2017 Schedule

Available on the App Store Android App on Google Play

Thursday | 6:30 PM

Special Events

Franklin Barbecue

Franklin Barbecue Feast – SOLD OUT!

Kick off the Festival at the legendary Franklin Barbecue with world-class barbecue and a compelling conversation about the state of politics and the role of media following the 2016 elections.

Tribune co-founder and CEO Evan Smith will moderate a discussion with Steve Schmidt, a longtime Republican political strategist and top adviser to the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush and John McCain; and Donna Brazile, a veteran Democratic political strategist, former interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee and former campaign director for Al Gore’s presidential run.

Tickets to this event are sold out and will not be available at the door.

Presented by NRG Energy. Media support is provided by CultureMap.

Friday | 9:00 AM

Friday | 12:00 PM

Friday | 1:00 PM

Special Events

KLRU's Studio 6A

A Community Forum on Race and Justice

Kick off the 2017 Festival with a free, open-to-the-public community forum on race and justice in America. This event will be hosted by the Tribune's Evan Smith and will feature MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and civil rights activist and organizer DeRay Mckesson.

The event is free to attend, but an RSVP is requested. RSVP link coming soon.

Supported by the Austin Community College District

Friday | 4:00 PM

Special Events

Cactus Cafe

Pre-Festival College Student Summit

Enjoy a kickoff session with your fellow classmates, meet Tribune staff and find out how to get the most out of your Festival experience.

Learn more about the Festival student experience here.

Presented by Pearson, the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation

Special Events

Texas Union, T-House

Pre-Festival High School Student Summit

Enjoy a kickoff session with your fellow classmates, meet Tribune staff and find out how to get the most out of your Festival experience.

Learn more about the Festival student experience here.

Presented by Pearson, the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation

Friday | 5:00 PM

Special Events

Texas Union Theater

Live Recording of The Texas Tribune's TribCast

Before the opening keynote, Festival attendees are invited to join us for a special pre-Festival live recording of the Texas Tribune TribCast. After the recording, walk over to the Hogg Memorial Auditorium for the opening keynote with U.S. Sen. Al Franken.

Friday | 7:00 PM

Keynote

Hogg Memorial Auditorium

Opening Session: One on One with Al Franken

The Democratic Senator from Minnesota on his best-selling book, Al Franken: Giant of the Senate

Friday | 8:00 PM

Special Events

Main Mall

Opening Night Party

Join us for a welcome reception under the tower lights on the UT Main Mall directly after Friday’s opening keynote. Mingle with the Festival’s speakers and moderators and the Tribune’s staff while enjoying hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.

Bites provided by Austin Community College - Fête Event Solutions. Beverages provided by Messina Hof Winery, the Beer Alliance of Texas and Tito's Vodka.

Saturday | 8:00 AM

Special Events

AT&T Center, Classroom 109

Quiet Room for Nursing Moms

The Festival offers a quiet room for mothers.

Room 109 is located on Level M1 of the AT&T Center. Festival staff, hotel staff or volunteers would be happy to assist you in locating the room. The room is equipped with a table, power outlet and refrigerator. A key will be available at the Festival Info Desk in the Tejas Dining Room at the AT&T Conference Center.

Special Events

Online

Texas Voter Stories – #TTFSTUDENTS

What was it like to cast your first ballot in a political race? We will be working with students at Texas Tribune Festival to document the experiences of Texas voters as part of our ongoing coverage of the electoral process.

Learn more about the Festival student experience here.

Presented by Pearson, the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation

Saturday | 8:30 AM

Politics & the Media

AT&T Center, Amphitheater 204

The White House and the Press

How the relationship between the two institutions has evolved

Keynote

AT&T Center, Ballroom

One on One with Steny Hoyer

The House Minority Whip on Trump, Congress and the Democrats’ road forward

Supported by The Boeing Company

Transportation, Energy & the Environment

AT&T Center, Classroom 203

Is There an Oil Boom Around the Corner?

No state wants one more than the number one producer of crude oil in the U.S.

Cities

Calhoun Hall, Classroom 100

Local Control vs. Local Liberty

Who gets to decide how cities and counties operate: mayors, council members and voters, or the state?

Supported by Texas Municipal League

2018

Rainey Hall, Jessen Auditorium

One on One with Joe Straus

The Speaker of the House on the regular and special sessions, Republicans at war and the future of Texas

Supported by AT&T

Public & Higher Education

Flawn Academic Center, Auditorium

Higher Ed Funding and Spending

Is there enough money available to educate the next generation of Texans — and who should foot the bill?

Supported by Deloitte

Trump: Year One

Hogg Memorial Auditorium

Trump and the Presidency

How the institution has fared in year one

Supported by Pearson

Podcasts

Texas Union Theater

Live Recording of "The Forward Podcast"

Guest will be announced shortly

Diversity & the Law

Texas Union, Quadrangle Room

Justice for All

Indigent defense, bail reform and other ways to ensure fair treatment for the poor

Health Care & the Economy

Texas Union, Santa Rita Room

The Foster Care Crisis Isn't Over

Progress was made on the 85th session’s top priority, but there’s more work to be done

Supported by Upbring

Saturday | 9:50 AM

Politics & the Media

AT&T Center, Amphitheater 204

Accountability Journalism Now

Keeping an eye on powerful people — in office and out — has never been more necessary

Keynote

AT&T Center, Ballroom

Public Broadcasting and the Public Interest

The CEO of PBS and the executive producer of FRONTLINE on the importance of their work 50 years after the act that enabled it

Transportation, Energy & the Environment

AT&T Center, Classroom 203

The Tyranny of the Commute

Getting from home to work and back in our biggest cities is harder than it needs to be. Here’s how to make it easier.

Supported by Chariot

Cities

Calhoun Hall, Classroom 100

One on One with Mike Rawlings

The Dallas mayor on the challenges of running one the country’s biggest cities

Supported by Oncor

2018

Rainey Hall, Jessen Auditorium

The Grassroots Agenda

What the most conservative elected officials and activists in Texas want from the next election cycle and the 86th Legislative Session

Public & Higher Education

Flawn Academic Center, Auditorium

Testing, Accountability and College Readiness

Five superintendents on how to put the greatest number of students on the best path forward

Trump: Year One

Hogg Memorial Auditorium

Trump and National Security

Is America’s place in the world stronger? And are we safer?

Supported by the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin

Podcasts

Texas Union Theater

Live Recording of "Black on the Air"

Diversity & the Law

Texas Union, Quadrangle Room

We Banned Sanctuary Cities. Now What?

The practical impact of the year’s most combustible new law

Health Care & the Economy

Texas Union, Santa Rita Room

The Future of Medicaid

The prognosis for the half-century-old social safety net program matters in the state with the most uninsured citizens

Supported by Doctors Hospital at Renaissance

Saturday | 11:10 AM

Politics & the Media

AT&T Center, Amphitheater 204

The Family Business

Fathers and daughters talk political journalism through the generations

Keynote

AT&T Center, Ballroom

The Politics of Bathrooms

How the fight in Texas over transgender rights became the latest battlefront in the nation’s culture war

Transportation, Energy & the Environment

AT&T Center, Classroom 203

Modernizing the Grid

How to think differently — and creatively — about a sustainable future for Texas electricity

Supported by NRG

Cities

Calhoun Hall, Classroom 100

How Cities are Tackling Climate Change

With the U.S. out of the Paris Accord, the fate of the world could be in the hands of mayors

2018

Rainey Hall, Jessen Auditorium

One on One with Beto O'Rourke

The Democratic congressman from El Paso on his longshot race for the Senate against Ted Cruz

Public & Higher Education

Flawn Academic Center, Auditorium

The Right Response on Sexual Assault

What we learned from Baylor and where we go from here

Trump: Year One

Hogg Memorial Auditorium

Trump and the Resistance

The president’s opponents have taken to the streets, trying to turn a moment into a movement

Podcasts

Texas Union Theater

Live Recording of "Recode Decode"

Diversity & the Law

Texas Union, Quadrangle Room

Texas and the Refugee Crisis

Is America’s tradition of compassion for vulnerable populations a relic of the past, done in by concerns about public safety?

Health Care & the Economy

Texas Union, Santa Rita Room

Why are So Many New Mothers Dying?

The maternal mortality crisis in Texas: what caused it, what we can do about it, and why we haven’t addressed it already

Supported by Quest Diagnostics

Saturday | 12:15 PM

Special Events

Main Mall

Food Truck Lunch

Austin may be known as the live music capital of the world, but it’s also known for its diverse and gourmet food trucks. The Festival is providing the adventure of eating at a food truck court. Be sure to bring cash for lunch and dessert from some of Austin’s most iconic food trucks at this special lunch curated by Austin’s own Tiffany Harelik, author of the "Trailer Food Diaries" cookbook series.

Saturday | 1:45 PM

Politics & the Media

AT&T Center, Amphitheater 204

Disrupting the News

Media innovators on reaching new audiences and raising the level of civic engagement

Supported by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas

Keynote

AT&T Center, Ballroom

Country Over Party

Are they merely words on a T-shirt — or at a time of deep polarization, is it the governing philosophy we need?

Transportation, Energy & the Environment

AT&T Center, Classroom 203

This is the Story of a Hurricane

Is Houston prepared for a category 4 or 5 storm? (Spoiler: No.)

Supported by Walmart and CenterPoint Energy

Cities

Calhoun Hall, Classroom 100

The Limits of Annexation

When cities decide to expand, who gets a say?

2018

Rainey Hall, Jessen Auditorium

A Different Kind of Service

How time in the military prepares you to run for office — and how it shapes your thinking about national security, veterans affairs and other issues in play

Supported by Lockheed Martin and Oldcastle Materials

Public & Higher Education

Flawn Academic Center, Auditorium

Why School Finance is So Hard

Forget about adequacy and equity. We can’t even agree on whether more money is a good idea.

Supported by the Texas Association of Realtors and Raise Your Hand Texas

Trump: Year One

Hogg Memorial Auditorium

Trump and Congress

Three members of the Texas delegation to the U.S. House on what it’s like to work with the administration so far

Supported by Vistra Energy

Podcasts

Texas Union Theater

Live Recording of "On the Media"

Diversity & the Law

Texas Union, Quadrangle Room

Are Religious Refusals Constitutional?

The Supreme Court will soon decide. Until then, on issues ranging from same sex marriage to foster care, the battle is joined by the state of Texas.

Health Care & the Economy

Texas Union, Santa Rita Room

One on One with Glenn Hegar

The Texas comptroller on the health of our economy, how we should think about the state’s Rainy Day Fund, and the morphing definition of fiscal conservatism

Supported by the Beer Alliance of Texas

Saturday | 3:05 PM

Politics & the Media

AT&T Center, Amphitheater 204

Why Texas Newspapers Matter

What the dailies are doing to reassert their role in a digital age

Keynote

AT&T Center, Ballroom

One on One with Steve Bullock

Montana’s governor on Big Sky values, succeeding as a red-state Democrat, and broadening his party’s appeal

Transportation, Energy & the Environment

AT&T Center, Classroom 203

Population and Transportation

We’ll have twice as many people in Texas by 2050. Will we have the transportation infrastructure we’ll need?

Supported by The Texas A&M University System

Cities

Calhoun Hall, Classroom 100

Big-City Economics

Pensions, property taxes and how to keep our communities from going belly up

Supported by Houston First

2018

Rainey Hall, Jessen Auditorium

The Democratic Playbook

If there’s any chance at all of turning Texas blue in 2018, or of taking back the U.S. House or Senate, you have to start with a plan

Public & Higher Education

Flawn Academic Center, Auditorium

What HBCUs Mean for Texas

By enabling educational attainment and opportunity, they strengthen communities and lift up students and families

Trump: Year One

Hogg Memorial Auditorium

Trump and Mexico

It’s about so much more than who pays for the wall

Podcasts

Texas Union Theater

Live Recording of "The Federalist Radio Hour"

Guest will be announced shortly

Diversity & the Law

Texas Union, Quadrangle Room

Criminal Justice Reform We Can All Agree On

Raise the age, the sealing of records and other policy changes that left and right can get behind

Health Care & the Economy

Texas Union, Santa Rita Room

Next Steps on Mental Health

Each of the last two legislatures have finally paid attention to — and put dollars behind — the issue. How do we build on that good work?

Supported by the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute and Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas

Saturday | 4:25 PM

Politics & the Media

AT&T Center, Amphitheater 204

Veep Imitates Life

The executive producer of HBO’s hit series on the stranger-than-fiction politics of the moment

Transportation, Energy & the Environment

AT&T Center, Classroom 203

Don't Forget About Water

Drought conditions are mostly behind us, so the Legislature has moved on to more pressing matters — but our long-term natural resources problem remains

Supported by Accenture

Cities

Calhoun Hall, Classroom 100

Lessons of Urban Policing

The top cop in the state’s biggest city and an iconic former chief on fighting crime and keeping the peace

2018

Rainey Hall, Jessen Auditorium

Race, Voting and the Courts

How the prolonged legal wrangling over redistricting and voter ID could literally redraw the state’s political map

Public & Higher Education

Flawn Academic Center, Auditorium

One on One with Mike Morath

The Texas Education Commissioner on what it will take to make our schools and school districts the best in the nation

Trump: Year One

Hogg Memorial Auditorium

Trump, Ethics and the Law

Comey. Mueller. Russia. Emoluments. Are we making something out of nothing?

Podcasts

Texas Union Theater

Live Recording of "With Friends Like These"

Diversity & the Law

Texas Union, Quadrangle Room

Can the Government Really Take Your Stuff?

Yes — thanks most recently to a directive by the U.S. Department of Justice. But the opposition to asset forfeiture rules is only getting stronger

Health Care & the Economy

Texas Union, Santa Rita Room

Fixing NAFTA

The president thinks it should be overhauled or scrapped, and he’s not the only one. Texas has a lot at stake.

Supported by Toyota

Saturday | 5:30 PM

Special Events

AT&T Center Courtyard

Courtyard Reception

Join your fellow Festival attendees directly after Saturday’s last session in the garden courtyard of the AT&T Center. Discuss the day and enjoy light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. This special reception is open to all Festival attendees.

Presented by The Boeing Company

Saturday | 7:30 PM

Special Events

Etter-Harbin Alumni Center

TribFeast: A Dinner To Support Nonprofit Journalism

We’re pleased to announce that MSNBC’s Katy Tur will be our guest at this year’s TribFeast! This great evening will bring together thought leaders and philanthropists from around the state, including several of the elected officials, policymakers and big-brand journalists on the Festival program. Join us for what should be of one of the best parties of the year.

This event is not included in the regular Festival badge and requires an extra ticket, which can be purchased here in advance. There will not be tickets available for purchase at the door.

Media support is provided by CultureMap.

Special Events

Scholz Garten

Trivia Night with Chris Cillizza – Special Festival Edition

After a full day of programming at the Festival, you are invited to join CNN Politics’ Chris Cillizza as he hosts a special #TribFest17 edition of The Texas Tribune’s Trivia Night. Bring your friends and test your knowledge on everything from current events to politics. Teams of up to six will compete for prizes, as well as special prizes for best team names.

Tickets for this event are not included with your Festival badge and a Festival badge is not required to attend. Pre-register here for $5 per person and then form your team at the event. Doors to the event will open at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23.

Presented by Pearson, AT&T and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Media support is provided by the Austin American-Statesman. Prizes are generously provided by Hai Hospitality Restaurants, The Tasty Spoon Gelateria, Fixe Southern House, Searsucker and Dancers Shape.

Sunday | 9:00 AM

Keynote

Hogg Memorial Auditorium

Closing Session: A Conversation with John Cornyn and Ted Cruz

A rare joint sit-down with our senior and junior senators: How Texas is faring in Washington, the state of conservatism and more.

Sunday | 10:30 AM

Keynote

Hogg Memorial Auditorium

Closing Session: The New Abnormal

Our much-anticipated annual roundtable: Five of the nation’s best political commentators try to make sense of 2017 and look ahead to 2018 and beyond.