Prominent Party Officials to Co-Chair CNY Political Leadership Institute

Two prominent party officials have agreed to team up to co-chair the tenth year of the CNY Political Leadership Institute – a nonpartisan program that teaches citizens how to navigate the political process.

Onondaga County chair of the legislature and long-time Republican leader David Knapp as well as Joe Rossi, a vice chair of the NYS Democratic Party and managing director of Park Strategies, will work together to offer this unique nonpartisan program that provides the practical tools for citizens to begin getting engaged with politics and campaigns.

“We are excited to serve as co-chairs this year because regardless of our political differences, we agree that we need more people to take an active role in volunteering for campaigns, serving our respective political parties, and to raise their hand to run for school board or any local office,” said Knapp. “It is the local elections that directly affect the daily lives of our families, yet many citizens don’t know the first place to start, who to call or what to do to volunteer, or how to run for local office,” said Rossi.

The CNY Political Leadership Institute invites local political leaders and experts from around Central New York (Republicans and Democrats and independents) to walk through the process of getting on a ballot, on building a strong campaign team, on fundraising (and the responsibilities that come along with it), on campaign messaging, and finally getting out the vote. Further, they share their personal stories of why they were motivated to get involved and the sacrifices they made by being involved.

The CNY Political Leadership Institute runs eight consecutive Tuesday nights starting on February 5, 2019. Sessions are from 6-8 p.m. at a variety of locations throughout CNY.

Registration is $125 and it includes materials and a meal at each session. Registration is limited to 30 people on a first-come, first-served basis. Financial assistance is available upon request. Registration can be found at:

Knapp (R) is currently serving as the chair of the Onondaga County Legislature. He has been a county legislator from the 12th District since 2012. He has a 25-year history of serving public office following his service as a United States Army captain.

Rossi (D) is a managing director at Park Strategies where he has expertise in public policy, business development, political communication, and public and governmental affairs. He currently serves as a Vice Chair on the NYS Democratic Committee.

Leadership Greater Syracuse administers the CNY Political Leadership Institute with a team of community volunteers. Sponsors include: Syracuse Tomorrow, Charter Communications, NERCC NY – PEC, Onondaga County Bar Foundation, The Manufacturing-Industry Political Action Committee, IBEW-NECA, and Home Builders & Remodelers of CNY.