Joins group of the most innovative Democratic state and local officials working to solve America’s most pressing challenges


Washington, D.C. Today, Michigan Senator Kristen McDonald Rivet was selected as one of 22 leaders from across the country to join the NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders), a selective national network of state and local elected officials with Honorary Co-Chairs U.S. Senator Chris Coons and Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland. 

Members of the network have been chosen from more than 1,900 nominations over NewDEAL’s 12 years, and are united by their work to enact pro-growth progressive solutions across their diverse array of communities. 

McDonald Rivet joins the group at a time when state and local leaders are on the frontlines of responding to economic issues around the cost of living and the changing nature of work, as well as challenges caused by climate change, racial inequities, and threats to our democracy. At a moment when unprecedented federal resources are flowing to states, counties, and cities from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and Inflation Reduction Act, NewDEALers are supporting each other in thinking big and sharing model policies and programs, including through in-person and virtual convenings. In one effort, NewDEAL has released an ARPA impact report highlighting some of the innovative ways members of the network have used federal funding to transform their communities. NewDEALers also led a working group that released a Democracy Playbook, featuring actionable steps elected officials across all levels of state and local government can take to strengthen elections. NewDEAL Leaders’ work also has contributed to reports of policy recommendations on education, climate change, broadband, and the future of work. 

NewDEALers’ next major convening will take place at the 2023 Spring Ideas Summit, May 15-16 in Detroit, MI, where about 50 members will join other innovators from the public and private sectors to discuss a forward-looking agenda for state and local Democrats to address the biggest challenges facing our country, including housing, education, climate change, and threats to our democracy.

Serving in her first term, McDonald Rivet was selected to join NewDEAL because of her commitment to improving job and educational opportunities, revitalizing neighborhoods, expanding youth development programs, and tackling institutional inequity issues. McDonald Rivet’s early legislative wins include tax relief for working families, labor rights, and gun safety. Previously, McDonald Rivet served as a City Commissioner for Bay City and provided strategic leadership to two non-profits focused on improving health and economic outcomes in Michigan. 


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. Throughout the organization’s history, more than one in four NewDEAL Leaders has moved to higher office. These leaders include members of Congress, such as Marilyn Strickland in Washington, Brittany Pettersen in Colorado, and Jennifer McClellan in Virginia, Governor Josh Shapiro in Pennsylvania, and new Mayors in cities from San Jose, CA to Stamford, CT.


“In this crucial moment, state and local leaders have transformational levels of federal aid to impact the economic security of so many Michiganders, potentially for decades to come,” said Sen. McDonald Rivet. “I’m excited to share and hear lessons learned from other leaders who excel in effective governance, and I am thrilled to be part of NewDEAL’s efforts expanding opportunities for Americans in every corner of our country.”  

About NewDEAL

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. NewDEAL alumni have included Pete Buttigieg, Stacey Abrams, Jason Kander, Alex Padilla, Ben McAdams, and more.

Today’s announcement brings the total number of NewDEAL members – statewide officials, legislators, mayors, councilmembers, and other local leaders – to 191 leaders from 49 states.

Learn more about McDonald Rivet and the NewDEAL at:

The new class of NewDEAL Leaders includes:

Alaska: Representative Maxine Dibert

Arkansas: Representative Nicole Clowney

Connecticut: Senator Christine Cohen

Georgia: Representative Phil Olaleye

Georgia: Fulton County Commissioner Dana Barrett

Louisiana: Senator Royce Duplessis

Maryland: Delegate Adrian Boafo

Michigan: Senator Kristen McDonald Rivet

Minnesota: Rochester Mayor Kim Norton

New Mexico: Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver

Nevada: Las Vegas Councilmember Brian Knudsen

New York: Assemblymember Alex Bores

Ohio: Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval

Ohio: Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb

Oregon: Representative Daniel Nguyen

Rhode Island: Providence Mayor Brett Smiley

South Carolina: Representative Marvin Pendarvis

Tennessee: Representative Caleb Hemmer

Utah: Senator Stephanie Pitcher

Virginia: Newport News Mayor Phil Jones

Virginia: Delegate Irene Shin

Virginia: Fairfax County Supervisor James Walkinshaw