Joco’s Story: Standing Firm in Your Vision for Better Campaigns

November 20, 2023

Joco’s Story

When Joco entered politics, she wanted to improve campaigns, staff leadership, and conditions. After completing Arena Academy, she acquired a position as a Field Organizer for Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s campaign. During her time here, she orchestrated a compassionate campaign founded on sustainable practices. Her campaign won this election, but most importantly, she prepared 18 new leaders to shape the future of the campaign world. Following this experience, she transitioned to the role of Civic Engagement Director, where she worked directly with members of the Latinx community and oversaw another fellowship program designed to shape young leaders into climate justice activists. Her time at Arena prepared her for these roles and kickstarted her drive into the space of politics.

How has Arena Academy impacted you?

When I entered the realm of politics, I immediately noticed the glaring deficiencies in our infrastructure. Many campaigns start with no resources, lackluster leadership, and overworked staff. After I completed my first session of Arena Academy, I learned that we could conduct campaigns in a sustainable manner for all involved. I harnessed the knowledge and tools I acquired from Arena and promptly disseminated this valuable information to my team once I assumed a leadership role. I used these tools to empower others in the same way they had empowered me. Once our campaign was over, I was able to ensure that we had 18 new leaders ready to take the mantle of the campaign world. The triumph of my previous campaign would have been unattainable without the invaluable resources and leadership insights I gained through Arena Academy. I will forever be grateful for the knowledge shared in this space.

What advice would you give future Arena Academy participants?

My advice is not to compromise your personal goals. In the political arena, advancement can be challenging if you’re not aligned with the right team or leadership. If you have the flexibility to be selective with your opportunities, I encourage you to do so. Finding the right leader can make a world of difference in reaching your desired destination. Additionally, being under the guidance of a poor leader can dampen your aspirations and deter you from pursuing your vision. Stand firm in your vision of yourself and your integrity as a leader. Your actions will always speak louder than those who try to push you away from your destiny.