New Website Collects, Presents CNY Data on Local Needs in Hope of Spurring Action

Jun 7, 2018

This screenshot shows lead exposure among children in the five county region.
Credit provided photo / CNYCF

The Central New York Community Foundation has launched a new website that aims to spur action on any number of issues facing the region…from housing and lead exposure, to literacy and education.  The site congregates data from multiple sources so users can monitor progress.

Vice president of community investment at CNYCF Frank Ridzi says there are many efforts underway to improve the community, but no central place to see how we’re doing.

"It's really hard to sustain an effort and keep working at something if you can't see any progress."

The data come from a number of sources…the U.S. Census Bureau, the state departments of labor and education, and the City of Syracuse to name a few. 

"The Community Foundation has used for along time to guide our decision making and grant making.  But we realized they're not that easy to access.  Some are here, some are there, and you have to keep a list of websites to go to.  We wanted to make it easy for people."

Credit provided photo / CNYCF

Ridzi says it’s aimed at multiple audiences…from casual users to professionals.

"Community members who are interested in just seeing how things are going, reading stories about their neighbors and friends.  But also for people who are in the thick of it:  Policy analysts, grant writers, people working on these collaborative initiatives.  They can really track our progress."

He says the website includes buttons that suggest ways to get involved or make a difference…like joining the board of a non-profit, or donating to a particular cause.  Ridzi hopes it can connect the various stakeholders.

"There's an opportunity for synergy when we can bring donors or people looking to get involved in their community, and put them in contact with key issues, key needs, and what are the activities that they could support."

The website is cnyvitals.org. 

Editor's note:  The Central New York Community Foundation is a WAER underwriter, and major supporter of the station’s City Limits poverty project.