Digital Excellence Initiative (kids using computers)
Supporting Information Facts

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Mayor's Advisory Council on Closing the Digital Divide

In 2006, Mayor Richard M. Daley created a Mayor’s Advisory Council on Closing the Digital Divide with the goal of bringing public, private and non-profit sector leaders together to create a policy framework for bridging technology haves and have-nots. Over a period of twelve months, the Advisory Council established working groups to examine current conditions, activities and best practices for bridging the digital divide. In addition to holding a series of public hearings, the Council surveyed and interviewed community-based organizations, workforce development groups, universities and senior Chicago-area corporate executives. The Advisory Council's work culminated into a 65-page document of comprehensive recommendations entitled The City That Networks: Transforming Society and Economy Through Digital Excellence.

In their report, the Advisory Council identified five key drivers to achieving digital excellence that have served as the framework for the City's Digital Excellence Initiative:

  • Effective network access that is high-speed, affordable, and available everywhere
  • Affordable hardware with capacity to connect to the Internet and tap into the full range of its visual and other resources
  • Suitable software that meets the needs of individuals, families, businesses, and communities
  • Digital Education that provides the training and technical support for users to become comfortable and proficient and
  • Evolving mindsets that value learning, connecting, and communicating through technology, and that recognize the business and other opportunities of expanding Internet access.

Based on these key drivers, the Advisory Council made a number of recommendations to "ensure universal digital access and to improve community, educational, economic and other outcomes."

The City embraces the Advisory Council's assertion that Chicago should work to become a "global leader in ensuring that its residents, its businesses and its communities are informed, connected and empowered through technology" and draws on their recommendations in its Digital Excellence Action Agenda.