NewDEAL, a national group formed to encourage progressive policy at the state and local level, will honor innovative ideas with awards today to six people, including state Rep. Clarke Tucker
of Little Rock.
Tucker is being recognized for his advocacy of the statewide Imagination Library Partnership
. It aims to help early childhood education by providing all children a total of 60 books over the first five years of their lives with one book per month for $1.10 per book. Tucker has led an effort to expand the Dolly Parton-inspired program in Arkansas. Some three dozen counties have joined in the effort by local governments and private supporters to finance the program. HIs legislative effort to bring the state Education Department into the partnership died in committee in 2017.
The award ceremony in Washington will be streamed on New Deal's Facebook page
at 11 a.m. today.
It reminds me that Tucker hasn't yet announced election plans for 2018. I've been expecting him to seek re-election, but I also keep hearing that he hasn't ruled out joining the Democratic race for 2nd District Congress
against Republican incumbent Rep. French HIll. Two Democratic candidates, Paul Spencer
and Gwendolynn Combs,
have already announced.