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Civic Engagement

Liberty City Digital Commons (LCDC)

The Liberty City Digital Commons (LCDC) proposes the creation of a Wi-Fi network in Liberty Square, the largest public housing development in Miami’s Liberty City, a historically African American, culturally significant community where fewer than thirty percent of households have Internet access. The initiative will be launched using open technologies for wireless communications, such as mesh networking, to allow for... more »
Who are you?

We represent a coalition that includes the Education Effect at Miami Northwestern High School, the School of Journalism at Florida International University, the Liberty Square Trust, and the Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

Providing open access to the Internet offers essential opportunities for civic engagement, whether seeking out volunteer opportunities, launching voter outreach campaigns, or running/joining community organizing initiatives. LCDC users will be able to use the network as a portal to both seek and post job and educational opportunities, and through these efforts, contribute to a community that is focused on strengthening social capital.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

Because political engagement now relies heavily on digital media, increasing Internet penetration can boost voter outreach campaigns and ensure greater engagement around pressing issues when voters go to the polls. LCDC will create volunteer opportunities as residents build and maintain the Wi-Fi network, and learn of other volunteer opportunities posted to the network such as community gardening, working with charitable and after school programs, and joining neighborhood revitalization efforts.

Please give examples of your project's success.

LCDC is modeled after other successful open Wi-Fi projects launched by a project partner, the Open Technology Institute, in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and in neighborhoods throughout Detroit. Additionally, one of the benefits of launching a community-based Internet project like LCDC is that there will be useful metrics used to measure whether or not the project is meeting its goals—among them general usage data, popular access points, time users spend on the network, and the peak times for use.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Florida International University

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