Kristin Murphy, Deseret News 
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams talks about phase two of Operation Rio Grande, which will focus on treatment and services, during a press conference at Odyssey House in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. McAdams’ initiative to reduce and prevent homelessness is a finalist in the 2017 New Ideas Challenge — a competition among state and local policymakers to propose the best ideas for expanding opportunity and improving government.

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams’ initiative to reduce and prevent homelessness is a finalist in the 2017 New Ideas Challenge — a competition among state and local policymakers to propose the best ideas for expanding opportunity and improving government.

This year’s challenge, now in its third year, seeks to identify effective ways to address anxieties resulting from a new economy that has left many Americans behind.

The challenge is open to the 155 members of the NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders), an organization led by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, and former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell to support pro-growth progressive elected officials through the exchange of ideas and engagement with other top public, private and nonprofit sector officials.

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The competition’s six categories cover ideas that provide better access to high-quality education and training; spur innovation and entrepreneurship; strengthen communities; adapt government programs and services to meet the evolving needs of citizens; improve access to safety net and other programs that are critical for supporting healthy and secure families; and address challenges that have become particularly acute in rural communities.

The six winners of the New Ideas Challenge will be announced on Nov. 16, at the seventh annual NewDEAL Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C.