Consistent with it's nonpartisan philosophy, two prominent party officials have agreed to team up to co-chair the Institute.

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 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.

CNY PLI Co-Chair and Vice Chair of the NYS Democratic Party Joe Rossi (D).

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Institute Co-chairs

CNY PLI Co-Chair and Onondaga County Chair of the Legislature David Knapp (R).


The greatest freedoms of being a U.S. citizen is the freedom to vote and run for office and every political party is in need of qualified candidates and campaign volunteers.

This nonpartisan institute enlists elected leaders, party leaders, campaign managers and board of election commissioners from ALL parties to speak to participants about how to navigate the political process.

Central New York needs citizens who have good ideas and can make a positive contribution, but many people don't volunteer for their party or run for office because they don't know how or where to begin. Those who are elected to represent their fellow citizens have the ability to create the laws and policies that govern our communities. 

If not you, who? If not now, when? The CNY Political Leadership Institute is the best place to learn about the process. 

​​Registration for the 2021 Program is Closed

Look for us again in the Winter of 2022!