Since the COVID-19 pandemic spread across cities, towns and villages it has highlighted many disparities. In particular, it has shown the extent of the digital divide in the Hispanic community.
In 2021 the National League of Cities (NLC) constituency group Hispanic Elected Local Officials (HELO) wanted to explore the challenges of the digital divide – the gap between individuals who have access to computers, high-speed internet and the skills to use them, and those who do not – and propose digital equity solutions for municipal leaders.
Our community has always been aware that broadband access was an area where we had less access, with only 65% of Hispanics having a broadband connection compared to our White (80%) and Black (71%) counterparts. However, in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the country, impacting the Black and Hispanic communities the hardest, the digital divide not only became more obvious but also dangerous to millions of Hispanic residents throughout the country.