California Legislature Greenlights Landmark Digital Equity Bills

September 09, 2021
Sacramento, Calif. – On September 9, 2021, the California Legislature greenlighted SB 4 by Senator Lena A. Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) and AB 14 by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), both landmark digital equity bills that will help get families connected to high-speed internet throughout the state. The bills will complement the State’s broadband deployment efforts to ensure infrastructure projects are realized and prioritized for communities that need it most. 
 
“I am beyond excited to share that Broadband for All is one step closer to becoming a reality,” said Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach). “Closing the digital divide is key to providing an equitable, more thriving future for all Californians. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that having access to high-speed internet means having access to education, telehealth, and economic opportunities; without access, families and individuals struggle to get by, especially low-income communities of color. SB 4 and AB 14 give us hope for a better tomorrow, in which more students, patients and workers of all backgrounds, regardless of socioeconomic status or geographic location—will have access to broadband and consequently, the resources they need for everyday life. I am thankful to all my colleagues in the Legislature for helping us get this far, and I urge Governor Newsom to sign these bills into law to help us achieve Broadband for All.” 
 
“Internet connectivity is a basic necessity in the 21st century,” said Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters). “In partnership with my colleague and friend, Senator Gonzalez, and two dozen of our colleagues, both houses have approved a historic investment to close the digital divide with the passage of AB 14 & SB 4. Increasing access to internet means increased access to telehealth, job training, education, small business participation, and ag tech providing prosperity for Californians in the digital age. 1 in 8 California homes still do not have sufficient internet access and communities of color face even higher numbers of students and families who remain disconnected. I’m thankful to my colleagues for supporting this generational cause, and urge the Governor to sign AB 14 & SB 4 into law to provide Internet for All.”
 
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Senator Gonzalez represents the 33rd Senate District, which includes the City of Long Beach and portions of South Los Angeles and Southeast Los Angeles including the cities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Lakewood, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, Signal Hill, and South Gate. Senator Gonzalez lives in Long Beach with her husband Adam and three sons.
 
Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry represents the 4th Assembly District, which includes all of Lake and Napa Counties, parts of Colusa, Solano and Sonoma Counties, and all of Yolo County except West Sacramento. Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry resides in Winters a block from her childhood home with her longtime partner, Larry Harris, and has two grown daughters and a stepson.