Volunteering! Digital Equity! Oh my!

Published 3 months ago • 3 min read

Volunteering! Digital Equity! Oh My!

December 7, 2023

suma welcomes your accommodation requests

editor's note

suma friends, we're currently in the midst of executing our Holiday Meal Special and it's keeping us busy! The distribution is coming up fast and we're in search of some volunteers to assist us. There's some important updates in regard to BEAD Vol. 2 and the Digital Equity Plan, which we are encouraging folks to submit comments or collaborate with us on a response.
As always, thanks for being here!


suma milestones

  • Turkey Hacking:
    We have one more week left of getting our Holiday Meal Special orders in! We’ve already surpassed the number of orders we received last year, with only 22 meals left for purchase! There have been new users coming in just to participate in our Holiday Special and we're super stoked to see more folks joining.

    If you’re interested in making a donation to this project please send us an email at and thank you in advance!

  • Volunteer Opportunities :
    We're getting ready for the distribution of our holiday meals! We have a few locations where users will be able to retrieve their meal and are looking for volunteers to assist for a 2 hour shift.

    -December 22nd and 23rd we're looking for volunteers to greet users at Sheridan's Market between the hours of 10-6

    -December 22nd we're looking for volunteers to be at our partner locations:-Hacienda CDC-Home Forward, New Columbia Resident Services Office-Our Just Future, Arbor Glen Apartments

community catch-up

Friends, we want to make sure you’re up to date with all the state level broadband happenings, so see below for all the details.

TL/DR: The comments for Broadband Equity Access and Deployment "BEAD" Vol. 2 are due by 5 pm on December 9! The comment period for the Digital Equity Plan, which outlines the state’s plan to get affordable universal broadband to all, as well as device and digital literacy skill funding, is open until 5:00 p.m. PST on December 16, 2023.

If you plan on submitting comments, please reach out to We’re still working our way through the plans- but for more information and our early draft comments, click here. The following are a few points to uplift and strongly encourage organizations to submit comments on:

Broadband Equity Access and Deployment BEAD Vol. 2

  • Affordability:
    Suma will be supporting a strong definition for “affordability” because broadband infrastructure without affordable access for all Oregonians is an unacceptable outcome.
    While there is an affordability requirement, it’s up to us to figure out how to define what that really means. Without public input, internet service providers have the power to impact what they think affordability should mean.
  • Open Access:
    The state is anticipating that BEAD funding will not be able to reach all broadband deployment goals. Therefore, we must ensure that infrastructure funded by BEAD is open to further build out, with no barriers by internet service providers. Open access should mean build out into urban areas that have service gaps, but are ineligible for BEAD funding, can happen in the future.

Digital Equity Plan

  • Engagement:
    We will be calling attention to the state's need for better engagement with CBO’s and the communities they serve to get meaningful data and feedback on digital equity needs in urban areas. (For example, what if the Broadband Office had connected to a Coalition of Digital Equity meeting?)
  • Digital Literacy Access:
    The Digital Equity Plan offers few solutions to address how “covered populations” will be resourced with digital literacy needs in urban areas, and largely focuses on rural needs. We strongly encourage community partners to advocate and ensure that urban communities and their needs are reflected in the plan.

Note: The City of Portland will be releasing comments on the DE Plan to the community for further guidance.

suma app updates

  • Users with an eye for detail will notice that we have updated general terms of use and updated special terms of sale on the suma app in tandem with the launch of our 2023 turkey hacking project. Suma would like to recognize our partners at Stoel Rives and Perkins Coie for providing timely and pro bono legal advice to help us update the terms, just the latest in a long line of contributions they’ve made to the suma app. A final shout out to suma Chief Technology Officer Denilson Velasquez for the detailed, time-intensive work of updating the terms in Spanish and in English on the app.


suma is nonprofit based in Portland, OR (USA), we create platforms for digital organizing, enterprise and justice.

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