The NewDEAL, an organization seeking out rising progressive elected officials nationwide, is naming Democratic Rep. Christine Hunschofsky of Parkland to its newest class of top leaders.
Hunschofsky joins a short list of just 19 elected officials nationwide in this year’s class. Hunschofsky won House District 96 in 2020 after serving four years as Parkland Mayor.
“We are in a unique moment for state and local leaders as we must find solutions for the urgent challenges created by COVID-19 while not losing focus on longer-term issues that will also affect Florida’s economic security for decades to come,” Hunschofsky said in a Thursday statement on the selection.
“I look forward to sharing lessons with and learning from other leaders who are setting the standard for effective governance, and I am excited to be part of NewDEAL’s efforts to expand opportunities for Americans in communities nationwide.”
Previous members selected to join the NewDEAL network include former Georgia state Rep. Stacey Abrams, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Missouri state Rep. Jason Kander. The organization works “to enact pro-growth progressive solutions in a diverse array of communities,” according to an explanation from the group.
The NewDEAL cited Hunschofsky’s work on climate change, health care and gun reform issues in selecting her to join the network. Hunschofsky served as Parkland Mayor during the 2018 mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, which killed 17 people.
During her 2020 run, she secured support from several groups backing increased gun regulation, including from family members who lost victims in the attack. During the recently concluded Legislative Session, Hunschofsky helped shape this year’s school safety bill, on which she served as a prime co-sponsor.
Hunschofsky succeeded the late Rep. Kristin Jacobs in HD 96 after Jacobs passed away following a cancer battle. During the 2021 Session, Hunschofsky also backed a bill renaming the Southeast Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation Area after Jacobs.
The NewDEAL network now contains 178 elected leaders from 47 different states. Hunschofsky joins a dozen other Florida lawmakers selected by the organization, including Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg, state Rep. Ben Diamond, former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz — who now leads the Florida Democratic Party — and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, among others.