State Senator Jeremy Cooney of Rochester visited Utica today as part of his Regener8 Cities Tour.

Cooney held a round table discussion with local leaders and elected officials at Utica City Hall.

The panel included Senator Joseph Griffo, Mayor Robert Palmieri, Chamber of Commerce Chair of Government Affairs and Economic Development Council Pat Becher, Mohawk Valley EDGE Vice President Jennifer Waters and United Way of Mohawk Valley Executive Director Erin Gutierrez Matt.

The Democratic senator is leading the bi-partisan Regener8 Cities tour to focus on listening to the experiences of families, educators, business leaders and officials in eight cities -- Utica, Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse, Yonkers, Rochester, Binghamton and Plattsburgh.

The objective of the tour is to identify new and innovative policy solutions to systemic issues that face families in eight of the largest cities in the state outside of New York City.

“Cities outside of the Big Apple each have unique challenges, but we are united in our desire to grow New York State. The Regener8 Cities Tour is about creating new policy solutions to urban issues that have long gone unaddressed,” said Cooney. Just like there are common issues between the five boroughs, there are shared goals and challenges across the eight largest cities outside of NYC. For the first time in years, the State Senate is creating a bipartisan space for these small and mid-sized city voices, which will result in legislative action in the next session.”

The tour will be followed by a legislative agenda dedicated to poverty relief and economic regeneration.

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