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Building Back In The "After" Times

The 2021 Ideas Challenge recognizes innovative public policy that positively impacts local communities and the NewDEAL leaders who championed them.

New Deal Ideas Challenge 2021
The Ideas Challenge is a biannual competition that identifies and recognizes public leaders who promote innovative and sustainable solutions to the complex issues affecting our economic well-being, overall quality of life and the ability of government to work effectively to meet communities’ needs.

The winners, already a part of the NewDEAL network of over 165 state and local government officials, get their ideas added to an agenda NewDEAL promotes as examples for the country to follow.

NewDEAL Leaders are advancing thoughtful and innovative solutions to the challenges facing their communities. Explore a selection of their exciting policy solutions on a range of topics, including winning and finalist ideas from our past Ideas Challenge policy competitions. The organization is pleased to recognize the winners and finalists across five categories in its 2021 competition.

  1. Responding to immediate post-pandemic needs & building a stronger safety net
  2. Rebuilding jobs and the economy
  3. Expanding access to education and building college & career pathways
  4. Securing our communities and our planet
  5. Healing our democracy and rebuilding community

Responding to immediate post-pandemic needs & building a stronger safety net

Representative Nima Kulkarni

Project Taillight: Keeping Columbus Safe One Vehicle at a Time
  • City Attorney Zach Klein (Columbus, OH)

CommUNITY Response Teams
  • County Commissioner Josh Maxwell (Chester County, PA)

Dignified Retirement For All
  • Representative Quentin Phipps (Middletown, CT)

Rebuilding jobs and the economy

Senator Chris Hansen

Jump-starting rural businesses and economies
  • Representative Dylan Roberts (Eagle, CO)

Community Care Sites
  • County Commission Chair Natalia Macker (Teton, WY)

Establishing a Public Bank in the City of Philadelphia
  • Councilmember Derek Green (Philadelphia, PA)

Maryland Access to Capital Program
  • Delegate Brooke Lierman (Baltimore, MD)

Expanding access to education and building college & career pathways

Senator Will Haskell

Teachers Rooted in Oakland -- increasing recruitment and retention of teachers of color by addressing the cost of housing/cost of living
  • Mayor Libby Schaaf (Oakland, CA)

Oakland80 -- Oakland County's Education Attainment Goal
  • County Executive David Coulter (Oakland County, MI)

Save up with BottleDrop
  • Treasurer Tobias Read (Oregon)

Securing our communities and our planet

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird


Revolving Loan Fund for Communities Threatened by Climate-Fueled Disasters
  • Senator Ben Allen (Los Angeles, CA)

Michigan Green Government Fund and Standards Act
  • Representative Mari Manoogian (Birmingham, AL)

Protecting Our Natural Resources through Agricultural and Environmental Alliances
  • Senator Loranne Ausley (Tallahassee, FL)

Healing our democracy and rebuilding community

County Councilmember Will Jawando


Enhancing Access to the At-Home Ballot Box
  • Speaker of the House Ryan Fecteau (Biddeford, ME)

Equal Access to Justice for Victims and Witnesses of Violent Crimes and Human Trafficking
  • Representative Tram Nguyen (Andover, MA)

Civics Education - Middle School through College
  • Senator Troy Singleton (Moorestown, NJ)

Expanding access to the ballot box
  • Speaker of the Assembly Jason Frierson (Las Vegas, NV)

The NewDEAL is a national network of rising state and local elected leaders who are pro-growth progressives. Our mission is to bring together leaders focused on expanding opportunity and to help them develop and spread innovative ideas to spur economic growth that is broadly-earned and sustainable. We do this by connecting the NewDEAL Leaders with each other to exchange ideas, and connecting them with other pro-growth progressive political, policy, and private sector leaders.

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