Commissioner Starks Keynote Remarks at Rainbow PUSH Coalition Symposium

Our failure to create inclusive policies that close the digital divide has done serious harm to the Americans who were already struggling to put food on their tables prior to the pandemic. The failures of our past, however, do not have to dictate the future. It is time—in fact, it is past,time—for the tech and telecom sector to take account for issues of equity and fairness. 

First, the digital divide and the economic opportunity divide run parallel to one another.  Second, there’s no greater reminder of our intersecting fates during this pandemic thanmthat of our dependency on essential workers, who are overwhelmingly Black and Latinx. If we invest in broadband, we will lessen the healthn disparities across our most marginalized communities.  Third, during this time of increased social distancing, broadband access allows us to keep in touch with our loved ones, which helps maintain our mental health. This is incredibly important to our seniors who are most at risk of falling victim to this virus. Finally, we must prioritize our youngest learners and future leaders.

Starks Keynote Remarks at Rainbow PUSH Coalition Symposium