June 22-26, 2001



WHEREAS, during this period of explosive growth of new technologies and the use of computers and the Internet as a primary tool of e-government, e-commerce and for communication and job skill development and for other purposes, mayors are challenged to find ways to use these new capacities to deliver better city government services and to facilitate the deployment of new technologies and services for other public activities, and the creation of jobs for the new economy; and

WHEREAS, mayors are just beginning to tap the vast potential of these capabilities to improve government operations, to stimulate economic development, to create jobs, to further the performance of communications systems, to improve the quality of public education, to promote public safety, to increase access to new information resources throughout their communities and to build Smarter Cities; and

WHEREAS, mayors have acknowledged the existence of a Digital Divide in the availability of technology to many citizens in their communities and have not organized in ways that allow a thorough review and discussion of the opportunity to close this Digital Divide and meet this 21st Century challenge and have not tapped the vast potential of public and private entities who would like to help in this effort; and

WHEREAS, mayors are uniquely situated to examine federal and state policies as well as support public and private efforts and other practices for ways to close this Digital Divide; and

WHEREAS, to accomplish a more expedited and thorough review of this issue, The U.S. Conference of Mayors needs to build additional capacity and take other actions to facilitate efforts by mayors and their cities to close the digital divide in order to prepare a new workforce for a new economy,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls for the establishment of a Mayors' National Community Technology Center Advisory Board to be comprised of member mayors, technology company leaders and public and private service providers, foundations, educational institutions, community based organizations, faith- based organizations, public educations, and priority city services and interests and national community leaders; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Conference through its Mayors Business Council will work to develop private sector support and tap other resources to advance initiatives by this Board; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Board be directed to prepare best practices for Conference members, to convene forums with mayors, business leaders, policy-makers and other such sessions to identify methods to facilitate local efforts to increase the establishment of Community Technology Centers and apply and deploy technologies and related services by cities, other public service providers and the private sector, and work with member cities to develop similar boards at the local level to identify specific opportunities and limitations regarding the Closing of the Digital Divide; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Board convenes periodic sessions during the Conference's Annual Meeting or at other member meetings to report to Conference members on its findings and recommendations on such matters.