In August, UNITE-LA and the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, co-conveners of the Los Angeles Digital Equity Action League (LA DEAL) – the California Public Utilities Commission’s Regional Broadband Consortium for the L.A. region – held a summit to elevate the innovative efforts local leaders launched to leverage municipal assets, to build new relationships and collaborative opportunities across local and state agencies, and to support and inform the state's Digital Equity Plan. The event took place, in partnership with L.A. Unified School District, L.A. County Office of Education (LACOE), L.A. County Internal Services Department and L.A. City Bureau of Street Lights, on Aug. 5, 2022, at Christopher Dena Elementary School in Boyle Heights. The site was selected as a demonstration to local and state leaders of how agencies, through memoranda of understanding, can collaborate to share assets to provide broadband services to communities that are low-income and underserved.
The event kicked off with a tour of the street light infrastructure that would be used to connect the school with Wyvernwood Garden Apartments and Estrada Courts Housing Project. Featured participants from local agencies shared highlights, successes and challenges, and invited additional collaboration. LACOE invited support for their advocacy of the Federal Communication Commission to change the limitations from the E-rate program in order to support providing home internet access, without a decrease in funding. State leaders shared the process they would undergo to develop the California Digital Equity Plan for the National Telecommunication and Information Administration between October 2022 and October 2023, and invited LA DEAL partners to inform the state's plan through a future regional convening.