Request for large NEO corporations to support sustainable NEO - donate computers to the needy

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 06/13/2006 - 01:45.

For over a year and a half, some of my associates and I have led technology strategy development for an initiative called East Cleveland 2010, which was launched and is largely supported by Ronn Richards of the Cleveland Foundation... I call the technology side "East Cleveland Undivided". We have collected 100s of used computers from Progressive Insurance and Benish Friedlander, to date, and my company paid our staff to reconfigure those computers to run open source software including Ubuntu, allowing us to give fully functional, license free computers for free to people in NEO in need - most have gone to senior citizens and high school seniors in East Cleveland and multi-lingual multi-cultural families taking computer training at the Cleveland Public Schools. Now, we must expand this initiative and can use YOUR help. There is an immediate need for more computers - 100s ASAP and 1,000s over the next few months.  There is also a need for others who are sincerely interested and giving to help with other aspects of this digital divide bridging initiative.

We have arranged for OneCleveland to provide East Cleveland with high speed internet access and installed a high speed government area network and we are working with the city to enhance their server and technology environment, we provide them with a free eGovernment portal at http://eastcleveland.org, and we are developing a coalition to expand all of this into a free or least cost community network - a wireless mesh going far beyond the OneCleveland model and capabilities - allowing all residents to access the internet with high bandwidth and so participate in the new economy - we also provide training, and are working to develop computer centers, a digital media arts center, a new economy incubator and a CyberCafe in East Cleveland, currently in discussions to center all of this at the former Hough Bakery complex at Lakeview, on the East Cleveland and Cleveland border, which is owned by the very fine Hot Sauce Williams family.

All this is being developed to bridge the digital divide in NEO - many people have been talking about this and working on it for nearly a decade and it is time to escalate our outreach to a much higher yet more individualistic level, going well beyond all other current strategies. Just as with lead poisoning, bridging the digital divide is a very personalized, one-on-one, site specific social change process rather than one for industrial policy and top-down command and control - ECHO Link is about new economy technology acitvism, combining universal access optimal virtual commnity with many good people doing the right things, and we've put all the pieces in place and moved the process very far along.

After eradicating lead poisoning in this community (which lowers children's IQs and so diminishes their ability to learn and function in society), the most important solution to making this a sustainable community is insuring we are all on the same page, so to speak, with equal access to knowledge, information, communications and collaboration, all enabled through this information technology revolution.

There is an immediate need for 30 computers (with cables, monitors, keyboards and mice) for upcoming graduates of the 2006 Cleveland Metropolitan School District Multi-Lingual Multi-cultural computer training program, and for many families of lead poisoned children affiliated with CCOAL (Concerned Citizens Organized Against Lead), and for 1,000s of other families in the area - make a direct, personal difference in one or many of these lives. If you can help secure donations of computers - large lots of identical CPUs is ideal, but any PIII or more current operating equipment is welcome - or if you want to help on the planning or human support side... installing, training and sharing your advantages with those less fortunate... please contact me at norm [at] realinks [dot] us.

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