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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.

Go deeper

Updated 6 mins ago - Axios Twin Cities

Police: Officer who shot Daunte Wright accidentally pulled gun instead of taser

The officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, outside Minneapolis Sunday appeared to have inadvertently pulled out her gun instead of a taser, police said.

Driving the news: "This appears to me, from what I viewed in the officer's reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright," Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon told reporters Monday.

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to hold strategic Iran talks on Tuesday

Jake Sullivan. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty

Top national security officials from the U.S. and Israel will convene virtually on Tuesday for a second round of strategic talks on Iran, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The talks come two days after an explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility that experts consider a likely act of Israeli sabotage, and one day before the U.S. resumes indirect nuclear talks in Vienna over a return to the 2015 nuclear deal — a prospect that has raised anxiety levels in Jerusalem.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: The warning signs of a longer pandemic — CDC director: Answer to Michigan COVID-19 surge is "to close things down."
  2. Vaccines: Former FDA chief offers reality check on vaccine passports.
  3. Economy: Jobs growth could be curbed by demands for higher wages.
  4. World: Facebook to push notifications about vaccine eligibility to 20 countries outside of the U.S. — Brits flock to pubs for first time in months as U.K. lockdown eases.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.