Letter to the 1994 Candidates
During the 1994 mid-term election campaigns, CCIA mailed the below letter
to over 400 candidates in Illinois. The responses were many and will be
distilled and posted here in the coming weeks. The elections are over,
but the job has just begun for our recently elected officials. CCIA will
continue to pursue our elected officials to heighten their understanding
of our issues and to effect positive changes to the budgeting and
regulatory environment in 1995.
Please take a few moments to consider your own response to these
We believe the growth of new information technologies is having a
profound impact on every aspect of our society. These tools are
becoming the main way of generating new wealth and providing for
our common future.
That's why we are concerned about the growing gap between what has
come to be called the "info-rich" and the "info-poor."
Decisions are being made today in this arena that will have a
powerful impact on your constituents. Either the policies being
launched now will offer a great promise of universal and equitable
inclusion in their benefits--such as vastly enhanced private and
public communication systems, training centers for the high-tech
jobs of the future, intellectual capital for new businesses, and
new levels of knowledge advancing our overall health and
wellbeing. Or they will pose a great peril of growing and
permanent unemployment, greater social fragmentation and
breakdown, and new threats to personal privacy and civil
We want to see information and education policies enacted that
benefit everyone in our society, beginning with those with the
That's why we are posing the following 10 questions to all
candidates for public office in Illinois. We hope you will
respond and thus make a valuable contribution to this urgent
Back to CCIA home page
- Do you advocate funding for adequate computer labs in all
public schools that are readily available for frequent use by all
students? "Adequate" means no more equipment sitting in closets,
no more untrained teachers or outmoded programs. It means modems
and InterNet accounts for students to use exploring the
"Information Highway." It means computer shops where students
learn to build and repair equipment and use the latest programs.
- Do you advocate funding for computer centers in all branches of
our public libraries? Will this funding include resources for
afterschool programs that keep the branches staffed and open in
the evenings? Will it include InterNet access and part-time jobs
for college students willing to serve as tutors in the
- Do you advocate public funding to assist community-based
organizations, such as Boys and Girls clubs and Resident Councils,
in developing computer centers for both youth and adult education
- Do you advocate an on-line information policy for all levels of
government? This would include posting the agendas of public
meetings, the text of proposed legislation, the minutes of
meetings, the transcriptions of debates and the results of votes
on Electronic Bulletin Boards readily available for the public to
read and discuss?
- Do you advocating public funding to help establish city and
town based Free Nets-- public on-line conferencing systems open to
all local residents--with gateways to the InterNet?
- Do you advocate keeping our present nonrestrictive policies
for those people who want to become information providers? This
means that aside from basic connectivity charges, it should not
cost a person any more money to be a provider as well as an
information consumer (either an access provider, source of
information, or a value added provider). This is in opposition
to the restrictive "Club Fees" being advocated by wealthier
institutions that would charge, say, $10,000 to a particular small
group or individual in order to set up an InterNet node. These
proposed fees are not based on any real cost. There only purpose
is to limit the number of providers.
- Do you advocate tax incentives (state, county and/or local)
for businesses that provide job training and other sources of
income for residents over telecommunications networks?
- Do you favor public recognition of institutions and
individuals that are doing creative or profitable work over the
InterNet that benefits everyone? We believe such recognition will
help inspire people, especially young people, to learn more about
this technology, to use it for their own benefit, and to develop
it for the benefit of society.
- Do you advocate funding for special training for teachers and
librarians to acquire the necessary skills for teaching and using
information technology ?
- Do you advocate funding the special devices required by the
sight-impaired to enable them to make use of on-line services?
Chicago Coalition for Information Access /
Maintained by Robin Burke /
Last modified: Fri Nov 11 17:16:57 1994