A Powerful Tool for Decision Makers to Access Current, Reliable Data Launched

March 1, 2013

By Maggie McCullough, President, PolicyMap, The Reinvestment Fund

This is one in a series of The Weekly articles drawing on the resources and successes of NLC's Corporate Partners.

Citi Community Development, an NLC Capstone Corporate Partner, together with PolicyMap, recently launched MyDistrictData.com, an interactive, web-based tool that provides on-demand reports based on economic, employment, financial, educational and housing conditions. This free tool has the ability to present a district snapshot intended to inform smart policy-making through accessible and reliable data.

Across the country, public policy decisions that impact communities are not always made with the benefit of accurate, targeted data, as this recent post by Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Microfinance and Community Development and Maggie McCullough, President, PolicyMap reflects. In reaction to the need for more precise data, MyDistrictData was created to help decision-makers, community groups, and the general public understand the similarities and disparities between districts. In turn, policymakers will be better equipped to make recommendations that will impact their constituents' lives.

"MyDistrictData produces consistent reports based on publicly available statistics that generate a clear understanding in a matter of seconds," said Maggie McCullough, President of PolicyMap. "Building a clear understanding of a state's jobs situation is relatively straightforward, as much of this data is often collected and presented at the state level. However, state-level data can mask significant variation between congressional districts."

The inaugural MyDistrictData report, the first in an ongoing series, focuses on workforce and jobs and offers district-level information on labor force and employment, workforce demographics, business climate, and educational environment. Over the next three months, MyDistrictData will release additional online interactive reports and will be updated to include the newly released congressional district boundaries so that visitors can learn more about jobs, money, education and housing in their congressional district. Each of the reports can be downloaded as a printable PDF, and all information is free, public, and available for dissemination.

"MyDistrictData will complement the important data analysis work of efforts like the CFED Assets & Opportunity Scorecard as well as the FDIC Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households and recent U.S. Census report on income and poverty - adding value by pinpointing similarities and disparities at the Congressional district level for the first time," said Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development and Microfinance. "By making critical data accessible and actionable, this tool will strengthen the connection between the national agenda and the local issues that drive it."

About the NLC Corporate Partners Program
The NLC Corporate Partners Program promotes the exchange of ideas between corporate leaders and the leaders of America's cities in order to strengthen local government, encourage economic competitiveness and promote corporate civic engagement. For more information, visit www.nlc.org.

About Citi Community Development 
Citi Community Development (CCD) is leading Citi's commitment to achieve economic empowerment and growth for underserved individuals, families and communities by expanding access to financial products and services, and building sustainable business solutions and innovative partnerships. Our focus areas include: commercial and philanthropic funding; innovative financial products and services; and collaborations with institutions that expand access to financial products and services for low-income and underserved communities. For more information, visit the Citi Community Development Corporate Partner profile page on the NLC website or www.citicommunitydevelopment.com.

About The Reinvestment Fund and PolicyMap
PolicyMap is a service of The Reinvestment Fund (TRF), a nonprofit leader in financing neighborhood revitalization. An advocate for good data driving decisions, TRF brings this approach to its own investments and to its work with public policy clients. A fully web-based interactive map tool, PolicyMap empowers decision makers with better access to credible market and demographic data in an easy-to-use geographic information system. For more information, please visit www.trfund.com and www.policymap.com.