Washington, D.C. – Today, Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins was chosen as one of 20 leaders from across the country to join the NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders), a selective national network of the most talented, forward-looking state and local elected officials with Honorary Co-Chairs U.S. Senator Chris Coons, Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland, and Columbia, SC Mayor Steve Benjamin.
Chosen from more than 1650 nominations over NewDEAL’s decade-long history, members of the nearly 200-person network are working to enact pro-growth progressive solutions in a diverse array of communities. Perkins joins the group at a time when state and local leaders are on the frontlines of responding to the pandemic and as they take on a critical role in implementing the American Rescue Plan Act, signed in March by President Biden, which is sending hundreds of billions of dollars to state and local governments.
NewDEALers are supporting each other in addressing the many challenges created and exacerbated by COVID-19 by innovating, convening virtually, and sharing good ideas. The NewDEAL is tracking how states, counties, and cities spend their pandemic recovery funds and is helping provide leaders with ideas for building back better from this crisis.
Perkins and his peers in the new class of leaders (listed below) were recognized for their unwavering commitment to expanding opportunity as they work to build back better in their communities and reject the idea that policymakers can or should want to turn the clock back to a prior era. These leaders’ work will build on policy recommendations that NewDEAL Leaders help develop, including the release of reports on education and climate change, as well as recommendations from the NewDEAL Forum Renewing American Task Force, which has published guidance to address affordable housing, child care, entrepreneurship, mass transit, and the social safety net. In addition, the NewDEAL Forum Broadband Task Force provides the opportunity for NewDEAL members to promote solutions to close the digital divide.
NewDEAL Leaders have found broad support for their work across red, blue, and purple states and cities, with more than 20 rising to higher office in the past few years. These leaders include members of Congress, such as Marilyn Strickland in Washington, Greg Stanton in Arizona, and Jennifer Wexton in Virginia, as well as new Mayors in cities from Dallas and Phoenix to Boise, Kansas City and Montgomery, AL. Additional leaders are on the ballot for higher offices in 2022, including ten running for Governor, U.S. Senate, and Congress.
“We are in a unique moment for state and local leaders as we must find solutions for the urgent challenges created by COVID-19 while not losing focus on longer-term issues that will continue to affect the economic security of Shreveport and other communities for decades to come,” said Perkins. “It is time for bold policies and investments in our communities, including our infrastructure, and to transcend politics to solve the biggest challenges affecting our residents. I look forward to sharing lessons with and learning from other leaders who are setting the standard for effective governance, and I am excited to be part of NewDEAL’s efforts to expand opportunities for Americans in communities nationwide.”
Perkins was selected to join NewDEAL because of his commitment to public service and his innovative approach to improving the quality of life in Shreveport, including during the pandemic. One of his key innovations in response to the pandemic has introduced geolocational COVID tracking to gather information to direct the usage of COVID relief funding, targeting those most impacted by the pandemic. Perkins has also begun working with the Step Forward Foundation alongside Brother Keepers to target the many issues male children of color face while living in poverty within the city. Having already established the growing Future Leaders of Shreveport Summer Internship Program, Perkins aims to lower youth violence, improve job accessibility, and raise the quality of education to better prepare a future generation for success.
NewDEALers will gather later this month at one of the organization’s signature events, the annual Leaders Conference, which will take place November 17-19 in Washington, D.C. About 50 NewDEAL Leaders will join other innovators from the public and private sectors to discuss a forward-looking agenda for state and local Democrats and address simultaneous crises around public health, the economy, racial equity, climate change, and our democracy.
The NewDEAL brings together leaders focused on expanding opportunity, helping them develop and spread innovative ideas to spur economic growth that is broadly earned 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.
Today’s announcement brings the total number of NewDEAL members – statewide officials, legislators, mayors, council members, and other local leaders – to 198 leaders from 48 states.
Learn more about Perkins and the NewDEAL at http://www.newdealleaders.org/
The new class of NewDEAL Leaders includes:
- Alaska: Senator Scott Kawasaki, Fairbanks
- Arizona: State Representative Lorenzo Sierra, Avondale
- California: Councilmember Raul Campillo, San Diego
- California: Councilmember Matt Mahan, San Jose
- Delaware: State Representative Krista Griffith, Greenville/Hockessin
- Florida: State Representative Fentrice Driskell, Hillsborough County
- Hawaii: State Representative Patrick Branco, Kailua
- Indiana: State Representative Robin Shackleford, Marion County
- Kansas: Councilmember Logan Heley, Overland Park
- Louisiana: Mayor Adrian Perkins, Shreveport
- Maryland: Senator Sarah Elfreth, Annapolis
- Massachusetts: State Representative Andy Vargas, Haverhill
- Maine: State Representative Kristen Cloutier, Lewiston
- Michigan: Senator Mallory McMorrow, Oakland County
- Minnesota: Mayor Ben Schierer, Fergus Falls
- North Carolina: Senator Sydney Batch, Raleigh
- New Hampshire: Mayor Joyce Craig, Manchester
- Nevada: Assemblymember Sandra Jauregui, Las Vegas Valley
- Nevada: Commissioner Michael Naft, Clark County
- New York: Assemblymember Nily Rozic, Queens