Rep. Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, photographed at a hearing last year, was recently named to join a national progressive network JOE PHELAN/Kennebec Journal file photo

WASHINGTON — A state representative from Biddeford was recently chosen to join a national network of state and local elected officials promoting a pro-growth, progressive agenda on the local level.

Democratic Representative Ryan Fecteau, who represents part of Biddeford, is serving his third term in the Maine Legislature and is the assistant House majority leader. He was selected as one of 20 leaders from across the country to join the 150-plus person NewDEAL — Developing Exceptional American Leaders. His was one of 1,500 nominations over the network’s seven-year history.

Many of the NewDEAL leaders are local and state elected officials.

“While much of the political world is focused on the balance of power in D.C., we must also remember the tremendous impact that innovative state and local officials have on enacting policies that meet the demands of a changing world and expand opportunity for all,” said Senator Mark Warner, D-Virginia, and former Delaware Governor Jack Markell, honorary co-chairs of NewDEAL, in a written statement.

“Fecteau and his peers in the new class of leaders were recognized for their unwavering commitment to expanding opportunity, as they work to move their communities forward in the new economy and reject the idea that policy makers can or should want to turn the clock back to a prior era,” according to the NewDEAL press release. “These leaders’ work will help build on policy recommendation (of) the NewDEAL … an agenda that addresses the most pressing issues facing Americans in the digital age.”

Warner and Markell said they look forward to promoting Fecteau’s work and giving him the opportunity to learn from other leaders in the network.

Fecteau said he is excited to be chosen to join the NewDEAL, “As we continue to build on our progress in Biddeford, I look forward to sharing the lessons we have learned and hearing from other leaders who are setting the standard for effective governance,” said Fecteau. “

“Since taking office in 2015, Fecteau has been committed to improving the lives of Maine residents by sponsoring legislation to reduce food insecurity, promote economic growth, and establish a coworking development fund for entrepreneurs,” the press release states. “He was selected to join NewDEAL in part because of these legislative initiatives to make Maine a more attractive place to work, live, and raise a family, as well as his focus on improving career and technical education opportunities that are aligned with the business community and create pathways to good jobs for Maine students.” 

New Deal policies focus on skill development and workforce training, modernizing the social safety net, and supporting entrepreneurship, innovation and access to capital.

Some of the policy recommendations mentioned in the recently released report from the NewDEAL Forum Future of Work Policy Group include increasing apprenticeship opportunities, expanding dual-enrollment opportunities, creating universal contribution accounts for retirement, and increasing entrepreneurship by improving access to capital for small businesses.

According to Ballotpedia, just some of the bills sponsored by Fecteau that align with recommendations by the NewDEAL include: LD 1584, An Act to Attract, Build and Retain an Early Childhood Education Workforce through Increased Training, Education and Career Pathways; LD 1410, An Act to Create Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits; and LD 1240, An Act to Provide Career and Technical Training Options for Electricians.

NewDEAL leaders have found broad support for their work, with 100 percent, including Fecteau, winning in re-election races in 2018, across red, blue, and purple states, and more than a dozen were elected to higher office this past fall.

There are 169 NewDEAL members, including statewide officials, legislators, mayors, council members, and other local leaders, from 45 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

— Associate Editor Dina Mendros can be contacted at 780-9014 or [email protected]

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: