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Axios Executive Editor Mike Allen hosts Expert Voices Live. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Axios hosted a roundtable last week to discuss how the growing Latino demographic (currently at 58 million) is impacting American business, culture, and politics.

One big thing: Guests discussed the Latino community's growing economic power, but expressed frustration in terms of converting that into other kinds of power.

Janet Murgía, President and CEO of UnidosUS, kicks off the conversation. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios
  • Angelo Amador, Senior Vice President of the National Restaurant Association, on culture: “We [the Latino community] have more economic power, more restaurants—the culture is shifting. But this is causing a backlash that we haven’t seen before.”
  • Abigail Golden-Vazquez, Executive Director at the Aspen Institute, on business: “Latinos are starting businesses at 3x the rate as the rest of the population. [...] It’s Latinos who are coming in and starting stores and revitalizing communities."
How do we take our influence, power, and numbers and turn it into something that can turn the tide.
Abigail Golden-Vazquez
Cristòbal Alex, President of Latino Victory Project, shares his view. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

The power of the Latina

Multiple participants discussed their observations regarding a galvanization particularly among Latinas when it comes to voting and running for office in 2018.

  • From Xochitl Hinojosa, DNC Communications Director: "In Texas and New Mexico we have Latina candidates rising. A lot of our work [at the DNC] in 2018 will be focused on this community."
  • From Cristòbal Alex, President of Latino Victory Project: "More than 70% of [Latino Victory Project's] candidates are going to be women. They're running up and down the ballot: State-wide offices, congressional offices, and local offices.”

On what's at stake in the 2018 midterm elections:

  • Angelo Amador: "Losing moderate Republicans."
  • Abigail Golden-Vazquez: “Our democracy."
  • Eric Rodriguez, Vice President of UnidosUS: "Health care," and “respect for the community."
Axios Political Reporter Alexi McCammond asks the group what's at stake in the 2018 midterm elections. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Capricia Marshall, Atlantic Council Ambassador in Residence, on culture: “Latino restaurants, food, and culture is so embraced now in the United states. It’s everywhere. [...] How do we reconcile that with what we're seeing?”

Guests mix and mingle after the event. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Thank you UnidosUS for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
3 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.