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It's cyber grants day!

Ten months after the passage of its $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending law, the Biden administration this morning launched a $1 billion grant program for state and local cybersecurity. Starting today, states will have 60 days to submit their applications for their share of the four-year program, including plans for how they'll redistribute the required 80% of their awards to local governments, according to the notice of funding opportunity that <a href="https://www.cisa.gov/cybergrants">CISA released</a>. “With this funding, we are better protecting our most vulnerable communities, ensuring that resource constraints don’t hold them back from developing plans to safeguard their critical infrastructure," Mitch Landrieu, the White House's infrastructure coordinator, said on a call with reporters. Benjamin Freed reports.

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With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

Mayors push to dismantle the ’New Jim Code’ 

If the U.S. focused high-speed internet access initiatives on just five cities — Memphis, Charlotte, Birmingham, New Orleans and Atlanta — it could reach 50% of the Black population, Aarti Tandon, CEO of Smart City Expo USA, said at the Miami conference yesterday. In a session on dismantling the “New Jim Code,” a term referencing discrimination built into tech policy and investments, Tandon said discrimination in tech is not as obvious as a “knee on the neck in broad daylight” but is evident in artificial intelligence, other algorithms and the lack of access available to some communities. Lindsay McKenzie reports from Miami.

Baltimore launches digital service, 'city performance' units

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott on Wednesday announced the city will invest $3.2 million in federal relief funding to modernize technology and improve the performance and equity of its services. The upgrades, which draw from the city’s share of American Rescue Plan Act funding, include the launch of two new programs, which Scott called "essential": Baltimore Digital, an office tasked with improving access to city services, and a new City Performance Team housed in the mayor’s office, tasked with building “a more holistic and comprehensive approach to performance management.” Colin Wood has details.

Law enforcement is searching for new ways to protect elections

The Committee for Safe and Secure Elections, a new coalition of election administrators and law enforcement officials met in Washington on Wednesday to develop strategies for connecting their respective communities to push back against a rising tide of online and physical threats against the voting process. Members of the committee said during that historically, law enforcement officers have not had much interaction with election administrators in their communities. But that they're working to change that as election administrators have been bombarded by threats, intimidation and harassment in recent years.. Ben has more.

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