Media Democracy Fund is Hiring a Program Officer

Media Democracy Fund is hiring – for a remote position…

The Media Democracy Fund (MDF) seeks a skilled manager and strategic thought partner experienced with communications and internet rights, technology policy, and development to fulfill its Program Officer position. The Program Officer is responsible for oversight and management of MDF’s grantmaking and contracts program, including grantee and contractor due diligence, grant and contract review, and annual docket development. This position will help design and administer MDF’s robust work with the field, which has a strategic focus on an open, secure and equitable internet through the effective use of research, communications, organizing, litigation, and policy advocacy. The Program Officer works collaboratively with the MDF team, managing the organization’s portfolio, distilling and reporting on key issues and strategies, and actively engaging with field leaders, funding partners, and issue-aligned supporters. The Program Officer must maintain an objective approach to the work and the varying strategies supported. This is a full time (1.0 FTE) position with travel required. MDF staff work remotely from several East coast cities.

While specific project assignments are subject to change at any time, MDF anticipates that, in 2019, the program officer position will work across MDF three priority areas (open, secure and equitable internet), while also supporting emergent initiatives, such as Platform Accountability and/or the Unicorn Fund. MDF is a rapidly growing and evolving organization; the portfolio management responsibilities for this position are subject to change.

For more information, please see the full job description.

Please send a resume and cover letter to amalia deloney, Program Director at Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

NTEN offers free Tech Accelerate Community Call and $1,000 grants

NTEN is an organization that helps nonprofits with technology plans. I just got the following email and thought readers might have an interest and/or qualify for some of these advantages…

This spring, we’re expanding our free Tech Accelerate assessment tool by offering direct, expert advice from community members, and $1,000 grants to begin your improvements. We just published full details on the resources on our blog.


So, how can you take part?


📣 Community Call on May 9

Complete your organization’s free Tech Accelerate assessment by Tuesday, May 7, and you’ll receive access to an exclusive Community Call at 2pm ET/11am PT on Thursday, May 9. In the Call, an expert panel will share advice and recommendations for how your assessment can drive your organization forward.


💵 $1,000 grant for your completed assessment

If your organization completes your free Tech Accelerate assessment by Tuesday, May 7—whether you participate in the Community Call or not—you can apply for a $1,000 grant to invest in improving your organization’s technology effectiveness. Applications for the grants will be emailed to all organizations with completed assessments.


🔎 Tech Accelerate Demo on May 2

Need a refresher on what Tech Accelerate is, and how it could benefit your organization? Sign up for a free demo at 2pm ET/11am PT, Thursday, May 2. You’ll learn more about how and why we built Tech Accelerate, and how you can use it to evaluate your organization’s current technology investments and plans.

Government Experience Awards 2019 Call for Entries – Deadline May 2

It would be fun to see Minnesota sweep the awards…

The Center for Digital Government invites nominations for its Government Experience Awards, taking digital government awards to the next level, where we will celebrate achievements and learn best practices from jurisdictions and organizations that have gone to the web and beyond to radically improve upon the experience of government, and push the boundaries of how services are delivered!

Award information and Nomination Form:
Click Here or visit

Submission Deadline: Thursday, May 2, 2019

All U.S. governments, agencies and departments are invited to nominate their overall user experience as well as single-focus projects/initiatives (free of charge).

Overall Experience Awards
All U.S. state, county and city governments, and U.S. federal agencies/departments may nominate their jurisdictions’ user experience for the Overall Experience Awards.

Award categories:
State Government
County Government
City Government

Project Experience Awards
U.S. state, local, and federal government individual agencies and departments may nominate their projects for the Project Experience Awards.

Award categories:

Entries may be submitted for the following areas (multiple areas per submission are allowed this year):


If you have any questions, please contact Janet Grenslitt, Director of Surveys and Awards,

MHTA STEM Scholarships – Applications are Currently Being Accepted

Lots of opportunities this week…

The application period for the MHTA Foundation 2019 scholarships has opened.

We will be announcing the 2019 STEM Scholarship winners at the Tekne Awards on Nov. 20, 2019.

You can find the list of 2018 STEM Scholars is here.

The scholarships are for Minnesota undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.

These awards include $2,500 and $5,000 awards and can include internship opportunities at MHTA member companies. MHTF supports diversity in this application and award process.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be pursuing an undergraduate degree in a STEM field or in STEM teaching
  • Only students with sophomore through senior academic status in the current school year may apply. Sophomore status may include students who have achieved this status through advanced placement (AP) credit or post-secondary options (PSEO)s
  • Applicants must be enrolled at an accredited, Minnesota-based higher education institution.
  • Scholarships will be awarded in the fall term of 2018 and presented to recipients at MHTA’s Tekne Awards in November. Students must be enrolled at time of award.

Special Circumstances

  • In addition to traditional STEM fields, health science majors whose studies will NOT lead to participation in direct patient care are welcome to apply.
  • The scholarship is open to international students, but preference is given to students who intend to work in Minnesota after graduation.
  • Past scholarship winners are eligible to re-apply as long as they meet the rest of the requirements listed here.

Gov Walz continues the MN Broadband Task Force

The Governor has issued an executive order to continue the Broadband Task Force. It’s so new that it seems the applications are available yet – but they should be soon and I will post again as soon as I hear anything. I encourage people to start thinking about the opportunity….

I, Tim Walz, Governor of the State of Minnesota, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and applicable statutes, issue the following Executive Order:

The State has a strong public interest in the continued deployment and use of broadband services to meet the needs for all Minnesota communities, including economic development, healthcare, education, manufacturing, agriculture, public safety, and participation in government and society.

The State adopted broadband goals under Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 237.012. The goal for universal access and high-speed provides that, “it is a state goal that no later than 2022, all Minnesota businesses and homes have access to high-speed broadband that provides minimum download speeds of at least 25 megabits per second and minimum upload speeds of at least three megabits per second,” and “no later than 2026, all Minnesota businesses and homes have access to at least one provider of broadband with download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second and upload speeds of at least 20 megabits per second.”

The State created the Office of Broadband Development housed in the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (“DEED”) with the responsibilities outlined in Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 116J.39. The State created the Border to Border Broadband Development Grant Program under Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 116J.395. The State has mandated the continued collection of broadband deployment mapping data under Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 116J.397. These activities have been informed by the deliberations and recommendations from previous broadband task forces appointed by the Governor to advise on such matters.

A multi-stakeholder body should to continue to advise the executive and legislative branches on broadband policy, including strategies for successfully achieving the state broadband goals, comprehensive assessment of digital inclusion issues and gaps, and strategies for unlocking the benefits of universal access to broadband for all communities in Minnesota.

For these reasons, I order that:

  1. The Governor’s Task Force on Broadband (“Task Force”), created under Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 15.0593, will continue to research, recommend, and promote state broadband policy, planning, and initiatives that address state broadband needs and goals.
  2. The Task Force consists of fifteen members who are appointed by the Governor and have experience or interest in broadband matters. The members must represent a balance of broadband interests, including: residential and business consumers, local governments, libraries, K-12 and higher education institutions, tribal interests, healthcare, broadband providers, economic development, agriculture, rural development, workforce development, and labor interests.
  3. The Governor will designate a member to serve as Chair of the Task Force. The Task Force must meet at least ten times per year. The Office of Broadband Development at the DEED will provide logistical and administrative support to the Task Force. The Task Force must engage key broadband stakeholders as advisors in its deliberations.
  4. The Task Force will create an annual report (“Report”) due no later than December 31 each year which includes an inventory and assessment of:
  5. The needs, barriers, issues, and goals for broadband access;
  6. The needs and use of broadband in Minnesota’s education systems, health care system, agriculture and energy sectors, industries and businesses, libraries, governmental operations, federally designated tribal nations, public safety, and other key economic sectors;
  7. Digital inclusion definitions, along with benefits, needs, and strategies for addressing identified gaps;
  8. Broadband availability and accessibility for unserved and underserved populations;
  9. Advances in technologies used to deploy services;
  10. Opportunities to coordinate with federal, state, and local agencies; and
  11. A review of the continued adequacy and appropriateness of the existing statutory broadband goals.
  12. The Report must also include updated recommendations on state-level actions identified during the year to aid and assist in the deployment and adoption of broadband in Minnesota.
  13. The Task Force may identify or prepare technical or white papers on top priority issues concerning broadband in Minnesota.
  14. DEED will provide staffing and administrative support to the Task Force.
  15. Executive Order 11-27 is rescinded.

This Executive Order is effective fifteen days after publication in the State Register and filing with the Secretary of State. It will remain in effect until rescinded by proper authority or until it expires in accordance with Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 4.035, subdivision 3.

Signed on March 29, 2019.

NDIA names Casey Sorensen and Munirih Jester the 2019 Charles Benton Digital Equity Champions

Big news from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance conference. Delighted to see that Minnesota’s own Casey Sorenson recognized for his work at PCs for People…

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) announced the 2019 Charles Benton Digital Equity Champion Award winners: PCs for People CEO Casey Sorensen and San Antonio Housing Authority Digital Inclusion Program Manager Munirih Jester.

Sorensen has headed PCs for People for over 11 years and crafted a self-sustainable, scalable social enterprise that is a national leader in digital inclusion. Under Sorensen’s leadership, PCs for People has grown from concept to a network of 300 nonprofits, 12 affiliates, and physical offices in three states that are working together to solve the digital divide. As a result of Sorensen’s efforts, over 250,000 people now have home computers and 128,000 people can access the internet in their home. PCs for People is based in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Munirih Jester serves as the Digital Inclusion ConnectHome Coordinator for the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA). Originally from Brazil, Munirih’s professional background is in Public Policy, Nonprofit Management, and Urban and Regional Planning. In her role as ConnectHome Coordinator, she has been able to deliver digital literacy skills training to nearly 2,000 participants, award nearly 900 free computers, and help connect 1,069 homes to the internet.

April 11 is the deadline for 2019 Bush Prize applications!

It seems like some broadband communities might be good contenders…

The Bush Prize celebrates organizations with a track record of successful community problem solving. These organizations are extraordinary not only in what they do, but how they do it.

Check out our Bush Prize Case Studies to explore how these organizations work, and get inspired by previous winners by watching our Bush Prize films.
We need your help to reach new organizations. Spread the word to those you think should be recognized as Bush Prize winners!
Sign up!