Newsmakers May 25: Houston's proposed Equal Rights Ordinance

By Khambrel Marshall - Meteorologist, 'Newsmakers' Host

HOUSTON - Only 8 percent of Americans say they know a transgendered person. That fact is likely what is behind much of the controversy surrounding sections of Houston's proposed Equal Rights Ordinance. Amelia Miller and Monica Roberts, born male, now consider themselves women. Miller says they should be included in any ordinance being considered. 

"HERO stands for Houston Equal Rights Ordinance," she said. "And it's because we as a community are discriminated against and a lot of it is due to misinformation about what an actual transgender person is." 

Miller and Roberts join Khambrel Marshall for this first of its kind conversation about who they are and the challenges they face.

The Houston Astros play host to Major League Baseball's Civil Rights game on May 30, hosting the Baltimore Orioles at Minute Maid Park. But it's much more than a game. A roundtable discussion is set for May 29, and on the 30 at noon is the annual MLB Beacon Awards to honor those who have made significant contributions to the Civil rights fight.

Gene Dias, the Vice President of Media Relations for the Houston Astros says it's a proud moment for the Astros and the game of baseball that set the tone for civil rights when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.

"1947 was years before the Civil Rights Act, years before Brown vs, Board of Education," Dias said. "That really got the ball rolling and let people see that this can happen. We can live together, play together, segregation is wrong."

NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown, Motown Founder Berry Gordy and Poet Maya Angelou are among the Beacon Award honorees.

The Houston organization "Change Happens" will benefit from the Civil Rights Game activities. Rev. Leslie Smith is the founder and CEO who is grateful to be receiving funds from Major League Baseball in this milestone year for the organization.

"For 25 years we have been assisting families and kids in the inner city pockets of Houston," he said. "We've been on the ground and focusing on helping children know that they have the power them to help themselves.

Tweet My Jobs -- The City of Houston is upping its social media game by providing an app that both job seekers and potential employers can use.

"For the job seeker, you can actually build your resume using Tweet My Jobs," said an excited Carlecia Wright, the Director of the Houston Office of Business Opportunity. "You can walk down the street and see all the positions. There's a virtual reality within Tweet My Jobs. You really should try it out."

The web address is for this potentially valuable free service. Wright says a major benefit of the app is that the job seeker and potential employer focus on a narrow area of interest and therefore waste less time discovering where there is a suitable match.

Houston Newsmakers Sunday morning at 10 on KPRC Local 2!

More Information:
•Amelia Miller & Monica Roberts ,  Houston Transgender Center,  713-520-8585,
•Gene Dias ,  Vice President Media Relations-Houston Astros, 713-259-8000,
•Rev. Leslie Smith, Founder/CEO Change Happens, 713-374-1200
•Carlecia Wright, Director, Houston Office of Business Opportunity , 832-393-0600

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