A small group of concerned citizens initiated PetalumaNet in 1995 in order to promote greater use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Petaluma area schools. As time went on, it became apparent that all sectors of the community – education, business, government, health, and non-profit organizations – needed to be included if Petaluma were to become a SMART City …. Savvy about computers, use Modern equipment, have Access to the Internet, become Responsible users and Technology literate.

To celebrate the 5th anniversary of Petaluma Net in 2000, the Petaluma CyberCity Roundtable sponsored a Community Symposium titled, “Is Petaluma a SMART Community?” Over this five period, over 300 citizens had volunteered one or more times to help the community achieve this goal. Here is a list of their “firsts” for Petaluma, 1995-2000:

* 1st. Computer Tech Fair for Teachers – 1995
* 1st. Technology Newsletter for School Personnel – 1995
* 1st. School Site Training Teachers – 1995
* 1st. Community Internet Fair – 1996
* 1st. Donated computer from H-P – 1996
* 1st. Community Web Site (PEN) – 1996
* 1st. Free ISP Accounts for Schools – 1996
* 1st. Petaluma City Schools Web Site – 1997
* 1st. PEN Seminars at SRJC/Petaluma Campus – 1997
* 1st. After School Tech Academy Visit to Telecom Valley – 1997
* 1st. Computer Workshop for Senior Citizens – 1997
* 1st. Web Site for the Argus-Courier – 1997
* 1st. Public Access Computer Center Opens – 1997
* 1st. Net Day School Wiring Project – 1998
* 1st. CyberCity Roundtable Meeting – 1998
* 1st. Free HTML Workshop for Teens – 1998
* 1st. National GIS Day in Petaluma – 1999
* 1st. Free e-mail Address Sign Up Day – 2000
* 1st. NeighborhoodNet e-Group created – 2000

The Petaluma City Council, upon the recommendation of the Petaluma CyberCity Roundtable in 2005, established the city’s Technology and Telecommunications Advisory Committee. (Its name was shortened later to Technology Advisory Committee.)

How many readers, today, may have participated in any of these “firsts,”
over a decade ago? Please tell us “how” in the comments section, below.

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