“Núñez and Steward are the embodiment of the American dream, and they’re passionate about elevating the debate on broadband access and encouraging greater adoption, because high-speed Internet is a vital tool for any person trying to get ahead – and in this economy – even stay afloat,” said IIA Co-Chairman David Sutphen. “To draw interest from these distinguished leaders in government and business shows just how critical it is to create a national dialogue about the potential of broadband Internet technology. Núñez and Steward know firsthand that Internet access is a key tool in rebuilding a sustainable foundation for our economy’s future, so that all businesses and families, regardless of ethnicity or economic background, can thrive.”
As one of eleven children born to Mexican parents in San Diego, Núñez recognizes the importance of seizing every opportunity available to better one’s life and put oneself on an equal playing field.
“English-speaking Hispanics have the fastest growing broadband adoption rate among ethnic groups, but millions in minority communities are still disproportionately left offline,” said Núñez. “All people deserve the chance to embrace the transformative power of the Internet and be connected to the resources, information – and ultimately opportunity – that it brings.”
Born in Chicago but raised in Clinton, Missouri, Steward faced poverty and discrimination in his childhood, but it never deterred him from dreams of success.
“Nobody, no matter what race, geography or gender, should be left offline and without the empowering tool of broadband Internet,” said Steward. “Getting each and every American connected will help create a bridge of opportunity – and a critical path to closing the education and economic gaps that exist, especially within communities of color.”
Steward added: “In this day and age, without ubiquitous broadband our citizens, our economy and our country will lack a key competitive tool necessary for success in the 21st century.”
Núñez will kick off this campaign as a speaker during the IIA’s twice annual Broadband Symposium in Washington, D.C. tomorrow, December 10, 2009 at the Newseum (for more information about the Symposium or if you’re interested in attending, go to: http://www.internetinnovation.org/activities/Broadband-Symposium).
Núñez served as Speaker of the California State Assembly from 2004 to 2008, in addition to acting as State Representative to California’s 46th district from 2002 to 2008. Núñez, who wrote “The Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006,” was named “Legislator of the Year” by Governing Magazine in 2007. Prior to his tenure in the legislature, Núñez worked as Political Director for the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor from 1996 to 2000 and as the Government Affairs Director for the Los Angeles Unified School District from 2000-2002.
David Steward in 1990 founded World Wide Technology, Inc., a $2.5 billion systems integrator and valued added reseller (VAR) of technology products and services to businesses and government entities around the world. Among his many honors, Steward was named one of the “100 Most Influential Black Americans” by Ebony magazine and was inducted into the Small Business Hall of Fame.
“David [Sutphen] and I welcome the insight that Fabian Núñez and David Steward will contribute to the IIA,” said Bruce Mehlman, IIA co-chairman. “Together they bring years of public and private sector experience that will be integral to reaching a wide range of communities on why broadband is the great equalizer and enabler for our generation.”
Launched in July 2008, the IIA Broadband Ambassador program enlists the participation of notable Internet executives, elected officials, academics and real Americans across a broad spectrum of fields such as health care, education, business and technology to help promote equal opportunity for universal broadband availability and adoption. These individuals work on behalf of the IIA to advocate the importance of broadband as a means to enhance economic development across all demographics, promote quality of life through broadband-enabled applications, and ultimately eliminate the Digital Divide.
Current IIA Broadband Ambassadors include notables such as Harry C. Alford, President & CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce; Craig Moffett, Senior Analyst at Sanford Bernstein; Phil Bond, CEO of the Information Technology Association of America; Rey Ramsey, CEO of OneEconomy Corporation; Tom Rogers, CEO of TIVO; Gary Smith, CEO of Ciena Corp.; and Dr. Carl W. Taylor, Director of the Center for Strategic Health Innovation at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.
To learn more about the IIA Broadband Ambassador program or to get involved, visit: http://www.internetinnovation.org/community/broadband-ambassadors.