RNC week: On Tuesday, August 25 Axios Cities author Kim Hart and Axios politics and White House editor Margaret Talev hosted a conversation on North Carolina's broadband access and economic recovery amid the coronavirus, featuring Reenie Askew, Charlotte's chief information officer, and Thomas Parrish, North Carolina's acting secretary and state chief information officer.

Thomas Parrish discussed bridging the digital divide in North Carolina, focusing on current investments in Wi-fi hotspots. The state is allocating $30 million to distribute 100k hotspots with continuous high speed and unlimited data for all students in the state.

  • On investing in the future of connectivity: "If you look at Europe...these countries are investing billions of dollars in their infrastructure to make sure people are connected...I think what we're finally seeing in the United States and in North Carolina is that we need to make that investment, because if we're connected, that means we're ready for tomorrow."
  • On internet access in rural communities: "We're trying to leverage as much of the existing infrastructure as we can...working with local businesses, working with nonprofits, working with other departments like our Parks System...to get that connectivity out to our rural communities."

Reenie Askew focused on how internet connectivity is critical for education and workforce development, highlighting a city government partnership with school districts, nearby community colleges and other businesses to provide 15 spaces for public WiFi.

  • On the importance of providing free public Wi-fi: "If you have to make a decision between taking care of your expenses and food, education, and Internet — Internet would not be at the top of the list."
  • On the connection between accessible Internet and education: "The educational divide increases if we don't have the ability for everyone to be able to not just connect, but do it effectively from home. And so if we're unable to do that, then students who don't have access fall further behind and that we don't need to have."

Thank you Microsoft for sponsoring this event.

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Updated Sep 23, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: Reimagining capitalism in America

On Wednesday, September 23 Axios' Felix Salmon hosted a conversation on capitalism in America, featuring Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Director of Harvard's Democratic Knowledge Project Danielle Allen and founder and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Ventures John Hope Bryant.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal discussed the details of the Paycheck Recovery Act, examples of other countries that have taken measures to stabilize their economies through the COVID-19 crisis, and the importance of accessible health care.

  • On the Paycheck Recovery Act: "It [could be] an automatic stabilizer to the economy...So it doesn't require congressional approval and therefore congressional bickering over what a package should or shouldn't be. It automatically kicks in."

Danielle Allen unpacked how the erosion of labor's bargaining power over the course of the 20th century has contributed to income inequality and how investing in the public good can lead to a more resilient public health system and economy.

  • On an effective public health system: "Public goods and substantial investment in public health infrastructure is a public good...Federal government needs to invest in and support data systems. States need to build out boots-on-the-ground organizational implementation, rebuild the sort of practices of their public health organizations in order to deliver those goods in practice as services."

John Hope Bryant discussed economic inequality in America, the importance of financial literacy and more accessible job training and internships.

  • On how economic inequality has impacted Black communities: "Where have we succeeded? The arts and entertainment and sports. Why? Because the playing field is level and the rules are published. Free enterprise and capitalism, the rules aren't published."

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with Omidyar Network CEO Mike Kubzansky, who discussed how the American economy can become reimagined to work for the public good.

  • "Markets are not laws of physics. They are actually built by political economy and interests and power and ideas, which means they can be also rebuilt in different ways and unbuilt in important ways as well."

Thank you Omidyar Network for sponsoring this event.

Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 32,626,165 — Total deaths: 990,134 — Total recoveries: 22,523,822Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 7,040,313 — Total deaths: 203,918 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,488,275Map.
  3. States: U.S. reports over 55,000 new coronavirus cases — "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer — The long-term pain of the mental health pandemicFewer than 10% of Americans have coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Business: Millions start new businesses in time of coronavirus.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.

America on edge as unrest rises

Louisville on Wednesday. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Rarely have national security officials, governors, tech CEOs and activists agreed as broadly and fervently as they do about the possibility of historic civil unrest in America.

Why it matters: The ingredients are clear for all to see — epic fights over racism, abortion, elections, the virus and policing, stirred by misinformation and calls to action on social media, at a time of stress over the pandemic.