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Constitutional Convention and Campus Carry: Wednesday’s Show (January 13, 2016)

On Tuesday night (Jan. 12, 2016), President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address. On this edition of Houston Matters, University of St. Thomas Political Science Professor Jon Taylor joins us to examine what, if any, implications the President’s remarks may have on Greater Houston. Then, we follow up on comments made last […]

On Tuesday night (Jan. 12, 2016), President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address. On this edition of Houston Matters, University of St. Thomas Political Science Professor Jon Taylor joins us to examine what, if any, implications the President’s remarks may have on Greater Houston.

Then, we follow up on comments made last week by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who’s pushing for the first U.S. Constitutional Convention in more than 200 years. He wants a number of constitutional amendments to give states power to ignore federal laws and override decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court. We learn more about the process, prospects, and implications of such a convention, from South Texas College of Law Professor Charles “Rocky” Rhodes.

Also this hour: State-funded college campuses continue their work establishing policies under the state’s new campus carry law, set to take effect in August. While lawmakers left the schools with a lot of latitude to identify certain gun-free zones on campus, the law says universities can’t “generally prohibit” guns, and Attorney General Ken Paxton argues banning guns in dorm rooms, specifically, would do just that. We discuss the challenge of navigating the legalese (or a lack of it) and get an update on the University of Houston’s efforts to comply with the new law, as we check in with Marcilynn Burke, associate dean of the UH Law Center and the chair of the school’s Campus Carry Work Group.

Then: Some of Houston’s neighborhoods have, for lack of a better phrase, “morphed” over the decades. Montrose once had a much larger African-American community, then it became known as Houston’s gay neighborhood, then a more gentrified area. Sharpstown, Meyerland, The Heights — they’ve all undergone transformative change from one generation to the next. We explore what’s brought about some of these changes, and what can lead to demographic and class shifts in a Houston neighborhood over time, with Jerry Wood, former deputy assistant director of the City of Houston’s planning department, and Susan Rogers, director of the University of Houston’s Community Design Resource Center.

Plus: Rich Clifford is a former astronaut who’s logged more than 12 hours of spacewalk time over three shuttle missions during the 1990s. And while that’s impressive enough, it might impress you even more to know he conducted one of those spacewalks while carrying a secret he kept from all but one of his crewmates. Michael Hagerty brings us his story, which is chronicled in the documentary The Astronaut’s Secret.

Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

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