Ryan Coonerty has always been a part of the Santa Cruz community, from resident, to mayor and now county supervisor. Though his work is now countywide, his aim is still to create “a better place for the next generation.”
Ryan Coonerty knows Santa Cruz, California. After being raised in the small coastal city and then going across the pond and the U.S. for schooling, he returned to his hometown to get connected with public policy in a way that he felt he was missing in Washington, D.C.
He soon became interested in running for the city council as he noticed that the council was filled with people who were all of the same, older generation. “I felt like there was room to have a younger perspective” and the city agreed; he was elected to two terms as a city council member. Ryan thrived in the role and eventually went on to serve two terms as city mayor. His public service drive is fueled by his desire to help. “I want to make the world a better place for the next generation. There are many ways to do it, but I think one of the most impactful ways is always through government and public service.”
Just because he has a passion to help his Santa Cruz community doesn’t mean that he doesn’t encounter difficulties in his role as county supervisor. But he uses his previous experiences as city council member and mayor to help better understand that you can’t make everyone happy as an elected official, so he just continues “to just vote my conscience and let the chips fall where they may.”
Ryan Coonerty steps “In the Arena” to talk about not taking jobs too seriously, his diplomatic middle name, and his journey to continue improving Santa Cruz for the future generations.