Restore your faith in government with An Honorable Profession. Every Thursday, co-hosts Ryan Coonerty and Debbie Cox Bultan sit down with rising state and local Democrats, policy experts, and the nation’s top political minds for empowering and candid conversations about life in public service and government. Together with their guests – which include members of the Biden Administration, state legislators nationwide, and mayors from America’s top cities – Ryan and Debbie discuss the biggest issues facing Americans today and the decisive role that state and local leaders play in catalyzing progressive, pragmatic solutions.
An Honorable Profession is produced by the NewDEAL. For more AHP and NewDEAL content, visit https://newdealleaders.org/ and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.
Treasurer Zach Conine Invests in Nevadans
This week features our second episode recorded live at NewDEAL’s 13th Annual Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. Host Ryan Coonerty speaks with Nevada Treasurer Zach Conine about his innovative efforts to give more kids access to high quality education, including through his work around college savings, alternative education pathways, a robust scholarship database, and cross-agency collaborations that make financial aid awards more accessible to low-income first-generation students. They talk about what it was like to have the COVID-19 pandemic hit early in his term, when he influenced banks to offer forbearance to Nevadans, preventing small businesses from closing and allowing families to pay their mortgages and rent. Conine also reflects on the 2022 midterm elections in his state and shares his advice for the Democratic Party in 2024. Tune in to learn about Conine’s path from the private sector to public service, which started with a conversation with the late U.S. Senator Harry Reid.
(01:09) Meet Nevada State Treasurer Zach Conine
(01:40) Why Treasurer is an important but underrated job
(02:56) How Treasurer Conine decides which projects to invest in and how COVID changed the job
(05:22) Dealing with financial impacts of COVID-19 in early 2020 and why the shutdown was a payroll question for Nevada
(08:21) Offering forbearance to Nevadans during the pandemic
(12:04) Treasurer Conine’s transition from the privates sector to the government
(14:27) Why he sees serving in public office as a way to give back to the state
(15:11) How the late U.S. Senator Harry Reid convinced Conine to run for office
(17:02) Treasurer Conine’s exciting initiatives to help Nevadans save for college and pursue technical vocations
(20:53) How his career in gaming positioned him to follow through on big ideas and stay accountable to taxpayers
(23:54) Conine reflects on the 2022 midterm elections in Nevada
(26:12) The need to meet voters where they are and leave no race uncontested as we head into 2024
(27:14) How Democrats around the country can support electoral efforts in Nevada
(28:42) Treasurer Conine’s path forward for his remaining three years in office
(31:10) Conine’s dogs Democracy and Keno
(33:26) Treasurer Conine on why An Honorable Profession is a must-listen podcast
Representative Janelle Bynum on Closing the Gap between Talent and Opportunity
Recorded live at NewDEAL's 13th Annual Leaders Conference in Washington, this week's episode features Oregon Representative and 2023 Ideas Challenge winner Janelle Bynum. Bynum, a 2024 congressional candidate, joins host Ryan Coonerty to talk about her decision to move to Oregon after September 11th and how her experience as a small business owner inspired her to run for office. She discusses her bill leveraging federal CHIPS funding to build a diverse workforce for the future, as well as how she works to bridge the gap between talent and opportunity, her ability to champion bipartisan bills and her commitment to providing a safe space for student-athletes. Tune in to learn about Bynum’s decision to run for Congress and how she is “passing opportunity onward.”
ICYMI: DNC Chair Jaime Harrison on 2024 and the Party's Future
Happy Thanksgiving! While our team is out of the office this week, we want to take this opportunity to revisit our September 2023 conversation with Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison. In this special episode, celebrating 5 years and 200 episodes of An Honorable Profession, hosts NewDEAL CEO Debbie Cox Bultan and Ryan Coonerty talk to Chair Jaime Harrison about his remarkable journey into politics and his vision for growing the Democratic Party. They discuss the outlook for and importance of the 2024 election, including the role of state and local leaders in showing how Democrats can deliver tangible results, how the Biden-Harris Administration has beaten the odds, and what the party is doing to defend democracy and combat voter suppression efforts nationwide. Tune in to learn more about why Harrison is hopeful for the future and his advice to young people looking to pursue a career in public service and elected office.
Third Way's Matt Bennett on the Dangers of A Third Party Candidate
In this week's episode, NewDEAL CEO Debbie Cox Bultan speaks with Matt Bennett, the co-founder and Executive Vice President of Public Affairs at Third Way, a center-left think tank in Washington D.C. and a great partner of the NewDEAL. They talk about what we should take from last Tuesday's election results in states like Kentucky and Virginia, the recent New York Times polling on the 2024 presidential race, and the threat that third-party presidential candidates -- particularly via No Labels' efforts -- pose to our democracy. They also talk about Matt's path into public service, his involvement in an iconic political moment, and Third Way's efforts to champion winning ideas and uplift the center-left. Tune in to hear Matt's tips on what we should do as we head into 2024.
[01:10] Introducing Matt Bennett and his work at Third Way.
[02:35] The historic tendency for the public to vote democratic when the stakes are at their highest.
[03:38] Political context for this conversation including the week of the New York Times poll.
[04:24] Understanding that we are at the referendum stage of politics.
[05:25] The tendency for voters to use polls to complain.
[06:22] An overview of the No Labels decision to put forward a third-party representative.
[10:26] What it means to be a ‘dark money’ group and how No Labels occupies this space.
[13:17] Why No Labels has added gold to the Electoral Map.
[17:55] Predictions on who the candidate might be and why it won’t be Joe Manchin.
[20:38] A timeline for the announcement of this candidate: 2024 at the latest.
[26:00] The possibility that Trump will no longer be a nominee.
[28:11] Matt’s journey to working in politics today.
[30:40] Dukakis in a Tank and Matt’s involvement in the activation.
[33:06] Third Way and its work in problem-solving politics.
[35:47] Advice for the politically active as we move into a new year.
Olivia Julianna on How Democrats Can Win Young Voters
In this week’s episode, hosts NewDEAL CEO Debbie Cox Bultan and Ryan Coonerty speak with political strategist and influencer Olivia Julianna. As a seventeen-year-old living in a conservative Texas household, Olivia started posting her political opinions online and received national attention for her direct and practical perspective on top policy issues. As her followers grew, so did the haters, including Congressman Matt Gaetz, whose disparaging attacks on her at a 2022 conservative summit motivated Olivia to leverage the limelight to raise $2 million for reproductive rights. Since then, her following has continued to grow, and now she is being asked to guide the White House and state and local leaders on how to connect with young voters. Olivia, Ryan, and Debbie also talk about the disconnect between online and real life, and why Olivia wants Democrats to use simple rhetoric to communicate with voters. Olivia also helps us unpack concerns around voter suppression ahead of the 2024 election, advises young people on how to get more involved in their local politics, and directs Democrats on how to rally voters. Tune in to learn more from this engaging conversation and why Olivia believes Texas will be a blue state by 2030.
[01:05] A warm welcome to political activist Olivia Julianna, as she describes what led her to politics.
[02:40] The challenges she’s faced in becoming an influential political voice.
[10:07] What motivated her to persevere despite death threats and negative criticism.
[12:38] The disconnect between what’s online and what’s happening in the real world.
[15:33] How Olivia goes about raising the alarm on economic empowerment.
[20:35] Keep it simple, stupid: How elected officials should speak to their constituents on key issues.
[23:03] Why Olivia believes that Texas will inevitably become an all-blue state.
[27:20] Her concerns about voter suppression ahead of the upcoming elections.
[30:25] Her advice to young people who want to get more involved in the politics of their area.
[33:28] A message to Democrats on how to rally voters for 2024.
[36:30] Why you will not find Olivia running for federal office in Washington D.C.
Representative Phil Olaleye on Georgia's Next Generation of Leadership
In this week’s episode, NewDEAL CEO and host Debbie Cox Bultan talks with Georgia Representative Phil Olaleye, whose district includes parts of Atlanta and the city of East Point. Olaleye is a passionate education advocate, who also serves as the Executive Director of Next Gen Men & Women, a nonprofit that creates pathways of opportunity for under-resourced students to graduate prepared for college and career. He describes his path to public service, starting with his upbringing as the son of working-class immigrants, his experience in the PeaceCorps, and what it takes to break down barriers for Georgia students living in poverty. The conversation also touches on the bipartisan effort to defeat a private school vouchers bill in the state legislature, as well as the recent court ruling to require the redrawing of Republican-authored congressional and legislative maps that have diluted Black power in Georgia for generations. Tune in to learn why Rep. Olaleye is a dynamic, rising leader you need to keep your eye on.
IN THIS EPISODE
[02:00] Meet Georgia Representative Phil Olaleye.
[02:57] His introduction to public service and the learning curves he has experienced along the way.
[04:45] How his upbringing ignited his passion for public service.
[06:33] The non-profit, Next Gen Men and Women, where Olaleye serves as the Executive Director.
[09:24] What justice means to him and the Discovery Trips hosted by Next Gen Men and Women.
[14:42] Why representation is so important to move things along within the Georgia legislature.
[15:14] Re-writing the unconstitutional maps in Georgia to restore voting rights for Black voters.
[26:00] Georgia’s failed Private Schools Voucher Bill.
[27:24] The role of education in the future of our society, particularly in Georgia.
[31:40] The first bill Rep. Olaleye sponsored: The Georgia Educational Opportunity Act.
[33:25] Why investing in children is the easiest and most important ROI.
[37:30] How working in public service has pushed Olaleye to build an inquiring mind and sacrifice for others.
[39:42] The story of how he fell in love with the work that he continues to do today.
[40:53] His hopeful perspective for the future.
This is how our democracy really works! These leaders are on the frontlines of public service. Their insights and observations are exactly what we need to be sharing to make government work.
Want to hear what local, county and state political leaders are doing around the country to fix problems that help the middle class? Listen here and find out. “An Honorable Profession” will help restore your faith in our democracy.
Just what I need to hear to stay inspired in our country. Thank you