thumbnail

Ryan Fecteau, Speaker of the House (Biddeford, ME)

Investing in Affordable Child Care in Maine

NewDEAL Leader Speaker of the Maine House Ryan Fecteau is working to meet the needs of Maine residents struggling to find affordable, quality child care by sponsoring a bill that would require several state agencies to prioritize the training and recruitment of more workers into the childcare profession. Additionally, once COVID-19 relief funds that will be used for a similar purpose are exhausted, the legislation would allocate $4.5 million each year to continue supplementing higher wages, as chronically low wages make worker retention and recruitment difficult. Read more about Rep. Fecteau’s bill here.

thumbnail

Jeremy Gray, Representative (Auburn, AL)

Investing in Innovation in Alabama

Legislation to establish the Alabama Innovation Corporation, sponsored by Alabama Representative Jeremy Gray, passed unanimously in the Senate this week, after having been previously passed by the state House. Gray, a member of the new class of NewDEAL Leaders, has led the effort to launch this new public-private partnership that would support statewide entrepreneurship, rural businesses, research and development, and tech training for workers. The bill now returns to the house for a final vote before heading to the Governor’s desk. Read more about Rep. Gray’s bill here.

thumbnail

Sam Liccardo, Mayor (San Jose, CA)

Resilience Corps for Recovery

NewDEAL Leader San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is leading a coalition of mayors in the creation of resilience corps programs across the nation, with the dual purpose of mobilizing citizens to address pandemic recovery needs and to provide living wage jobs for those participating in the corps. Mayor Liccardo led the coalition in penning letters to Congress and the White House, calling for funding for the Resilience Corps and the Civilian Climate Corps it’s based on. The mayor also announced the creation of his city’s Resilience Corps, which will hire 500 unemployed and underemployed young residents to work on tasks across five specific areas of need in the city. Check out San Jose coverage here and read more on the Resilience Corps from the mayor’s office.

Want to learn how you can join the coalition to support the creation of resilience corps across the nation or implement the idea in your area? Respond to this email or contact a NewDEAL staffer for information on how to get involved.

thumbnail

Ron Nirenberg, Mayor (San Antonio, TX)

Workforce Recovery Program

This week, NewDEAL Leader San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg announced a new partnership with local workforce development agencies to offer jobs training and education to residents of his city who have been most negatively impacted by the pandemic, all at no cost. The program hopes to serve 10,000 residents by this time next year. “The City of San Antonio is committed to helping out our most vulnerable residents recover from the economic effects of the pandemic,” Nirenberg said, “and we can do this best by providing them with training and educational opportunities, so they can get back to work quickly and benefit from a brighter career outlook.” Read the city’s release here.

thumbnail

Mayor Eric Johnson (Dallas, TX)

Mayor Expands Youth Workforce Program to Alleviate Crime

To address an increase in violent crime, NewDEAL Leader Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson announced the Dallas Works Program, aiming to employ over 1,000 high school students at over 75 companies during the summer of 2020. The program will assist lower-income teenagers and aims to respond to the concerns raised by the mayoral task force focused on a recent upward trend in violent crime. Johnson believes the program will make strides in mitigating violence by giving “kids an opportunity to learn professional skills, to contribute to their communities, and to stay out of trouble.” Read more about Mayor Johnson’s efforts to employ Dallas youth here.

Columbus Small Business Growth Initiative

Problem

Many economically disadvantaged neighborhoods are home to entrepreneurs who have the time and energy to help turn their neighborhoods around, but who don’t have access to funding.

Solution

Councilmember Klein convened a group of small business owners, the local Chamber of Commerce, and local non-profits to determine which investments would make the most impact to revitalize disadvantaged neighborhoods and then designed a set of grants and loans to fund streetscape and building improvements, as well as start-up loans to create new jobs.

Bringing TOD and Innovation Business Districts Together

Problem

In order to make Denver a world-class city, Mayor Michael Hancock is striving to evolve the definition of Transit Oriented Development to an idea of developing transit communities that are walkable, livable places that provide citizens with access to most of their daily needs.

Solution

As Denver continues to develop its mass transit system, Mayor Hancock is also looking to leverage the great redevelopment opportunities around station areas, increasing job and business and changing the mix of traditional uses in these development, thus transforming formerly disinvested neighborhoods. By bringing together the ideas of transit oriented development and innovation business districts, Mayor Hancock is working to create an exceptional transit system with great stations that connect to walkable communities.

Community Building Through Public Art

Problem

Salem’s downtown pedestrian mall was in need of a variety of improvements; it was tired, in need of maintenance and repair, was not pedestrian friendly, and had vacant storefronts. Without improvements, the area lacked a strong sense of community and economic activity was hindered.

Solution

Mayor Driscoll is leading the planning stages of a downtown redesign based on feedback from residents who identified public art as a means to create a great public space and enhance the economic development potential of this area. The city is starting a formal public art initiative through development of a master plan for public art, adoption of an Ordinance by Council to establish a Public Art Ordinance, and the hiring of the first Public Art Planner. This is a smart investment for everyone because art and culture add vibrancy to neighborhoods, bring people together, attract tourists to visit and stay longer, and serve as an economic development tool.

Keep Your Money Local

Problem

Cities and counties have millions in reserve and special funds but most of those dollars are invested in large funds run out of state. Local financial institutions know their community and customers better than large banks, and therefore by having access to those funds can more effectively invest in the community.

Solution

County Supervisor Coonerty proposes investing a small percentage of these reserves in local banks and credit unions to keep the money local, creating jobs and more funds for these institutions to lend to citizens to start businesses, purchase cars or improve their homes, all of which help grow the economy.

ROI on Tax Expenditures

Problem

In most states and at the federal level tax expenditures (incentives, dedications, exemptions, loopholes etc.) that have not been recently analyzed and updated are draining resources from government budgets. In NM for example, these tax breaks have cost $1 billion of taxpayer money and have not significantly increased job creation.

Solution

Senator Keller is working to bring transparency and accountability to tax expenditures by requiring annual return on investment (ROI) and jobs created reporting. This information would make it easier for impactful programs to be enhanced and wasteful, redundant and out of date programs to be shifted to areas that are more effectively meeting citizen needs and creating jobs.