Canton mayor selected as ‘Outstanding Rising Leaders’
Canton Mayor Zeb Smathers was selected as one of 19 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, Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland, and Columbia, S.C., Mayor Steve Benjamin.
Smathers joins the group at a time when state and local leaders are on the frontlines of responding to the pandemic and as they take on a critical role in implementing the American Rescue Plan recently signed by President Biden. Smathers, his local team, and his peers in the new class of leaders were recognized for their unwavering commitment to expanding opportunity as they work to build back better in their communities and reject the idea that policymakers can or should want to turn the clock back to a prior era.
These leaders’ work will build on policy recommendations that NewDEAL Leaders help develop, including the release of reports on education and climate change, as well as recommendations from the NewDEAL Forum Renewing American Task Force, which has provided guidance for state and local leaders to address affordable housing, childcare, broadband access, entrepreneurship, mass transit and the social safety net.
“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 North Carolina’s economic security for decades to come,” said Smathers. “I look forward to sharing lessons with and learning from other leaders who are setting the standard for effective governance. I am excited and humbled to be part of NewDEAL’s efforts to expand opportunities for Americans in communities nationwide.”
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Well-deserved honor. Mayor Smathers could be a future President of the U.S. His eloquence and his understanding of issues in and also beyond Canton are exceptional.