The Origins of REALNEO
Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
East Cleveland Undivided about bridging the digital divide
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 06/16/2006 - 04:38.
(This article was written as a progress report for the East Cleveland newsletter to residents of the city,
Greg Williams, son of Hot Sauce Williams Founder Lamond Williams, helping bring surplus computers into the new digital divide bridging center they are helping create at their property in East Cleveland - the awesome, historic former Hough Bakery Complex on Lakeview - where the ongoing REALNEO team is founding an open source incubator for entrepreneurs to help truly jump start the new economy in NEO... at the Star Incubator (the complex was the Star Bakery before it was the Hough Bakery).
The City of East Cleveland is leading Northeast Ohio into the new economy by bridging the digital divide. This means the City of East Cleveland is upgrading our internal computer network and services, increasing city bandwidth to the Internet, enhancing our website services, making sure all of our residents who want and need personal computers may have them at home, providing training in some computer programs, and helping residents get access to the Internet at the lowest possible cost or for free. This all provides a "bridge" for residents to go across the "digital divide" to the "new economy". Welcome!
REAL NEO stars Joe Stanley (doing the heavy lifting), Greg Williams and Phil Lane, showing REAL NEO open source economic development in action, in East Cleveland.
There is no other community in Northeast Ohio providing such a comprehensive digital divide bridging program for its residents, and it is all made possible through support from the Cleveland Foundation and other supportive organizations and volunteers, at no cost to the city and residents - we've actually received well over $100,000 in foundation supported information technology upgrades, and this will save the city over $10,000 in telecommunications costs in the next year alone, and increase city efficiency and revenues.
REAL NEO star Phillip Williams is overseeing new technology deployment for
In addition to making the City of East Cleveland more efficient and effective, this program, called East Cleveland Undivided, has already distributed over 70 free, reconditioned laptop and desktop computers to East Cleveland senior citizens and students at Shaw High School, and our volunteers are in the process of preparing 100s more computers for distribution to more residents this summer. By the end of 2006, the City is making certain every resident who wants a computer but cannot afford one will receive a computer and software for free.
The free computer program works like this...
Local volunteer technology consultants have arranged for large Northeast Ohio businesses and organizations to donate computers to the City of East Cleveland – computer donors have included Progressive Insurance, the Benish Friedlander law firm and Case University. Our volunteers reconfigure the computers with a free operating system called Ubuntu and other free software that is better than commercial software, and all free. The computers are then tested and matched with monitors, keyboards, and mice and given to residents who have shown interest to receive a computer, but are not able to afford purchasing new computers.
REAL NEO Superstars at the Helen S. Brown Senior Services Center teaching each other all they know about computing - intergenerational learing is especailly valuable for learning information technology... the young man is the expert in this room
Through the generous support of the Williams family, of Hot Sauce Williams, space and connectivity is being provided for this program in the former Hough Bakery complex on Lakeview, in East Cleveland, where the Inner Circle Restaurant is located. The Williams are also working with the City of East Cleveland and our volunteers to establish a start-up business incubator, community computer training center, digital arts center and Cyber Cafe, bringing the new economy directly to East Cleveland in many new ways.
On top of the East Cleveland Sewage and Water Building you'll notice a small square antenna - there is one on each major city building, and the interconnect to enable the high speed East Cleveland eGovernment network and high bandwidth connection with the Internet
The City of East Cleveland is also upgrading our eGovernment network. East Cleveland Chief Information Officer Abulimen Alli is leading the installation of high speed connections to the Internet for all major city facilities, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center and the Helen S. Brown Senior Services Center. The Helen S. Brown Center has also upgraded its community computing center, serving our senior citizens, with the help of the MacGregor Foundation. Additional community computing centers are planned in other convenient locations around the community. Of course, the spectacular newly renovated East Cleveland library provides the community with a state of the art computer center, as well.
REAL NEO Superstar and City of East Cleveland CIO Abulimen Ali, configunring the network with a network engineer from IBM, which provides the final integration of all systems with the Internet.
The new, wireless, high speed East Cleveland eGovernment Network is being installed right now - you'll now see small square wireless antennas on top of all our major city buildings. The network will allow East Cleveland to offer new information services to staff, citizens and residents. While upgrading its network, the city is upgrading servers and software that help us run our government efficiently, and providing new information services to businesses and residents via the city Internet website and portal, at http://eastcleveland.org, which uses a unique, free technology to allow residents to better connect with government.
East Cleveland residents make excellent use of the East Cleveland
Looking forward, we are working to extend the internal network out into the community as a wireless "mesh" neighborhood network, offering better high speed connection to the Internet for residents and businesses in East Cleveland. This is one of the first such initiatives in the country, placing the City of East Cleveland and all residents at the forefront of the information revolution.
Over the next six months, the City expects to have enough computers processed to distribute 1,000 more desktop and laptop computers to residents, for use at home, and we expect to have several new Internet access options available to residents. Mayor Brewer will keep residents informed of progress on this initiative through our Town Hall meetings, the city website at http://eastcleveland.org and via this newsletter.
This program has been made possible through the East Cleveland 2010 collaboration between the City of East Cleveland, the Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland State University, OneCleveland and computer consultants David Porter, Norm Roulet, Phillip Williams, Ed Hauser and Sudhir Ragupathy, under the leadership of Mayor Brewer and Chief Information Officer Abulimen Alli.
For additional information on this comprehensive program, please contact East Cleveland Chief Information Officer Abulimen Alli, found on our website at http://eastcleveland.org/it, by email at abu [at] eastcleveland [dot] org and by calling city hall at 216-681-5020.
At the Star Center, REAL NEO STARS Greg Williams, Phillip Williams, Ed Hauser, Lamond Williams and Joe Stanley rest before dozens of computers just brought from Max Hayes High School for reprocessing with Ubuntu and other open source software for distribution back to graduates of the Cleveland Municipal School District Continuing Education Department Multi-Lingual, Multi-Cultural computer training program - one of the great education programs in the region - this is all volunteer so if you will help get in touch... norm [at] realinks [dot] us