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On Friday June 5, Axios Executive Editor Sara Kehaulani Goo and White House Editor Margaret Talev hosted a live, virtual event on inequality and police brutality against black Americans, featuring NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.).

Derrick Johnson discussed the impact of police unions negotiating to have records of officers not publicly disclosed, as well as elections as a means of structural change.

  • On lack of transparency: "An officer can create a lot of problems in discipline in one agency and then move onto another agency, and no one ever knows he or she actually was a problem officer or a bad apple."
  • On making change at the policy level: "We really need to talk about the structural change that's going to be required, and those changes are inside of public policy...[Voters] have to evaluate: 'Do we have the right people in office? Do we have the right people in the seats for change?'"

Mayor Melvin Carter underscored how the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and institutional racism are connected.

  • "We are facing not just one pandemic, we're facing multiple pandemics of disparities, inequities, and long-term systemic racism that we've seen play out not just in Minnesota but across our country."

Mayor Lovely Warren discussed how Rochester, New York is working to address transparency, including a civilian accountability board and passing laws condemning chokeholds and other measures of force.

  • On holding police officers accountable: "Unions have their role and their place, but we need to make sure that we're protecting the public and protecting employees that act within the confine of the law."

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) discussed the differences between protests following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the 1968 civil rights actions, as well as his proposed Emmett Till Antilynching Act currently being held up in the Senate.

  • On making lasting changes: "I see individuals coming together in beautiful ways, better ways. But I don’t see any organizational coalescing in these margins...I think ultimately we have to get to a position where we are [seeing that organization] in order to have a sustained change in this society."
  • On the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, which would be the first law to make lynching a federal crime: "If it doesn't pass now, I don't believe it will pass...I really believe this bill has reached a moment."

Go deeper

Updated Sep 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Louisville to pay $12 million settlement to family of Breonna Taylor

The Louisville Metro government on Tuesday announced a $12 million settlement package with the family of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who was shot in her own home by police officers in March. The settlement also includes a series of police reforms.

The big picture: The settlement is the largest ever paid by the city's police, per the Louisville Courier Journal. It will close out the wrongful death lawsuit filed in April by Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer. Other legal proceedings related to Taylor's death have not yet concluded.

The rebellion against Silicon Valley (the place)

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images

Silicon Valley may be a "state of mind," but it's also very much a real enclave in Northern California. Now, a growing faction of the tech industry is boycotting it.

Why it matters: The Bay Area is facing for the first time the prospect of losing its crown as the top destination for tech workers and startups — which could have an economic impact on the region and force it to reckon with its local issues.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Telework's tax mess

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As teleworkers flit from city to city, they're creating a huge tax mess.

Why it matters: Our tax laws aren't built for telecommuting, and this new way of working could have dire implications for city and state budgets.