The Rauch Foundation announced it is discontinuing its research database, the Long Island Index, but the work will continue through nextLI, which will be run by Newsday, according to a news release.
The Long Island Index was founded 15 years ago by the Rauch Foundation to provide accurate data to local business, political and civic leaders. The index measured conditions on Long Island and showed trends over time for things such as housing availability, venture capital investment and transit ridership. This data was then compared with other, similar regions in an effort to draw attention to certain issues.
“The Long Island Index has proven beyond doubt the importance of a regional index,” said Nancy Rauch Douzinas, president of the foundation. “Its research on the need for a third track on the Long Island Rail Road, for instance, was essential to advancing that vital development.”
Douzinas said that the Rauch Foundation was ready to pass that responsibility on to Newsday and was confident that nextLI would continue to provide free high-quality research to Long Island residents.
“The Rauch Foundation is a grant-making philanthropy and is, therefore, ready to pass the ongoing operation of a regional index to nextLI,” Douzinas said.
She said that the foundation would continue its support for a limited period of time until the new operation with Newsday was up and running.
Rita Ciolli, Newsday’s editor of the editorial pages, will be the director of the nextLI project. She said she was excited to take on the responsibility.
“Newsday is thrilled to take over the index’s pioneering effort of providing our region with the data and information required to make better decisions about our future,” she said. “Our mission for over 77 years has been to connect Long Islanders and soon we will debut a digital forum for those conversations to continue.”