In 2020, we confronted the pandemic and made it through together. In 2021, we began setting the stage for recovery.  NewDEAL Leaders are continuing the work  to build a stronger society and economy and address the problems and inequalities laid bare by the pandemic. The Biden-Harris Administration has led the federal government in providing the funds and resources state and local governments need to recover, and NewDEAL Leaders are delivering tangible results for their communities and advancing policy solutions and programs to create a better life for all Americans. The NewDEAL supports their work by highlighting, promoting, and amplifying ideas and best practices, and by working to strengthen the partnerships between federal, state, and local elected leaders.

Check back each week for new policy recommendations, details on work done by NewDEALers, and recordings of events featuring thought leaders, experts, and NewDEALers on the ground.

The American Rescue Plan – Impact in the States

One Year Later
Ongoing Impact Addendum

As we look back on the year and a half since the passage of the American Rescue Plan, take a look at our reports for successes stories from across the country to see how investments from state and local officials from NewDEAL’s network of innovative leaders are not only changing the present, but building lasting change for millions of Americans.

This week’s five stories on Implementing the Recovery in the States

“When it comes to whether this will matter come election day, majorities nationally and in Arizona say that the party they associate with freedom will influence how they vote,” Cox Bultan said. “This underscores the need to make the case for a freedom-framed agenda.” The respondents we surveyed more closely associate Democrats with protecting freedom over Republicans by two points. Respondents were also asked whether groups were working to protect or undermine freedoms important to them; the Democratic Party came out +7 and the Republican Party +3, while the MAGA movement was -10. Sixty-three percent reported that who they associate with freedom will significantly influence how they vote in November. Clear majorities agree that in protecting people’s freedoms, the government should preserve reproductive rights (70%), safeguard marriage equality (65%), improve public safety and reduce crime (88%), address climate change (68%), increase access to quality education (81%), and ensure access to free and fair elections (87%).

You can find Cox Bultan’s presentation here and her op-ed in Arizona’s Copper Courier here.

At the Summit,  NewDEAL Leaders, along with issue-area experts, led plenary discussions about innovative ways to catalyze local climate solutions using federal investments, how to make the most of ongoing opportunities created by the American Rescue Plan Act, improving our education system; the challenges of administering safe and secure elections in the face of physical and digital threats; and the possibilities for effective governing solutions offered by artificial intelligence. Full videos from each day’s plenary sessions can be found here.

Michigan: Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet is a lead sponsor of legislation that, if passed, would ease the financial burden of quality childcare for working families in the state, expand accessibility by investing in licensed childcare providers, and increase wages for instructional and caregiving staff. The Child Care for All plan provides for a Working Parents Tax Credit, updates and modernizes licensing requirements, and streamlines access to child care subsidies, among other provisions.

Representative Arturo Alonso (98th District) has helped lead the opposition to legislation establishing criminal charges against undocumented immigrants caught in the state, including through fines and potential jail time. The proposal exceeds federal penalties for illegal entry and expands the power of police to seize and arrest migrants found to violate the new state law if passed. “The authors of this bill seem not to understand the implications this would have in creating a police state against the interest of Oklahoma citizens,” Rep. Alonso told the press. Alonso believes the GOP-led bill is for political gain in an election year as voters express concern over the lack of cohesive state and federal policies. Pew estimated that there were 85,000 undocumented persons in the state in 2019.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego has secured a $1.2 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration to enhance transportation options within the city. The Transit Oriented Development (TOD) grant will improve public transit access, connect residents to essential destinations without heavy reliance on cars, and advance Gallego’s vision of Phoenix becoming a more transit-oriented and walkable city.  During the Ideas Summit, the Mayor took part in a transportation breakout session to discuss how cities are exploring a variety of transit options like light rail, micro-transit, and, in Phoenix, Waymo’s autonomous vehicles, providing options that are helping reduce congestion, emissions, and pedestrian and vehicle crashes.

Tracking the Recovery database

Explore our new database of ways NewDEALers around the country are using stimulus funds to build back better and speed up the recovery as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Equity Initiative

Hear from NewDEALers on how they’re tackling systemic injustice, and how they’re working to ensure we address discrimination at the core of our institutions in this historic time of disruption.

How to Get and Use Infrastructure Funds for Climate Impact

The NewDEAL, in partnership with Third Way, hosted a virtual forum on February 15, 2022, focusing on how state and local leaders can maximize the impact of federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law on promoting clean energy and other climate solutions. Click below to read takeaways, or watch the recording of the event.

Featured speakers:

  • Elizabeth Noll, Deputy Assistant Secretary for House Affairs, Department of Energy;
  • Aimee Witteman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Energy;
  • Former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu;
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick, Director of the Climate and Energy Program, Third Way;
  • Shalini Vajjhala, Executive Director, San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center;
  • NewDEAL Leader Michigan Senator Mallory McMorrow;
  • Trenton Allen, Managing Director and CEO, Sustainable Capital Advisors;
  • and NewDEAL Leader Norfolk, VA Councilmember Andria McClellan

Improving Access to Affordable Housing

At our housing virtual forum on March 18, 2022, the NewDEAL convened elected officials with experts to discuss how state and local leaders can take meaningful actions on housing solutions to help with affordability in their communities. Click below to read quick takeaways from the event, or to view a recording.

Featured speakers:

  • Richard Cho, Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development;
  • Paraag Sarva, CEO, Rhino;
  • Michela Zonta, Senior Policy Analyst for Housing Policy Center for American Progress;
  • and NewDEAL Leaders:
    • Kansas City, MO Mayor Quinton Lucas;
    • New Hampshire Senator Rebecca Perkins Kwoka;
    • and Massachusetts Representative Andy Vargas.

Other Past Events

Latest Past Events

Build Back Better: Climate Change & Public Health

with speakers Terry Tamminen, former Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency; Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali, Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation; […]

Build Back Better: Fighting COVID through Vaccination

with featured speakers NewDEAL Leaders Long Beach, CA Mayor Robert Garcia and Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson, and contributions from other NewDEAL Leaders from around the country

Build Back Better: What’s in Store in 2021

with speakers Congressman Scott Peters, New Democrat Coalition Vice Chair of Policy; Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read; Shelby County, TN Mayor Lee Harris; Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego; and Zach Butterworth, White […]