2018 Conference Breakout Sessions

Policy Breakout Session 1 - Thursday, 10:30 - 11:30 AM


Innovations in health care access and affordability (East Room, Ballroom Level)

The Affordable Care Act has given many more Americans access to health insurance; however cost and quality remain significant challenges. State and local leaders have opportunities to build on the promises of the ACA, including by supporting the full range of innovations that technology makes available to provider and patients. Led by Novartis’ Rob Kowalski, Krista Drobac from Alliance for Connected Care, and NewDEAL Leader Delaware Representative Bryon Short, participants in this session will explore the outlook for digital medicine to improve quality of care and drive down costs, while also discussing the a range of policy options for leaders outside Washington to overcome challenges with the federal government gridlocked on this issue.

Urban Mobility (Ashlawn South, Ashlawn Level)

With millennials driving greater demand for thriving urban living environments, cities are increasingly faced with challenges in how to allow residents, workers, and visitors to get around efficiently. Communities have tried to become more walkable and bikeable while modernizing public transit and experimenting with other means of transportation, including car and scooter sharing programs. Join Dan Gilman, Chief of Staff for Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, and NewDEAL Leader St. Petersburg, FL Mayor Rick Kriseman to discuss innovation in urban mobility.

Future of Work: Removing Barriers to Entrepreneurship (West Room, Ballroom Level)

The NewDEAL Future of Work Policy Group, in partnership with policy experts from premiere think tanks, has developed recommendations for state and local leaders to address challenges created by the changing economy. This session will address policy options to remove barriers to employment and entrepreneurship, including the expansion of broadband access and reforms to occupational licensing, which is too often used as an anti-competitive tool that protects existing industry participants rather than promoting public well-being. Join Institute for Justice’s Justin Pearson, Small Business Majority’s John Arensmeyer, and NewDEAL Leader Colorado Senator Kerry Donovan to talk about how to address these and other barriers.

Investing in Distressed Communities (Ashlawn North, Ashlawn Level)

Economic opportunity for millions of Americans continues to be limited by a dramatic disconnect between prosperous areas concentrated in a limited number of mostly-coastal cities and struggling communities across wide swaths of the nation. Nearly 80% of venture capital investments in 2015 were made in just four metropolitan areas, with depressingly small sums invested in minority-owned businesses, while two third of counties have seen their number of businesses fall in the past decade. This session will explore ways to boost investment and economic activity in areas detached from the growing national economy, including through the new Opportunity Zones program designed to attract investment to these areas. The discussion will be led by Dan Carol, the Senior Advisor on Infrastructure & Energy to the California Governor, John Lettieri from the Economic Innovation Group, and NewDEAL Leader Boise City Council President Lauren McLean.

Policy Breakout Session 2 - Thursday, 2:00 - 3:00 PM


Expanding Affordable Housing (Ashlawn North, Ashlawn Level)

Governing Magazine reports that the United States’ housing market is at its least affordable in a decade, with many workers unable to buy or rent in places where jobs and opportunity exist. At the same time, housing vacancy rates have soared in struggling communities, representing the best predictor of an area's overall well-being according to a new analysis from the Economic Innovation Group. WIth states taking radically different approaches to address housing challenges, join Beck Research’s Debbie Beck, Leslie Pollner from Mayors & CEOs for US Housing Investment, and NewDEAL Leader Mountain View, CA Councilmember Chris Clark to discuss the most promising policy options.

Future of Work: Creating Career Pathways (East Room, Ballroom Level)

The NewDEAL Future of Work Policy Group, in partnership with policy experts from premiere think tanks, has developed a playbook for state and local leaders to address challenges created by the changing economy. This implementation workshop, based on the group’s recommendations, will address how to create an effective career pathways program through which schools partner with higher education and business to ensure students leave school prepared to pursue jobs in growing industries. Join CMS Energy’s Roger Curtis, Jobs for the Future’s Kyle Hartung and Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran to discuss the best ways to improve workforce education and training in your communities.

Future of Work: The Modern Safety Net (West Room, Ballroom Level)

The NewDEAL Future of Work Policy Group, in partnership with policy experts from premiere think tanks, has developed a playbook for state and local leaders to address challenges created by the changing economy. This implementation workshop, based on the group’s recommendations, will address policy options to provide benefits to workers, including independent contractors, in an era when traditional employer-provided benefits are working for fewer people. The discussion, led by Katherine Gallagher Robbins from the Center for American Progress and NewDEAL Leader Massachusetts Senator Eric Lesser, will include a focus on instituting paid family leave policies that are needed by today’s families and ensure women can compete for jobs on a level playing field.

Criminal Justice Reform (Ashlawn South, Ashlawn Level)

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. Betsy Pearl from the Center for American Progress joins NewDEAL Leaders Shelby County, TN Mayor Lee Harris and Douglas County, KS District Attorney Charles Branson for a discussion on ways policymakers can make their justice systems fairer, while improving public safety.

Breakout Session: Restoring Democracy - Friday, 10:45 - 11:45 AM


Ranked Choice Voting (East Room, Ballroom Level)

Many candidates in elections today have the opportunity to win while facing majority opposition -- whether because of a large field of candidates in a primary or credible third party challengers in a general election. One innovative solution in the national spotlight is ranked-choice voting, which, this month, decided a Congressional race in Maine. Advocates believe that, by asking voters to rank their choices, results will better reflects the will of a majority and more fairly represent the full spectrum of voters. In this session, Grace Ramsey of Fair Vote and NewDEAL Leader Delegate Brooke Lierman (Baltimore, MD) will explain the details of the ranked-choice system and lead a discussion on the challenges that it seeks to address.

Election Security (Ashlawn North, Ashlawn Level)

A functioning democracy requires that citizens have faith in the electoral process. That faith is under assault in an era of cybersecurity threats that could extend to voting machines and attacks from foreign adversaries -- notably Russia -- to influence American campaigns online. Despite this challenge to one of the fundamental pillars of our democracy and the known attempts to undermine our elections, the technology upon which our voting systems rely remains vulnerable and the Trump Administration, with their allies in Congress, as well as many states, have not responded to the scale of the problem. Join NewDEAL Leader Scott Holcomb, a Georgia Representative who is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, to discuss ways for states to safeguard their elections.

Battling Bots: Winning in a New Information Landscape (West Room, Ballroom Level)

Please join us for a breakout session looking at what elected officials and policy leaders can do to counter the poisoning of our political discourse here and around the world by malicious actors, bots and disinformation. Joining us will be Simon Rosenberg, President of NDN, who as a consultant led the DCCC’s efforts to counter disinformation efforts this past cycle, and Amb. Karen Kornbluh, Senior Fellow and Director, Technology Policy Program at the German Marshall Fund.


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