The Texas Tribune Festival

Are you familiar with the Texas Tribune? If not, you should be. This online publication, with some of the best journalists in the state, provides in-depth coverage of Texas policy and politics. They also provide extensive databases, such as the one that allows a reader to look up the salary of any State of Texas employee. The Texas Tribune is a non-profit organization and operates on grants and donations, much like public radio. To view their daily publication, click here.

This past weekend, the Texas Tribune held a festival – to discuss politics and policy. I was privileged to attend with my co-worker. From the opening night sparring of Trib editor, Evan Smith, with Governor Rick Perry to the closing panel of national journalists discussing the Presidential election, it was an amazing event.

From Friday night through Sunday afternoon, I attended panels on transportation, environment/energy, education, healthcare, race and immigration and more. We mingled with everyone from Governor Rick Perry to agency heads to Legislators from across the state to policy advocates and students.

My personal favorite panel was a discussion on a variety of topics between San Antonio Mayor and Democratic National Convention keynote speaker, Julian Castro and Republican U.S. Senate nominee, Ted Cruz. Trib editor, Evan Smith, hosted the panel and they discussed a variety of topics while providing humorous and contrasting points of view. Both come from humble beginnings to earn Harvard Law degrees. Most in the audience believed that they represent the future of Texas.

Overall, it was just an amazing event. They plan to have one again next year. If you are at all interested in policy, pencil it in on your schedule.

Visit my Twitter feed, @nancylsims, to recap the sessions I attended.

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