Long Island Index Unveils Online Tool to Help Voters Know Which Special District Elections They Can Vote In

Contact: Emma McKinstry
Goodman Media International
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158 Special District Elections Will Take Place on Tuesday, December 10, in Nassau and Suffolk Counties

Garden City, NY – December 2, 2013 – The Long Island Index, a project of the Rauch Foundation, announced today the availability of a new, interactive, online tool to help Long Island voters navigate the 158 special district elections taking place on Tuesday, December 10th.

Long Island has a total of 665 government entities, including special districts, providing basic services – such as fire, police, sanitation, water, schools, and libraries – in Nassau and Suffolk counties and managed by publicly elected commissioners who oversee the services and determine taxes to cover these expenses. The online tool is designed to let voters know in which of the 158 special district elections they are eligible to vote. It can be more than one.

“Long Island is unique in having so many government entities, and it makes it hard for Long Islanders to know when and where to vote,” said Ann Golob, Director of the Long Island Index. “This new online tool simplifies the process.”

The new tool – available free of charge at http://mydistricts.longislandindexmaps.org – enables users in Nassau and Suffolk counties to enter their address and learn which special districts serve them, when elections will take place, and information about their polling location and the hours that polls are open.

“Public participation in elections is crucial to democracy,” said Nancy Rauch Douzinas, President of the Rauch Foundation and Publisher of the Long Island Index. “This new online tool makes it easier for voters to know how to participate.”

The online tool is the latest feature offered by the Long Island Index’s interactive map of government service providers that was developed in collaboration with the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Steven Romalewski, Director of the Graduate Center’s Mapping Service said, “The map allows users to search by street address to determine which special districts provide services to their homes. The tool is designed so that it can be easily embedded in other websites to increase access to the information, or you can share direct links to your districts.” An example link to a specific district is http://bit.ly/1bSUxxC.

The map 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.

About the Rauch Foundation

The Rauch Foundation (www.rauchfoundation.org), which funds the Long Island Index, is a Long Islandbased 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.

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 (GC) is the principal doctorate-granting institution of the City University of New York. Offering more than thirty doctoral degrees from Anthropology to Urban Education, and fostering globally significant research in a wide variety of centers and institutes, the GC affords rigorous academic training in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences in a Ph.D.-focused, scholarly environment. It is home to a core faculty of approximately 150 teachers and mentors, virtually all senior scholars, and many leaders in their disciplines. This faculty is enhanced by more than 1,800 faculty from across the CUNY colleges, as well as from cultural, academic, and scientific institutions throughout New York City and beyond. Through its extensive public programs including lectures, conferences, performances, exhibitions, and conversations, the Graduate Center contributes to the intellectual and cultural life of New York City and affirms our commitment to the premise that knowledge is a public good.