This morning, President Preckwinkle, the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) and Comcast announced a partnership to provide in-home, high-speed Internet service to Housing Authority residents with school-age children through the Internet Essentials Partnership Program (IEPP).
The service, which will be free of charge to qualifying HACC residents for the 2020-21 school year, will allow students to participate in their schools’ remote learning programs, as well as provide Internet access to other members of the household.
Under the agreement, HACC will purchase 10 months of Comcast’s Internet Essentials service on behalf of eligible residents who enroll by December 31, 2020. The program is funded by dollars allocated to the County through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and is being offered to nearly 14,000 children residing in over 6,500 households across suburban Cook County.
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Families in suburban Cook County public housing to get free internet in Comcast program funded by federal CARES Act dollars: All families with school-age children in suburban Cook County public housing buildings will be eligible for free broadband internet under a program funded through federal coronavirus stimulus money, officials announced Wednesday. The Housing Authority of Cook County joined Comcast under the company’s Internet Essentials Partnership Program to begin delivering internet to nearly 14,000 children in more than 6,500 households, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said in a news conference at Richard Flowers Community Housing in south suburban Robbins. [Chicago Tribune]
Cook County, Comcast To Provide Free Internet Service For 14,000 Suburban Students Living In Public Housing: Cook County is joining forces with Comcast to provide free internet service to suburban public housing families with school age kids. County Board President Toni Preckwinkle explained why the program is so important in the race to close the digital divide. She said the educational challenges we’re all facing now during the pandemic are even greater than those she faced as a teacher years ago. [CBS]
Cook County named Top 10 Digital County: Cook County has been named one of America's Top 10 Digital Counties with a population of more than 1 million by the Center for Digital Government, a national research and advisory institute focused on technology policy. The award recognizes the county for its investments in broadband, remote collaboration and digital resident engagement. [Daily Herald]
The 'suburban lifestyle dream' we all deserve: When Pamela Mitchell turned the key to the front door of her new home, she looked to her 9-year-old daughter and said, "Pinch me." After years of searching for a home that would accept her Housing Choice Voucher (HCV -- formerly known as Section 8) in North suburban Cook County, she had finally moved to an idyllic neighborhood in Northwest Schaumburg. She was grateful to say goodbye to her hour-and-a-half commute to work, and to her worries about her children falling victim to violence on her old block. [Daily Herald]
Mask ask: Cook County urges residents to cover their faces — or face consequences of COVID-19’s ‘second surge’: Facing the beginning stages of a second surge of COVID-19 in suburban Cook County, officials said Monday they’re launching a campaign to urge people to “mask up, so we don’t have to close up.” The campaign, called “mask up Cook County,” was unveiled Monday, just days after Gov. J.B. Pritzker added the suburban portion of the county to his list of areas at a “warning level.” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said last week that designation put the county “at a crossroads." [Chicago Sun-Times]
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announces ‘Mask Up Cook County’ campaign as suburbs see ‘second surge’ of coronavirus: Facing a resurgence of the coronavirus in the suburbs around Chicago, Cook County officials are launching a digital ad campaign to push the necessity of wearing a mask, officials announced days after the region was placed on a state COVID-19 warning list. In addition to launching the “Mask Up Cook County” campaign, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle also warned of the potential for further restrictions should the rise in cases, which she said was driven by young people, not ebb. [Chicago Tribune]
All The Cool Kids Are Wearing Masks, New Campaign Emphasizes: Cook County is starting a public service campaign aimed at getting more young people to wear masks at a time when health officials say the Chicago area is on the verge of a second wave of COVID-19. “Mask Up Cook County” is the name of the new push to get people to wear masks, especially in the generation that’s seeing the biggest growth in cases: the 20-to-29 age group. [WBBM]
Stay-at-home request: Illinois Democrats say Donald Trump is ‘the last thing Kenosha needs’: Mayor Lori Lightfoot says he’s “deepening the despair that so many people feel.” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle calls it a “terrible idea.” Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he “should stay home.” Leading Illinois Democrats are not rolling out the Welcome Wagon for President Donald Trump, arguing the Republican president should skip his Tuesday visit to Kenosha, Wis. [Chicago Sun-Times]
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