New Class of Nation’s Top State and Local Leaders are Recognized


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                               

May 3, 2023                                                                

Contact: Jonathon Dworkin, 202-660-1340 x5

New Class of Nation’s Top State and Local Leaders are Selected

Diverse set of pro-growth progressive officials join network of innovative, rising Democrats amid increasing impact of policy in the states

Washington, D.C. - NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders) has announced a new class of 22 forward-thinking elected officials to join its selective national network of state and local leaders who receive support in their efforts to develop good policy and govern effectively. 

At a moment when influence on issues ranging climate change to reproductive rights to the strength of our democracy is increasingly shifting to states and localities, and with a continuing influx of federal resources approved during President Biden’s first two years, these officials will join NewDEALers who are helping each other to think big and share model policies and programs, including through in-person and virtual convenings. About 45 leaders will gather at the organization's next event, the Ideas Summit, May 15-16 in Detroit, to share solutions for building a post-COVID America that works better for everyone, while learning from Michigan Democrats’ political and policy successes.

See a full list of the new class below.

Members of the 191-person network cover 49 states and are working to enact pro-growth progressive solutions in a diverse array of communities. They have been chosen from among more than 1,900 nominations over the organization ’s twelve 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).

“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 this thoughtful, results-oriented approach to governing and we look forward to highlighting and spreading their work across the country."   

Members of the diverse new class of leaders hail from 18 states and were chosen for their unwavering commitment to the equitable expansion of opportunity. 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 secure our democratic process in New Mexico, support public schools in Alaska, spur economic revitalization in Cleveland, and fight for affordable, accessible childcare in Michigan.

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

The new class of NewDEAL Leaders includes:

Alaska: Representative Maxine Dibert (Fairbanks)

Arkansas: Representative Nicole Clowney (Fayetteville)

Connecticut: Senator Christine Cohen (Guilford)

Georgia: Representative Phil Olaleye (Atlanta)

Georgia: Commissioner Dana Barrett (Fulton County)

Louisiana: Senator Royce Duplessis (New Orleans)

Maryland: Delegate Adrian Boafo (Bowie)

Michigan: Senator Kristen McDonald Rivet (Bay City)

Minnesota: Mayor Kim Norton (Rochester)

New Mexico: Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver

Nevada: Councilmember Brian Knudsen (Las Vegas)

New York: Assemblymember Alex Bores (New York City)

Ohio: Mayor Aftab Pureval (Cincinnati)

Ohio: Mayor Justin Bibb (Cleveland)

Oregon: Representative Daniel Nguyen (Lake Oswego)

Rhode Island: Mayor Brett Smiley (Providence)

South Carolina: Representative Marvin Pendarvis (Charleston)

Tennessee: Representative Caleb Hemmer (Nashville)

Utah: Senator Stephanie Pitcher (Salt Lake City)

Virginia: Mayor Phil Jones (Newport News)

Virginia: Delegate Irene Shin (Herndon)

Virginia: Supervisor James Walkinshaw (Fairfax County)

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