(Photo via facebook.com/arenasummit)
The Arena is on a mission to build the next generation of civic leaders.
The national organization was founded by Obama staffers immediately after the November 2016 election for the sake of convening progressive-minded people around the country and, following a trend we’ve seen locally, encouraging them to run for office. Its first summit brought 400 attendees, 152 of whom said they’d do so.
Now, The Arena is a 501(c)4 nonprofit, a fellowship program and a PAC, and it’s coming to Philadelphia.
The regional “Love + Action” summit will take place at the Convention Center on Sept. 7 and 8 and aims to bring in 1,000 people to hear from civic pros, learn the ins and outs of running for office and engage in community building with likeminded citizens from the region. Attendees can choose between two programming tracks: one for aspiring politicians, and one for activists or entrepreneurs.
Event co-organizer Lauren Bille said that while the organization was founded by Democrats, it’s technically nonpartisan — but members of its fellowship program, which coaches political candidates, do skew to the left.
You’ll recognize some of the names of the host committee, including:
- Emerge PA Executive Director Anne Wakabayashi
- The Village of Arts and Humanities Director of Youth and Young Adult Programs Michael O’Bryan
- Rising Sons founder Alex Peay
- First Degree Consulting LLC founder Erica Atwood
- Philadelphia 3.0 Director of Engagement Jon Geeting
- All-around civic engagement pro Nick Marzano
The Arena Philadelphia is open to the public. Tickets cost $125 each, though scholarships are available.
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