Watch: A conversation on systemic racism in politics
On Wednesday, March 10, Axios hosted a Hard Truths virtual event on systemic racism in politics. Axios Justice & Race Reporter Russ Contreras hosted one-on-one conversations with NALEO Educational Fund CEO Arturo Vargas and Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.).
Rep. Ritchie Torres discussed LGBTQ and Afro-Latino representation in politics and how his life experiences have informed his progressive policy views.
- On poverty informing political movements: "For me, the central mission of progressive government should be to break the cycle of racially concentrated poverty. And in doing so, you empower communities not only economically but politically as well."
- On the inclusion of a higher child tax credit in the latest $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package: "As far as I'm concerned, the most important provision in the American rescue plan is the child tax credit, precisely because it cuts child poverty in half."
Arturo Vargas unpacked the importance of Latino representation in electoral politics and the legacy of discrimination and voter suppression.
- On reforms that will improve voting access: "We need to do everything we can to remove barriers to Latino voter access, like making available same-day voter registration, eliminating efforts to purge voter rolls, making sure there's early voting...we also need to work with our community and make sure that everybody understands the importance of every single person's vote."
- On the growth of the Latino voting base: "Any political party actually who wants to be the party of the majority [in the U.S.] needs to have a Latino strategy. Latinos are the second-largest population group in the nation, the second-largest eligible electorate in the nation, and it's only going to grow."
Axios Chief Revenue Officer Fabricio Drumond hosted a View from the Top segment with E Pluribus Unum founder and president Mitch Landrieu to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic's disproportionate impact on communities of color and the foundation of racism in America.
- "Slavery is this nation's original sin...And until we understand that, acknowledge it, know it and decide to do something about it, we're going to continue to have the kinds of outcomes that we're having right now."
Thank you E Pluribus Unum for sponsoring this event.