An Honorable Profession restores faith in government, brings conversations beyond policy to The Democracy Group

Jessie Nguyen
Marketing and Communication Specialist
June 17, 2024
·
5
min read

With a growing network of podcasts and organizations that create educational content about democracy, civic engagement and civil discourse, we welcome the newest addition to The Democracy Group: An Honorable Profession. An award-winning podcast by the NewDEAL, An Honorable Profession features rising stars in politics and some of the most influential thinkers in government and public policy.

To officially welcome this amazing podcast to our network, we caught up with host Debbie Cox Bultan about An Honorable Profession's backstory and how it elevates the voices of leaders working to strengthen democracy.

Q: Tell me about yourself and An Honorable Profession.

Debbie: I am the chief executive officer of the NewDEAL Leaders. We are a national network of state and local elected officials around the country who are chosen because they are particularly innovative, thoughtful and results-oriented. We help them govern where they help the people in their communities but also work with them as they're rising up the ranks of public service.

Our podcast An Honorable Profession is a nod to Robert F. Kennedy's mention that politics and government is an honorable profession. We’ve been doing this for five years and just over 200 episodes. It started as my co-host Ryan Coonerty’s idea. He is a former mayor of Santa Cruz, former supervisor of Santa Cruz County and a NewDEAL Leader. He had been coming to our conferences and our convenings for quite some time where he got inspiration and hope from all the people he was hearing from around the country and thought that it was different than what he was hearing on the news, in the media about all the things that were going wrong and how politicians were in it for themselves.

Q: As we’re gearing up for election season, is there anything that An Honorable Profession is doing differently heading into November? Are there any goals that you and the team set out to achieve for this particularly special year?

Debbie: We've been doing a lot on our podcast heading into the election starting late last year. We did a whole series around Voter Registration Month, talking to local and state officials who are in charge of elections about what they're doing to gear up a year out. More recently, we've had a whole messaging series, named the “Road to November” series, where we focus on the elections and helping people understand and make sense of all the polling and all of the different things we're hearing about, how the election is going and what people and voters care about, both with strategists and thought leaders but also with elected officials on the ground in swing states. That's been a really exciting series to both participate in and listen to.

We continue to talk to people about what everyone should be thinking about, worried about and hopeful about heading into the election. The episode with Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon is a good example of that. The NewDEAL has also done a lot of work recently around things like AI and elections and what that might look like. So those are topics that we try to also bring up on our podcast as well.

Q: Looking back, would you say where the podcast is aligns with what you and the team had in mind when it first started?

Debbie: It really does! I think at a very high level, it's about elevating elected officials’ who are exceptional leaders who people should get to know and who are trying to contribute to a conversation that's more about solving problems and giving people hope. We've done a really good job on that front. Of course, having done it for five years now, there have been a lot of changes from when it started out. It was a biweekly podcast and we've gone in recent years to weekly so that's just a lot more episodes. We have recently gone to video, which is a huge change for us, and hopefully will allow us to reach more people. And it continues to evolve.

I think that the core of our vision for it, that we would be able to share and introduce an audience to these really exceptional elected officials and to restore some faith in government, has been something we've been true to.

Read the full version of Meet The Hosts: An Honorable Profession here.

An Honorable Profession: Secretary of State Steve Simon Wants High Turnout and Low Drama this November

If you're not sure where to start, I suggest this host-selected conversation with Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon and his vision for a "high turnout, low drama" this election season. Simon touched on Minnesota's consistent history of high voter turnout, restoring trust in leadership and his journey to public service.

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This is Jessie Nguyen, The Democracy Group's Community Manager. Here are some of my favorite podcasts this week, check them out!

The Great Battlefield: Organizing for education with the founders of the School Board Project

The School Board Project founders came together to support school board candidates and protect students’ right to express their gender and sexuality safely in the school environment by building school and district policies. Host Nathaniel Pearlman talks with the co-founders about their journey, motivation to create and rally behind the School Board Project and their accomplishments since August 2023.

Future Hindsight: When Government Works: Debbie Cox Bultan

A cross-over episode where one host from The Democracy Group interviews another? We love to see it!

Host Mila Atmos talks with Debbie from An Honorable Profession about good governance at the state and local level, policies that help the government deliver good governance and how public officials can find common ground.

The Politics Guys: Hunter Biden Verdict, Supreme Court on Mifepristone and Bump Stocks

This episode is a very timely discussion of Hunter Biden's verdict after he was found guilty on three charges in a federal gun trial among other current events. Both hosts Mike Baranowski and May Mailman have different opinions which makes for an even more interesting conversation. Give this one a listen!

FEATURED EXPERTS

Talkin' Politics and Religion Without Killin' Each Other: Hagar Chemali on OH MY WORLD, weekly world news - quick and dirty!

Hagar Chemali is an American political satirist, writer and host/creator of Oh My World!, an award-winning weekly world news show that delivers geopolitics and political satire tailored for Gen Z and young millennials. Chemali is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. She writes and commentates on foreign policy and national security, and Chemali's work have been featured in The Washington Post, MSNBC, CNN, BBC and Bloomberg.

Politics In Question: Matt Glassman on What is the right way to do politics?

Matt Glassman is a senior fellow at the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University. He has taught courses on and off the Hill on American government, congressional process, congressional-presidential relations, and congressional leadership. He also served as professional staff on the Legislative Branch Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. Glassman received his doctorate in political science from Yale University.

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Subscribe to receive a biweekly collection of the hottest podcast episodes from the network, upcoming special events, expert features, and news from your favorite shows.

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Jessie Nguyen
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