Clinton on tech tour – Focus on closing digital gap

President Clinton has launched his third “New Markets Tour,” an effort to bring technological development to rural towns, inner cities and Indian reservations, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The goal of Clinton’s tour is to reduce the gap in tech access and training that has excluded the  minorities and poor in the U.S. from the new economy, the Chronicle says.

“We will focus specifically on how to pool resources to help communities get access to and take best advantage of the tools of the Information Age,” Clinton said. 

One of his first stops is East Palo Alto, Calif., where 20 percent of residents live below the poverty line in the heart of Silicon Valley.

City leaders hope Clinton will draw attention to the area’s nonprofits, schools and businesses that have taken action to address the area’s technology gap, the Chronicle says. 

Nonprofit groups in Palo Alto such as Plugged In, which helps residents of all ages gain computer skills, have attracted Clinton’s attention with innovative services to reduce the area’s digital divide.

Community activists worry that new investment in the area will drive out poor and working families who can no longer afford to live there, the Chronicle says. 

City leaders are convinced that rapid development in the area will create tax revenue to help pay to fill potholes and build affordable housing.

Of the city’s limited $4 million budget, $3 million is devoted to police services, the Chronicle says. 

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