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Changing Policy and Philanthropy

Post:

01

Date:

Dec 12, 2000

From:

Mario Morino


John, thanks for your insights. Your last point struck a chord with us when you said:

"In is on this line of reasoning that I think that the Morino strategy should centrally include a public communication and lobbying component that magnifies the voices of the poor and enables them to say what they trust, what they do not, and why."

In our internal group discussion this morning we discussed including in the report's framework of actions, the need for those in low-income communities to have a stronger voice with respect to public policy, program definition, etc., as it relates to technology (and least for this discussion). As the Children's Defense Fund once established a significant voice and presence with elected officials, public policy makers, and foundations with respect to the child advocacy, is there not an analog with respect to the needs of those in low-income communities as it relates to public policy and programs related to technology.

From our view, the interests of low-income communities are not well represented in the in the lobbying and influencing that operates behind the scenes of government process. Clearly, with respect to policies surrounding technology access, deployment and investment for low-income communities, there are champions of this cause in the form of certain elected and appointed officials. But, these figures are not supported by a strong organization or voice that the policy makers turn to, as is true in other areas. This appeared to be the case in the telcom reform activity and certainly appears to be the case for scores of pending technology-related legislation in federal and state legislatures, from invasion of privacy caused by product marketing data bases to intellectual property legislation.

What is the take of others in the online discussion?

Thanks,
Mario

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