Cooney ’04 on Youth Vote, Residency – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Cooney ’04 on Youth Vote, Residency

Jeremy Cooney ’04 was recently featured in both the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper and the Rochester Business Journal (RBJ). Currently vice president of development for the YMCA of Greater Rochester, Cooney authored a guest-essay that appeared in the Democrat and Chronicle on Nov. 3, and was interviewed for a story that ran in the Oct. 12 issue of the RBJ.

In his guest essay, “Rochester’s young adults step up political involvement,” Cooney writes, “Every four years we lament over low voter turnout by young people. Pundits revere older generations of Americans that generally have a higher voter turnout on election day. But is past voter history the only statistic that measures civic participation?”

Cooney argues there is another way to assess the political engagement of young people, by looking “holistically at the campaign cycle and the various levels of participation that young people choose to undertake in the months leading up to the election.”

He cites as examples the number of young people in attendance at party conventions and debates; the young professionals managing social media campaigns for candidates; participation in parades and as volunteers on campaigns; and the choice of colleges and universities as venues for candidates’ talks about topics that resonate with young voters.

He concludes, “Regardless of how we measure civic interest, in just a few days young people won’t vote as ‘young professionals,’ rather we will vote as inspired citizens seeking to make an impact on the nation and communities we will someday lead.”

The full article is available online.

In the Rochester Business Journal, Cooney is among the Rochester area young professionals interviewed for their decision to remain in Rochester as they continue their career paths. The article says Cooney “sees himself as a dot-connector” and quotes him:

“(M)y role is to connect the dots between good people and good causes.”
It continues, “A beneficiary of the wisdom and support of mentors, Cooney said he hopes to mentor other aspiring young leaders while continuing to learn from those who came before him.”

Cooney is quoted, “As the leader of the statewide young professional movement, I help start new groups in cities across the state,” Cooney said. Rochester has more than 40 young professionals groups, he said-many more than in Albany, Syracuse or Buffalo.

“We are a community that attracts young people,” he said. “The key is to improve retention through citizen engagement and workforce development.”

The RBJ article is also available in its full form online.

A third-generation Hobart graduate, Cooney graduated with honors in public policy. He was a member of the Druid Society, Chi Phi fraternity and was president of Hobart Student Government.

After graduation, Cooney worked at Alumni House and was named manager of campaign leadership of The Campaign for the Colleges. He then attended the University of Albany Law School. He was selected to serve on the editorial board for the Albany Law Review as its executive editor for symposia and graduated cum laude.

He practiced in a wide range of civil litigation matters including medical malpractice, commercial litigation, product liability, and general defense litigation, with Ward Greenberg Heller and Reidy, in Rochester, N.Y. Cooney was recently appointed as a member of the New York Young Leaders Congress because of his passion for and interest in promoting his home state.