In the News

Source: Houston Public Media; By Ed Mayberry; January 18, 2017, 10:21AM

John Cobarruvias is a former NASA engineer and a consumer advocate, and has this advice for President-Elect Donald Trump.

“My suggestion is to get off of Twitter. You are the president of the United States of America.”

Cobarruvias says he’s felt anger from people who have been influenced by anti-immigrant rhetoric.

“As a Hispanic, I’m not an immigrant. I was born here. Unfortunately, some of the things that have been said over the past year, the people who have heard this are actually directing their anger toward illegal immigration at me. And because of my skin color.”

Dr. Laura Murillo is president of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“I just returned from a private meeting with Mr. Trump’s transition team, and it was a very interesting conversation. It was the fact that we are not pleased with the commentary we’ve heard about Hispanics, women and other groups. We are part of this fabric, and that is why we will be at the inauguration. We will be at the table, moving forward for the next four years.”

Johali Muzaliwa is a Houston attorney.

“I think what I’d like the president to know is that I as an immigrant come from parents who came to the United States seeking a better life — hard-working Americans who are just seeking a better life as every American in this country.”

Former Houston city council member M. J. Khan is president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston.

“The political discourse is such that Muslim women are afraid whether they should go in covering their head or not. Will there be any special registration for Muslims? And what I would like to say to Mr. Trump, leadership means that every member of the society should feel that they have a stake in the society and they’re respected equally, just like everybody else.”

Natalie Arceneaux is a business consultant and talk show host.

“So I’m a conservative and I fundamentally believe that when you have a less intrusive government into your personal life, economic opportunities are there for you to grow and to flourish. My concern is that I am not sure if Donald Trump’s rhetoric aligns with those very same conservative values.”

Vladimir Davidiuk is a conservative writer and political analyst.

“We need to look at the concept of e pluribus unum as a defining element that shapes our country. We need to bring all these from different places and make one country called America. We can’t have this self-imposed Balkanization that we do to ourselves where ‘I’m only representing the Asia community, I’m only representing the Muslim Community…”

Martha Wong is a former Houston city council member and state legislator.

“He has already appointed three women in his cabinet — two of them are Asian. He is trying to be inclusive, and I think sometimes the rhetoric that goes on with the news is what you’re hearing and that’s why he uses Twitter! Because when he uses Twitter it gets out there!”

Kaleb Taylor is a student at Texas Southern University.

“I think in order for the conversations to continue, it’s gonna take us, as Americans, ensuring that extreme rhetoric doesn’t become the new normal. I think we have to get back to having, you know, civil political discourse.”

And Cesar Espinoza, director of an immigrant rights organization, adds…

“My hope is that these conversations happen in every single city in America, and that people are able to speak their mind and come to dialogue, and really have that dialogue.”

Listen to full interview here.