Low Income Residents Depend on City WiFi

Our city wifi has been off in the Sunset Park area between 21st and 26th Streets on Ocean Park Boulevard, the Pico corridor and the Montana Avenue areas since May 26, 2021. this is a valuable service that we, the tax paying voters depend on in those communities.

Seniors, low income families, students and people who now work from home depend on city wifi as it is their communication lifeline to the world.

I brought this to the attention of Mr. Joseph Cevetello who runs the information systems department in our city, but he ignored the problem giving me a ping-pong answer stating that city wifi was not designed for the general public or the neighborhoods. This is simply not true as the city wifi has been available to those areas and neighborhoods for the past ten years.

According to the article on Mr, Cevetello on govtech.com he started working for Santa Monica in the information systems department in 2017 and the city wifi was available in those above mentioned areas functioning rather well. So, it doesn't make sense that he states that it's not for the general public and neighborhoods when he was fully aware that it was already working in said areas.

Mr. Cevetello states that in his correspondence to me that parks, libraries and the downtown areas are the only places that city wifi is available, yet according to Mr. Cevetello's profile on verdexchange.org, he states in writing, in his words, that "he directs the operations to support the 93,000 citizens of Santa Monica."

If the libraries are the only place one can use city wifi this is absurd as most people are during the limited hours and days that the main library is open and being closed on the weekends. The satellite branches do not allow inside patronage so what good is free city wifi in the libraries for those who need it the most?

The Fairview branch Library has been permanently closed for almost two years denying accessibility to those who need it the most in the Sunset Park community with rumors that have been circulating that it is to be demolished and turned into affordable housing.

The fact that there are people who live in the downtown area and are given access to free city wifi which Mr. Cevetello says that is not for residential areas, yet is not the downtown area a residential area that people live in? Where is the common sense in that, Mr. Cevetello?

The non-resident vagrants in the parks should not be more valued than the grandmother or grandfather that spent most of their lives in this city. The non-resident vagrants are more valued than the people who pay taxes and vote for our political leaders into office in Santa Monica that pay your salary and keep the city wifi going.

Whitney Scott Bain, Santa Monica


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