Houston Newsmakers: Texas law violates constitution?

Harris County Attorney files lawsuit

The "Election Bill" signed into law during the legislative session is being challenged in court. (KPRC)

“This law would make it illegal and election officials can face criminal penalties if they encourage folks to vote by mail,” said Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee. He says the county has no recourse but to file suit to keep such a law from impacting the next election.

Menefee is a guest on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall and says the idea of not being able to notify people about their constitutional right is puzzling.

“We know that voting by mail is efficient and safe and there are states across this country, including states run by Democrats and Republicans that do universal vote by mail,” he said.

Menefee added even though elected officials passed such a law, the courts have an important role to play.

“Most of the major civil rights battles that have been won in this country have been won in the courts…so I think it’s important for the courts to maintain that role of ensuring the rights of all people in our state and in our country are protected,” he said.

See the full interview on this week’s program.

Another groundbreaking leadership change at Rice University

Latinas make up less than one percent of full professors in United States colleges. That 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 the Associate Professor, Lopez Turley says she hopes those meager statistics will one day be thing of the past. In the meantime, her priority is to continue and improve the research being done by the Kinder Institute.

“What we have been focusing on and would like to focus on even more, is to make sure there is a direct link, a direct connection between the research that we produce and the users of that research, always aiming to improve people’s lives,” she said.

See more about her impressive rise to leadership in this week’s Houston Newsmakers EXTRA online and on Sunday morning at 10:30.

Venture Capital fund seeks to support minority technology start ups

It’s called Diversity Fund Houston and has three million dollars available to help Black and Hispanic technology company founders.

“It is a little bit small compared to some of the larger VC funds but we are really that first step,” said Tiffany Williams, on of the Fund’s co-founders.

“As an emerging fund we’re looking at a sweet spot of emerging fund capital where an entrepreneur or start up team is trying to build out a Beta or prototype,” said Phillip Yates, one of the other co-founders. “So that initial investment can be 75 thousand all the way up to 175 Thousand.”

Find out who can qualify on this week’s Houston Newsmakers.

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