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Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda Fires Up University of Houston Students At Young Voter Panel

Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the smash hit musical Hamiliton, was in Houston Tuesday for a Beto O’Rourke rally. But prior to the O’Rourke rally, Miranda spent some time moderating a youth voting panel at the University of Houston. The event, sponsored by NextGen America, was held at Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre on the university’s campus. 

Miranda was introduced by Houston Mayor and University of Houston graduate Sylvester Turner, who spoke about voter suppression and the importance of voting. Turner also praised Miranda for using his notoriety to help the people suffering in Puerto Rico. Mayor Turner also spoke about Houston being “the most diverse city in the country, on a campus that’s one of the most diverse in the country.” 

Several students on the panel talked about what was motivating them to vote this year. Several themes came up over and over including abortion rights, birth control, voter suppression and the inablity to use their student IDs to vote, mass shootings and gerrymandering.

Miranda spoke about his shock when Roe v Wade was overturned. “I never in my lifetime imagined that would go backwards,” he said. “I never imagined that what was settled law could be undone. I find myself really shocked and saddened by that.” But, he continued, “I get a lot of hope talking to you guys here today.” 

Miranda, wearing a shirt that said, “history has its eyes on you,” referenced the shirt and said, “the rest of the world is looking at you. I’m here to tell you that the rest of the United States is looking at what you guys are going to stand up and vote for…history does have its eyes on you,” he said to raucous applause. 

Miranda finished by turning his back to the crowd and raising his camera to take a selfie with the the large group of students in attendance. An RA News reporter lost his balance in the melee that ensued as students made their way into his selfie frame. 

Nick Anderson
Nick Anderson
Writer, editor, photographer and editorial cartoonist Nick Anderson has joined the Reform Austin newsroom, where he will employ the artistic skill and political insights that earned a Pulitzer Prize to drive coverage of Texas government. As managing editor, Anderson is responsible for guiding Reform Austin’s efforts to give readers the unfiltered facts they need to hold Texas leaders accountable. Anderson’s original cartoons will be a regular feature on RA News. “Reform Austin readers understand the consequences of electing politicians who use ideological agendas to divide us, when they should be doing the hard work necessary to make our state government work for everyone,” Anderson said. “As a veteran journalist, I’m excited about Reform Austin’s potential to re-focus conversations on the issues that matter to common-sense Texans – like protecting our neighborhoods from increasingly common disasters, healthcare, just to name a few.” Anderson worked for the Houston Chronicle, the largest newspaper in Texas, from 2006 until 2017. In addition to the Pulitzer, Anderson earned the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award. He’s also a two-time winner of Columbia College’s Fischetti Award, and the National Press Foundation’s Berryman Award. Anderson’s cartoons have been published in Newsweek, the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune and other papers. In 2005, Anderson won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning while working for the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky. The judges complimented his “unusual graphic style that produced extraordinarily thoughtful and powerful messages.”


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