Summer 2013 at the Texas Capitol has provided the most buzzworthy political headlines since quorum-busting Democrats fled across the state line in 2003. When it came to the special session battle over abortion rights, the eyes of the nation were focused on what went down in Austin.
Those with a vested interest in the outcome of the controversial bill were glued to news updates regarding public testimonies and senate debates. The devoted journalists of the Texas Tribune, and the organization's livestream of the filibuster and debates, kept the public abreast of what was happening within the halls of the Capitol.
This fall’s Texas Tribune Festival (September 27-29) will provide another fix for politically minded Texans. The speaker lineup for the 2013 festival features the biggest names on the scene — as well as those on the rise.
Rising star of the 83rd Legislature, Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth), will speak at the festival. She will be joined by fellow rising Texas Democrats, the Castro brothers: Mayor Julián Castro of San Antonio and U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro.
Texas Republicans will also feature prominently at the festival, particularly U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who may serve as a political opponent to Wendy Davis in the not-too-distant future. Other Texas conservatives on the lineup include Texas House Speaker Joe Straus and First Lady of Texas Anita Perry.
That's just a small sampling of the politicians, state leaders, public servants and experts traveling from across the state and country to the University of Texas campus for the festival. Panels and programs will tackle the most important issues facing Texas and American citizens, whether it’s healthcare, education, immigration or energy.
The Tribune Festival will also include tours of Austin's most iconic sites with noted experts. There will be tours of the Texas State Capitol and Texas State Cemetery, and UT president Bill Powers will give a tour of the university tower.
Tickets to the festival went on sale July 19. If you want to stay ahead of the curve regarding Texas' political landscape, this will be a landmark weekend.