An Honorable Profession: Liz Brown is Offering Hope for the Future of Politics

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For Immediate Release:                                                   

September 27, 2018                                                             

Contact: Jonathon Dworkin (NewDEAL), 202-660-1340 x5,

An Honorable Profession: Elizabeth Brown Featured in Episode #2 of podcast offering hope for future of politics

Washington, D.C. - Amidst an increasingly toxic political environment, the NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders) has launched a podcast to showcase inspiring stories and positive outlooks on governing among rising leaders outside Washington.

Hosted by County Supervisor, former Mayor, and author Ryan Coonerty (Santa Cruz, CA), the second episode of An Honorable Profession, features Columbus Councilmember Elizabeth Brown, a champion of paid family leave, women’s health care, and immigrants’ rights. The podcast was founded to counter the rampant cynicism and policy failures that have dominated people’s perception of politics today by elevating voices of optimistic, dedicated and innovative leaders like Brown.

Listeners can subscribe to An Honorable Profession on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, or Stitcher, The first episode featured Jason Kander, the former Missouri Secretary of State, founder of Let America Vote, and candidate for mayor of Kansas City.

In this edition, Brown talks about her first run for office, a fast-paced 85 day race that started 70 days before her first child was due, as well as her work on a breakthrough paid family leave policy for city workers and her response to the Trump Administration's hardline immigration stance. While acknowledging that it can be easy to lose hope in today’s political environment, she discusses why she remains passionate about public service.

“The great thing about serving in office and why I encourage anyone with an inkling to do it to take a shot and run is that really at it’s baseline it’s about constituent services and understanding real people,” said Brown, who was elected in November of 2015 to the Columbus City Council and is executive director of the Ohio Women’s Public Policy Network. “No law is just words on a paper in black and white. It’s always about the people who are affected on the other end of that.”

An understanding of the people affected by public policy was clear in Brown’s successful effort to establish a legal defense fund to provide services to immigrants and their families.

“After Trump took office and changed the enforcement priorities for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, we heard a lot of stories of fear from immigrant families,” said Brown. “Immigration isn’t quote unquote a local issue. Those rules are written at the federal level and enforced at the federal level, but it became incumbent on us to think about the impact [of] immigrants and refugees on Columbus… [Immigration cases are] one of the few legal proceeding where you can be jailed, behind bars, see a judge, get sentenced, and never have a lawyer – technically have access to a lawyer but there’s no guarantee you get one.”

Brown also speaks candidly about obstacles facing women interested in running for office, including as a new mom serving on City Council, and her future in public service.

About NewDEAL

Co-chaired by U.S. Senator Mark Warner (VA) and former Delaware Governor Jack Markell, the NewDEAL is a network of 158 pro-growth progressive state and local officeholders in 46 states, and was founded to support innovative, rising leaders in developing and spreading policies that spur economic growth that is broadly-earned and sustainable. In addition to facilitating the exchange of ideas among its members along with other political, policy, and private sector leaders, NewDEAL promotes a pro-growth progressive policy agenda to address the nation's biggest issues. NewDEAL Leaders have found broad support for their work, with 98 percent of members winning elections in 2016 and 2017, across red, blue, and purple states, including ten elected to higher office. Four members were elevated to statewide office, including in the swing states of Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

About Ryan Coonerty

Elected to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors in 2014, Ryan is a two-time former Mayor of the City of Santa Cruz. He is also an entrepreneur, author, and educator. He is the cofounder of NextSpace Coworking + Innovation (now owned by Pacific Workplaces), a lecturer on law and government at UC Santa Cruz, and co-author of The Rise of the Naked Economy – How to Benefit from the Changing Workplace (Macmillan, 2013) and wrote Etched in Stone – Enduring Words from our National Monuments (National Geographic, 2007). Ryan was selected by the Aspen Institute to be a Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership as one of "the nation’s most promising young elected officials," a "Community Hero" by the Red Cross of Santa Cruz County and “Advocate of the Year” by the United Way of Santa Cruz County.


Jonathon Dworkin

Director of Policy and Communications | The NewDEAL
202.660.1340 ext. 5 | @newDEALleaders
for a podcast that will restore your faith in government