“A political action group formed in the wake of the 2016 presidential election as a counterweight to the Trump presidency is pumping significant resources into local primary races in New York, providing rookie candidates with funding and training to battle entrenched Albany incumbents.”


Five Borough Future is a joint project of Arena Summit and Arena. Arena is a political organization that convenes, trains, and supports the next generation of candidates and campaign staff.

(Learn more about Arena here.)

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In 2018, Arena worked closely with 37 candidates and their teams in three key areas: 1) storytelling, 2) organizing, and 3) campaign leadership. Arena provided ongoing coaching, training, and mentorship to candidates and their campaign managers from launch to Election Day. Despite many facing crowded fields and establishment-backed opponents, Arena Fellows were largely successful. 35 out of 37 Fellows won their primaries. 21 won their general elections.

That work included some major investments in New York. Arena coached and supported nine candidates in New York (7 of whom won) and helped defeat the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC). The IDC was a group of breakaway Democrats who caucused with Republicans to block progress on women’s reproductive rights, criminal justice reform, and ethics reform. Our New York support encompassed four candidates for US Congress, four for NY state legislature, and one for NY state committee, plus a major investment in the Working Families Party.