Digital Inclusion Strategy which was released in January 2007. Since then DTIS has worked with a number of City agencies, businesses and nonprofit organizations to implement this strategy and develop the Digital Inclusion programs.