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Published on May 29, 2024
Austin Awaits, Texas Tribune Festival to Stir Democracy Discourse with Stacey Abrams and Preet Bharara Amid Declining Texan Faith in GovernmentSource: Google Street View

In the heart of Texas, the Texas Tribune Festival gears up to tackle the alarming dip in Texans’ faith in democracy with a lineup that reads like a who’s who of political and intellectual heavy-hitters. The three-day event set to unfold from September 5-7 in downtown Austin aims to ignite much-needed conversation amidst a concerning climate where a mere 37 percent of Texans “strongly agreed” that “democracy is the best form of government,” slumping from 40 percent in 2019, according to a Texas Lyceum poll.

Charging into this ideological battleground, 20 new speakers have been announced, enlisting the likes of Stacey Abrams – a titan of voting rights activism, and Preet Bharara, once U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and now, dabbling in promises of intellect and insight. They join the ranks of already announced speakers including George Conway, contributor at The Atlantic and Jeffrey Goldberg, its editor in chief – setting the stage for a fiery confluence of thought across the great political divide.

But why is this pow-wow of policy wonks and journos grabbing headlines again, you ask? Simple: As The Texas Tribune puts it, with Election Day looming just two months after, there’s a rip-roaring raft of issues that need to be wrestled to the ground for the Lone Star State's future. And what better place than TribFest, a veritable agora where attendees sizzle with civic responsibility and are ready, to not just talk shop but do the hard yards that democracy demands.

They say everything's bigger in Texas and that includes the expectations for TribFest. With the festival guaranteeing to deliver a packed agenda, these issues to be dissected ranging from politics to policy, it looks poised to deliver more than the average bear. If you want in on the action, snag those tickets, pronto, because if there's one thing for certain – it’s that Texans know their democracy is no rodeo, and this year’s festival won’t be bucking the trend of hosting seriously important chinwags.