Governors O’Malley and Markell Announce Finalists

News Category: News Posts

For Immediate Release
November 19, 2014

Today, two of the honorary chairs of NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders), Governor Martin O’Malley and Governor Jack Markell, announced the finalists 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 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.

“Everyday, the pro-growth progressive leaders who are a part of the NewDEAL network are championing ideas to modernize government for the 21st century.  The finalists 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.

Sixteen finalists were chosen out of sixty applicants 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.  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 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.

The finalists in each category are listed below, and descriptions of their ideas are both attached and at this link:

Expanding Opportunity for All

Illinois Senator Daniel Biss, Secure Choice Retirement Savings Programs

Salem (MA) Mayor Kim Driscoll, Middle School Expanded Learning Time

Maryland Senator Bill Ferguson, Race to the Tots

St. Louis City Treasurer Tishaura Jones, College Savings Program

Growing the Economy for the Future

New York Assemblymember David Buchwald, Innovation Vouchers

New Mexico Auditor-elect Tim Keller, ROI on Tax Expenditures

Oregon Representative Tobias Read, West Coast Infrastructure Exchange

Montgomery County (MD) County Councilmember Hans Riemer, Gigabit Speed Networks

Making Government  Work Better

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, Chattanooga Open Data

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Peak Performance

Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, Town-Square Schools

Burlington (VT) Mayor Miro Weinberger, Public Investment Option Fund

Most Innovative Public-Private Partnerships

Cook County (IL) Commissioner Bridget Gainer, Cook County Land Grant

Texas Representative Eric Johnson, Investing for Re-entry Not Recidivism

Salt Lake County (UT) Mayor Ben McAdams, Pay for Success

Flint (MI) Mayor Dayne Walling, Recycling Brownfields