2017 Conference Breakouts


Session 1


What to know about the Universal Basic Income Demonstration Project

West Room, Ballroom Level

Taylor Jo Isenberg, Managing Director of the Economic Security Project; Michael Stynes, CEO, Jain Family Institute; and Mayor Michael Tubbs, Stockton, CA

The nature of and opportunities for work are changing dramatically in the new economy. With jobs being rapidly lost to automation and more workers turning to independent contracting, more leaders around the world are calling for a universal basic income. Some believe UBI that would give people peace of mind and the flexibility to pursue endeavors that would maximize their economic potential. However, many questions remain about how UBI would work and its real-world consequences. NewDEAL Leader Mayor Michael Tubbs is planning a trial of UBI in Stockton, California. He will be joined for this session by Economic Security Project Managing Director of the Economic Security Project and Jain Family Institute CEO Michael Stynes to explore the knowns and unknowns, and the potential pros and cons, of UBI.


Leading on Climate Change and Energy Policy at the State/Local Levels

Woodlawn Room, Ballroom Level

Katherine Hamilton, 38 North Solutions; and Concord, NH Councilmember Rob Werner

In the wake of President Trump's announcement that he would pull the U.S. out of the global Paris Climate Agreement, as well as his efforts to focus more support on a declining coal industry than on cleaner energy technologies that create jobs, it is, more than ever, up to state and local governments to address the devastating impact of climate change and encourage cleaner, cheaper forms of energy. Join Councilmember Rob Werner and 38 North’s Katherine Hamilton for a conversation on opportunities for leaders outside Washington to adapt to climate change and keep their communities safe, while slowing global warming, including by improving the mix of energy resources used in their communities.


Solving the Opioid Addiction Crisis

East Room, Ballroom Level

Dave Humes, Public Policy Coordinator at atTAck addiction; Mayor Miro Weinberger, Burlington, VT and Representative Brittany Pettersen, Lakewood, CO

The opioid addiction epidemic has ravaged families and communities across the country, without any discrimination of who is victimized. This crisis has huge implications for a vast range of public policy, including public health, criminal justice, and education. While the epidemic has received tremendous national attention and promises of action from the White House, the resources available for a national response remains uncertain, increasing the importance of the role of state and local officials in identifying policies to treat and prevent addiction. Join atTAck addiction’s Dave Humes, Burlington, VT Mayor Miro Weinberger and Colorado State Representative Brittany Pettersen for a conversation about how states and cities are taking a comprehensive approach to solve the crisis.


Fixing Redistricting to Ensure Fair Elections

Ashlawn North, Ashlawn Level

Kelly Ward, Executive Director, National Democratic Redistricting Committee; and Senator Jay Chaudhuri, Wake, NC

Major changes to state and federal district lines through partisan, political processes have too often meant that politicians get to choose their voters rather than the other way around. With the next round of line-drawing approaching after the 2020 Census, many states are facing challenges to their maps and the U.S. Supreme Court is deliberating on a case related to Wisconsin’s state district lines that has major implications for how the process will move forward. At this critical moment for the future of political geography, this panel on understanding the current redistricting landscape will be led by Kelly Ward, Executive Director of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, and Senator Jay Chaudhuri, who is working to address an egregious gerrymandered map in North Carolina.


Innovative Funding Solutions to Support Economic Opportunity

Ashlawn South, Ashlawn Level

Will Nelligan, Director of Education Finance, Jain Family Institute; and Mayor Ben McAdams, Salt Lake County, UT

In a fiscally challenging environment, traditional means of funding to solve issues that impact economic opportunity -- from increasing access to high quality education to building affordable housing -- do not always exist, and they often do not have enough accountability to taxpayers.  Will Nelligan, Director of Education Finance at Jain Family Institute, and the Institute are piloting Income-Share Agreements to alleviate the burdens of student debt, and NewDEAL Leader Ben McAdams, Mayor of Salt Lake County, has employed social-impact bonds, through which private investors support public projects and recoup their investment based on the project’s success. Learn more about these initiatives and discuss ways to implement innovative funding policies across the country.


Session 2


Smarter Government to Deliver More

West Room, Ballroom Level

Dan’l Lewin, former Corporate Vice President, Technology and Civic Engagement at Microsoft; and Pittsburgh, PA Councilmember Dan Gilman

As the Wall Street Journal noted earlier this year, big-data technologies are beginning to transform the way cities and metro regions work, and have the potential to solve a host of challenges, like making it easier for residents to find parking places, guiding health inspectors to high-risk restaurants or giving smoke alarms to the households that are most likely to suffer fatal fires. Led by former Microsoft VP for Technology and Civic Engagement Dan’l Lewin and Pittsburgh Councilmember Dan Gilman, whose city has made significant efforts in smart and sustainable initiatives, this session will focus on how digital tools can help governments better deliver key services and empower citizens, and how some leaders are finding ways to harness these tools effectively.  


Criminal Justice Reform: Smarter Policies and Safer Communities

Woodlawn Room, Ballroom Level

Bianca Tylek, Director, Corrections Accountability Project, Urban Justice Center; and Representative Clarke Tucker, Little Rock, AR

A bipartisan movement is developing to change a justice system that has previously focused on longer sentences for more crimes. Rising corrections costs from growing prison populations have burdened state and local governments without proving to make people safer, while communities face the reality that too few ex-offenders leave prison with the ability or opportunity to fully contribute to society. State and local leadership is needed in the face of a Trump Administration pushing for a return to old ways of thinking about crime and punishment. Bianca Tylek, Director of the Correction Accountability Project, along with Arkansas Representative Clarke Tucker, will lead a discussion on ways policymakers can make their justice systems fairer, while improving public safety.


Affordable Housing for All

East Room, Ballroom Level

Sarah Edelman, Director of Housing Policy, Center for American Progress; Mountain View, CA Councilmember Chris Clark; and Montgomery County, MD Councilmember Hans Riemer

Prosperity can only be broadly earned and sustained throughout a community if people of all backgrounds can afford to live in them, yet many workers cannot buy or rent in places where jobs and opportunity exist, while many areas with low-income housing lack economic vitality. This session will provide an opportunity to explore state and local policies that are working  to provide stable housing, combat homelessness, and revitalize neighborhoods. Leading the conversation will be Sarah Edelman, Director of Housing Policy at the Center for American Progress; Mountain View, CA Councilmember Chris Clark; and Montgomery County, MD Councilmember Hans Riemer.


Portable Benefits to Meet Today’s Workforce Demands

Ashlawn North, Ashlawn Level

Vikrum Aiyer, Head of Global Public Policy and Strategic Communications at Postmates; and Al Fitzpayne, Director, Future of Work Initiative, Aspen Institute

Americans today change careers more often, increasingly work as independent contractors, and have access to fewer benefits, like pensions, even when at traditional full-time jobs. Some of the most important and innovative solutions to economic security in this new reality involve making benefits portable, so workers’ health care, retirement savings, and other social safety net benefits move with them between jobs and throughout their careers, but implementation remains a vexing challenge. Join Al Fitzpayne, Director of the Future of Work Initiative at the Aspen Institute, along with Postmates Policy Director Vikrum Aiyer, to discuss the path forward to a safety net that works for the 21st century. 



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