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This year has seen Donald Trump move into the White House, the Texas Legislature fight among itself for a regular session and some overtime for good measure, and a hurricane that put much of the state underwater and could end up being the costliest storm in U.S. history. There has never been a better time to bring leaders from Texas and beyond together to talk politics and policy. The seventh annual Texas Tribune Festival – our signature three-day ideas conference on the University of Texas at Austin campus, featuring more than 250 big names in frank discussion about politics and policy – kicks off Friday, Sept. 22.

As a Rivard Report reader you get $50 off your ticket with promo code: RRTTF.

The big weekend cannot come soon enough. We’re living in a state and nation that are vibrating about every single issue out there (immigration and health care chief among them) and about the guy in the White House. There will also be much talk of Hurricane Harvey – what happened (and didn’t) before the storm, and the aftermath.

Among the most anticipated panels are:

  • A rare joint appearance by U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas
  • A one-on-one with Texas House Speaker Joe Straus
  • The state of accountability journalism with The New York Times’ Amy Chozick; Pulitzer Prize-winner David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post; Bloomberg’s Joshua Green, author of the #1 best-seller “Devil’s Bargain”; and The Wall Street Journal’s Eli Stokols
  • Trump and the Resistance, with The Indivisible Project’s Ezra Levin, civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson and Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards
  • Public broadcasting and the public interest, with Frontline’s Raney Aronson-Rath and PBS CEO Paula Kerger
  • Panel discussions on the biggest agenda items of the 85th Legislative Session, including sanctuary cities, school finance, maternal mortality, foster care reform, mental health and bathroom access
  • Plus an entire track of podcasts recorded live, including Larry Wilmore’s “Black on the Air,” Ana Marie Cox’s “With Friends Like These,” and Ben Domenech’s “Federalist Radio Hour”

In addition to the Trump: Year One track, we’ll have tracks on the media and politics, the 2018 election cycle, and the challenges for big cities in the state that has more than any other, plus the usual policy wonkery: a raft of sessions on public ed, higher ed, immigration, transportation, energy, the environment, health care, and the law. Of course we’ll have a keynote track, with the best of all possible wide-ranging, world-changing conversations. And there will be the usual fun elements you’ve come to expect: the Friday night opening party with best-selling author and U.S. Sen. Al Franken on hand to sign books, trivia night with CNN’s Chris Cillizza, and a food truck lunch curated by Hill Country darling Tiffany Harelik.

It’s our biggest line-up yet, and you will want to be there. Don’t forget, as a Rivard Report reader you get $50 off your ticket with promo code: RRTTF. We can’t wait to see you.

Founded in 2009, The Texas Tribune publishes nonpartisan news and information on our destination website on a full range of topics, including education, health and human services, immigration, border issues,...