NHCSL’s Broadband En Acción taskforce Calls for a National Refocus on Digital Literacy for Hispanics
On Wednesday, October 6th, Senator Juan M. Pichardo (RI), NHCSL’s Broadband En Acción taskforce Chair, was joined by co-chair and NHCSL immediate past-President, Representative Joseph E. Miro (DE), and taskforce members, Representative Minnie Gonzalez (CT), Representative Mara Candelaria Reardon (IN) and Senator Eduardo Bhatia (PR) at the National Press Club in Washington, DC to unveil NHCSL’s first broadband whitepaper, ‘Expanding Opportunities in the Hispanic Community: Solutions for Increased Broadband Access.” The whitepaper calls for federal, state and local stakeholders to prioritize adoption of broadband through digital literacy programs and public-private partnerships that promote innovation and new economic opportunities.
NHCSL also includes recommendations developed from the taskforce’s analysis of the policy environment affecting the lag in Hispanic adoption of broadband — 47% of Latinos have adopted broadband at home in comparison to 69% of African Americans and 79% of whites, according to the FCC. Only 20% of Spanish-dominant survey takers had adopted broadband at home. If the digital divide is not closed, Latinos will lag behind in the digital opportunities and economic expansion that broadband facilitates.
The NHCSL Broadband En Acción initiative convenes Hispanic state legislators to address the opportunities presented to Hispanic communities by digital technology. The initiative includes policy discussions and forums, educational sessions and the development of federal and state regulatory policy. The goal of the initiative is to identify solutions for realizing full digital equality for Hispanics to close the digital divide.
Our initiative includes the Broadband En Acción taskforce, which was formed to provide a national cadre of NHCSL members as a vehicle for advocacy on broadband policies at the state and federal levels.
Broadband En Acción taskforce members
Senator Juan M. Pichardo (RI), Chair
Representative Joseph E. Miro (DE), Co-Chair
Representative Geraldo Alicea (MA)
Senator Eduardo Bhatia (PR)
Representative Mara Candelaria-Reardon (IN)
Representive Nora Espinoza (NM)
Representative Minnie Gonzalez (CT)