Onward with Jeremy Cooney
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A New voice for Rochester & Fighter for Upstate

Born in an Indian orphanage, Jeremy was adopted by a courageous single-mother and grew up in the South Wedge neighborhood of the City of Rochester. Raised in an Irish family, he inherited a strong sense of family, faith, and our famous Upstate accent.  

After losing his mother to dementia and brain cancer, Jeremy has devoted his career to serving the community that helped raise him—from the YMCA to all levels of government. He got his start working on Capitol Hill for the late U.S. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter and has gone on to work for two New York Governors and the Mayor of Rochester.

With a deep commitment to creating the Rochester of tomorrow, Jeremy is passionate about investing in families, quality schools, affordable housing, universal health care, and real pathways out of poverty.

Jeremy graduated from the Rochester City School District, and went on to graduate with honors in public policy from Hobart College and to obtain his law degree from Albany Law School. He was named “Forty Under 40” by the Rochester Business Journal and is a proud Eagle Scout. Today, Jeremy and his fiancé, Diane, live in downtown Rochester and are excited about starting a family in Upstate, NY.


common sense politics

Let’s get the work done for upstate families.

Rochester no longer has a seat at the table in the NYS Senate. We are represented by a minority party without the ability to bring needed financial resources to Upstate. Our families need a champion in Albany who will bring more funding for schools and keep our kids safe at home. Our city and town leaders need a fighter to advocate for more money for roads and bridges. Our companies need a spokesperson who understands the challenges of doing business Upstate. Our colleges and universities need a state representative to create new economic development partnerships. In short, Rochester needs a new voice in the Democratic majority who will bring a balanced and productive mindset to Albany.


Paychecks Over Promises.

We need real jobs that our neighbors can get today, not just short-term tax cuts and big company investments that don’t result in local hiring. We must re-imagine public education to better integrate career training in high school. This will allow us to more quickly grow our workforce and make Upstate New York more competitive for prospective employers. Let’s be creative but aggressive. We’re tired of waiting.

small biz

Small Business Owners Need Help. 

Small businesses are the backbone of the Rochester economy, but often get overlooked for Fortune 500 companies. We need to invest in small businesses and make it easier to do business in New York, hire local talent, and expand. We must reduce the regulatory burdens on employers while at the same time protect workers’ rights. The status quo doesn’t cut it.


Healthcare is Broken.

Healthcare is too expensive. Families choose between paying co-pays and saving for the future. Our young people cannot afford high cost deductibles, so are essentially uncovered. Our seniors cannot buy expensive prescription drugs on fixed incomes. Health care providers spend more time billing insurance than with patients. I believe healthcare is a right and something must change.


We have to pay them, but we can invest them better.

No one likes taxes and that’s why I won’t seek to create new taxes. But that’s not the only issue – how government spends the existing hard-earned tax dollars is important. If New York is to lead we must have quality schools, roads, and safe communities. We must also make state government more efficient so that resources can be allocated to the greatest need. There are occasions when new taxes are proposed that do not benefit all New Yorkers and I would fight for an exception for Upstate so that families and businesses can invest locally.

Child Care

Parents need help.

Child care is expensive. Really expensive. Most families in Rochester have to work and their children need quality care that emphasizes early learning. This isn’t a new issue and New York State must do more to help working-class and low-income families in Monroe County by increasing child care tax benefits and subsidies. Our future depends on it.


A matter of life or death.

Everyday you open the paper and see "sudden cause of death" in the obituary section. That's code for overdose. Whether urban, suburban or rural, our families are suffering from readily accessible fentanyl-laced drugs. One victim described the addiction as so strong it's like a need for oxygen. The time for task forces is over. We need an immediate investment in preventative education and mental health services. We also need more funding for local treatment centers and family counseling. We cannot wait.

Maternal Health

Strategy. Funding. Accountability.

The issues surrounding maternal health are numerous - making sure women who have given birth are in good health and able to care for themselves and their new babies is critical. To starts, the state needs to expanded paid-leave to, at minimum, six months to help all mothers and caregivers. For women who have complications, we need mandatory review boards in place to incidences that occur outside normal postpartum experiences.

Gun Safety

Gun Sense Laws Are Common Sense.

Talk is cheap, action is needed. Citizens have the right to own guns and also the right to feel safe in their communities. I support the enforcement of common-sense gun regulations already on the books and new measures to keep our children and families safe. This includes passing sensible legislation to prevent gun violence before tragedy occurs. As a society of laws, we can protect second amendment rights without the need for compromise on what’s best for public safety.

Climate change

It’s Not About Whether It’s True, It’s What Are We Going To Do.

The time for debate about climate change has passed, the science proves this is a reality. The question now is what are the policies we need to put in place to manage the effects and secure our future. This is especially true when dealing with our rising lake levels on the western shoreline. We also support local initiatives that would bring jobs in the renewable energy industry, such as retrofitting our local housing stock by hiring and training our neighbors to do the work.


Legalization To End Discrimination.

With the legalization of cannabis, Upstate can realize new economic development opportunities in one of the fastest growing agri-business industries. But, it’s not just about economics, legalizing cannabis is a social justice issue. Any new legalization must end the discriminatory enforcement and incarceration of minority populations that has been proven to exist right here in Monroe County.


Just Like My Mom, I’m A Fighter.

Like so many others, I lost a loved-one to dementia and cancer. My mother, Anne, died when I was just 33. I know firsthand that cancer and dementia are awful diseases. As caregivers, spouses or children, we often feel helpless to these incurable conditions. But, we can do something. We must improve home care programs and access to skilled-nursing facilities for low-income seniors. We must also work to protect seniors with dementia from financial exploitation.


Stop Outmigration from Upstate.

Every year we lose young talent from Rochester. Why? Because of a lack of jobs in upstate. For the last 15 years, I have been actively working to create a better quality of life in Greater Rochester for young professionals. Now, I want to create new programs that incentivize young people to return to upstate to work, purchase a home, and raise their families here. We need New York State to be an aggressive recruiter for population migration Upstate, otherwise our friends and your family-members will continue to look elsewhere.

upstate vs downstate

We Can Work Together.

Some representatives choose to fight New York City and call for a split between Upstate and Downstate. Smart representatives will embrace New York City and instead focus on partnership for the benefit of Upstate. The fact remains that Upstate receives a higher percentage of NYS tax dollars than Downstate because of the corporate taxes generated in New York City. We are truly stronger together. We need a new voice in Albany who will build relationships with Downstate representatives so they can better understand our needs and vote to bring resources north of Westchester County.


Contact Us

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