Katherine Franco Recognized in Houston Business Journal's 40 Under 40 Class of 2022
The list of honorees recognizes business and community leaders who reside in the 10-county Houston area and are under 40 years of age as of December 31, 2021. While reviewing applications, the Houston Business Journal's editorial team scored nominees on "leadership, overcoming challenges, and community involvement." In a special edition of the publication, each honoree has a brief profile that highlights details about their backgrounds and recent successes they’ve achieved in their careers.
To view the full Houston Business Journal's 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 list, please click here.
Katherine's honoree profile, as published in the Houston Business Journal, is copied in full below.
Katherine Franco, 38
Partner, Blank Rome LLP
Hometown: Fort Stockton, Texas
College: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, BS; University of Houston Law Center, JD
A long advocate for voter rights, Katherine Franco helped ensure Houstonians wouldn’t have to miss the polls in the 2020 election.
When news of the Covid-19 pandemic started spreading across the globe, Franco and a cohort of volunteer lawyers discussed the virus’s potential impact on the 2020 election just before the city shut down due to the pandemic.
Their goal was to ensure voters could still vote if the Covid-19 pandemic was still raging by election day. And, as we all know, it was. “I was invited to join a brainstorming session with the Harris County Clerk’s Office, who at the time was responsible for administering elections,” Franco said. “One of the ideas that came out of that session was drive-thru voting.”
Given her experience as an election judge and her extensive knowledge in election law, Franco was asked to assist in developing drive-thru voting. “Based on our research and legal position, the program survived two challenges at the Texas Supreme Court, a challenge at the Federal District Court level, and a challenge at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals,” she said. “Most striking to me was that by the final challenge, amicus briefs were filed from parties on both sides of the political aisle.”
Recent legislation has since put a stop to drive-thru voting, but it remains a standout moment for Franco.
“At a time when many people were hesitant to leave their home, much less stand in line or polling location with strangers, I was proud to be a part of expanding access to the polls in a safe, secure manner,” she said.