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

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                             

October 12, 2022                          

Contact: Jonathon Dworkin, 202-660-1340 x5

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

Diverse set of pro-growth progressive officials join organization of innovative, rising Democrats on frontlines of dealing with America’s biggest challenges

Washington, D.C. - NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders) has selected a new class of 16 forward-thinking elected officials to join its selective national network of elected officials and receive support in their efforts to develop good policy and govern effectively. These leaders join the group at a time when the importance of state and local leadership has been made clearer than ever, with reports about November's election underscoring their roles in protecting our democracy from increasing threats, implementing federal legislation on infrastructure and climate change, and responding to court decisions that leave abortion and other issues up to states. (See a full list of the new class below.)

Members of the 209-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 1,800 nominations over the organization ’s twelve years, and NewDEAL alumni have included Pete Buttigieg, Stacey Abrams, and Jason Kander, along with many members of Congress. The organization’s honorary co-chairs are U.S. Senator Chris Coons (DE), U.S. Representative Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), and former Mayor Steve Benjamin (Columbia, SC).

At a moment when unprecedented federal resources are flowing to states, counties, and cities from the American Rescue Plan, bipartisan infrastructure law, and Inflation Reduction Act, NewDEALers are also supporting each other in thinking big and sharing model policies and programs, including through in-person and virtual convenings.

“We are in a moment of both huge challenges and incredible opportunities for state and local officials, who continue to play vital roles in fighting the impacts of climate change, racial injustice, the changing nature of work, and threats to the core values of our nation,” said NewDEAL CEO Debbie Cox Bultan. “Amid these 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 a 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 13 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 rejects the idea that policymakers can or should want to turn the clock back to a prior era. These elected officials are fighting for solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing their communities and our nation, combating child poverty in North Carolina, using a holistic approach to reduce violent crime in Milwaukee, and preparing for a green energy future in Michigan.

These leaders’ work will 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 Renewing America Task Force, Education Policy Group, Broadband Policy Group, and Climate Solutions Working Group.

The new class of NewDEAL Leaders includes:

Alabama: Talladega Mayor Timothy Ragland

California: Senator Josh Becker

California: La Mesa Councilmember Colin Parent

California: Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen

Connecticut: Representative Kate Farrar

Indiana: Representative Blake Johnson

Iowa: Cedar Rapids Councilmember Ashley Vanorny

Maryland: Representative Jazz Lewis

Michigan: Representative Ranjeev Puri

North Carolina: Representative Brandon Lofton

New Hampshire: Representative Matt Wilhelm

New York: New York City Councilmember Nantasha Williams

Oregon: Representative Janelle Bynum

Texas: Travis County Judge Andy Brown

Texas: San Antonio District Judge Monique Diaz

Wisconsin: Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson

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