38 Organizations Demand 2016 Candidates Answer Question on Expanding Internet Access in Upcoming Debates

National Hispanic Media Coalition Highlights Economic and Social Impacts of Digital Divide for Latinos

Washington, DC – Today, ahead of the next round of presidential debates, the National Hispanic Media Coalition joined more than three dozen other public interest groups, to send a letter to debate moderators, urging them to ask how the candidates plan to help the 34 million Americans who still lack access to high-speed Internet as president. The letter highlights the economic, social and civic consequences of the digital divide. Read the letter here: http://bit.ly/1TSLpE2 “We cannot have an honest conversation about inequality in America in the 21st century, without discussing the lack of Internet access for communities of color, the poor, seniors, and people with disabilities —all of whom are affected most by the digital divide,” said Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition.  “Half of Latino households lack home Internet access and, with a record 27.3 million Latinos eligible to vote this election, candidates need to start telling us how they plan to invest in our communities—making sure that we have the same access to the resources and tools we need to learn, work, stay connected, and thrive.” The letter emphasizes the importance of ensuring affordable access to high-speed Internet for more Americans and encourages moderators to use the remaining debates to ask candidates about their plans to address current disparities in Internet access. Last week, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, which includes the nation’s 40 preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, challenged candidates to respond to the recommendations supported by National Hispanic Media Coalition to improve broadband access for people of color, among other key reforms of particular impact to Latino communities. “In an election that has so heavily focused on equality of opportunity, there has been no mention in the debates of Internet access as a driver for the American economy,” the letter reads. “For all of the talk of taxes, higher education, and healthcare, candidates and journalists have largely ignored a critical issue that would make it easier and more affordable for low-income families, communities of color, and rural Americans to find jobs, get an education, and increase the opportunities for their families and futures.” There is broad public support for presidential action to improve Internet access. In recent polling, 64 percent of Americans agreed that expanding Internet access should be a priority for the next president, and a majority agree that the benefits of improving Internet access to help improve children’s education outweigh the potential costs to taxpayers. The letter was sent today to CNN, Flint Journal, Fox News, MLive, Salem Radio, The Washington Times, The Washington Post, and Univision. The remaining debates are March 3 and March 10 for Republicans, and March 6 and March 9 for Democrats. Contact: Christina DiPasquale, 202.716.1953, Christina@balestramedia.com]]>

National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a woman-led 501(c)(3) non-profit civil and human rights organization that was founded to eliminate hate, discrimination, and racism toward the Latino communities.
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