Elected to Rancho Cordova's first City Council upon its formation in 2002, Cooley was re-elected in 2004 and 2008. He also served as mayor in 2005 and again in 2010 when his city was recognized as an All-America City.
Rancho Cordova's incorporation helped turn the community around. It allowed the city to focus on reducing crime and creating local jobs after the 1996 closure of Mather Air Force Base. Ten years of cityhood have established a vibrant community. Since 2003, an estimated 10,000 new jobs have been added. One million square feet of new commercial buildings have been built.
Cooley’s commitment to fiscal conservatism, refined over an 18-year private sector career, helped Rancho Cordova to thrive despite the economic recession. While fiscal strength is difficult for all levels of government today, Cooley is proud that Rancho Cordova received a two-level credit rating increase in 2009, despite the recession, a rating that was recently re-affirmed.
Under Cooley’s leadership, Rancho Cordova has grown into Sacramento County's number two jobs center; the well-managed government and its steady reinvestment in community assets have been key factors in bringing new businesses to the city. By 2010, during his second term as Mayor, employment at the former Mather Air Force base exceeded the levels it had when the base closed.
In the Assembly, Cooley will focus on the same areas that were important during his career at the local level: job creation, public safety, and government transparency.
Assemblymember Cooley and his wife of 36 years, Sydney, have been residents of Rancho Cordova since 1977. Their two sons are married and live with their families in Rancho Cordova.