Tag: "institute for local self-reliance"

Posted August 16, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

Communities across the United States today sit at a flash point. On one side, the long-simmering gaps in our broadband infrastructure and the prohibitive cost of fast, reliable Internet access faced by low-income households have left millions of families behind, unable to work, learn, visit the doctor, or stay connected to their local governments. On the other, billions in federal broadband funding have been disbursed over the last twelve months, with tens of billions more to come both directly to cities and counties and, further down the road, via grants given out by state broadband offices. It’s a rare chance to address the digital divide in all of its forms.

But the broadband landscape is complicated and confusing for those new to working in it. Every day, we hear from communities looking to orient themselves to the challenges and opportunities they face, and this need only seems to be growing. In response, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is excited to announce two new programs to help leaders and local government officials address their community’s needs in practical, efficient, clear-eyed ways, with sensitivity to all the things that make their community unique. ILSR has nearly 20 years of experience working on local broadband solutions that are accountable to local residents and businesses. We helped to develop the Tribal Broadband Bootcamp, and have worked with hundreds of communities from the smallest towns to the largest cities and counties.

Neither of the programs below is intended to replace existing specialized consultants. Rather, the aim is to help communities understand what their options are before they engage with consultants, so that they can be more efficient with their time.

Announcing the Urban Digital Equity Bootcamp

While most policymakers remain focused on broadband gaps in rural areas, residents of urban areas understand all too well the connectivity problems faced by those who live in cities. The greatest opportunities to achieve digital equity in urban communities is approaching, with unprecedented government and philanthropic support available to address needs long neglected. However, communities need local champions to ensure that problems are resolved in accordance with local goals. 

More than 20 years of top-down solutions have failed to result in more connected, resilient communities. The ...

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Posted June 15, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a national nonprofit working to reverse today’s extreme levels of corporate concentration and advance policies to rebuild the economic capacity of local communities. We use in-depth research, reporting, and data analysis to produce influential reports and articles. Our work illuminates the public policy decisions that have fueled concentration and shows how we can change the rules to create a more equitable and democratic future. Our analysis is frequently featured in national news media and sought out by policymakers. We work closely with a broad range of allies to move these ideas and policies. 

ILSR is hiring a Digital Communications Manager, who will work closely with the Communications Director to develop and implement communication strategies that support the mission of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

In this role, you will work across several different initiatives to write, edit, and design creative public messaging to promote ILSR’s work through the organization’s newsletters, website, social media, events, and more. Download the full description here, or see this job posting at ilsr.org.

Responsibilities:

Social Media (35%)

  • Design captivating visuals that grab attention, enhance engagement, and broaden interest in ILSR reports, blogs, podcasts, and other releases
  • Craft copy that strikes the right chords of urgency, hope, and assurance to keep followers actively engaged
  • Monitor social media for opportunities to engage with trending, highly relevant, and staff-generated content
  • Log publicity hits and translate key passages into compelling social media content

Website (20%)

  • Maintain the ILSR website including drafting original content, copy editing, selecting images and infographics, and ensuring site-wide consistency and visual appeal of posted content

Multimedia Production (15%)

  • Distill and repurpose audio and video content from staff interviews, public hearings, virtual events, and other recordings that can be used on social media and other platforms
  • Occasional assistance with production of ILSR podcasts...
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Posted June 9, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

In March, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance held a livestream event on the range of challenges and tools available to communities to accomplish infrastructure, equity, and inclusion goals. We called it Building for Digital Equity: Demystifying Broadband Policy and Funding. There, we discussed the new policies and funding options available that can be applied at the state and local levels to help communities improve their Internet services.

This time we will be focusing on organizing around broadband, community impact of the federal funding, and new initiatives in progress thanks to the grants communities are taking advantage of. 

Join us on Wednesday June 29th from 1:00pm-2:15pm ET as we discuss what's happening on the ground in these communities and what some of them are planning to do with the new federal broadband dollars. We are calling it Building for Digital Equity, Chapter 2: Claiming Broadband For Your Community. Register here.

This event will feature:

  • Your favorite co-host:  Christopher Mitchell of ILSR and Pamela Rosales of NDIA
  • Videos from communities discussing what they are planning and doing with the funding
  • Discussing the “how” in organizing communities
  • Guest speakers discussing organizing strategies, and success stories.
  • The return of the crowd favorite Broadband Trivia!

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Event Links

Register for Building for Digital Equity, Chapter 2 here to get the livestream links; on the day of the event, it will also be available on Twitter, via @netinlusion, @communitynets and @muninetworks

During the livestream, you can also join the trivia game (link to follow).

Note: There is no need to join the trivia game ahead...

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Posted March 29, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

On Wednesday, March 16th, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance teamed up with the National Digital Inclusion Alliance for a two-hour, fast-paced webinar on the ways communities can accomplish digital equity goals called Building for Digital Equity: Demystifying Broadband Policy and Funding. It was just as fun to do as we hoped, and packed with speakers providing practical, easy-to-understand advice and a wonderful audience full of questions and additional information.

We heard from an array of people and about a host of projects, from Broadband Action Teams in Washington state, to coalitions in Maine, an update on the Digital Navigator model, mapping, talking to local governments, and a breakdown of the funding available to communities.

If you did not have a chance to leave feedback for us, please do it here - especially if you have ideas for segments in future events.

We also want to make sure you have links to all of the resources shared by the event speakers:

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Posted March 2, 2022 by Sean Gonsalves

Last week we invited you to save the date for a two-hour livestream event Building for Digital Equity: Demystifying Broadband Policy and Funding that the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is co-organizing with the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA).

We told you this event – which will be held on Wednesday, March 16th, from 2-4pm ET – was not going to be your average conference or webinar with 45-minute panels that make your derriere doze off or your eyes glaze over like a stale donut.

We are aiming for a fast-paced, fun, and interactive virtual gathering of network builders, local stakeholders, policy advocates, and funding experts from across the country that will feature a mix of short presentations, a sprinkling of trivia and prizes, and panels with Q & A’s that will be accessible on a variety of popular social media platforms.

Well, the event is coming together, promising to offer practical insights on how communities can seize this unprecedented moment to pursue community-driven broadband solutions.

You can register for the event here.

Here’s a sneak peek at the line-up:

 

  • It will be emceed by our own Christopher Mitchell, director of ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative, and NDIA’s Training and Community Engagement Manager, Pamela Rosales
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Posted February 15, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

We're living through a time with an unprecedented level of broadband infrastructure funding, fueled not only by the American Rescue Plan, but the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Hundreds of community-driven projects are already underway, but finding solid footing amidst these programs, statutes, and evolving rules is difficult. 

To help, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance is teaming up with the National Digital Inclusion Alliance for a two-hour livestream event to demystify the landscape. On Wednesday, March 16th, from 2-4pm ET, we're hosting an online conversation to bring together local stakeholders, policy advocates, and funding experts in one place. We're calling it Building for Digital Equity: Demystifying Broadband Policy and Funding.

But this isn't your average conference or webinar, with 45-minute panels that make your butt go numb and your eyes glaze over. Oh no. We're aiming for a fast-paced, fun, and most importantly interactive conversation between policy advocates, network builders, local officials, and anyone else interested in learning how we can ensure that the tens of billions in upcoming infrastructure funding goes to solving the connectivity crisis permanently rather than once again disappearing into the pockets of the monopoly Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

The event will feature a mixture of short presentations, panels with Q and A across a bunch of different platforms (so you can watch wherever you want), and trivia with prizes.

The topic list will certainly grow, but right now it includes things like:

  • How to advocate to state legislatures to best prepare for the flood of federal money
  • What cities can do with Rescue Plan...
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Posted January 25, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a national research and advocacy organization working to reverse corporate concentration and advance policies to rebuild the economic power and capacity of local communities. Our work illuminates the public policy decisions that have fueled concentration at the expense of local businesses, working people, and communities. It also shows how we can change the rules to create a more equitable, sustainable, and democratic future. We use in-depth research, reporting, and data analysis to produce influential reports and articles. Our analysis is frequently featured in national news media and sought out by policymakers. We partner closely with a broad range of allies to move these ideas and policies.

ILSR is looking for an experienced communications professional to join our team as Communications Director. We’re looking for someone near one of our three home offices in Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis, Minn.; or Portland, Maine but are open to candidates located remotely.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Develop and drive bold media strategies that garner earned media, advance ILSR’s policy goals, and highlight its expertise and thought-leadership, including pitching ILSR’s research and subject-matter experts to journalists and producers (30% of time)
  • Develop and execute the communications and media components of an organizational strategic plan, including identifying the best frame to communicate our mission, vision, and values (10%)
  • Harmonize ILSR’s written output (including reports, articles, podcasts, and newsletters) across its different initiatives, including by reviewing major written products and leveraging these products to advance ILSR’s broader message and brand (10%)
  • Manage a small communications team (10%)
  • Oversee ILSR’s web presence to maximize engagement with ILSR’s content (10%)
  • Develop and oversee execution of social media campaigns across all platforms, telling the story of ILSR’s work through engaging graphics, video, and other mediums (15%)
  • Collaborate with ILSR’s Development team on the Annual Report and occasional fundraising campaigns (5%)
  • Occasionally represent ILSR at meetings and events. (5%)
  • Administrative tasks (5%)
  • Some travel may be required

A SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE IS:

  • An exceptionally good writer and communicator with the ability to synthesize and convey complex ideas...
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Posted January 21, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

On Wednesday, some of us joined Broadband Breakfast to talk about the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Community Broadband Network approach to infrastructure funding. It was a lively and fun conversation, touching also on the new Treasury Final Rules for the Rescue Plan funding, affordability challenges, the value of competition, and how we hope these funds shape up.

On the panel was DeAnne Cuellar, Sean Gonsalves, Ry Marcattilio-McCracken, Christopher Mitchell, and Drew Clark. Watch the session here, or below.

Posted January 6, 2022 by Staff

Today we launch the Digital Health Story Collection, an opportunity for health care providers and health care users to share experiences with or difficulties accessing telehealth care across the country. Share your story and help us tell policymakers why having access to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet service is critical for health and well-being.  

As we enter 2022 amid a new wave of Covid-19 infections, we are reminded of the critical necessity for all people to have fast, affordable, and reliable Internet service. Such service makes it possible to work and learn remotely, stay connected with friends and family, access vital public health information, and find employment or housing - all critical for maintaining our physical and mental health. Internet access has also enabled many people to access healthcare remotely through telehealth services, ensuring continuity of care while limiting in-person contact and reducing exposure to the coronavirus. 

​​The pandemic triggered a massive expansion of telehealth, but it’s not available to everyone equally. This is partly because not everyone has broadband Internet access. But it’s also because not everyone has the devices, skills, or level of comfort they need to take advantage of Internet access, even if they have it. 

This digital divide disproportionately impacts rural, low-income, Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities who already face significant health disparities. As such, telehealth is the least available where it is most needed and could have the greatest impact. As health and digital equity advocates have pointed out, if we don’t significantly and meaningfully promote digital inclusion, we risk entrenching, even worsening, existing health disparities.

Frustratingly, whenever the notion of using public dollars to expand affordable broadband infrastructure comes up, there is hand wringing about capping costs. This is despite the fact that however much solving the infrastructure gap costs it still pales in comparison to our ever-ballooning healthcare spending (...

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Posted December 27, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio

In 2021, as many large corporations took advantage of the pandemic to increase their outsized sway over our economy and our democracy, we’ve seen a growing movement for change across the country. Elected officials, advocates, and individuals like you are seeking out ways to build stronger, more equitable, and more sustainable communities.

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance has worked hard to meet the challenges and opportunities of this moment. Our 2021 annual report [pdf] highlights the work we’ve done this year, including on-the-ground technical assistance, in-depth research and analysis, and coalition building with grassroots organizations, to empower local communities and help instill racial and economic justice throughout our economy. In hundreds of media stories covering our work, ILSR is influencing and expanding public understanding of monopoly problems across the economy and building support for taking action to counter it.

A priority in 2021 was advocating for local solutions at the federal level. From organizing Congressional support for reining in the power of Big Tech to successfully advocating for federal funding for local broadband networks to shifting the national climate policy discourse to focus on decentralized, local power as key to reducing emissions and creating jobs, ILSR’s influence was stronger than ever. 

Nearly every day we hear from local leaders and advocates who rely on our resources and expertise to make change in their communities. We couldn’t do it without your support. Donations from individuals are an important and unique source of revenue that gives us the ability to be creative in meeting the ever-growing need for solutions. 

Please consider making a tax-deductible gift today to sustain our work and support the movement for healthy, equitable, and self-reliant communities. We look forward to making an even greater impact in the coming year.

Thank you from all of us at ILSR. Your support makes a difference. 

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