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All Day Summit to Spotlight Rising Democrats

May 24, 2021 by TWN Staff

WASHINGTON – The 2021 NewDEAL Ideas Summit, which kicks off Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., will feature an interview with Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., along with discussions among some of the most innovative state and local elected Democrats from across the country.

Speakers during the virtual day-long event will address priorities for using an influx of federal funds to build back better, reflect on the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, and dig into policy solutions for many of the country’s most pressing challenges.

Coons, who was recently announced as a new co-chair of NewDEAL, will participate in a keynote interview about the Biden administration’s record thus far, the state of our democracy, and the outlook from Washington for the coming months. 

The opening plenary session will also include remarks from NewDEAL’s other co-chairs, Rep. Marilyn Strickland, D-Wash., as well as Columbia, S.C. Mayor Steve Benjamin, who will lead a discussion about ideas for using the hundreds of billions of dollars allocated to state and local governments through the American Rescue Plan that the president signed into law in March.

In addition, there will be pre-recorded remarks from Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

Conversations about the pandemic recovery will continue at breakout sessions, which will cover long-running inequities exacerbated by the pandemic in education, health care, and entrepreneurship. 

Later in the day, a panel addressing the state of police reform and systemic racism will include remarks from new St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, who this year became the first African-American woman elected to her position. 

The Summit brings together more than 50 members of the NewDEAL’s network of the most talented state and local leaders from across the country who are pro-growth progressives. They are joined by partners from the non-profit and private sectors for panels and breakout discussions.

The full schedule for the event is as follows:

Opening Plenary Session 

11:30 a.m. – Opening Remarks from Rep. Strickland and taped remarks from Secretary Raimondo.

11:45 a.m. – Building Back Better: Priorities for the economic recovery and using state and local funds from the American Rescue Plan, featuring Mayor Steve Benjamin, Columbia, S.C.; Lt. Gov. Molly Gray of Vermont; Sen. Ben Allen, Los Angeles, Calif., and Mayor Ron Nirenberg San Antonio, Texas.

12:15 p.m. – Keynote Interview with Sen. Coons, with Steve Clemons, political and foreign policy commentator and editor at large, at the Hill.

Breakout Sessions

1:30 p.m. – Breakout sessions will focus on long-running inequities exacerbated by the pandemic and solutions for ensuring that we come out of this crisis with an economy that works better for everyone.

Topics include:

Education: Addressing unfinished learning and pursuing long-term equity, featuring Ian Rosenblum, acting assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Education; Denise Forte, interim CEO at Education Trust; Phillip Lovell, associate executive director at the Alliance for Excellent Education; Sen. Elena Parent, Atlanta, Ga.; and Mayor Steven Reed Montgomery, Ala.

Health Care: The widespread lessons of COVID-19 and how to build a more equitable system, featuring David Kendall, senior fellow for Health and Fiscal Policy at Third Way; County Executive Matt Meyer, New Castle County, Del.; and Rep. Nima Kulkarni, Louisville, Ky.

Small Business and Entrepreneurship: Access to relief, capital, and other key resources for entrepreneurs of all backgrounds, featuring Philip Gaskin, VP of Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation; Jake Soberal, co-founder and CEO of Bitwise Industries; Jeremy Hartman, VP of Venture Forward at GoDaddy; Jessica Milano, Southern Opportunity and Resilience Fund; Xiomara Peña, VP of Engagement at Small Business Majority; Mayor Lauren McLean, Boise, Idaho; and Rep. Jeremy Gray, Auburn, Ala.

Closing Plenary Session 

3:00 p.m. – A Year After George Floyd: A discussion of police reform and the state of the fight against system racism with Mayor Tishaura Jones, St. Louis, Mo., Rep. Jordan Harris, Philadelphia, Pa., and County Councilmember Will Jawando, Montgomery County, Md.

3:40 p.m. – A Conversation on the Political Landscape after 2020 with Doug Sosnik, senior advisor at the Brunswick Group and long-time advisor to top Democratic officials, including President Bill Clinton

The NewDEAL, is a network of 180 pro-growth progressive state and local officeholders in 47 states, and was founded to support innovative leaders in developing and spreading policies that spur economic growth that is broadly-earned and sustainable.

The organization facilitates policy development and the exchange of ideas among its members, and connects them with other pro-growth progressive political, policy, and private sector leaders.

To RSVP for any parts of the event, click here.

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