Third District Supervisor Ryan Coonerty
Ryan Coonerty serves as the Third District Supervisor for Santa Cruz County. The Third District stretches from 7th Avenue in Live Oak through the City of Santa Cruz and up the North Coast, including the communities of Davenport and Bonny Doon.
Elected to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors in 2014 and reelected in 2018, Ryan is a two-time former Mayor of the City of Santa Cruz. He is also an entrepreneur, author, and educator. He is the host of "An Honorable Profession" podcast. He was the cofounder of NextSpace Coworking + Innovation (now owned by Pacific Workplaces), a lecturer on law and government at UC Santa Cruz, and co-author of The Rise of the Naked Economy – How to Benefit from the Changing Workplace (Macmillan, 2013) and wrote Etched in Stone – Enduring Words from our National Monuments (National Geographic, 2007). Ryan was selected by the Aspen Institute to be a Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership as one of "the nation’s most promising young elected officials," a "Community Hero" by the Red Cross of Santa Cruz County and “Advocate of the Year” by the United Way of Santa Cruz County.
On the Board of Supervisors, Ryan has created incentives to support affordable workforce housing, led the expansion of the public safety program Community Partnership for Accountability, Connection and Treatment (PACT), and brought forward a successful proposal for the County to stop doing business with big banks that pled guilty to felonies. Ryan built on the work of his predecessors to improve Twin Lakes Beachfront access, repair roads and bikeways and worked with the Santa Cruz County Clerk to make sure the postage is paid on all vote-by-mail ballots—so that stamps are never a barrier to voting. Ryan led the effort to establish a local Nurse-Family Partnership Program and a Thrive by Three Fund to support families' health and educational outcomes.
Ryan currently serves as the Chair of the Central California Alliance for Health, the Medi-Cal managed health care plan serving 350,000 members in Santa Cruz, Monterey and Merced Counties, where he works to improve access to health care for lower income residents.
A leader on environmental issues, Ryan was a strong supporter of the creation of Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP), which will reduce carbon emissions while supporting the local economy and jobs. He currently serves as an alternate to the MBCP Board and is on the Monterey Bay Air Resources Board. Ryan actively opposes a proposal to expand offshore oil and gas drilling off the coast of California and supports the lawsuits filed by the County and City of Santa Cruz against 29 oil, gas and coal companies for their significant contribution to creating climate change and the resulting damage from storms, fires and sea level rise.
Ryan has brought forth policies that protect the environment, create jobs and economic opportunity, enhance public safety, and improve government services for residents. He has been a steadfast supporter of women’s rights, equality for the LGBTQ community, and a vocal supporter of hard-working local immigrant families.
As Mayor and Councilmember, Ryan led successful efforts to reach a historic agreement with UC Santa Cruz and to invest the City’s reserve funds back into the community to spur the local economy. He authored the Clean Oceans, Rivers and Beaches initiative, and brought a new generation into civic life through the creation of Santa Cruz NEXT. Ryan also played a key role in attracting the Santa Cruz Warriors to Santa Cruz as well as spearheading efforts to simplify permitting for citizens and small businesses, and creating policies to increase the use of local alternative energy.
Ryan attended Santa Cruz’s public schools and graduated from the University of Oregon’s Clark Honors College. He received a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. He is the son of Neal and Candy Coonerty, who own Bookshop Santa Cruz, which is now run by Ryan’s sister Casey. He lives in Santa Cruz with his wife Emily, daughter Daisy and son Kellan.
Ryan welcomes your comments and questions.
Supervisor Coonerty Newsletters
Click here to view Supervisor Coonerty's November 2018 Newsletter.
Click here to view Supervisor Coonerty's September 2018 Newsletter.
Click here to view Supervisor Coonerty's June 2018 Newsletter.
Click here to view Supervisor Coonerty's May 2018 Newsletter.
Click here to view Supervisor Coonerty's March 2018 Newsletter.
Click here to view Supervisor Coonerty's January 2018 Newsletter.
Click here to view Supervisor Coonerty's November 2017 Newsletter.
Click here to view Supervisor Coonerty's June 2017 Newsletter.
Click here to view Supervisor Coonerty's June 2017 Newsletter.
Click here to view Supervisor Coonerty's April 2017 Newsletter.
Click here to view Supervisor Coonerty's February 2017 Newsletter.
Click here to view Supervisor Coonerty's December 2016 Newsletter.
Click here to view Supervisor Coonerty's September 2016 Newsletter.
Click here to view Supervisor Coonerty's June 2016 Newsletter.
Click here to view Supervisor Coonerty's May 2016 Newsletter.
Click here to view Supervisor Coonerty's February 2016 Newsletter.
Click here to view Supervisor Coonerty's November 2015 Newsletter.
Click here to view Supervisor Coonerty's September 2015 Newsletter.
Click here to view Supervisor Coonerty's July 2015 Newsletter.
Click here to sign up to receive Supervisor Coonerty's newsletter.
Supervisor Coonerty represents the Board of Supervisors on the following regional agencies and boards:
- Arts Council Santa Cruz County
- Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments Board of Directors (Alternate)
- Community Action Board
- Criminal Justice Council of Santa Cruz County
- Integrated Waste Management Local Task Force
- Jail Overcrowding Committee
- Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council
- Local Agency Formation Commission
- Monterey Bay Air Resources District Board of Directors
- Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Task Force
- Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission
- Successor Agency Oversight Board to the former Redevelopment Agency of the City of Santa Cruz
Scheduling an Appointment with Supervisor Coonerty:
If you would like to schedule an appointment with Supervisor Coonerty, please feel free to call his office at 454-2200 and ask to speak to one of his staff members. Supervisor Coonerty regularly attends the Davenport/North Coast Association meetings and the Rural Bonny Doon Association meetings. If you are a resident of Bonny Doon or the North Coast, you may wish to speak with Supervisor Coonerty at those venues. If you have any questions about scheduling a meeting with Supervisor Coonerty, please do not hesitate to contact his office.
Staff to Supervisor Coonerty includes:
Rachel Dann, County Supervisor's Analyst
Allison Endert, County Supervisor's Analyst
Consider getting involved in the local issues that affect our county Commissions:
You can become involved in your community by applying to serve on a county commission. The Board of Supervisors appoints Santa Cruz County residents to positions on more than 40 advisory bodies established to provide advice and recommendations to the Board on a variety of subject areas. While some of these entities are mandated by State law, most were established by the Board to facilitate citizen involvement in government and to assist the Board in its decision making process. There are at-large appointments, where any member of the Board can nominate an appointee. There are also district appointments, where an individual Supervisor nominates an appointee, usually a resident of his or her supervisorial district. In addition, some appointees are required to represent particular groups and/or interests. In all cases, the Board as a whole makes the final appointment. For more information, please click on the links below:
Third District Vacancies
Supervisor Coonerty can be contacted as follows:
Click here to see a map of District 3.