Even while the national presidential campaigns blaze in the foreground, Texas state politics is capturing national attention. Dramatic federal court decisions on voter ID and redistricting made headlines last week, and two major Texas politicians spoke at their respective parties' national conventions, reaffirming Texas' role as a national political influencer.
Just as the November elections are heating up, The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism organization based in Austin, is bringing its second annual Texas Tribune Festival to The University of Texas at Austin. Spread over three days, the event will focus on discussions between speakers from both sides of the aisle on controversial issues like family planning, border security, the DREAM Act, stem cell research and national health care.
The opening session on Friday with Gov. Rick Perry will be followed by Saturday's full day of programming drawn from six topic tracks. The topics include health and human services, law and order, public and higher education, energy and the environment, and race and immigration. Between the sessions, on the South Mall at noon, 10 of Austin's finest mobile food trucks will be serving lunch.
To bring the state political discussions full circle with the national dialogue, Sunday's closing session will feature journalists from Politico, Washington Week, Sirius XM and The New Yorker to discuss the presidential election.
The Texas Tribune Festival takes place Friday, Sept. 21 through Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012.
University of Texas at Austin Faculty and Staff Presenters and Moderators (all on Saturday, September 22):
Health and Human Services
The Affordable Care Act is Constitutional. What Now?
- Moderator: William M. Sage, M.D., J.D. - Vice Provost for Health Affairs for The University of Texas at Austin and James R. Dougherty Chair for Faculty Excellence at the School of Law.
Law and Order
The Future of Juvenile Justice
- Moderator: Michele Y. Deitch, M.S., J.D., Senior Lecturer, LBJ School of Public Affairs, School of Law, The University of Texas at Austin
Energy and Environment
The Future of Water
- Moderator: Danny Reible, Professor, Environmental Health Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin
Can We Solve Our Electricity Problem?
- Michael Webber - Associate Director, Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy, The University of Texas at Austin
Eminent Domain: The Great Debate
- Moderator: Terrence Henry, KUT/StateImpact Texas reporter
Public and Higher Education
An 83rd Legislative Session Preview
- Moderator: Sherri Greenberg Director, Center for Politics and Governance, LBJ School of Public Affairs lecturer and Fellow of the Max Sherman Chair in State and Local Government, The University of Texas at Austin
Standardized Testing and Accountability: The Great Debate
- Carolyn Heinrich - Sid Richardson Professor of Public Affairs; Director, Center for Health and Social Policy, LBJ School of Public Affairs
Race and Immigration
Voter ID: The Great Debate
- Moderator: Victoria DeFrancesca Soto Lecturer, Fellow at the Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas The University of Texas at Austin
Trade and Transportation
Is Light Rail the Answer?
- Moderator: Mose Buchele KUT reporter
The University of Texas at Austin is a co-sponsor and location host for the 2012 Texas Tribune Festival. Students, faculty and staff can attend at a special discount rate of $50. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.