San Antonio Named a 2023 Visionary Digital Inclusion Trailblazer
Published on December 14, 2023
San Antonio recognized for the seventh time by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance
SAN ANTONIO (December 14, 2023) – Yesterday, San Antonio was named a 2023 Visionary Digital Inclusion Trailblazer by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA). This is the seventh time the City of San Antonio has made the list for its leadership in digital equity and efforts to close the digital divide. Digital equity means everyone has the resources to participate in society, democracy, and the economy. Digital inclusion includes access to affordable high-speed internet, devices, and digital skills training.
The Visionary Trailblazer designation is the highest honor given by NDIA, recognizing communities that have deeply integrated digital inclusion throughout their government and are leading the way in digital inclusion innovation.
"Receiving the Visionary Trailblazer award is a testament to San Antonio’s dedication to ensuring that every resident has equal access to the opportunities and resources provided by technology,” said City Manager Erik Walsh. “In the digital age, equity is not just a goal; it's a necessity. Digital equity is a cornerstone of progress, and we will continue to work to bridge the digital divide."
This year, San Antonio joins a record number of Digital Inclusion Trailblazers, with awardees representing municipal, county, and regional governments paving the way for digitally inclusive communities across the US.
“In San Antonio, we recognize that true innovation extends beyond technology,” said Chief Innovation Officer Brian Dillard. “It's about ensuring every resident has equal access to the digital tools that empower them to thrive in our modern society. By bridging the digital divide, we foster a more inclusive, connected, and resilient community."
San Antonio achieved Visionary Trailblazer status through the Office of Innovation’s collaboration with several City departments and partner agencies to prioritize digital inclusion for residents including:
- Enhanced senior services with the Department of Human Services
- A digital equity website and digital skills classes with the San Antonio Public Library
- Digital accessibility training for City staff through the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Department
- The creation of a regional digital equity strategy and resources map in partnership with SA Digital Connects
“The City of San Antonio is committed to closing the digital divide and this recognition is well deserved,” said Rhia Pape, Executive Director of SA Digital Connects. “We are proud to support their intentional effort and appreciate our continued partnership in this extensive work. It takes us all coming together to ensure every household has access to reliable, affordable internet, and to support our neighbors in being safe, secure, and confident online.”
NDIA revised the seven-year-old Trailblazer program this year, identifying seven categories of current best practices. Each applicant’s materials are verified for accuracy, assessed for community impact, and posted in an interactive map and searchable database on NDIA’s website. By sharing materials with open-sourcing, NDIA provides community advocates and local governments ways to continue learning, connect with trailblazing peers, and plan their own digital inclusion solutions.
“Nonprofits, libraries, churches, and other community organizations can’t reach digital equity on their own. For everyone to thrive in today’s digital world, we need all hands on deck,” said Angela Siefer, NDIA Executive Director. “NDIA’s Digital Inclusion Trailblazers exemplify the key role local governments have in building connected communities for all of their residents.”