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David A. Catania
Councilmember Sandra Allen
Councilmember Kevin Chavous
Councilmember Kathy Patterson
Chairman Linda W. Cropp
Councilmember Sharon Ambrose
Councilmember Jack Evans
Councilmember Carol Schwartz
A PROPOSED RESOLUTION IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Councilmember David A. Catania, Chairman Linda Cropp, and Councilmembers Sandra Allen, Sharon Ambrose, Kevin Chavous, Jack Evans, Kathy Patterson, and Carol Schwartz introduced the following resolution, which was referred to the Committee on Education, Libraries and Recreation.
To encourage the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia ("University") and the Mayor to create and fund the Frederick Douglass School of Technology at the University.
RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this resolution may be cited as the "Creation of the Frederick Douglass School of Technology Resolution of 2000".
Sec. 2. The Council finds that:
(a) A technological revolution is well underway, which is transforming economies around the world and providing dramatic economic growth and personal wealth in communities already involved in this new economy across the United States.
(b) The internet economy has grown 127% since January of 1998 and is projected to reach $507 billion this year. Such activity will come to include most if not all existing sectors of the national economy.
(c) There exists a "digital divide" between ethnic groups, education levels, and income. The percentage of urban residents who own computers is less than the national average. In addition, while almost half of white households own home computers, only 23 percent of African-American and 25 percent of Latino homes have such equipment. Moreover, in the United States, Hispanics and African Americans are nearly three times less likely than Caucasians to have internet access in their home.
(d) The Washington Metropolitan Region is a leader in this new technologically driven economy and is projected to be one of the top three national centers of this new economy in the 21st Century. Almost all of this growth, however, is being driven by -- and is associated with -- pre-existing activity in Northern Virginia with such companies as America Online, Micro Strategies, and Network Solutions. Currently, the District of Columbia accounts for only 13.8% of high-tech jobs in the region while the remaining 86.2% of these position are found in the suburbs.
(e) The District of Columbia lacks a comprehensive educational or economic infrastructure focused on technology training and high tech business development for District citizens.
(f) In order to participate in this new technological economy, the District of Columbia must invest in its citizens to secure opportunities for economic development and wealth accumulation. Among other things, our citizens must have access to -- and training in -- the necessarily skills and technology.
(g) The legacy of Frederick Douglass in elevating the consciousness of our nation regarding the savage existence of slavery is unmatched. Perhaps more than any other American of the 19th Century, Frederick Douglass is responsible for securing freedom and voting rights for African-Americans. Moreover, Frederick Douglass understood that true freedom meant access to economic opportunities. As we begin the 21st Century, given the importance of technology in determining our access to opportunity and knowledge, conquering the "digital divide" is essential to continuing the crusade which Frederick Douglass championed.
Sec. 3. The Council calls for the formation of the Frederick Douglass School of Technology to be located within the University of the District of Columbia, whose focus should be to, among other things:
(a) Establish the University as the center for technology education in the region;
(b) Integrate the University's existing science and technology faculty and curricula into this effort;
(c) Train and retool District residents to become technology-ready workers in mechanical, scientific, and business fields so as to enhance the growth of the technology sector of the District economy;
(d) Integrate its technology education with the District's public schools;
(e) Make an effort to designate low-cost office space for start-up technology companies at the Frederick Douglass School of Technology to the extent that space is available;
(f) Explore and expand opportunities for public/private partnerships in education, technology training, innovative technology development, and technology business incubation; and
(g) Provide a cutting edge forum and supportive environment for additional initiatives in education and training as the high technology economy evolves.
Sec. 4. The Council further calls upon the Mayor of the District of Columbia to direct that part of the $3,000,000 reserve fund committed to FY2000 technology spending at the University of the District of Columbia be utilized to facilitate the creation of the Frederick Douglass School of Technology.
Sec. 5. Once established, the Council calls on the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia to initiate a fund-raising effort encouraging the technology industry to support the Frederick Douglass School of Technology.
Sec. 6. The Secretary to the Council of the District of Columbia shall transmit a copy of this resolution, upon its adoption, to the Office of the Mayor.
Sec. 7. This resolution shall take effect immediately.
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