Mayor Brandon M. Scott (Courtesy Photo/https://mayor.baltimorecity.gov/)
Digital Equity Director to Focus on Bridging the Digital Divide in Baltimore
BALTIMORE, MD (Wednesday, February 24, 2021) — Today Mayor Brandon M. Scott is announcing that he plans to hire Baltimore City’s first Director of Broadband and Digital Equity. This position will serve as Baltimore City’s primary representative for coordination with internal and external stakeholders focused on digital equity and broadband connectivity issues, while working to expand public access for Baltimore residents. The Mayor plans to fill this position within the month.
More than 60,000 city households still do not have internet access. Mayor Scott has continued to champion efforts to bridge Baltimore’s digital divide, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mayor has long supported the creation of a public municipal broadband system, something the Director of Broadband and Digital Equity will be tasked with exploring. This is a cutting-edge approach to ensuring digital equity across Baltimore City. Baltimore will be one of the first cities to have such a position in the Mayor’s Office.
“In today’s digital world, equitable access to resources, including broadband internet access and technology, are critical to the success of Baltimoreans in their daily lives,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “With many of our families not having the proper access to technology for remote working, virtual learning, and telehealth, we must continue to be laser-focused on the creation of resources that will help ensure that everyone has access to the 21st century technology they need to be successful.”
The Director will be a member of the Mayor’s Executive Team and will report to the City Administrator. The Digital Equity Director position will be grant funded in partnership with the Baltimore Civic Fund.
The City is moving forward with securing seed funding to increase digital access capacity by focusing on key priorities over the next year. After hiring the Director of Broadband and Digital Equity, the Administration will adopt a comprehensive approach to closing the digital divide and lay out a vision for expanding affordable, high speed broadband throughout Baltimore City.
Mayor Scott established hiring a Digital Equity Director as a 100 day priority in his 100 Days of Action Tracker. The establishment of this position was also recommended by the Mayor’s transition team.