Jeffries Says ‘Digital Divide’ Is Greatest Challenge of 21st Century

February 3, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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 Wants ‘One Child, One Laptop’

FORT GREENE —Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries delivered his fifth State of the District address on Thursday, Jan. 27 at Pratt Institute and announced an initiative that will prepare the district’s schoolchildren for the technological future.

The “One Child, One Laptop” initiative aims to provide home access to a computer to every child within the next five years.

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“W.E.B Du Bois, the noted scholar, once observed that the racial divide would likely be the most vexing challenge of the 20th century. I think it’s fair to say that the digital divide may emerge as one of the most vexing challenges of the 21st century,” said Jeffries. “We need to adequately prepare our children and our students for the modern economy and the technology-driven world.”

Additionally, Jeffries pledged to work toward the creation of a $500 million fund for affordable housing in next year’s state budget by using proceeds from the mortgage recording tax. Currently proceeds from the mortgage recording tax are used in part to provide mass transportation funding. Though providing ample revenues to the MTA is critical, says Jeffries, such support should not be linked to a funding source that is subject to the temperamental real estate market.

The mistress of ceremonies for the evening was Yvonne Graham, current associate commissioner of the New York State Department of Health and the former Brooklyn deputy borough president.

The assemblyman has championed several recent victories, including the re-authorization of a modified version of the millionaires’ tax, strengthening of rent regulations to protect working families, and the end of prison-based gerrymandering so that prisoners are counted in their home communities rather than in the districts where they are incarcerated for purposes of drawing district lines.

The annual State of the District Address was attended by more than 250 private citizens and local officials, including Brooklyn Council Member Letitia James and Brooklyn District Leaders Walter Mosley and Lincoln Restler.

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