Out and about

Happy summer!

We’re excited to introduce Coralie Saint-Louis, nextLI’s engagement and outreach manager. Coralie will be responsible for executing a strategy for nextLI’s growth, moderating conversations on the website and contributing to the editing and curation of first-person stories. She has worked for Voice of America and The Haitian Times; most recently she worked on Africa Rizing, a startup media initiative to connect voices from across Africa.

She’s had a busy first month: Last Friday, she represented nextLI at an affordable housing roundtable hosted by the Institute for Attainable Homes at St. Joseph’s College. That was the first of many conversations she’ll be participating in as we build nextLI.

Also last week, our team joined the Long Island Library Resources Council for their annual meeting. We delivered a keynote address about nextLI and Long Island’s future. You can catch up on our presentation (and stay informed about our work) in our Twitter feed.

At the LILRC conference, we asked more than 100 Long Island librarians what excites them about Long Island’s future. We heard a variety of answers, including hope that new politicians will be open to change. A number of librarians talked about the growth of downtowns near train stations. “There is definitely a growing interest,” in creating livable places, one librarian wrote us. “We need to harness that.”

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be making plans to connect with more community groups. If you have any recommendations for us, please drop us an email at nextli@newsday.com.

We’re always on the lookout for articles, websites and projects to inspire our work. Here are a few links that caught our attention since our last update:

  • CityLab published a thoughtful look at the affordable housing debate in suburban Minnesota. Those suburbs are dealing with the same tension between density and affordability that occupies Long Islanders. One resident described the Minnesota conversation as “chaotic, emotional, uninformed” — that’s the kind of dynamic we’re looking to prevent with nextLI.
  • Check out Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks, which maps income levels and other data for each U.S. county, zip code, and Census tract. The visualization is easy to use and the data tells a fascinating story.
  • We’ve been admiring the work of CNY Vitals, a website focused on Central New York that aims to measure the “state of the community.” In particular, we appreciate CNY Vital’s focus on presenting data with context. Making sure information is accessible and comprehensible is a goal we’re focused on.
  • DataChile, another regional index, is an impressive effort to visualize Chile’s public data. The website (which is available in both Spanish and English) pulls together information about regional governments, demographics, the economy and quality of life. The website is easy to navigate, beautiful to look at and informative.