Election Q&A: Texas House of Representatives District 148

Read here to learn more about the candidates for Texas House District 148. (Community Impact staff)
Read here to learn more about the candidates for Texas House District 148. (Community Impact staff)

Read here to learn more about the candidates for Texas House District 148. (Community Impact staff)



HOUSTON



Texas House of Representatives District 148










Penny Morales Shaw* (D)




Occupation: human rights lawyer of 20 years


Experience: As the daughter of an Air Force Veteran and health care worker, I learned the values of public service and compassion early on. Serving as legislator is a way for me to serve and sacrifice for my community. I’m a product of Houston public schools, and I care deeply about children having access to great schools and teachers. As a 20-year lawyer, I’ve gained extensive courtroom experience, led local government policy issues and led human rights advocacy in Congress. Each of these experiences gives me working knowledge and enables me to readily grasp current Legislative matters.






What would be your top priorities if you are elected?



PMS: Education funding; fair access to healthcare; strong state recovery from COVID, including job and housing security; environmental protection; [and] addressing pressing community needs, such as gun safety, flooding and equity.



How will you work to build productive relationships across districts and party lines?



PMS: As a 20-year lawyer working in both litigation and congressional advocacy, I have had to work with opposing sides and with all party members to reach meaningful solutions. I will apply my working experience to find common ground and bridge differences. I believe in keeping the interest of hardworking Texans at the forefront of negotiations. With all of the difficulties that we currently face as a society, we must work together to make sure that we have the best future possible for every community.








Luis Humberto LaRotta (R)




Occupation: power engineer; community activist; entrepreneur


Experience: My family immigrated to the north side of Houston from Colombia and Honduras. Like many other Latinos, we started out with nothing, and my parents worked very hard to make a better life for us here in the United States of America. I’m fortunate to have been raised here, [I've] worked here, and as a small-business owner, I understand that the greatest innovations start with brave, hardworking individuals. As a civic leader that has fought in City Hall and our Capitol in Austin, I will continue to protect our civil liberties [and] fight for free markets and limited government.






What are your highest-priority agenda items?



LL: Education, health care and economic growth.



How will you work to build productive relationships across districts and party lines?



LL: As a military veteran, I learned the value of working together in diverse teams to get things done. Many of the causes I’ve advocated for have strong nonpartisan support, and I will work to deliver meaningful legislative leadership for our district.



By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


MOST RECENT

Novel at River Oaks
Inner Loop apartment rents tumbled by as much as 16% in 2020

"I would hope that these operators in those areas—at some point, you can’t lower rents anymore. They just have to wait for people to show up," ApartmentData's Bruce McClenny said.

The first-ever Houston Reads Day will take place March 2. (Courtesy Pexels)
Volunteers needed for inaugural literacy-focused Houston Reads Day

Volunteers will read to 10,000 kindergarten through third-grade students.

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream is coming to Montrose Collective

"What attracted us to Houston was the incredible cultural and culinary diversity and the feeling of progress, growth in modernity the city radiates. The average daily temperature didn’t hurt either,” co-founder Ben Van Leeuwen said.

One local health system leader said he expects everyone, including those under age 65, will have access to the vaccine within the next 90 days. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Houston-area health system leaders talk progress, hurdles during COVID-19

Officials from CHI St. Luke’s Health and UTMB Health said community members must remain vigilant as case counts climb but that they expect the current surge to peak by early February.

During a North Houston Association meeting Jan. 20, Jazz Hamilton—first vice president with the Retail Brokerage Services Group for CBRE—discussed how the future of retail will likely be shaped by the conveniences to which consumers have become accustomed amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pandemic-induced retail conveniences are here to stay, official says

According to Jazz Hamilton, first vice president with the Retail Brokerage Services group for CBRE, between January and November of 2020, consumers spent almost $550 billion online—a 33% increase from 2019.

The estimated number of active COVID-19 cases in Harris County has surpassed 50,000, reaching 51,362 as of the most recent data Jan. 20, according to the Harris County Public Health Department. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: Active cases top 50,000

See the latest trends on COVID-19 in Harris County.

Elysian Viaduct Bridge
I-10 to be closed both ways at downtown Houston this weekend

Work continues on the Elysian Viaduct Bridge north of downtown.

A winning bidder has been selected to buy out francesca’s clothing boutique store. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Winning bidder selected for francesca’s sale

Francesca’s was purchased for $18 million by TerraMar.

In addition to vaccine hubs, there are also smaller community vaccine providers throughout Texas, such as pharmacies, that may also have the vaccine available. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
EXPLAINED: When, where and how Texans can receive the COVID-19 vaccine

As Texas is still in the early stages of rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine, many Texans are still unsure about where, when and how they can get inoculated.

The barbecue eatery is the second Killen's Restaurant Group venture to launch in The Woodlands area. (Courtesy Killen's Barbecue)
Killen's Barbecue opens in The Woodlands and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Mayor Turner and the honor guard.
Houston joins nationwide coronavirus memorial, lights landmarks

The memorial was planned as a component of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' inauguration.