Mayor Dan Drew recognized as nationally progressive leader

The city’s mayor was recognized as being one of the most pro-growth and progressive public officials in the nation Wednesday by NewDEAL, a network for leaders exemplifying those very same qualities.

Mayor Dan Drew was one of five mayors of the 19 individuals introduced Wednesday into the NewDEAL cohort, and one of two representatives of Connecticut, along with state Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey. Drew and McCarthy Vahey also join Connecticut Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff asthe only three representatives of the Nutmeg State.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the NewDEAL to highlight Middletown’s efforts to build our economy in a way that works for the people and to learn from others so we can apply the best ideas from around the country in our community,” Drew said in a release.

Drew’s biography on the organization’s website credits Drew with closing an $8 million deficit in the city’s economy and upgrading the city’s bond rating. The website also includes his oversight of the city’s police force and enacting a senior relief program as reasons for his induction.

“We believe that in order to address the challenges of the 21st century, we need to look for fresh ideas at the state and local level where leaders are developing and testing innovative solutions to help move our country forward,” said Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, honorary co-chairman for NewDEAL, in a statement.

Source: The Middletown Press

Sen. Eric Lesser recognized by progressive, pro-growth group

By: Shira Schoenberg

A national organization aimed at cultivating “pro-growth progressive” leaders has chosen state Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Longmeadow, as one of its up and coming state officials.

NewDEAL is a 4-year old organization that uses its website to share ideas from local officials around the country. It promotes ideas that are progressive and also focus on growing the economy or making government more efficient.

The organization named as its new honorary co-chairs U.S. Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and Gary Peters, D-Michigan.

It also named 19 up and coming leaders in state and local politics. Lesser was the only one chosen from Massachusetts.

Lesser is a first-term state senator, who previously worked as a White House aide under President Barack Obama.

Other Massachusetts officials recognized by NewDEAL previously include Newton Mayor Setti Warren, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll and Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone.

Source: MassLive

NewDEAL Celebrates Four Years Promoting Pro-Growth Progressive Leaders and Ideas; Honorary Co-Chairs Governor Markell and Senator Warner Announce 19 New NewDEAL Leaders and Honorary Vice Chairs

For Immediate Release:
March 25, 2015

This week, as the NewDEAL celebrates four years of promoting pro-growth progressive leaders and ideas, NewDEAL Honorary Co-Chairs Governor Jack Markell (DE) and U.S. Senator Mark Warner (VA) announced today that nineteen rising elected officials from across the country have been selected as the next group of NewDEAL Leaders and that U.S. Senators Chris Coons (DE) and Gary Peters (MI) have been named as NewDEAL Honorary Vice Chairs.

The NewDEAL is a national network committed to highlighting pro-growth progressive state and local elected leaders from across the country with innovative ideas to build broadly-earned, sustainable economic growth. Since its launch in 2011, the network has grown from 10 leaders, to 140 state and local leaders from 44 states, and launched an interactive ideas portal highlighting dozens of state and local ideas to grow the economy, expand opportunity for all and make government work better.

“NewDEAL Leaders in communities across the country have proven that winning policy solutions can be both pro-growth and progressive. We are proud to highlight these leaders from across the country with innovative ideas to make government more efficient and effective,” said Senator Warner, Honorary Co-Chair of the NewDEAL.

“We believe that in order to address the challenges of the 21st century, we need to look for fresh ideas at the state and local level where leaders are developing and testing innovative solutions to help move our country forward,” said Governor Markell, Honorary Co-Chair of the NewDEAL.

In addition to Senators Coons and Peters, the NewDEAL is recognizing nineteen leaders who hail from diverse regions of the country:

Chicago Alderman Will Burns, Middletown (CT) Mayor Dan Drew, Nevada Senator Aaron Ford, Long Beach (CA) Mayor Robert Garcia, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, California Senator Bob Hertzberg, Massachusetts Senator Eric Lesser, Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner, Connecticut Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey, Maryland Delegate Andrew Platt, Washington Senator Kevin Ranker, Idaho Representative Ilana Rubel, San Antonio City Councilor Rey Saldana, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, North Carolina Senator Josh Stein, Arkansas Representative Clarke Tucker, Virginia Senator Jennifer Wexton, and Tennessee Senator Jeff Yarbro.

The NewDEAL is committed to helping pro-growth progressive leaders share their innovative ideas on its interactive website, www.NewDEALLeaders.org.  The public is encouraged to nominate other state and local elected leaders on the network’s website and stay connected as the NewDEAL highlights more pro-growth progressive ideas.

NewDEAL Announces New Honorary Co-Chairs Governor Markell and Senator Warner

Fostering Strong Pro-Growth Progressive Ideas From the Frontlines of Government

For Immediate Release
March 17, 2015

Today, when proven policy ideas matter more than ever, the NewDEAL announced that Governor Jack Markell of Delaware and U.S. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia have been named as the organization’s two new Honorary Co-Chairs.  Launched in 2011, the NewDEAL is a national network committed to highlighting pro-growth progressive state and local elected leaders from across the country with innovative ideas to build broadly-earned, sustainable economic growth.  Since 2011, the network has grown to include 118 leaders from 41 states.

“Both Governor Markell and Senator Warner have championed pro-growth, progressive ideas in their own states – from Governor Markell’s nationally recognized work on education reform and efforts to create more jobs in Delaware to Senator Warner’s work to improve veteran services and promote private sector innovation and small business growth in Virginia.  Throughout their time in public service, these two leaders have advocated for more efficient and effective government that expands opportunity for more people and helps grow the economy for the future. We are thrilled to have them at the helm of the NewDEAL,” said Debbie Cox Bultan, the NewDEAL’s Executive Director.

“Senator Warner and I joined the NewDEAL because we believe that in order for government to meet the challenges of the 21st century, we need to look for fresh ideas at the state and local level that are expanding opportunity for more people and providing a better future for the next generation,” said Governor Markell. “NewDEAL Leaders are developing and testing great ideas every day in their cities and states around the country, and we look forward to helping promote those ideas that are working to move our country forward.”

“I am excited to join the NewDEAL with Governor Markell to help promote these progressive, thoughtful state and local leaders who are offering promising examples of how we can make government more effective,” said Senator Warner. “NewDEAL Leaders are the results-oriented, innovative thinkers our country needs to break the political gridlock in Washington and return trust in government.”

The NewDEAL is committed to helping pro-growth progressive leaders share their innovative ideas on its interactive website, www.NewDEALLeaders.org, and through its New Ideas Challenge that was launched last year. The public is encouraged to nominate other state and local elected leaders on the network’s website and sign up to stay connected as the NewDEAL highlights more pro-growth progressive ideas.

In addition to Governor Markell and Senator Warner, the NewDEAL is led by Honorary Vice Chairs: Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (NJ), U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, and Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

Roll Call Op-ed: Moving Forward, Ideas Matter

By Gov. Jack Markell and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom

As the dust settles after the midterm elections, it is clear that voters across the country sent a strong message that they have had enough of partisan gridlock and inaction in Washington. And now the hard work begins – turning to the future and to the ideas that will move our nation forward.

It’s often been said that states are the laboratories of democracy. And as state leaders, we know that innovative solutions, big and small, are being put into action every day in cities and states across the country.

Looking ahead, we believe America faces three fundamental challenges: How do we expand opportunity for all Americans? How do we create the economic growth necessary to achieve this? And how do we modernize government so we can rebuild the trust we need to address the challenges of today and tomorrow?

In this partisan environment, it’s easy to throw up your hands and be cynical about government. But the truth is a lot of progress is happening, especially on the state and local level. We’re a part of NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders) — a network of pro-growth progressive mayors, state legislators, county and city officials — and we decided to challenge these leaders to give us their best ideas of what can work. We received more than 60 ideas ranging from improving our schools and investing in infrastructure to reforming taxes and making government more transparent and accountable.

The winners of the “New Ideas Challenge” offer four great examples of innovative, results-oriented policies that can help secure America’s future.

In Salt Lake County, Mayor Ben McAdams is pioneering a new way for government to focus on what works best. Knowing the impact that quality pre-kindergarten programs have, particularly in lower-income communities, McAdams is using Pay for Success Bonds, where private investors pay for the up-front costs of pre-school and get paid back if the programs succeed in saving taxpayers money from fewer at-risk kids using more expensive programs such as special ed. This pay-for-success model gives government the tools to fund an ounce of evidence-based prevention on the front end out of cost savings on the back end—and can be applied to a variety of social services.

Building on work in San Francisco, St. Louis City Treasurer Tishaura Jones’ College Savings Program would provide each child entering a public school kindergarten with a seed account of $50, which families can build on via financial incentives for good grades, attendance and family participation in a financial wellness program. Studies show that kids with savings accounts are more likely to enroll in and graduate from college, so these accounts will benefit not just the child, but all of us.

Through his Town-Square Schools program, Cincinnati City Councilmember P.G. Sittenfeld is transforming school facilities — which too often sit unused — into round-the-clock neighborhood hubs that offer after-school programming, health resources, adult education and recreational opportunities for students, their families and the surrounding community.

And Oregon state Rep. Tobias Read is being recognized for his work with the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange (WCX), a partnership between Oregon, Washington, California and British Columbia to help address their collective infrastructure gap. WCX is working to unlock private investment for public projects, share best practices, partner on smaller projects, and incorporate climate resilience.

These ideas — and many more we received — are promising examples of how to re-imagine government for the 21st century, as we seek to ensure that Americans can compete and win in the changing global economy. And it is exactly this kind of fresh thinking that we hope can be injected into the national debate in the coming months and years. And if so — the real winners will be the American people.

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell is the co-chairman of the New Ideas Challenge. California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is honorary regional chairman of NewDEAL.

Source: Roll Call

Governor Markell Announces Winners of the NewDeal ‘New Ideas Challenge’

 

National Judges Choose Winning Policy Solutions from Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, St. Louis City Treasurer Tishaura Jones, Oregon State Rep Tobias Read, and Cincinnati City Councilmember P.G. Sittenfeld

For Immediate Release
December 3, 2014

Washington, D.C. Today at an awards ceremony in Washington DC, Governor Jack Markell, an honorary chair of the NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders), announced the winners of the group’s New Ideas Challenge. NewDEAL is a national network of pro-growth progressive state and local elected officials working to expand opportunity in the changing economy. The winners — whose policy solutions were chosen out of a competitive field of 60 submissions –are Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, St. Louis City Treasurer Tishaura Jones, Oregon State Rep Tobias Read, and Cincinnati City Councilmember P.G. Sittenfeld.

The first ever New Ideas Challenge gives recognition to smart, pro-growth progressive solutions that are being developed and tested by state and local leaders all across the country. At a time of national gridlock, this network of leaders is offering innovative solutions from the front lines of government. All of the idea submissions are viewable at a new website unveiled today, www.newdealleaders.org.

“Everyday, the pro-growth progressive leaders who are a part of the NewDEAL network are championing ideas to modernize government for the 21st century. These exceptional winners of the New Ideas Challenge have impressed us with innovative solutions to grow the economy and expand opportunity for all. I congratulate these results-oriented state and local leaders not only for the ideas they’re working on locally but also for the ripple effect they’ll create in communities across the country,” said Governor Jack Markell, Honorary Co-Chair of the New Ideas Challenge.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams won in the category of ‘Top Public Private Partnership.’ Knowing the impact that quality pre-kindergarten programs have, particularly in lower-income communities, Mayor McAdams is using Pay for Success Bonds, where private investors pay for the upfront costs of pre-school and get paid back if the programs succeed in saving taxpayers money from fewer at-risk kids using more expensive programs like special ed. This pay for success model gives government the tools to fund an ounce of evidence-based prevention on the front end out of cost savings on the back end—and can be applied to a variety of social services. “At a time of national gridlock, I’m proud that Salt Lake County is showing how—in a bipartisan way— we can solve problems, providing families with a game-changing opportunity for their children. Another important result is that we’re saving taxpayer dollars by partnering with both the private and the nonprofit sectors to fund this innovative initiative,” said Mayor McAdams.

In the category of ‘Expanding Opportunity for All’, St. Louis City Treasurer Tishaura Jones is recognized for her winning College Savings Program which would provide each child entering a public school kindergarten with a seed account of $50 for families to build on via financial incentives for good grades, attendance, and family participation in a financial wellness program. “We are thrilled to be selected as a winner of the NewDEAL New Ideas Challenge for our college savings account plan,” said Treasurer Jones. “Studies show that children with college savings accounts are more likely to enroll in and graduate from college. I am determined to do whatever I can to help the children of St. Louis have access to post secondary education.”

Cincinnati City Councilmember P.G. Sittenfeld won in the ‘Making Government Work Better’ category for his Town-Square Schools program which seeks to transform school facilities–which too often sit un-used–into round-the-clock neighborhood hubs that offer after-school programming, health resources, adult education, and recreational opportunities for students, their families, and the surrounding community. “Being part of NewDEAL has exposed me to some of the sharpest policy minds and most talented leaders from around the country, motivating me to elevate my own ideas for making government work and growing our economy,” Councilman Sittenfeld said. “It’s a genuine honor to win NewDEAL’s ‘New Ideas Challenge’, and further proof that pro-growth progressives are the right kind of leaders to get our country moving again.”

Oregon State Representative Tobias Read won in the category of ‘Growing the Economy for the Future.’ He is being recognized for his work with the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange (WCX), a partnership between Oregon, Washington, California, and British Columbia to help address their collective infrastructure gap. WCX is working to unlock private investment for public projects, share best practices, partner on smaller projects, and incorporate climate resilience. “There is no challenge so large that it can’t be tackled through innovation, collaboration, and investment,” said Representative Read. “That’s exactly what the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange and the New Ideas Challenge are all about. Infrastructure fuels our economy now and in the future, but every region in the country is struggling to finance necessary projects. I’m proud to join Governor Kitzhaber, Treasurer Wheeler and the other leaders of the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange in recognizing that by seeking innovative approaches and the involvement of the private sector in public infrastructure, we can stretch taxpayer dollars further and deliver better projects.”

“As a Governor and former Mayor, I know that the best ideas about moving our country forward often come from innovators on the front lines of state and local governments. I’m thrilled by the New Ideas Challenge and know it will stimulate the kind of fresh thinking we need. I’m impressed by these finalists, and am excited to see their ideas put into action,” said Governor O’Malley, Honorary NewDEAL Co-Chair.

These winners were chosen out of sixty submissions by an esteemed panel of judges who are thought leaders in the policy arena: Diana Carew, Senior Economist, Progressive Policy Institute; Former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz; Suzanne Nora Johnson, Vice Chair, Brookings Institution; Jim Kessler, Vice President, Third Way; Sonal Shah, Executive Director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation; and Andy Stern, former President Emeritus of SEIU.

More info about the NewDEAL can be found at www.newdealleaders.org.

The Daily Northwestern: State Sen. Daniel Biss honored for retirement savings solution

 

By Paige Leskin

State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) was selected last week as a finalist in an innovative policy contest for his plan to provide more Illinois workers with retirement savings.

Developing Exceptional American Leaders, known as NewDEAL, named Biss as one of the finalists Wednesday in the New Ideas Challenge.

“Daniel Biss has impressed us with his innovative solution to grow the economy and expand opportunity for all,” Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, honorary co-chair of the New Ideas Challenge, said in a news release. “I congratulate him and the other results-oriented state and local leaders, not only for the ideas they’re working on locally but also for the ripple effect they’ll create in communities across the country.”

Biss, a member of NewDEAL, a national network of progressive politicians, was chosen for his policy solution called the Secure Choice Savings Program.

The solution is a response to Illinois employers who scale back on retirement benefits and Illinois employees who struggle to save money, Biss’ spokeswoman Katharine Eastvold said.

“Particularly low-wage workers, they’re living paycheck to paycheck,” Eastvold said. “They’re spending everything they make, they don’t know about various savings instruments, they are not financially literate … We’re going to have a crisis where people are coming to retirement age and they don’t have anything saved.”

Instead of workers having to opt into a retirement plan and learn about various financial services, such as Individual Retirement Arrangements and 401(k) accounts, Biss’ plan automatically creates a retirement account for each worker. Three percent of an employee’s income would be deducted and put into the account for retirement savings, unless employees decide to change it themselves.

The program puts no burden on the employee or employer, making it a win-win policy, Eastvold said. The program is designed to increase the number of workers that are saving for retirement, thus allowing older people to be able to leave the workforce and make room for younger employees that are entering it, she said.

The Senate approved Biss’ program in April. Although there is a possibility the bill will be passed during the state House of Representatives’ executive session before the governor’s inauguration in January, the program will likely be introduced as a new bill in the next session, Eastvold said.

The award does not come with a monetary prize, but with recognition and publicity that could help Biss to push his bill through the General Assembly, Eastvold said.

“(He’ll) be able to go to his colleagues and say, ‘Hey, this isn’t just something I came up with on the back of a napkin, this is something that’s a nationally recognized policy idea, something that could really be important for the future of Illinois,’” Eastvold said.

Source: The Daily Northwestern

Michigan Live: Flint Mayor named finalist in national challenge for plan to transform Chevy in the Hole

By Amanda Emery

FLINT, MI — Flint Mayor Dayne Walling has been named a finalist in a national challenge for his policy solution for Chevy in the Hole.

Two of the honorary chairs of the NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders) Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Delaware Governor Jack Markell announced on Wednesday, Nov. 19, the finalists of the group’s New Ideas Challenge.

Mayor Dayne Walling was chosen from a competitive field as a finalist for his policy solution, Chevy Commons, a green remediation plan for the Chevy in the Hole brownfield along the Flint River, according to a news release from the City of Flint.

Walling’s plan would convert the former industrial site into an open community space with grassland, wetland, woodland and other natural environmental features that will attract resident and visitors for recreational activities while simultaneously cleaning the soil over time, according to the release.

“It is an honor for our work in Flint at the new Chevy Commons site to be recognized by a forward-looking national network,” Walling said in a statement. “I want to give credit to our team and partners, who are all working hard to transform Flint and this project is a great example of our creative and inclusive approach.”

Walling was chosen as one of 16 finalists out of a total of 60 applicants. A winner in each of four categories — growing the economy for the future, expanding opportunity for all, making government work better, and best public private partnership — will be announced on Dec. 3, in Washington, D.C., according to the release.

The city partnered with the Genesee County Land Bank who provided needed assistance on the Chevy Commons project.

“The Genesee County Land Bank has worked with Mayor Walling and his team on the Chevy Commons project for several years,” said Doug Weilland, Executive Director of the Genesee County Land Bank in a statement. “We are proud of the fact that after many years there is now a plan in place to return this Brownfield property to productive use as green space and trail-ways for the enjoyment of the community. Its strategic location between Kettering University and downtown Flint makes this project even more important.”

Walling is a member of the NewDEAL, which is a network of pro-growth progressive state and local elected officials who are working to expand opportunity in the changing economy, according to the release.

The Chevy Commons project is funded by a $1.6 million grant front the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the first phase of renovations – which will involve dumping dirt over the concrete and installing a parking area, walking paths and shrubs in about a third of the space.

A second grant of $1.9 million was awarded to the Genesee County Land Bank in September for the Chevy Commons for the second phase of plans for transforming the former General Motors property to a massive public park with walking paths.

Phase two of the work involves the development of a Genesee Valley Trail extension through the site, including building connections to regional trail systems, enhancing Flint River views, improving access to the river for fishing and creating “flexible spaces for community use.”

Source: Michigan Live

Portland Business Journal: Contracting jobs plan could bring honors to Beaverton lawmaker

By Andy Giegerich

An Oregon lawmaker is in line for a hefty honor as the state looks to boost infrastructure efforts among the West Coast states and British Columbia.

Rep. Tobias Read, a Beaverton Democrat, was named as a finalist in the NewDEAL“New Ideas Challenge.” Read’s leading the charge to develop the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange, which aims to add more jobs in contracting realms, among other sectors.

NewDEAL looks to nurture“smart, pro-growth progressive solutions” that can be rolled out across the country.

The West Cost Infrastructure Exchange seeks to attract private investments for public projects, as well as bundle smaller projects and share best practices while taking climate change matters into account.

The region faces a $1 trillion infrastructure financing gap over the next 30 years.

“Because of Tobias’s work in the legislature on ideas like the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange, Oregon is on track to address our region’s infrastructure needs – creating family wage jobs and investing in Oregon’s future,” said John Mohlis, executive secretary of the Oregon Building and Construction Trades Council, in a release.

“This project is serving as a model to the rest of the country, as every other state in the nation is facing significant infrastructure challenges. Already, this innovative idea is being copied in other parts of the country.”

Source: Portland Business Journal

Utah Policy: Salt Lake County Names Finalist in “New Ideas Challenge”

Mayor Ben McAdams is one of 16 national finalists selected for coming up with an innovative policy solution in local government.

The ‘New Ideas Challenge 2014’ is a competition sponsored by The New DEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders) network—a group of pro-growth leaders serving in elected office around the U.S.

The finalists were announced by two of the honorary chairs of the NewDEAL—Governor Jack Markell of Delaware and Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland.

Mayor McAdams is a member of the NewDEAL—a national network of pro-growth state and local elected officials working to expand opportunity in the changing economy. He is a finalist in the “Best Public-Private Partnership” category for the county’s pay for success pilot program that helped expand access to voluntary, high-quality preschool for 600 economically-disadvantaged children in the Granite School District’s public preschool program. Salt Lake County partnered with Voices for Utah Children, United Way of Salt Lake and Goldman Sachs on the pay for success project.

“At a time of national gridlock, I’m proud that Salt Lake County is showing how—in a bipartisan way—we can solve problems, providing families with an opportunity to pursue a bright future for their children.  Another important result is that we’re saving taxpayer dollars by partnering with both the private and the nonprofit sectors to fund this innovative initiative,” said Mayor McAdams.

More information about the pay for success approach is available here.

Mayor McAdams was chosen as one of 16 finalists out of a total of 60 applicants by an esteemed panel of judges who are thought leaders in the policy arena. A winner in each of four categories—growing the economy for the future, expanding opportunity for all, making government work better, and best public private partnership—will be announced on December 3rd in Washington, D.C.

“As a Governor and former Mayor, I know that the best ideas about moving our country forward often come from innovators on the front lines of state and local governments.  I’m thrilled by the New DEAL ‘New Ideas Challenge’ and know it will stimulate the kind of fresh thinking we need,” said Governor O’Malley, Honorary NewDEAL Co-Chair.

Source: Utah Policy