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Next Century Cities Announces New Awards for Tech-Powered Civic EngagementNext Generation Engagement Awards Will Celebrate Cities Using High-Speed Broadband to Enhance Democratic Participation
Austin, Texas (April 6, 2016) – Next Century Cities announced the new Next Generation Engagement Awards today at the Broadband Communities Summit in Austin, Texas. The awards will celebrate city governments that are harnessing high-speed Internet to enhance the democratic participation and civic engagement of their citizens.
Next Century Cities is a nonprofit membership organization of 130 communities nationwide focused on bringing more opportunities to their residents through access to fast, affordable, and reliable broadband. The inaugural Next Generation Engagement Awards, which will be awarded this summer, will elevate the wide array of creative innovations for using next-generation broadband to bolster civic engagement in communities.
“Broadband Internet is the opportunity-generating infrastructure of the 21st century. Communities across the country are beginning to tap the potential of high-quality broadband connectivity to improve civic life and democratic participation for their residents,” said Deb Socia, Executive Director of Next Century Cities. “With the new Next Generation Engagement Awards, Next Century Cities will celebrate communities that are pioneering the civic applications of high-speed Internet access and encourage other communities across the nation to learn from these innovators and enhance their own tech-powered democratic engagement.”
The Next Generation Engagement Awards will recognize at least three winners, who will receive up to $30,000 each and hands-on technical support for their projects. Applications from interested communities will be accepted through June 15, 2016. The awards program is being primarily supported by the Democracy Fund, with additional support from the Benton Foundation. Next Century Cities will host a public webinar on April 20 to share best practices in tech-powered democracy and offer details of the award application process. The application link and more information about the Next Generation Engagement Awards program can be found on the Next Century Cities website at http://nextcenturycities.org/next-generation-engagement-awards.
Next Century Cities is a city-to-city initiative founded to support communities and their elected leaders, including mayors and other officials, as they seek to ensure that all have access to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet. As innovative municipalities across the country recognize the importance of leveraging gigabit level Internet to attract new businesses and create jobs, improve health care and education, enhance civic engagement, and connect residents to new opportunities, Next Century Cities will celebrate successes and help other cities to realize the full power of next-generation broadband. For more information, visit www.nextcenturycities.org.