Support of Issue 12 helps close tech gap

To the editor:

As a co-founder and longstanding supporter of The Bridge, I write to urge passage of Issue 12 on Election Day, March 15.

Launched in 2000, The Bridge operates under the auspices of the Oberlin Public Library and serves as Oberlin’s community technology center. The Bridge’s goal from the start has been to close the digital divide in Oberlin and the surrounding area by making computers and Internet access freely available to residents who lack such resources at home and by offering multi-level instruction in the use of information technology.

While The Bridge offers programs for people of all ages, it focuses especially on providing opportunities for local youth. During the summer The Bridge runs computer camps for both young children and teenagers, and during the school year it provides drop-in tutoring and other educational activities for middle and high school students in “The BackSpace.” Throughout the year The Bridge is open to the public 56 hours per week: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays; and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

Since its creation, The Bridge has enhanced the lives of thousands of members of our community and its services remain in high demand. In January of this year alone, there were over 500 drop-in visits to The Bridge.

At a time when economic inequality is growing nationwide, The Bridge represents Oberlin’s progressive tradition at its best. Approval of Issue 12 — the renewal of a five-year, 3.25 mil operating levy — will ensure that The Bridge and Oberlin Public Library continue strong without raising taxes above their current level.

Gary J. Kornblith