Keeping Tabs on the Digital Divide

The LinkAge

OurCycleLA

OurCycleLA training in Baldwin Village. Youth Policy Institute covers how to activate Microsoft Office.OurCycleLA training in Baldwin Village. Youth Policy Institute covers how to activate Microsoft Office.

Lots of exciting things are happening in Los Angeles! The food scene is ever-changing and attracting global attention, the tech startup community is growing exponentially, and there are plans to transform the LA River (yes, we have a river!) into an oasis. I can go on and on about all the amazing happenings, but I’ll focus on just one more: OurCycleLA.

OurCycleLA is a unique program, initiated by the Office of the Mayor and the City Council, to refurbish thousands of city-owned computers. By transforming computers, both desktops and laptops, into usable devices, the program aims to address the digital divide, minimize the city’s electronic waste, provide job training, and create employment opportunities. This is monumental!

Los Angeles, the second largest city in the country, is at the forefront of implementing innovative solutions that will have tangible and positive impacts on its residents, economy, and environment.

At the core of OurCycleLA is ensuring that all LA residents are digitally included. Once computers have been refurbished by human-I-T, they are distributed to eligible families and individuals. To qualify, residents are required to participate in a two-hour basic computer literacy training, facilitated by the Youth Policy Institute and Best Buy’s Geek Squad. The training ensures residents learn the basics about set-up and use, including Internet safety.

Residents are also encouraged to sign-up for low-cost Internet service. EveryoneOn and the Southeast Community Development Corporation provide affordable options and will facilitate sign-up.

Since the launch of the program on February 27, over 60 refurbished desktops have made it into the homes of residents who participated in a basic computer literacy training. Over the next few months, a total of 1,200 families and individuals are expected to participate OurCycleLA and, as a result, will have access to a computer and Internet at home.

EveryoneOn is excited to be a part of OurCycleLA and the city’s efforts to create a more connected and livable city.


Norma Fernandez is the California regional manager for EveryoneOn. Follow her on Twitter @normaestela.