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

Freedom and Opportunity: In a series of conversations focused on highlighting aspects of the Freedom Agenda, NewDEALers spoke about the importance of making clear that Democrats are the ones supporting Americans’ freedoms in contrast to the extremism and chaos of Republican leadership. Speaking about the new approach of her caucus, Florida House Democratic Leader Fentrice Driskell said, “That’s our tagline: The freedom to be healthy, prosperous and safe. And it works across all levels.”

Democracy and Elections: In discussion with Beth Huang, with Tides’ Healthy Democracy Fund, NewDEAL Leader New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver drove home the necessity of strengthening voting rights and election infrastructure. Secretary Toulouse Oliver discussed her 2023 Idea Challenge winning policy, the New Mexico Voting Rights Act which includes a number of critical provisions to expand ballot access while enhancing ballot integrity. “Having leaders from within communities, working with voters and citizens and people in the community in whatever way is meaningful to them” is crucial, said Toulouse Oliver about empowering more voters.

Equitable Access to a Good Public Education: In a conversation featuring NewDEALer Georgia state Representative Phil Olaleye and Empower Schools CEO Alyssa Morton, they talked about the importance of equitable access to good public education, and how to raise awareness for the cause of creating education opportunities for all. Olaleye, a 2023 Ideas Challenge Winner for his Georgia Educational Opportunity Act, spoke about his ongoing commitment to target resources to help every student succeed. “A student’s zip code and family’s economic situation should never predetermine their success,” added Olaleye.

Making the Most of New Federal Funds: Oregon Representative Janelle Bynum, another 2023 Ideas Challenge winner, spoke about the important role state and local leaders play in maximizing the benefits of major laws signed by President. She won for her policy to leverage federal CHIPS Act funds to build a diverse workforce in the tech and advanced manufacturing sectors. “We’re at a moment where we can redefine what our future looks like and really drive the competitive spirit,” said Bynum.

In an engaging panel on Artificial Intelligence, NewDEAL Leader New York Assemblymember Alex Bores spoke with other experts on the front lines of the issue, about the implications of AI on the role of government. The panelists discussed what state and local policy makers should consider to protect people from potential harms as well as ways to harness it to benefit their lives.

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 […]