Five Borough Future — Arena

Jun 5, 2019

Five Borough Future

Announcing Five Borough Future, a vision of self-determination and policy progress for NYC.

Ravi Gupta

It's time to begin the new era of politics in New York City.

This month, we launched Five Borough Future (5BF), an Arena project. Through 5BF, Arena will recruit, train, and support the next generation of New York City leaders. We’re kickstarting the initiative with a six-month fellowship, a policy platform, and a NYC-based Arena Academy.

Here’s why. Nine million New York City residents find themselves at the mercy of one of the most corrupt state governments in the country, a hostile White House, and local politicians captured by machine politics, special interests, and their own ambitions for the next job. As a result, our city suffers. Our schools remain hopelessly segregated, our neighborhoods are increasingly unaffordable, and our transportation system is falling apart.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Over the next few years, we have the opportunity to elect leaders commensurate with the talent and ambition of this city, leaders who can make New York City a place where the most vulnerable among us can flourish.    

Our vision for NYC

Our vision is guided by two gateway principles: New York City autonomy and government reform.

New York City Autonomy

The New York State legislature holds ever-increasing power over the city’s future. New York City has been stripped of many of the regulatory, taxation, or enforcement powers that other major U.S. cities take for granted. We’ve lost control over decisions affecting everything from the core functions of our transit and public housing systems to more pedestrian concerns like whether we have speed cameras on our streets or plastic bags in our grocery stores. We must fight to restore as much of that power to the city as possible.

Government Reform

New York needs an energetic and ethical government at all levels. That includes key reforms to make state and city government more transparent—as well as changes to our campaign finance and voting systems to lower the barriers to entry for elected office. Beyond that, we need a competent and focused mayor and city council who will put in the time and effort to ensure that our city government delivers results for the people of New York.

Our plan to make it happen

Our plan consists of three parts: Fellowship, Academy, and Policy.

Part 1: Fellowship

We are launching a Five Borough Future Fellowship for New York City’s emerging civic leaders. This six-month program will bring together activists, non-profit leaders, and aspiring political candidates from all five boroughs. Applications are now open for New Yorkers. Learn more and apply here.  

Part 2: Academy

Arena PAC will hold a condensed Arena Academy in New York for aspiring candidates and campaign staff from August 23rd to 25th. The Academy, Arena’s third, will equip attendees with the skills, knowledge, and tools they need to build winning campaigns and movements. Applications are now open: Apply now.

Part 3: Platform

We kept hearing from 2018 campaigns that they needed more help developing policies free of the influence of interest groups and political machines. This is our answer to that demand. The Five Borough Future platform is our articulation of policies most likely to improve the lives of New Yorkers. Our main audience for this platform is candidates from New York City who plan to run for state legislature in 2020 and New York City Council and Mayor in 2021, but concerned citizens of every stripe may find this helpful. Read more here.  

NYC is a role model for every other city in the country. If bold, progressive policies are enacted in New York City, it will change how cities across the country are managed and sustained. 

We welcome everyone to participate by:

  1. Reading our policies, which can inform urban spaces across the country;
  2. Applying for the 5BF Fellowship or NYC Academy; and
  3. Contributing to support our bold effort to build a model progressive city.

If you agree that it’s time for change in New York City, join with us as we push for new leaders and new ideas. And consider supporting our efforts for reform.


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