The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) has honored San Antonio as a 2023 Visionary Digital Inclusion Trailblazer for the seventh time. The city's dedication to digital equity and initiatives aimed at narrowing the digital divide earned it the prestigious recognition.
Digital equity, ensuring equal access to resources for all, is a fundamental aspect of participation in society, democracy, and the economy. This includes access to affordable high-speed internet, devices, and digital skills training.
San Antonio's Visionary Trailblazer designation, the highest accolade from NDIA, acknowledges the city's leadership in digital inclusion. The award recognizes communities deeply integrating digital inclusion throughout their government and pioneering innovative approaches.
City Manager Erik Walsh expressed pride in the award, stating, "Receiving the Visionary Trailblazer award is a testament to San Antonio’s dedication to ensuring that every resident has equal access to the opportunities and resources provided by technology.”
Chief Innovation Officer Brian Dillard emphasized that true innovation goes beyond technology, stating, “It's about ensuring every resident has equal access to the digital tools that empower them to thrive in our modern society. By bridging the digital divide, we foster a more inclusive, connected, and resilient community."
San Antonio achieved Visionary Trailblazer status through collaborative efforts across various City departments and partner agencies. Initiatives include enhanced senior services, a digital equity website, and digital skills classes in collaboration with the San Antonio Public Library, as well as digital accessibility training for City staff.
This year, San Antonio joins a record number of Digital Inclusion Trailblazers, showcasing municipal, county, and regional governments leading the way in creating digitally inclusive communities across the United States.
Rhia Pape, Executive Director of SA Digital Connects, commended San Antonio's commitment, stating, "The City of San Antonio is committed to closing the digital divide, and this recognition is well deserved. We are proud to support their intentional effort and appreciate our continued partnership in this extensive work.”
NDIA revised the seven-year-old Trailblazer program this year, identifying seven categories of current best practices. San Antonio's materials were verified for accuracy, assessed for community impact, and are now available in an interactive map and searchable database on NDIA’s website, providing valuable insights for other communities striving for digital inclusion. Angela Siefer, NDIA Executive Director, emphasized the crucial role local governments play in building connected communities for all residents.