Ideas Challenge 2017

The Way Forward: Embracing a 21st-century economy that works for everyone


The NewDEAL recognizes civic innovations that are making a difference in communities across America.

In the wake of the 2016 elections, it’s clear that many Americans are looking for leaders who directly address the profound anxieties resulting from the new economy. The 2017 Ideas Challenge identifies the policies that best embrace a 21st-century economy that works for everyone at a time when the job market – and the skills valued in it – has changed dramatically.

Whatever one’s opinions of the new president, it’s clear he built his campaign around these anxieties. NewDEAL leaders across the country are developing, fighting for and implementing pro-growth, progressive policies that address these challenges, making good on the promise of states as laboratories of democracy. Together, they are among those best positioned to contribute to an agenda that gives everyone a better chance to thrive in the future and sends a message that the best way forward can’t be found by looking back to the way things were.

Ideas Worth Stealing
The Future of Business

Seth Maganizer Seth Magaziner
General Treasurer of Rhode Island

Idea: Improving access to capital for locally owned companies

To help support local companies, especially minority and women-owned businesses, Rhode Island launched BankLocal, a program which moves state cash deposits to community banks and credit unions as an incentive to increase loans to businesses with 100 or fewer employees.

See it and steal it here


Ideas Worth Stealing
The Future of Workforce

Kate Bolz Kate Bolz
Senator, Lincoln, Nebraska

Idea: Bridging the gap in community college non-credit courses

By providing financial aid for non-credit courses, the Community College Gap Assistance Program helps students attain the skills they need to work in competitive industries and addresses Nebraska’s workforce shortage.

See it and steal it here

Ideas Worth Stealing
The Future of Communities

Christopher Cabaldon Christopher Cabaldon
Mayor, West Sacramento, California

Idea: Bringing the community together to align education with workforce needs

With the support of the city, school district, community college and local nonprofits, Kids’ Home Run provides educational and career opportunities to children ages four to 18 to help boost workforce development activities in West Sacramento.

See it and steal it here

Ideas Worth Stealing
The Future of Government

Michael Hancock Michael Hancock
Mayor, Denver, Colorado

Idea: Infusing an entrepreneurial spirit into government

In an innovative approach to solve some of the city’s most vexing problems, the Governmental Entrepreneurial Leadership Accelerator fellowship offers a new model for public sector professional development, problem solving and collaboration.

See it and steal it here

Ideas Worth Stealing
The Future of Families

Troy Singleton Troy Singleton
Assemblyman, Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Idea: Providing benefits to gig economy employees

To better support all workers and families in the state, Singleton’s proposed legislation builds a system of portable benefits that gives employees in the independent workforce the same basic benefits as those in the traditional workforce.

See it and steal it here

Ideas Worth Stealing
The Future of Rural America

Clarke Tucker Clarke Tucker
Representative, Little Rock, Arkansas

Idea: Investing in early childhood education

By providing every child in the state with 60 books over the first five years of their lives, the Statewide Imagination Library Partnership boosts early childhood education to help individuals reach their full potential.

See it and steal it here

Led by Honorary Co-Chairs Former Governor Jack Markell (of Delaware) and Senator Mark Warner (of Virginia), the NewDEAL boasts a network of 140 pro-growth progressive state and local leaders from across America working to modernize government for the 21st century and ensure all Americans can compete and win in the global economy.  

Learn more about us at