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Music City Mayor to Governor? A conversation with Karl Dean

Karl is running to be the next governor of Tennessee. Karl is the former two-term Mayor of Nashville, serving during the great recession and historic 2010 flood. Before that, he was elected and served as the city’s public defender for nearly a decade. We talk about how both crises shaped his pragmatic leadership and vision for Tennessee’s future. We also discuss running as a Democrat in a state where they haven’t performed well in a long time.


Building a better Colorado with Mike Johnston

Mike Johnston is running to be the next Governor of Colorado. Mike is a former educator. He taught in the Mississippi Delta, and went on to lead three different schools. He later moved home to Colorado and won a seat in the State Senate, where he pushed for many policy reforms - but is most well known as a leader in education policy. We talk with Mike about his vision for the kids of Colorado, the problem of gun violence, and how you can get involved in his campaign. SUBSCRIBE ON APPLE...


How to run (successfully) with substance with Lauren Underwood

Two weeks ago, Lauren won the Democratic Primary for Congress in the Illinois 14th District. In an upset victory, Lauren beat six other candidates - all men - with 57% of the vote. We met Lauren at the first Arena Summit in December 2016. She walked through the doors and said she was thinking about running for office. And that’s where she met her eventual campaign manager. Lauren later declared a run for Congress and joined our inaugural class of Fellows. We’ve been privileged and...


Can an Army Ranger flip a Trump +28 district?

Jesse Colvin is running for Congress in Maryland’s 1st District. We spoke with Jesse right after Conor Lamb’s stunning victory. Jesse’s race is even tougher than the Lamb race - at least on paper. Jesse is a former US Army Intelligence Officer. He completed four combat deployments in Afghanistan, as well as a year in the South Korea DMZ. He’s also a product of a bipartisan marriage. His wife is a former police officer and former aide to Congressional Republicans. Jesse is running an...


Let my people vote with Desmond Meade

This is one of our favorite episodes. Desmond Meade is the Founder and President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. More importantly, he is somebody who has been directly impacted by voting rights restrictions. He spent years addicted to drugs and served time in prison. As a result, he is one of the million plus US citizens living in Florida who has had their voting rights stripped away. We talk with Desmond about why he turned his life around, why he decided to stay in...


How to fight the Trump Tax Plan with Andrea Purse

A few weeks ago, Dan Pfeiffer implored listeners of Pod Save America to do more to counter GOP messaging on the Trump tax bill. That call came as the New York Times and others reported on increased popularity for the legislation amidst a massive Koch-funded effort. In response to these trends, we’ve been in search of members of our community working to communicate with voters about what’s really in the bill. That led us to Andrea Purse, who is an advisor to the Not One Penny Campaign and...


Jessica Ramos takes on Trump Democrats in New York

Why are Republicans in charge of the State Senate in New York — one of the bluest states in the country? Why are New York’s voting law so antiquated? Why is progressive legislation often dead on arrival in Albany? The answers to these questions lead back to a small group of Democrats in the New York State Senate that call themselves the Independent Democratic Caucus (I.D.C.). In exchange for perks like better office space and committee assignments, they empower the Republican majority...


Anthony Vitarelli helps make sense of the latest Mueller indictments

Welcome to another special edition of The Arena Talks. We recorded this episode on February 18th - two days after Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed conspiracy and fraud charges against 13 Russian nationals and three organizations. We welcome back Anthony Vitarelli to help make sense of the charges. Anthony is a former Federal Prosecutor for the US Department of Justice and former Senior Advisor to the US Secretary of the Treasury. He began his legal career clerking for Supreme Court...


Graig Meyer is fighting for North Carolinians in the General Assembly

Graig Meyer is a Democratic member of the North Carolina General Assembly, representing the 50th district — which includes parts of Orange and Durham counties. Prior to becoming a legislator, Rep. Meyer spent sixteen years working in North Carolina’s public schools. He’s a tireless voice for improving the lives of North Carolinians and is leading efforts to recruit a candidate to run for every seat in 2018. In this episode, we talk about: (1:00) How and why Graig first decided to run for...


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