Long Island Index Expands Interactive Map of Special District Service Providers to Cover Suffolk as Well as Nassau Counties

Contact: Brooke Botsford
Goodman Media International
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Expansion Comes Just In Time To Help Long Islanders Understand Which Special District Elections On December 11th Affect Them

Garden City, NY – December 3, 2012 – The Long Island Index, a project of the Rauch Foundation, announced today that it has expanded its interactive map of special district service providers on Long Island to include Suffolk County; the Nassau County segment of the map was unveiled earlier this year. The map, developed in collaboration with the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY) is available free of charge at www.longislandindexmaps.org. It provides, for the first time, public access to maps representing the profusion of special districts that exist across Long Island.

Long Island has 665 government entities, including 168 special districts, providing basic services such as fire, police, sanitation, water, schools, and libraries in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Users of the map can search by street address or village to determine which of those special districts provide services to their homes. The expanded map comes just in time, as elections for commissioners of special districts on Long Island take place on Tuesday, December 11th.

This expanded tool is the result of a comprehensive project to delineate all service provider boundaries using computer-mapping software, which integrates data on special districts from multiple sources. The maps are intended to give taxpayers and service providers a common and consistent basis for discussing special district issues.

“Long Island is unusual in that it has 665 government service providers in two counties,” said Ann Golob, Director of the Long Island Index. “One could reasonably ask why 665 are needed, but the more practical question for most Long Islanders is: How do I know which ones serve me? That practical question is now answered.”

Steven Romalewski, director of the CUNY Mapping Service at the Center for Urban Research, said: “This interactive map now provides to all Long Islanders a valuable resource for understanding how special districts affect them. The online navigation is quick and easy, with dynamic tools such as transparencies and map layers that combine seamlessly with the existing demographic, land use, and transportation data on the site.”

“Understanding the governmental landscape of Long Island is not easy,” said Nancy Douzinas, President of the Rauch Foundation and Publisher of the Long Island Index. “Now navigating that landscape is a mouse click away. For the first time, civic organizations, community groups, businesses, and individual residents can easily see where they stand in the complex array of government service providers.”

About the Rauch Foundation
The Rauch Foundation (www.rauchfoundation.org), which funds the Long Island Index, is a Long Island-based family foundation that invests in ideas and organizations that spark and sustain early success in children and systemic change in our communities. The Foundation was established in 1961 by Louis Rauch and Philip Rauch, Jr. Funding for the Foundation was made possible by the success of the Ideal Corporation, an auto parts manufacturer founded in 1913 by their father, Philip Rauch, Sr.

In addition to funding the Long Island Index for nine years, the Rauch Foundation commissioned The Long Island Profile Report and a series of polls on Long Island to determine how the region is faring. The Long Island Index – conducted annually since 2004 – is available for download at www.longislandindex.org. The Long Island Index interactive maps, an online resource with detailed demographic, residential, transportation and educational information, as well as the Build a Better Burb website, are also accessible from the Index’s website.

About the Center for Urban Research
The Center for Urban Research (www.urbanresearch.org), housed within the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), organizes basic research on the critical issues that face New York and other large cities in the United States and abroad. It collaborates on applied research with public agencies, nonprofit organizations and other partners, and holds forums for the media, foundations, community organizations and others about urban research at the Graduate Center and elsewhere across the CUNY system. The CUNY Mapping Service at the Center for Urban Research assists organizations in realizing the geographic and mapping dimensions of their activities.

About The Graduate Center, CUNY
The Graduate Center is the doctorate-granting institution of the City University of New York. It defines the standard of contemporary and innovative graduate education by combining rigorous academic training in the humanities, sciences and social sciences with globally significant research and initiatives focused on progressive policy issues. Recognized for its outstanding scholarship, the Graduate Center is home to the most influential public intellectuals of the day, fulfilling the mission of a publicly funded institution to inform and enliven debate and discourse on issues of societal importance. Through its extensive public programs, the Graduate Center is integral to the intellectual and cultural vitality of New York City. For more information, visit www.gc.cuny.edu.