December 9, 1999


"Together we have the power to determine exactly what we want the Internet to become... to be an instrument of empowerment, education, enlightenment, economic advance and community-building all across America, regardless of the race, the income, the geography of our citizens."

President Bill Clinton
Thursday, December 9, 1999

Today, at the White House, President Clinton addressed high-tech CEOs and civil rights, education, and non-profit leaders on the digital divide - the growing division in the U.S.between information “haves” and “have-nots.” The President announced that he will lead a trip next spring to focus attention on the digital divide, and will issue a directive to his Cabinet to take specific actions to address this challenge. He also announced several commitments from non-profit organizations and the private sector to help close the divide.

The Importance of Bridging the Digital Divide. Access to computers and the Internet and the ability to effectively use this technology are becoming increasingly important for full participation in America's economic, political and social life. Access to computers and the Internet has exploded during the Clinton-Gore Administration. Unfortunately, there is strong evidence of a “digital divide” – a gap between those individuals and communities that have access to these Information Age tools and those who do not.

From Digital Divide to Digital Opportunity. Today, Secretary of Commerce William Daley convened the first Digital Divide Summit, a roundtable with high-technology CEOs and civil rights, education, and non-profit leaders on ways to bridge the divide. In remarks to summit participants, President Clinton announced actions that will help create digital opportunity for more Americans:

A Strong Record on Closing the Digital Divide. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have worked hard to close the digital divide, including:

December 1999

President Clinton Ratifies the New ILO Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, December 2, 1999

December 21, 1999

December 3, 1999: 20 Million New Jobs

December 6, 1999

December 7, 1999

December 9, 1999

December 10, 1999

December 13, 1999

December 14, 1999

December 14, 1999: The Government is Y2K Ready

December 17, 1999

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