City Launches Digital Equity Challenge to Increase Technology Use Among Low-Income and Minority Residents

NEW ORLEANS—The City of New Orleans, in partnership with 100 Resilient Cities and Citymart, launched the Digital Equity Challenge to promote digital pathways to opportunity. Targeting groups that are underrepresented in technology like low-income residents, minorities, women, people living with physical or mental disabilities, children, and elderly users, this challenge will connect our most vulnerable residents to economic, social and cultural opportunities through digital technology.

“Connecting New Orleans’ low-income residents to technology is an important step to connecting all our residents to new opportunities,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “The Digital Equity Challenge will allow the best ideas to be implemented in order to create the most impact across this city.”

The City will issue a Request for Information (RFI) for interested organizations to help the City learn about possible ideas and solutions available. After receiving submissions, the City will consider implementing the best solution or solutions it identifies from the RFI.

The City is specifically interested in innovative solutions that will increase the use of technology by low-income residents, members of historically disadvantaged racial or ethnic minorities, women, residents living with a physical or mental disabilities, children, and elderly. For this challenge, the City of New Orleans is seeking creative proposals to harness the city’s diverse culture, communities and shared experiences to introduce technology to the target population in innovative ways. The goal is to improve participation in the digital community to more effectively pursue job opportunities and improve resilience.

“We are excited about the Digital Equity Challenge because we understand that it takes creative solutions to overcome the digital divide created by various disparities in New Orleans,” said Chief Information Officer Lamar Gardere. “We look forward to changing the lives of residents across New Orleans through this important work.”

The City welcomes ideas from any person, company, non-profit, philanthropic, or other entity about products, technologies, resources, or services to:

  • Develop the ability of New Orleanians to pursue new opportunities in their professional and social lives;
  • Build or enhance community cohesion and connection;
  • Demonstrate strong partnerships to create a broad range of socially relevant programming that include common community and shared experiences and activities, such as music, sports and recreation, religious, cultural, educational, etc.;
  • Increase civic participation; and
  • Promote digital literacy and equity.

The deadline for RFI submissions is Friday, April 7, 2017 at 4 p.m CT. To learn more, please visit http://www.nola.gov/resilience/digitalequity/.

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