“This law would make it illegal and election officials could face criminal penalties if they encourage people to vote by mail,” Harris County District Attorney Christian Menefee said. He says the county has no recourse but to file suit to prevent such a law from impacting the next election.
Menefee is a guest this week on Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall and says the idea of not being able to tell people their constitutional right is confusing.
“We know mail-in voting is efficient and safe and there are states across this country, including Democratic- and Republican-led states that universally vote by mail,” he said.
Menefee added that even if elected officials passed such a law, the courts have an important role to play.
“Most of the great civil rights battles that have been won in this country have been won in the courts…so I think it’s important that the courts maintain that role of ensuring that the rights of all people are protected. people in our state and in our country,” he said.
Find the full interview on this week’s program.
Another groundbreaking leadership change at Rice University
Latinas make up less than one percent of tenured professors at US colleges. This statistic makes it even more impressive that Professor Ruth Lopez Turley, Ph.D. has been named the new director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research.
Currently an associate professor, Lopez Turley says she hopes those meager statistics will one day be a thing of the past. In the meantime, his priority is to continue and improve the research carried out by the Kinder Institute.
“What we have focused on and would like to focus even more on is making sure there is a direct link, a direct connection between the research we produce and the users of that research, always aiming to improve the people’s lives,” she said.
Learn more about his impressive rise to leadership in this week Houston Newsmakers EXTRA Online and Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m.
Venture capital fund seeks to support minority tech start-ups
It’s called Diversity Fund Houston and has three million dollars to help founders of black and Hispanic tech companies.
“It’s a bit small compared to some of the bigger venture capital funds, but we’re really that first step,” said Tiffany Williams, one of the fund’s co-founders.
“As an emerging fund, we’re looking for a sweet spot for emerging fund capital where an entrepreneur or startup team is trying to build a beta or prototype,” said Phillip Yates, one of the other co-founders. “So that initial investment can be 75,000 to 175,000.”
Find out who can qualify on this week’s Houston Newsmakers.
For more information on all this week’s topics:
· Christian D. Menefee, (D) Harris County District Attorney
· Ruth Lopez Turley, Ph.D., Assoc. Director, Kinder Institute for Urban Research
· Tiffany Williams, Co-Founder, Houston Diversity Fund
· Phillip Yates, co-founder, Houston Diversity Fund
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