Since 2016, we have supported 61 candidates to victory up-and-down the ballot and across the country. And we were at the forefront of the effort to take back the U.S. House of Representatives, the New York State Senate, and the Virginia House of Delegates.
From abortion, to climate change, to voting rights, to gun violence prevention, action – or inaction – on the issues that matter most happens at the state legislative level.
For decades, Republicans have realized this, investing down-ballot to secure power in state legislatures across America. Today, Republicans have unilateral control of the legislature in 30 states, enabling them to gerrymander, suppress votes, and enact anti-democratic policies that turn back progress. Add to that a gridlocked Congress unwilling and unable to take action at the federal level, and the Republican play to control state legislatures is causing more damage than ever.
But that’s not all. With the activist Supreme Court hearing Moore v. Harper next session, state legislatures could end up with the independent power to determine who wins or loses the 2024 presidential election, putting the very fate of our democracy in their hands.
The time to act is now.
Arena is meeting the moment by making unprecedented investments in the Arena Staff Fellowship, a strategic effort to place and fully fund Arena-trained staffers on the state legislative campaigns that matter most. The program works as follows:
Last year, we piloted the Arena Staff Fellowship in Virginia, placing and fully funding Staff Fellows on the five incumbent-protect seats most critical to retaining Virginia’s Democratic majority. Despite a tougher than expected political environment, Arena helped deliver victories in three out of the five incumbent-protect campaigns campaigns, with two others coming within 650 votes of victory.
This year, we’re expanding the initiative to Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania where we know that strategic staff investments can deliver Democratic majorities for the first time in decades.
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Republicans have spent decades cultivating talent and investing for the long run, and right now we’re paying the price. Republicans control 30 state legislatures, 28 governors mansions, and are just a few seats away from regaining control of Congress. Together with an activist Supreme Court, they’re enacting policies that turn back progress on everything from abortion to voting rights to climate change.
Arena is building a new generation of political leaders who will lead the fight to save our democracy and build progressive power for the long run. It’s going to take all of us to make change. Join us in this work.
Paid for by Arena Summit, a section 501(c)(4) organization, and Arena PAC.
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.