Davis, McClinton Named As Outstanding Rising Leaders

Meghan Lukens selected as one of nation’s outstanding rising leaders

Lukens named to NewDEAL network

NewDEAL Selects Fall Class of Nation’s Top State and Local Leaders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     

October 18, 2023

Contact: Jonathon Dworkin, 202-660-1340 x5

NewDEAL Selects Fall Class of Nation’s Top State and Local Leaders 

Diverse set of pro-growth progressive officials join network of innovative, rising Democrats who are spreading effective policies

Washington, D.C. – NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders) has announced a new class of 19 forward-thinking elected officials to join its selective national network of state and local leaders who receive support and promotion in their efforts to develop and spread good policy and govern effectively.

At a moment when influence on issues ranging from climate change to reproductive rights to the strength of our democracy is increasingly shifting to states and localities, and with leaders outside Washington playing key roles in the implementation of major legislation approved during President Biden’s first term, these officials join NewDEALers who are helping each other to think big and share model initiatives, including through in-person and virtual convenings.

See a full list of the new class below.

Today’s announcement brings the total number of NewDEAL members – statewide officials, legislators, mayors, councilmembers, and other local leaders – to 206 leaders from 49 states who are working to enact pro-growth progressive solutions in a diverse array of communities. They have been chosen from among more than 2,000 nominations over the organization’s thirteen years. NewDEAL alumni have included Pete Buttigieg, Josh Shapiro, and Stacey Abrams, along with many members of Congress. More than 20 NewDEALers have risen to higher office since 2020, adding to the more than one in four members who have done so over the organization’s history. NewDEAL’s honorary co-chairs are U.S. Senator Chris Coons (DE) and U.S. Representative Marilyn Strickland (WA-10).

About 60 leaders, including many admitted today, will gather at the organization’s next event in November. At the 13th Annual Leaders Conference, November 15-17 in Washington, DC, they will share solutions for building an America that works better for everyone, while learning from partners in the federal government and the private sector.

“We are in a moment of both unprecedented challenges and incredible opportunities for state and local officials, whose work will have a huge impact on our nation’s ability to fight the impacts of climate change, address racial injustice, adapt to the changing nature of work, and combat threats to the core values of our nation,” said NewDEAL CEO Debbie Cox Bultan. “Amid many headwinds, the public servants who are providing innovative, forward-thinking leadership give us so much reason for hope and they need our support to develop, implement, and share their ideas. Members of the new class of NewDEALers who we welcome today exemplify the thoughtful, results-oriented approach to governing that our nation needs, and we look forward to highlighting and spreading their work across the country.”

Members of the diverse new class of leaders hail from 17 states and were chosen for their unwavering commitment to the equitable expansion of opportunity, as well as a pragmatic approach to governing. Their work aims to move their communities forward in the changing economy and offers solutions that are both practical and on the scale required to address the biggest challenges facing the country. Their leadership includes efforts to expand health care access in Iowa and Illinois, fight for voting rights in Arizona, advocate for working class families in Pennsylvania and Virginia, and improve resources for students in New Mexico.

These leaders’ work will also help build on policy recommendations that NewDEAL Leaders have developed, including aiding in the implementation of recommendations made by NewDEAL’s sister organization, the NewDEAL Forum, through the Democracy Working Group, Education Policy Group, Broadband Policy Group, Climate Solutions Working Group, and Renewing America Task Force.

The new class of NewDEAL Leaders includes:

Alabama: Representative Phillip Ensler

Arizona: Representative Laura Terech

Colorado: Representative Meghan Lukens

Georgia: Representative Tanya Miller

Iowa: Representative Megan Srinivas

Illinois: Representative Bob Morgan

Louisiana: New Orleans School Board Member Ethan Ashley

Minnesota: Representative Zack Stephenson

Nebraska: Lincoln Councilmember Tom Beckius

New Jersey: Assemblymember Raj Mukherji

New Mexico: Albuquerque School Board Member Danielle Gonzales

Oklahoma: Representative Arturo Alonso

Oregon: Representative Ben Bowman

Oregon: Bend School Board Member Carrie Douglass

Pennsylvania: Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis

Pennsylvania: Speaker of the House Joanna McClinton

Texas: Representative Salman Bhojani

Virginia: Senator Aaron Rouse

Wisconsin: Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson

About NewDEAL

The NewDEAL brings together leaders focused on expanding opportunity, helping them develop and spread innovative ideas to spur economic growth that is equitable and sustainable. Most importantly, the organization facilitates the exchange of ideas among its members and connects them with other pro-growth progressive political, policy, and private sector leaders. Learn more about the NewDEAL and its members by visiting http://www.newdealleaders.org/leader.


Americans Want to Serve. Let’s Give Them More Opportunities.

‘We Are the Party of Freedom’: DNC Chair Jaime Harrison Marks 200th Episode of An Honorable Profession Podcast

NewDEAL photo.jpg

For Immediate Release:

DATE:  September 21, 2023

Contact: Jonathon Dworkin (NewDEAL), 202-660-1340 x5, jonathon@newdealleaders.org


‘We Are the Party of Freedom’: DNC Chair Jaime Harrison Marks 200th Episode of An Honorable Profession Podcast

Chair Harrison discusses the importance of state and local elected leaders as we near the crucial 2024 election.

Washington, D.C. – NewDEAL is celebrating the fifth anniversary and 200th episode of its award-winning podcast, An Honorable Profession, with an inspiring conversation between Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison and hosts Debbie Cox Bultan (NewDEAL CEO) and Ryan Coonerty (former Santa Cruz County, CA Supervisor and Santa Cruz, CA Mayor). The episode, released today, features Harrison delving into issues ranging from the importance of local leaders to the untold accomplishments of the Biden Administration and how he first got involved in politics. He talks about the outlook for the 2024 election, how the Biden Administration has beaten the odds, and what the party is doing to defend democracy and combat voter suppression efforts nationwide.

Watch here and use this link to listen wherever you find your podcasts

Harrison emphasizes that the Democratic Party’s communications should not come from Washington but, instead, from local leaders.

“Talk about how Democrats have delivered, and you’ve got so much to say… How we delivered on the environment. How we delivered on education. How we delivered on criminal justice reform. How we delivered on student loans. How we delivered on health care. And then you – on a local level – pick and choose what works for the people you represent and the people that you know,” Harrison said. “You know that already. You need folks on the local level to pick [from] the multitude of things we’ve been able to accomplish across the board.”

“Chair Harrison summed up the message of the Democratic Party beautifully – we are the party of hope, not fear. Heading into 2024, Democrats have such an impressive record of accomplishment to run on,” Bultan said after the interview. “He reminded us that elected officials at all levels can and must spread the message that Democrats have delivered, and are committed to continuing to build a more just, prosperous, and safe America.”

“An Honorable Profession has been an incredible journey over the past five years,” Coonerty said. “We are the preeminent podcast showcasing the incredible future of American political leadership. It’s gratifying on our anniversary that Chair Harrison doubled down on the importance of these leaders for our democracy. I can’t wait for the next 200 episodes.”

An Honorable Profession is a weekly podcast featuring rising Democratic stars and influential thinkers in government and public policy. Past guests include U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), State Senators Mallory McMorrow and Sarah McBride, and more. Like Harrison, many guests tell their origin story of how they first got involved in electoral politics, discuss how to address the biggest issues facing our country, and share what motivates them to continue to fight for a better town, city, state, and nation.

Key Quotes from Chair Harrison’s Interview:

On Democratic Values: “We are the party of freedom. We’re the party that believes, as the Founders said, that all people are created equal. And we believe that to the core of who we are. All people in this country should have the ability to live their American Dream, whatever that dream may be. Regardless of their background. Regardless of their race. Regardless of who they pray to. Regardless of who they love. Regardless of how they identify themselves. They should all have the power to live their American Dream. And when they run up against a barrier or an issue or an obstacle to that, then we as a party utilize all the things we have to eliminate that barrier. That’s who we are, fundamentally, as a party.”

On Democracy: “American democracy as we know it, as we love it, is on the line this election cycle. We can’t be silent. We can’t be complacent.”

On Voter Protection: “We, the Democratic Party, are the party of voting rights for all of America’s people.”

On President Biden’s Accomplishments: “The largest infrastructure bill since Dwight Eisenhower. When you look at the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest investment in fighting back against the climate crisis ever in the history of the world, by any country… For the first time, Medicare is going to be able to negotiate the price of prescription drugs… The millions of people who had student loans forgiven, and how transformative that is going to be.”

On What Keeps Him Going: “The thing that keeps me going is hope. Here in South Carolina, we have a motto, ‘While I breathe, I hope.’ I think it’s a beautiful motto. As a young black man growing up the way I did, all I had at times was hope. Hope that things would be better. Hope that the tough times in the night would go away with the bright opportunities in the morning.”

On Advice to Those Getting Involved in Politics: “Stay focused on how you improve the lives of constituents… It’s not about you coming in to offer solutions, but you going in to [listen].”

An Honorable Profession is available on iTunesGoogle PodcastsSpotifyYouTube, or anywhere podcasts are found.

About NewDEAL

The NewDEAL supports a network of about 200 state and local officials — statewide officials, legislators, mayors, council members, and other local leaders across the country — who are pro-growth progressives. The organization brings together leaders focused on expanding opportunity, helping them develop and spread innovative ideas to spur economic growth that is broadly-earned and sustainable.


NewDEAL Celebrates Voter Registration Month with 3-part Podcast Series