After a successful debut, the Texas Tribune Festival stands on solid political ground in its second year as it kicks off a weekend of dialogue, discussion and debate this Friday.
Because we're aware that the sound of a political festival might rouse up trepidation in even the most civically engaged, we've broken the festival down into five need-to-knows. Including, best of all, that you can register until midnight Friday to attend.
Opening Session with Rick Perry @ 6 p.m. Friday
James Richard "Rick" Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, was sworn in as the state's 47th chief executive on Dec. 21, 2000, replacing Gov. George W. Bush upon his ascendancy to the White House. Perry was elected to a four-year term in 2002 and re-elected in 2006 and 2010. He will address a crowd at the AT&T Center to kick off the weekend.
The Future of Texas Politics @ 8:30 a.m. Saturday
San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, the youngest leader of a major American city, will engage in discourse with Ted Cruz, the Republican candidate running to succeed Kay Bailey Hutchison in the U.S. Senate, moderated by Texas Tribune CEO and Editor in Chief Evan Smith.
A Discussion about the 2012 Presidential Race @ 10:30 a.m. Sunday
Maggie Haberman (senior political writer for Politico), Hendrik Hertzberg (senior editor at The New Yorker), Gwen Ifill (Washington Week managing editor) and Julie Mason (host of Sirius XM's "The Press Pool with Julie Mason") will sit on a panel moderated by Smith to hash out the impending election, the issues and its candidates.
Breakfast Breakouts @ 8 a.m. Sunday
The Trib Fest is broken out into six different topics; each of the tracks, plus the unofficial legislative preview track, will feature an exclusive Sunday morning breakfast with thought leaders with a limited number of seats. These events are not included in the general admission price and cost an additional $50.
Race & Immigration - Beto O'Rourke, Candidate for Congress
Law & Order - Tyron Lewis, State Rep., R-Odessa
Trade & Transportation - Steve Murdock, Former Director of U.S. Census Bureau
Public & Higher Education - Michael J. Sorrell, President, Paul Quinn College
Energy & Environment - John Nieslen-Gammon, Texas State Climatologist
Health & Human Services - Lois Kolkhorst, State Rep., R-Brenham
UT Campus Involvement
The Trib Fest all goes down on UT campus. It's a great chance for UT students to learn about policy making from the people who matter. Volunteers are still needed, so the opportunity for a front row seat remains.
You can register for the festival, which takes place September 21 - 23, online.