Cook County Commissioner Monica Gordon Has Successful NACo Conference in Nation’s Capital

Cook County Commissioner Monica Gordon Has Successful NACo Conference in Nation's Capital
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Cook County Commissioner Monica Gordon Has Successful NACo Conference in Nation’s Capital (Washington, DC) — Currently, over 350,000 households in Chicago and Cook County are at risk of losing internet access if Congress decides not to extend the Affordable Connectivity Program. Part of President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the internet affordability program is helping 23 million households–1 in 6 across America–save $30-$75 each on their monthly internet bills.

Since the program started, more than 700,000 Illinois households have benefited from the Affordable Connectivity Program. That means 1 in 7 households in the state have received nearly $344 million in funding toward free or discounted high speed internet access.

Cook County Commissioner, Monica Gordon, joined other elected officials in Washington to ask Congress to pass the Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act before funding ends this spring. Recently, the Federal Communications Commission stopped taking new enrollments as it begins winding down the program.

“By providing subsidies for internet services, the program enables residents to stay connected in an increasingly digital world, facilitating access to online education, telehealth services, job opportunities and government resources,” said the 5th District commissioner. “This is particularly significant for vulnerable populations who may face barriers to affording reliable internet access.”

Commissioner Gordon, who was representing Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle at the news conference during the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference, said the program’s continuation not only promotes equity, but also empowers residents to thrive in an interconnected world.

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In the 2nd Congressional District, which covers parts of Gordon’s county district on Chicago’s far South Side and south suburbs, more than 75,000 households are enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program for a total of $38 million in funding.

The largest internet affordability program in our nation’s history is helping 4 million seniors, 1 in 4 African American and Latino households and 320,000 households on Tribal lands. According to the White House, if Congress fails to act, thousands of households that cannot afford high speed internet and are not enrolled will stay stuck on the wrong side of the digital divide.

While at the NACo Legislative Conference, Gordon also was able to get her resolution calling for Congress to commit more funding for high speed rail approved. Gordon, who sits on the Transportation Policy Steering Committee at NACo, urges the development of a more comprehensive high-speed rail transportation network and funding for replacement, repair, upgrade and development of current and needed infrastructure.

“I’m very excited that this is one step closer to gaining geographically equitable funding for high speed rail throughout the U.S.,” shared Gordon.

Cook County Commissioner Monica Gordon Has Successful NACo Conference in Nation’s Capital

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