Invest in Digital Navigators to Close the Digital Divide 

Digital navigators consolidate all of the components of digital inclusion – internet, devices, and skills – by providing digital navigation to existing social services, reaching diverse and multilingual communities most impacted by digital inequities through multiple one-on-one interactions. 

Digital Navigators are critical in closing the digital divide, connecting people to the internet through three key channels:  

Triage, assess, and connect people to existing opportunities 

Ex. walk a family through signing up for Comcast’s low-income program Internet Essentials; help someone connect a computer to wifi; assist someone in signing up for unemployment online; support an elder in setting up a tele-health 

appointment; connect a student to a computer through their school district 

Directly provide qualitative and quantitative data to the Office of Broadband, OSPI, Department of Health, school districts, etc. about technology and digital literacy needs of those farthest from digital equity 

Ex. identify people who cannot afford or access existing programs and distribute wifi hotspots, laptops, tablets, and/or other devices  

Connect students, families, and elder to Multilingual Tech Support 

A multilingual call-in center and technology hotline, opening February 2021, provides a workforce development pipeline for young people of color looking to move out of gig work and into the tech field. Call-in center staff will be recruited from Black, Indigenous, immigrant, refugee, low-income communities of color who have been most impacted by digital inequities in Washington. After completing the training and serving for one year, call-in center staff will receive certification from local community and technical colleges, as well as interviews with technology companies in the area, serving as a career pipeline into lucrative industries for BIPOC communities. 

Digital navigators are cross-trained, experienced, multilingual, multicultural, trauma-informed social service providers, housed in community-based organizations, community centers, senior centers, school districts, and/or other nonprofits and public institutions, embedded in and speaking the languages of the communities they serve. 

Governor Inslee has committed $6 Million into digital navigators in his 2021-23 Budget. We respectfully request that the Legislature include Governor Inslee’s Digital Navigators Program within their own budget as well.

Support the Governor’s Equity Budget allocation for $6.1 Million to provide digital navigation services statewide and join hundreds in the call to close Washington’s digital divide. 

WA Representative Mia Gregerson 

WA Senator Mona Dos 

WA Representative Tana Senn 

Seattle School Board Director Brandon Hersey 

AARP Washington State 

AFT Washington 

Children’s Alliance 

Concrete School District 

Highline Public Schools 

Edmunds School District 

Faith Action Network 


Seattle Art Museum 

Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness 

Adoptees for Justice 

ALL of US or NONE Eastern WA 

Anti-Hunger and Nutrition Coalition 

ArtsEd Washington 

Big Brother Big Sisters of Puget Sound

Cambodian American Community Council of WA

Casa Latina 


Chuukese Women Association 

Communities in Schools of Kent 

Communities in Schools of Seattle 

Connect Casino Road 

Debre Mihret Kidus Mikael 

Denise Louie Education Center 

Education Reform Now 

Educators for Justice 

Geeking Out Kids of Color 

Gethsemane Lutheran Church 

Global Artists Collective 

Grandview Early Learning Center 

India Association of Western Washington

Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center

International Community Health Services

Iraqi Community Center of WA 

WA Representative Debra Entenman

WA Representative Kirsten Harris-Talley

WA Representative Laurie Dolan 

Southeast Seattle Education Coalition

Southwest Youth and Family Services

Statewide Poverty Action Network 

Technology Access Foundation 

Teach for America 

United Way of King County 

University of Washington 

Vancouver Public Schools 

Washington Nonprofits

Kent Community Development Collaborative

Khmer Community of Seattle/King County

Kitsap Strong 

L.I.H. Law 

Literacy Source 

NAMI Seattle 

Northwest Education Access 

Rethink Manhood 

Snohomish County Mutual Aid 

Somali Parents Education Board 

Sharing Teens and Elders Project 

Spean Rajana 

Tulalip Tribes 

U.T.O.P.I.A. Seattle 

Urban Native Education Alliance 

Wallingford Indivisible 

Washington Coalition for Gifted Education

Washington Low Income Housing Alliance

Washington LTC Ombudsman Program

Washington Multicultural Services Link

Washington State Parent Ambassadors

WashMasks Mutual Aid 

Youth Development Executives of King County