Joining many municipalities across the country, the City of Syracuse recently launched DataCuse, an open data portal. DataCuse takes a proactive approach to keeping constituents informed by presenting important and unique information for the city’s constituents. The site hosts information about housing, lead risks and neighborhoods; it also shows street closings in real time by neighborhood in the city limits of Syracuse.
The Community Foundation supports efforts to disseminate data to the community and consulted with the City of Syracuse’s Innovation Team in 2017 as they developed the site. It also provided grant funding for its build-out. Open data helps identify trends, measure progress, and educates decision makers in our community. Data provided by a municipality allows for collective impact and other citizen efforts like neighborhood development. Inspiring a culture of data to keep constituents informed is an important step in making smart and impactful decisions.
A new municipal violations bureau was signed into law in July 2017 by Governor Andrew Cuomo to help address a large backlog of housing code violations. According to Syracuse.com, the bureau will free up the city’s legal resources to focus on major violations instead of minor violations like trash in a yard. Former Mayor Stephanie Miner said the bureau would allow the city to be more productive with landlords and use court resources and city attorneys more effectively, giving the city the opportunity to fight back against delinquent property owners. Buffalo, Rochester and Yonkers have created similar, successful bureaus.
The Green and Healthy Homes Initiative Greater Syracuse (GHHIGS) is the local chapter of a national initiative that focuses on making homes safer, more efficient and rid of toxic lead. The new municipal violations bureau will be helpful to GHHIGS, as the initiative’s coordination was previously focused entirely on owned properties. By expanding to rentals, GHHIGS can now impact more homes, as 61 percent of Syracuse residents are renters.
Central New York offers low housing costs, convenient commute times and plenty of attractions within driving distance. It is also plagued with higher than average unemployment and a record poverty rate that threatens the region’s health. These are just some of the findings of recent national reports done by outside groups that use data to capture the essence of the region. While national rankings often provide interesting insights, they are not all that helpful for local organizations and policymakers. Enter CNY Vitals, your resource for long-term regional data on various critical issues.
CNY Vitals is an initiative of the Central New York Community Foundation. This ‘state of the community’ website provides a common source of data and interactive visualizations on critical topics that affect the health and progress of our region in order to inform community members, spur discussion, identify emerging issues and plan community investments. CNY Vitals analyzes and tracks data points on the local economy, housing, health, demographics, poverty and education in Onondaga, Madison, Cayuga, Cortland and Oswego counties — the five counties in which the Community Foundation and its donors support communities and initiatives.
CNY Vitals aggregates and monitors local information that tells the story of Central New York. By analyzing and then planning action from a common set of data, we can work together to measure our progress and transform our region for the better.
Click here to learn more about CNY Vitals and how you can use the site.
We invite you to explore our site, learn more about our region, and use the information you find here to drive conversation and action toward an even better, brighter tomorrow for Central New York.