Santa Cruz County Third District Supervisor Ryan Coonerty announced to his constituents in a newsletter Tuesday that he won’t be seeking reelection in 2022 for a third term. Here’s the full text of what he wrote.
Santa Cruz County Third District Supervisor Ryan Coonerty announced Tuesday that he won’t be seeking reelection next year, a shocking move given Coonerty’s reputation as one of the county’s most communicative and visible government leaders.
In an announcement to his constituents distributed via email, he took a decidedly optimistic, focusing on his achievements in his two terms in office and stressing he still has “19 months to do some real good.”
Here’s the text of that statement:
It’s been an honor to serve as your representative on the Board of Supervisors these past six years and to be able to work with many of you on the important issues facing our community.
The decision was not easy. I am confident that I would have won reelection, but, in the end, I think it’s the right time. Together, we’ve navigated the most challenging times in our County’s history and enacted some transformational policies that will serve the community for decades to come. At the same time, there is tremendous political talent — particularly among women — who I believe will be excellent representatives for the Third District.
This past year we’ve responded to a pandemic, an economic crisis, devastating forest fires, an overdue reckoning on racial injustice and constant attacks on our institutions and values by the Trump administration. I’m proud of the work we did to save lives and livelihoods while protecting the most vulnerable.
Of the many achievements of the last six years, I am most proud of establishing the Nurse Family Partnership, which pairs a nurse with first time, low-income moms from the time they are pregnant to when their child reaches 2 years old.
The program, which was the County’s first home visiting program, began as a pilot but is now an integral part of the County’s continuum of care. Already we are seeing great results among the graduates of these families from higher immunization rates, reduced ER visits, and enrollment in preschool. In addition to the NFP, we’ve been able to establish:
- The Thrive By 3 Program which dedicates funding to upstream early childhood education and programs
- The creation of an Office of Response, Recovery and Resilience to help our community prepare for and respond to increased natural disasters
- The Focused Intervention Team, which pairs mental health workers with Sheriff deputies to intervene with the most challenging individuals to offer services and accountability
- A National Monument on the Cotoni-Coast Dairies land with unprecedented mitigations to benefit the surrounding community
- A pedestrian walkway over the San Lorenzo bridge linking the eastside to the westside
- Increased funding for Digital Nest, workforce training, and after school programs
- The Downtown Streets Team on the North Coast to help keep our coastal areas clean
- Parking and pedestrian improvements at Twin Lakes Beach
- Large solar installations on county properties, incentives for electric vehicles and reduced fees for home rooftop solar
- A ban on county doing business with banks convicted of felonies
- The first county-led, comprehensive work plan to address homelessness
- Millions of dollars in funding and legal protections to help renters, undocumented people, small businesses, non-profits, and cultural institutions.
- Simplified permitting for accessory dwelling units, affordable housing and fire victims
- Programs and reforms to increase race and gender equity and outcomes in the justice and health systems as well as economic opportunity
- Increased mental health services for children and crisis intervention
- Repairs to the Davenport water line and wastewater systems at minimal cost to the community
- Implemented a data-driven budget and performance metrics for all county programs
It goes without saying that this was a team effort that would not have been possible without you and my tireless and talented staff. Rachel Dann, Allison Endert, Jillian Ritter and Andy Schiffrin have been extraordinary in their commitment to serve, advocacy for those who need it the most and just flat out brilliant at marshaling the institutions of government on behalf of the people.
I still have 19 months left to do some real good. I plan to take advantage of every minute.