On Tuesday June 9, Axios business editor Dan Primack and Axios markets reporter Courtenay Brown hosted conversations with New York Stock Exchange President Stacey Cunningham and Sweetgreen CEO Jonathan Neman to discuss how to keep businesses afloat during economic uncertainty and how to make structural changes that have lasting equitable effects.

Stacey Cunningham discussed how corporate America can improve racial equity at the C-Suite level. She also unpacked the NYSE's decision to close the trading floor out of public health concerns, and the subsequent impact on investors.

  • On diversity at the head of companies: "If you have more diversity on boards, you get input on how to change your company and how to change your structure. Having diverse board rooms is critical to finding solutions and really changing the status quo."
  • On safely reopening: "It cost investors millions of dollars a day when the floors were closed, which is another reason why we wanted to get back to offering that full level of service for our clients."

Jonathan Neman discussed Sweetgreen's decision to return their PPP loan and how they are uniquely positioned to take social action as a company.

  • On the resilience of their business model: "We've been able to get back a lot of our business. And I think in a weird way, we're very well positioned for the other side of this even though food and restaurants have been severely impacted."
  • On how companies can advance social change: "Our mission is building healthier communities by connecting people to real food. What can we do where we are uniquely positioned to be part of the solution? We cannot solve the whole problem ourselves, but there's parts of it where we are uniquely positioned to help...The first is food insecurity in low income and black neighborhoods. The second is going much deeper in support of black farmers and vendors and championing black farmers across the country. The third is creating time and space for our team members to vote."

In a View from the Top segment, Axios CEO & Co-founder Jim VandeHei spoke with Goldman Sachs Chief Learning Officer James Fulton about corporate social responsibility and the role of business leaders in social change.

  • "It's now very clear that we're an actor on a much larger landscape. Community takes on a much greater importance in the context within which leaders are operating. I think going forward, that's going to be even more important, seeing ourselves as a component of a large and complicated system."

Thank you Goldman Sachs for sponsoring this event.

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Updated Aug 28, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: The future of transportation in the era of COVID-19

RNC week: Axios' chief technology correspondent Ina Fried hosted a conversation on the future of how people get around in the era of COVID-19, featuring former Secretary of Transportation and co-chair of Building America's Future Ray LaHood, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation Gia Biagi and League of Cities CEO Clarence Anthony.

Ray LaHood discussed how the efforts to create more sustainable public transit have stalled with COVID-19, and called on the federal government to financially support existing transit systems.

  • On the need for the financial support: "Just as the federal government stepped up for the airlines...there will have to be a huge influx of federal resources in order to sustain transit systems until they can get back to some sort of sort of normalcy in terms of ridership."

Gia Biagi highlighted how COVID-19 has shifted people's mindset about what city streets can look like with fewer cars, and unpacked the existing inequities in Chicago's public transportation system.

  • How micromobility can supplement existing transit in Chicago: "What we're trying to do is connect the dots with micromobility and investments in the actual infrastructure. [Where we're seeing a need] also overlaps where we've seen the effects of structural racism and disinvestment that are fundamentally policy choices that have been made for many years."

Clarence Anthony discussed transit equity in cities, and the need for federal and state support to ensure that people have equal access to public transportation.

  • "What is our role as city leaders? It is to make sure that the equity is brought into the policy and the process and that we demand that all of those services — like ride share and public services — are brought to all communities in an equal way."

Axios VP of Events Kristin Burkhalter hosted a View from the Top segment with Lyft Chief Policy Officer Anthony Foxx, and discussed Lyft's role in the transportation ecosystem and how they're contributing to racial justice efforts.

  • On Lyft's relationship to public transit: "We feel like we're part of the ecosystem. We've never wanted to overtake public transit because we believe public transit is an essential service that only the public can do."

Thank you Lyft for sponsoring this event.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 32,471,119 — Total deaths: 987,593 — Total recoveries: 22,374,557Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 7,032,524 — Total deaths: 203,657 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

A fresh Joe Biden ad, "New Start," signals an effort by his campaign to make unity a central theme, underscoring a new passage in his stump speech that says he won't be a president just for Democrats but for all Americans.

What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin: