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Equal Rights Ordinance Update and Houston Comic Book Experts on Marvel: Houston Matters for Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Houston City Council is delaying a vote on a proposed Equal Rights Ordinance for another two weeks. Councilmembers did vote Wednesday on a number of amendments to the ordinance, including one that would eventually apply the ordinance to companies with 15 or more workers, drawn down, over time, from 50. On this edition of Houston Matters, we […]

The Houston City Council is delaying a vote on a proposed Equal Rights Ordinance for another two weeks. Councilmembers did vote Wednesday on a number of amendments to the ordinance, including one that would eventually apply the ordinance to companies with 15 or more workers, drawn down, over time, from 50.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss what happened in City Council Wednesday, and what’s next for the proposed Equal Rights Ordinance.

Also this hour, we discuss the final days of the GOP Lieutenant Governor runoff election campaign, and look ahead to the general elections for that office and for Governor, as we talk with Brandon Rottinghaus, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Houston.

Then: So much of our political discourse today reveals the views of two political extremes – liberals and conservatives. But if we think of the political spectrum as a line, the views we hear most often typically represent points quite distant from one another. What about the space between, where moderates live? Are we as diametrically opposed in our politics today as the discourse that’s front and center suggests? Or is there (to borrow from a popularly-used phrase in late 20th century politics) a “silent majority” with more nuanced, middle-of-the-road perspectives on the issues of the day than are revealed in our politics? Are there moderates in Texas? We talk it over with Dr. Elizabeth Simas, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Houston.

And: Summer is still, technically, a few weeks off, but another summer season of big-budget, comic book-themed movie releases is already well underway, with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 raking in revenue at the box office. They’ll be joined shortly by X-Men: Days of Future Past and Guardians of the Galaxy. All of these films trace their roots to Marvel Comics, and its large universe of characters. We talk with Richard Evans, owner of Bedrock City Comics, and John Simons, the Chairman of Comicpalooza, about the rise of the ever-expanding Marvel media universe, including The Avengers, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America films, as well as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on network television. We also consider what other companies who own comic-based superhero properties, from DC Comics to Warner Brothers, are doing to try to keep up with Marvel.

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