In April 2018, the Rauch Foundation and Newsday announced the formation of nextLI, a new research entity created and managed by Newsday’s editorial pages that would succeed the Long Island Index as the regional index for Long Island. The Long Island Index had established that role in 2003; it was a bold – now proven – experiment by the Rauch Foundation, which had always intended, once the experiment was completed, to pass the responsibility to another Long Island institution. nextLI now carries on that role, with initial funding from the Rauch Foundation to smooth the transition.
nextLI provides a platform through its website – next.newsday.com – and social media for analysis and discussion of issues of concern to Long Islanders and the future of the region. Broad outreach across Long Island is underway to expand the nextLI digital community and create conversations around pressing issues. Essays and other features have been published; a Facebook group has been launched.
The goals of nextlI, which is accessible free to all Long Islanders, are these:
- Build a digital community, bringing together Long Islanders to discuss our region’s future and to present an action plan for our local leaders;
- Recruit and amplify unheard voices, empowering and engaging them in the effort to build a new suburb;
- Commission research and make data about Long Island accessible, ensuring that it is discoverable and understandable.
Following the Long Island Index’s model, nextLI has created an advisory committee to ground its work in the expertise of representatives of Long Island’s business, political, and civic communities. The advisory committee will help nextLI identify pressing issues facing Long Island. Committee members will refine the focus for research projects, guide deliberations based on their expertise, and help communicate the findings.
nextLI provides a forum for Long Islanders to discuss the future and foster consensus around ways to make the region competitive, affordable, welcoming.