Decreasing the Widening Gap of the Digital Divide in Los Angeles County
In an effort to close the ever-widening digital divide in Los Angeles County, Supervisor Hilda L. Solis on Nov. 24 introduced a motion that urges the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to do more in helping disadvantaged County residents connect to online networks. The Board of Supervisors approved the motion.
“High-speed Internet access is essential in our ever-evolving digital world. My motion calls attention to the fact that more needs to be done to close the digital divide in Los Angeles County. By addressing this need, we can strengthen our economy, enhance learning and improve the quality of life for all County residents,” said Supervisor Solis.
“Technology is a key component of our economy, and it is unconscionable that so many County residents lack access to broadband. These individuals are being marginalized and ignored, which is why I am introducing this motion and urging that the Federal Communications Commission adopt an affordable broadband program so that disadvantaged County residents can connect to data and information networks. I thank Supervisor Sheila Kuehl for co-authoring this important motion with me,” said Supervisor Solis.
According to the Field Research Corporation’s 2015 Annual Survey on broadband adoption in Los Angeles County, only 76 percent of the 10.1 million County residents access broadband at home, while 66 percent gain access through a computer and 10 percent via smart phone only.
The County of Los Angeles is committed to helping all residents – and in particular, those who still lack consistent access to broadband – utilize the Internet so they can access services and resources offered by the County.
The motion references the Internet For All Now Campaign, which requests that the FCC establish an affordable Broadband Lifeline Program through the Universal Services Fund to address three main barriers that currently impede widespread broadband network: cost, relevance and the need for more digital literacy. Currently, the County has an opportunity to partner with the California Emerging Technology Fund to urge the FCC to support an affordable broadband program, much like the “Lifeline” program for telephone service.
“In today's widely wired world, it's virtually impossible to get a job or access healthcare information without an Internet connection. That's why it is so critical to expand access to broadband services to everyone in Los Angeles County. The program we are proposing is based on the lifeline telephone program, which has been very successful, and insures that all members of our community will be able to take advantage of 21st-century technology,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who co-authored the motion.
Click here to read the motion.
Dodgers Foundation and Supervisor Solis Collaborate on a Field of Dreams at Belvedere Park
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Nov. 24 unanimously approved a motion introduced by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis that paves the way for a new partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation. Through this collaboration, the foundation aims to begin a $400,000 remodeling project to enhance an existing baseball field at Belvedere Park in East Los Angeles. This is the first such collaboration between the Dodgers Foundation and the Supervisorial First District.
“Neighborhood parks improve the quality of life for our youth. These open fields provide space for neighborhood children and teens to play team sports so that they can learn how to practice sportsmanship and teamwork – skills that will successfully carry them through life,” said Supervisor Solis.
As a result of the motion, the Dodgers Foundation will begin refurbishing the baseball field in January 2016 with an expected completion by “Opening Day,” in April 2016. Supervisor Solis’ motion allocates $160,000 of existing County Proposition A funds to the Department of Parks and Recreation to begin this project.
Through the Dodgers Dreamfields program, an initiative that rehabilitates existing baseball fields, the County will collaborate with the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation on this project. The Foundation will provide $240,000 towards the total estimated project cost of $400,000 with the condition that the project be completed before the opening of Dodgers baseball season in April 2016. A grant available to the First Supervisorial District from the Regional Park and Open Space District County Excess Funds, in an amount not to exceed $160,000, will supplement the Foundation’s contribution for this project.
The Foundation will purchase and install new turf, irrigation, fencing, backstop, dugout roofs, scoreboards and signage at the existing baseball field. Belvedere Community Regional Park, located at 4914 E. Cesar Chavez Ave., is situated in unincorporated East Los Angeles and is operated by the County Department of Parks and Recreation. Belvedere Park’s 30.94 acres offer local residents a variety of facilities and this remodeling project will help provide the community with more programs and opportunities.
Click here to read the motion.
Grand Opening of NEW Southeast Los Angeles Field Office: Celebration with Resource Fair
Join Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and her staff on Dec. 5 to celebrate the grand opening of the First District’s new Southeast Los Angeles Field Office, which will be located in Huntington Park.
“Helping constituents is a high priority for me and my staff. We’re celebrating the grand opening of this new office because, with this new office, staff will be available to meet with constituents in the Southeast area in person,” said Supervisor Solis. “Staff will connect with the local communities too.”
A free community resource fair will coincide with the grand opening. The public is invited to the grand opening and the resource fair. For more information, click here.
Supervisor Joins Huntington Park’s 65th Annual Christmas Parade
Supervisor Hilda L. Solis on Nov. 21 joined the Huntington Park Chamber of Commerce to celebrate its 65th annual Christmas Lane Parade. Children from San Antonio Elementary School joined Supervisor Solis as she greeted the crowd lined up along Pacific Boulevard, down the parade’s main route.
This year’s theme was “Fabulous Holiday - Christmas Lane Parade.” Horse carriages, marching bands and parade floats were among the highlights of this joyous community tradition.
“Every year, Huntington Park has expanded on the pageantry of this annual parade - making it bigger and better,” Supervisor Solis said. “Not only does this event attract hundreds of thousands of children and families from all over Los Angeles County, but it is also one of our nation’s oldest and highly-acclaimed televised parades.”
East Los Angeles/La Puente
Supervisor Distributes Turkeys to Community Organizations the First District
Supervisor Hilda L. Solis led Operation Gobble on Nov. 23 by distributing 600 turkeys to community organizations in East Los Angeles and La Puente to help families with limited means enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with loved ones.
The turkeys were handed out to First District community groups that help veterans, people with disabilities, senior citizens and families with limited means. Supervisor Solis and the staff of the First District office wish everyone a safe and festive holiday season! Stream a video of this event here.
East Los Angeles
S.O.Y. Artista/Mi Barrio Inspires Youth to Create Works of Public Arts
S.O.Y. ARTISTA | MI BARRIO is a partnership with Self Help Graphics & Art (SHG), Metro and McCormack Baron Salazar (MBS) featuring 15 large-scale banners that encapsulate the vision and artwork of the 2015 class of S.O.Y. Artista (Summer of Youth). This temporary public art engagement project was developed this past summer through the S.O.Y. Artista program of SHG.
A group of young artists from Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles, El Sereno, Pico-Union, and other communities, came together to discuss and analyze their role as young artists in neighborhoods that are quickly changing. Under the premise of the Mi Barrio project, the artists are able to share their views of their neighborhoods. The young artists created 15 banners examining the use of public space, food equity, and transportation, among other themes of cultural preservation and affirmation.
S.O.Y. (Summer of Youth) Artista is a five-week summer art-training workshop series taught by a core team of art instructors from the Barrio Mobile Art Studio program. The series consists of various workshops including photography, mobile phone/tablet art and printmaking.
Through its youth programming, Self Help Graphics & Art helps these budding artists constructively express their creativity. Classes are meant to inspire one–on-one instruction and to provide in-depth art experiences that connect youth with their communities.
The banners will be displayed on a fence surrounding the Santa Cecilia project, which is currently under construction on the southwest corner of 1st Street and Boyle Avenue. This project is being developed on Metro-owned land by McCormack Baron Salazar, and will provide 80 units of affordable housing and 4,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space. It is expected to be completed in the summer of 2016.
Self Help Graphics & Art firmly believes that art transforms communities and this project is not solely a platform for young artists to share their views, but rather it is also a launching pad geared to encourage them to consider careers in the arts.