Aug. 1, 2022 By Czarinna Andres
Councilmember Julie Won who ran for office last year on a platform of bridging the digital divide was at the Woodside Houses NYCHA complex Saturday signing residents up for free Wifi.
The council member was helping residents sign up to a federal program called the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides free Wifi to public housing residents and low-income families across the nation.
Nearly 300 people attended Won’s event where she was also joined by Congresswoman Nydia Velásquez, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards.
“I began my journey into government with the mission to get all of our NYCHA neighbors free WiFi,” Won said. “COVID-19 proved that WiFi should be a public utility.”
Won’s event served to help NYCHA residents sign up for ACP, where eligible households get free service or $30/month credited toward their bill.
Many people, however, are eligible for the program–not just NYCHA residents. New Yorkers who earn below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines or are enrolled in Medicaid, SNAP, National School Lunch, and veterans’ pensions are also eligible.
The APC was funded through the passage of the the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in 2021, which included $65-billion earmarked specifically for broadband infrastructure.
I began my journey into government with the mission to get all of our NYCHA neighbors free WiFi. COVID-19 proved that WiFi should be a public utility. Today, we kicked off the NYCHA registrations for the ACP to provide free home WiFi for all of our Woodside Houses neighbors (1/2) pic.twitter.com/R6UTmxEHnl
— Julie Won ✨ (@juliej_won) July 31, 2022
Won will be visiting different NYCHA developments throughout her district in coming weeks to help spread the word and to get residents to register for the program.
She plans enrollment events at Queensbridge Houses on Aug. 20 and Ravenswood Houses on Aug. 27.
In addition to the registration events, Won’s council office has partnered with local nonprofit partners—such as Sunnyside Community Services–to help with registrations to ensure that all eligible residents can receive the ACP WiFi subsidy.
Won said that in the 26th Council District that she represents—which includes Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, and Dutch Kills—one in four residents go without high-speed internet.
Won said that 1.5 million New Yorkers currently lack at-home internet access because they simply cannot afford it. She said that closing the digital divide is essential to ensuring a just economic recovery.
Nearly all government services — including vaccination scheduling and unemployment benefits — are accessible exclusively online, she said. Job applications as well as many office jobs have made the leap to being fully remote.
Won said that inequalities in housing are now being exacerbated by the digital divide. Black New Yorkers are nearly twice as likely to go without internet access than their white neighbors, and more Hispanic families are without internet than any other ethnic group.
Robert Holden writes letters trying to get people fired and drafts legislation aimed at marginalizing instead of helping New Yorkers in need.
I support Holden and his fight against quality of life issues. He is doing more than anything else we currently have.
I guess anything to keep these good folks home is a good thing. Crime, covid and monkeypox is soaring high in NYC.
I don’t care. I’m still voting for Elizabeth Crowley.
Why didn’t they go door to door like they do with the newer developments when they want to sell you something. Too scared of the black mold and the Rats that we deal with daily? Or is it the smell of weed that bothers you all? Too good for us now. Living large. The only time I hear a knock on my door is when they want my vote. Unbelievable and disgusted.
Just like menial jobs, public housing should not be permanent. Rats and black mold should motivate you to save and move. You don’t need to fill your closet with designer clothes and shoes or have the latest TV or phone. Should everyone accept the smell of weed? Is that something you really need and can’t give up in order to save a few dollars? Stop feeding the stereotype and someone will visit you. Easy to pass blame nowadays.
Smh – You’re responding to your own comment. You’re not fooling anyone.
Nah. Not worth my time. Sounds like you’re implicating yourself, Dave…. And whoever is a “student” of lefty Dave, please think for yourself. Formulate your own opinions based on the facts and not your feelings.
Not everyone has the privilege of being white in this city! Tired of your ignorant and racists ideology.
You are the racist one here.
White is no longer a privilege. White people can’t use the race card every time someone dumps on us. Wedonthavearacecard!!!!!!!
You are the privileged ones here. White’s pay for you (again) while you sit on your asses.
So you equate your race with being poor? Lol. Blame your culture. A lot of first generation immigrants rise out of poverty. You are where you are in life based on your choices, not your race. Difference between you and everyone else who got out the ghetto, is they didn’t see themselves as victims.
Genetic makeup, poor work ethic, irate and unhinged behavior, always getting caught doing the wrong thing… but yeah, they’re unjustly persecuted.
Also Bev, for poor white people in NYC, who is at fault for their problems? Their race?
Now work on maintaining the speed as advertised. Tired of sitting on the phone every 2 hours with these internet provider companies when my Wi-Fi goes out. They’re quick to install and then do nothing to maintain their Wi-Fi service. Bunch of crooks.
How abt free internet tv with premium channels? Them hbo and showtime channels are expensive. Aint nothing on BET or OWN but repeats in the summer.
If you missed this event due to the heat you can just call up an internet company and get free service if you qualify. Most folks on public assistance know this by now. But it was a photo op for Won and company. Next time offer free refreshments and public housing people will come out in the heat.
About 25 % of monkeypox cases in the US are in NYC. Mayor Adams declared a state of emergency over monkeypox. All happening after pride. How about working on getting these poor folks access to vaccines!!
A free device to use to get on the internet wld be nice also. Now work on giving us heat and hot water this winter. Tired of using my stove for warmth.
Then you’ll be out of the house during the day. See how this works!!!
“Won said that inequalities in housing are now being exacerbated by the digital divide. Black New Yorkers are nearly twice as likely to go without internet access than their white neighbors, and more Hispanic families are without internet than any other ethnic group.” That is because most of them have free phones for internet access!!!
Go to the projects and see who has the best new phones around. Here’s a hint, they wear $300 t shirts yet don’t really work.
But everyone knows. Police hate the Amish.
Don’t forget making a Bodega owner give you a three dollar bag of chips that you apparently can’t afford on your benefit card!
You seem REALLY eager to post about a certain type of people. Don’t make everything about your identity politics.
What certain type of people do I appear to be eager to talk about? Those who have made a living out of not adulting? Cause that’s all I see here.
Free for some. The rest of us are paying for everyone. It is too much now.
Everybody pulled his weight.
NO!!! You pay your way!!!
You’re seriously putting up Archie Bunker as a role model?
You may have missed the point of that show. Archie, the bigoted moron, was the butt of the jokes, remember?
You can’t distinguish between fantasy and reality!!! Archie Bunker is a fictional character! And that character didn’t even write it!!
Charles Strouse and Lee Adams!!
you can’t even distinguish between fantasy and reality! Archie Bunker was a fictional character but the song was written by real people!
Charles Strouse and Lee Adams!!
Glad to hear you didn’t accept the free taxpayer money Trump gave out. How did you return it?
On my students. What did you spend your four checks on? For people who hate Trump yall sure took that money and ran!
Shouldn’t you be teaching your students that “everybody pulled his weight” instead of giving handouts?
Cause you can’t pay taxes if yall don’t have a job that is on the books.
Many people in nycha buildings double dip the government. You must triple dip.
One minute you’re talking about pulling your weight except when it. Ones to Trump. $750 is not pulling your weight. Draft dodging is not pulling your weight.
Trump bragged that he didn’t pay any taxes, and that made him smart. Doesn’t that apply to…other people too? 😂
Hey, how about working for municipal broadband instead of this neoliberal means-tested window dressing?
People working for what they get.
Municipal broadband has nothing to do with people working or not working. It’s about making broadband a public good and stripping out the profit taking.
I’m tapped out from paying for these lowlives to live better than me.
Municipal broadband would be cheaper for everyone—me and you included.
We need to privatize everything and run everything like a business. Government run services are highly inefficient.
Nice! More free benefits. Why work. Let’s kill the middle class with taxes.
How can it be “free” when the tax payers are paying for this. total misrepresentation. typical socialist keep handing out stuff. reckon I will just have to work harder as im now paying for my own wifi as well as subsidizing their housing and now their wifi. You do know Won that you are not really helping them to better themselves you are just building your voter base