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Message from Secretary Cuomo
Kicking Off Neighborhood Networks Week, Oct. 14-22, 2000

Thank you very much for allowing me to join you by these extraordinary means [webcast] as we kick off HUD's Neighborhood Networks Week.

As the technology that is allowing you to watch this message proves, we are living in a revolutionary time in this country. New discoveries are changing the way we work, we learn, we interact, and they have fueled the greatest economic expansion in our nation's history. We are now living in the strongest economy in history.

The question we as a nation will have to answer is, "How do we use this technology and is it a uniter or a divider?"

The answer depends on what we do with it and how we manage it and how we deploy it.

If we harness the Internet, we can bring the greatest teachers in the world into the most isolated parts of this nation - making sure all our children receive a quality education and have the skills they need to compete in the new economy. If we do it right, businesses can operate and thrive in places where it was impossible just years before.

On the other hand, if we do not make sure that all Americans have access to the Internet, that all Americans know how to use it, people and places struggling to make it in the high-tech economy will fall even further behind than ever before. The information superhighway is a great thing - IF you are on it. If you are not on it, you will be left behind at a hundred miles an hour.

That's our challenge and that's why President Clinton called on HUD to share these new technologies; to create digital opportunity for people and places left behind. During this past Spring, on the New Markets Tour, President Clinton called for expansion of HUD's Neighborhood Networks initiative to 1,100 community technology centers by the Spring of 2001.

Today, 6 months ahead of schedule, HUD has met that challenge. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our local and national partners, we have more than 1,000 community technology centers serving HUD residents all across this great country.

Neighborhood Networks Week provides a forum to showcase how these centers are a centerpiece for conquering the digital divide, building relations with residents, bettering lives and improving properties. They prove the point that HUD's housing developments provide more than shelter. They are rich in services that address the educational, social, physical, cultural and technology needs of the people who live in them. A HUD building is not a liability to a community; it is a great, great asset.

Highlighting Neighborhood Networks Week are a number of special distance learning opportunities. We have arranged for HUD residents in all of our centers to participate in interactive webcasts and chats with pioneers in online education, space exploration, job training, and health care. You can learn about the Urang Utans at the National Zoo this Monday or chat with one of the first Latino Astronauts on Tuesday. On Thursday, you can get job advice from Monster.com, and on Sunday you can find out about the latest in Breast Cancer research and treatment. I hope that you will take advantage of these unique opportunities.

Again, I congratulate the thousands of hardworking staff, volunteers, community leaders and business partners who answered our national call to action and helped us reach this great goal of over 1,100 community tech centers. I salute the tens of thousands of HUD residents who have come to centers to learn how to use the new technology - how to use it for homework, for job training, for lifetime learning, and just for fun.

We must continue to do everything in our power to allow all Americans to lend their talents and their skills to the great enterprise of building our future together.

Have a great week.

Thank you.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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