About Us

Our History

After the COVID-19 pandemic shined a stark light on profound digital inequities that leave California’s communities of color and low-income neighborhoods disproportionately disconnected to the internet, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 156, which provided $6 billion towards expanded broadband infrastructure and access across the State. Once SB 156 was signed into law in 2021, many digital equity advocates understood that now was the time to get coordinated. Together, we had to ensure this historic broadband investment went towards supporting the highest need, least connected communities in California – and there was no time to spare.

In 2022 six digital equity partners came together to establish the California Alliance for Digital Equity, a community-based coalition focused on advancing digital equity and inclusion throughout the state. At the time our initial and urgent goal was to elevate community voices advocating in support of key pieces of digital equity legislation, such as CA Assembly Bill 2748 (Holden), a Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act reform bill. While CADE secured immense philanthropic, non-profit, and community support for many of our legislative priorities, the alliance came head-to-head with heavy industry pushback, which played a significant role in blocking a number of critical digital equity reforms that year.

The experience did not dissuade us from continuing our advocacy. Instead, it solidified and intensified our collective mission, making us realize how important it was for the alliance to not only be maintained, but to grow. For too long internet service providers have been the dominant stakeholders engaged on statewide issues relating to device acquisition, broadband access, and digital literacy. Not anymore. It’s time for change, and CADE is ready to lead the charge.

Advocacy Timeline


Advocated on digital equity legislation that included: AB 2748, AB 2752, AB 2751, and AB 2750


Continued to advocate on digital equity legislation that included: AB 41, AB 286, and AB 1588


Weighed in on the CPUC’s implementation of the BEAD Program, which provides $1.86 billion to expand high-speed internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment, and adoption programs in California.


Actively engaged the CDT, CPUC, and Governor’s Office on the Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative, a $3.25 billion broadband infrastructure project will bring internet connectivity to homes, businesses and community institutions.


Sent a letter to the CPUC regarding digital equity advocates’ concerns relating to the Federal Funding Account grant applications objections process.


Submitted a formal comment and sent a letter to the CPUC and CDT highlighting digital equity advocates’ collective feedback on the draft CA State Digital Equity Plan.


Co-sponsored AB 2239 (Bonta), which adopts a definition of “digital discrimination of access” that echoes the definition adopted by the Federal Communications Commission in fall 2023.


Held our first Digital Equity Advocacy Day in Sacramento, where dozens of advocates gathered to support AB 2239 (Bonta) and the Governor’s proposed investment in the Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative.

What We Do


  • Our alliance shares resources and hosts educational events to keep Californians informed of the digital equity issues we face today and how we can work together to solve them.


  • By joining CADE, public, non-profit, and philanthropic stakeholders can build connections with like-minded advocates across the state that are working to achieve digital equity in their communities.


  • Together CADE partners actively advocate for digital equity policy reforms in the California State Legislature, California Public Utilities Commission, and California Department of Technology.
  • We are currently focused on supporting AB 2239 (Bonta), which will make California the first state in the nation to codify the Federal Communication Commission’s newly adopted definition of digital discrimination as law. Learn more about our advocacy work.

“CADE’s power lies behind its ability to bring together so many cross-sectoral partners with common goals, such as delivering fast, affordable, and reliable internet to disconnected families and children in communities of color. To close the digital divide, we must work hand in hand.”

“CADE is driving some of the most impactful digital equity advocacy taking place in California today. Common Sense Media is proud to be a founding partner of the alliance.” 

“CADE harnesses the people’s power by connecting community-centered digital equity advocates from across the state. Together, we prioritize those most impacted by the digital divide who are best positioned to lead California in achieving our collective vision of broadband for all.” 


California Community Foundation

NextGen California

Common Sense Media

Michelson Center for Public Policy

The Michelson 20MM Foundation

Media Alliance


The Greenlining Institute

The Children’s Partnership

USC Annenberg School’s Center on Communication Leadership and Policy

Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Tech Exchange

Fresno Coalition for Digital Inclusion

The Utility Reform Network (TURN)


End Poverty in California

Alliance for Community Media-West

Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP)

Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) from AARP

Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative (CVIIC)

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