CWA and Microsoft to help Brooklyn NYCHA residents get connected

Event will also boost affordable connectivity program enrollment

October 28, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
An NYPD cruiser patrols the Howard Houses in Brownsville, where State Sen. Jesse Hamilton and others witnessed the fatal shooting of a 28-year-old man in broad daylight Wednesday afternoon. Eagle photo by James Harney
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BROWNSVILLE — On Sunday, volunteers from the Communications Workers of  America (CWA) and Microsoft will host a “Get Connected” community event at Howard Houses  in Brooklyn, where they will help eligible residents enroll in the Federal Communication  Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The Halloween-themed event is being  organized for NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents and will be attended by elected officials  including NYC Comptroller Brad Lander, NYS Senator Zellnor Myrie, Assemblymember Latrice  Walker and NYC Councilmember Julie Menin.

CWA and Microsoft have partnered with the NYCHA Howard Houses Tenants Association to  spread the word about the event and the opportunity for low-income residents to get online, at  little to no cost, via the ACP. The ACP launched in December 2021 and aims to close the digital  divide by helping to qualify low-income households afford broadband service.

CWA and Microsoft volunteers will be at the event to guide residents through the registration  process, and Verizon, which offers no-cost high speed broadband plans to ACP enrollees, will  have representatives available so that qualifying residents can sign up for service on-site.

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“Bridging the digital divide in NYCHA is a major step in tackling inequality across New York City  and I was proud to launch a scalable pilot program in my New York City Council District with  CWA to target broadband adoption for public housing residents through the Affordable  Connectivity Program,” said Councilmember Julie Menin. “I am thrilled that CWA is partnering  with NYCHA, elected officials, and community leaders across New York City as every New  Yorker should have access to affordable, high-quality broadband.”

In an effort to further build community and offer activities for local families who bring their  children, the event will include free food trucks, music, kids’ activities including a bouncy house,  technology demonstrations and device giveaways.

“It’s astonishing to think that nearly one-third of all New Yorkers don’t have access to  broadband service, creating a deep and troubling digital divide,” said Assemblywoman Latrice  Walker. “The problem is especially prevalent among NYCHA residents, including in Brownsville  which has one of the highest concentrations of public housing in the city. We all learned during  the pandemic – if we didn’t already know – that reliable internet access is critical for remote  work, public health information, job searches and at-home research and schooling for students.

The Affordable Connectivity Program has been popular in other parts of the city and I would  expect nothing less here in Brooklyn. Go ahead and get connected.”

The partnership between CWA and Microsoft to enroll residents in the Affordable Connectivity  Program builds on a groundbreaking labor neutrality agreement, announced in June, which  includes a commitment to collaborate on technology adoption and skill building programs.

“Broadband should not be beyond the reach of anyone in America,” said Teresa Hutson,  Microsoft Vice President, Tech and Corporate Responsibility. “We’re glad to be working with  CWA, elected officials, and community leaders to help sign up New Yorkers for the Federal  Affordable Connectivity Plan and help everyone to afford broadband.”

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