Still in the Arena — Arena

Mar 19, 2020

Still in the Arena

How Arena is stepping up our efforts to go digital and respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

Ravi Gupta

Arena is a community above all else. We started in December 2016 as a convening at another time of great fear and anxiety. And more than any election we’ve won or bill we’ve passed, the greatest successes we will ever have are in the relationships we’ve built.

I see this first-hand in my experience over the past few years. My best friends, political collaborators, workout partners, elected representatives — even my roommates — have come from the ranks of the Arena community. I know this has been the experience for many of you as well.

That’s why I wanted to reach out and first say I hope you are okay. And though things are far too uncertain to promise any outcome, I can promise that if you need someone to talk to, I — and we as a team — are here for you.

I also wanted to update you on how we as an organization are handling this crisis.  

  • Academy: Over the past year, we’ve trained nearly 1,000 current and aspiring staffers around the country through our Arena Academy. We’ve had a few Academies scheduled for this year, including one that was planned for later this month in Charlotte, NC. In response to this pandemic, we’ve moved that training online. And we’re proud to report that 98% of the 150 people who RSVP'd for the original in-person Academy have signed up to take the course remotely. Right now, our staff is urgently working to make sure these attendees have a world-class experience with a curriculum that properly prepares our trainees for a potential scenario in which travel and movement restrictions continue through the summer.
  • Community: We will be launching an Arena Slack channel for alumni of Arena Summit and Arena Academy to collaborate, inspire, and generally keep each other company during this difficult time. Summit and Academy alumni should expect to receive a link to join our Slack early next week.
  • Toolbox: Arena Toolbox is a collection of free guides, tutorials, and downloadable templates for progressive campaigns. Given the increased importance of virtual training materials during our indefinite period of isolation, we will be dramatically expanding this content over the next two months with an emphasis on digital tools.
  • Careers: Last year, we launched Arena Careers, an online matching and networking system for progressive talent that anyone can join for free. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a surge in new users. If you are a political or civic job seeker or employer, you should sign up now.

Of course, our work with Future Now Fund to flip five state legislatures is more important than ever. It’s crucial during this time that we elect competent and ethical leaders to our states who can help see us through crises like these. In the coming months, we will share more opportunities for you to help us achieve that goal.

But for now, we just want to know you are safe — and we want you to know we are thinking about you.  

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Welcome the new members of Team Arena