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Equal Rights Ordinance Passes, Car Break-ins, and Homelessness: Houston Matters for Thursday, May 29, 2014

Houston’s City Council Wednesday passed the long-debated Equal Rights Ordinance, which extends equal rights protections to gay and transgender Houstonians. The vote had been delayed, in part, to offer more time for public comment, including some nine hours of discussion Wednesday. Ultimately, though, the council passed the ordinance by a vote of 11 to 6. Mayor […]

Houston’s City Council Wednesday passed the long-debated Equal Rights Ordinance, which extends equal rights protections to gay and transgender Houstonians. The vote had been delayed, in part, to offer more time for public comment, including some nine hours of discussion Wednesday. Ultimately, though, the council passed the ordinance by a vote of 11 to 6.

Mayor Annise Parker – the first openly lesbian mayor in a major U.S. city – called it the “most personally satisfying and most personally meaningful thing [she] will do as Mayor.”

On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss the ordinance’s passage.

Also: while some cities around the world are known for their pickpockets, Houston may have a bit of reputation for car break-ins. About 30,000 vehicles in Houston are stolen from each year. It’s something authorities characterize as the “only preventable crime we have.” We’ll explain.

Plus: the Coalition for the Homeless is out with some new numbers approximating Houston’s homeless population. We discuss the numbers and what they tell us.

And we hear from members of The Tontons, one of the local bands performing at this weekend’s Free Press Summer Fest.

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