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The 2018 Texas Tribune Festival is upon us! Join us Sept. 27-29 in downtown Austin for two days of unique perspectives, thoughtful conversation and networking — all in the shadow of the Texas Capitol. 

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Criminal Justice & the Law [clear filter]
Friday, September 28

10:30am CDT

One on One with Lawrence Krasner
The nation’s most reform-minded district attorney on the Philadelphia experiment: a new way to think about social justice, civil rights and the law in the City of Brotherly Love.

avatar for Carrie Johnson

Carrie Johnson

Justice Correspondent for NPR
Johnson is a justice correspondent for NPR’s Washington desk, covering justice issues, law enforcement and legal affairs for “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered,” the newscasts and NPR.org. She previously worked as a reporter for The Washington Post, covering the FBI... Read More →

avatar for Lawrence Krasner

Lawrence Krasner

District Attorney of Philadelphia
Krasner was elected district attorney of Philadelphia in 2017. He previously worked as a public defender and civil rights attorney for over 30 years, starting his own criminal defense and civil rights practice in 1993. Krasner’s clients have included protesters at the 2016 Democratic... Read More →

Friday September 28, 2018 10:30am - 11:30am CDT
The Driskill Hotel, Citadel Room

11:30am CDT

Is Government Ethics an Oxymoron?
Why it’s so difficult to police and prosecute official corruption.

avatar for Dave Levinthal

Dave Levinthal

Senior Political Reporter at the Center for Public Integrity
Levinthal joined the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit news organization, in 2013 and leads a reporting team investigating the influence of money in federal politics. Previously, he reported on campaign finance and lobbying issues for Politico. Levinthal... Read More →

avatar for Margaret Moore

Margaret Moore

District Attorney of Travis County
Moore was elected Travis County district attorney in 2016. She previously served as an assistant Texas attorney general for the Civil Medicaid Fraud Division from 2005 to 2014. As an attorney, Moore has also worked as a juvenile public defender, Travis County attorney, assistant district... Read More →
avatar for Richard Painter

Richard Painter

Chief Ethics Lawyer for President George W. Bush's Administration
Painter served as chief ethics lawyer for President Bush from 2005 to 2007 and as vice chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit organization of lawyers and researchers focused on campaign finance reform and ethics law. In 2018, Painter unsuccessfully... Read More →
avatar for Walter Shaub

Walter Shaub

Senior Director of Ethics at the Campaign Legal Center and Former Director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics
Shaub was appointed director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics by President Barack Obama in 2013. Previously, he served as the office’s deputy general counsel and also as a supervisory attorney. Shaub also worked as an attorney focusing on federal employment law for a private... Read More →
avatar for Steve Wolens

Steve Wolens

Chairman of the Texas Ethics Commission
Wolens became chairman of the Texas Ethics Commission in 2017. Previously, he served in the Texas House from 1981 to 2005, where he authored legislation covering partnerships and limited liability corporations, ethics reform, antitrust laws and electric deregulation. Wolens also serves... Read More →

Friday September 28, 2018 11:30am - 12:30pm CDT
St. David's Episcopal Church, Bethel Hall

3:15pm CDT

All Rise
The presiding judges of the state’s top courts on how to ensure fair treatment under the law for every Texan.

Supported by the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (Texas State of Mind)

avatar for Emma Platoff

Emma Platoff

Breaking News and Civil Courts Reporter for The Texas Tribune
Platoff is a breaking news and civil courts reporter for The Texas Tribune. She is the former managing editor of the Yale Daily News and a former intern at The Philadelphia Inquirer and Hartford Courant. Platoff is a graduate of Yale University.

avatar for Nathan Hecht

Nathan Hecht

Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court
Hecht was appointed chief justice by then-Gov. Rick Perry in 2013. First elected to the state’s high court in 1988, he is the longest-serving Texas Supreme Court member in history. He has led the court’s efforts to ensure Texans have access to basic civil legal services and serves... Read More →
avatar for Sharon Keller

Sharon Keller

Presiding Judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Keller has served on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals since 1994 and was the first woman elected to be presiding judge in 2000. She serves as chairman of the Texas Indigent Defense Commission and is on the board of the Council of State Governments Justice Center. Keller is also... Read More →

Friday September 28, 2018 3:15pm - 4:15pm CDT
The Driskill Hotel, Citadel Room

3:45pm CDT

Bail and Pot are Only the Beginning
Right and left have plenty of ideas about how to improve the criminal justice system — and to a surprising degree, they’re on the same page.

Supported by the Charles Koch Institute

avatar for Jolie McCullough

Jolie McCullough

Criminal Justice Reporter for The Texas Tribune
McCullough reports on Texas criminal justice issues and policy for the Tribune. Previously, she worked on the Tribune's data visuals team and spent four years as a reporter and web developer at the Albuquerque Journal. McCullough also interned at the Arizona Republic before she graduated... Read More →

avatar for Art Acevedo

Art Acevedo

Chief of the Houston Police Department
Acevedo joined the Houston Police Department in 2016. Previously, he led the Austin Police Department for nearly 10 years, serving as the department’s first Hispanic chief. Acevedo also serves as first vice president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association and previously served as... Read More →
avatar for Christina Melton Crain

Christina Melton Crain

Founder, President and CEO of Unlocking Doors and Former Chairwoman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice
Crain is president and CEO of Unlocking Doors, an advocacy nonprofit dedicated to reducing recidivism and helping incarcerated individuals re-enter society. She previously served as chairwoman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, the only woman to hold the position. Crain also... Read More →
avatar for Doug Deason

Doug Deason

Criminal Justice Reform Advocate
Deason has served as president of Deason Capital Services LLC and the Deason Foundation since 2009. Previously, he was the CEO of a family-owned commercial builder. Deason is an active political donor, serving on the finance committee of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign... Read More →
avatar for Alice Marie Johnson

Alice Marie Johnson

Federal Clemency Recipient and Buried Alive Project Fellow
Johnson is an advocate for criminal justice reform. She was sentenced in 1997 to mandatory life without parole for her role in a nonviolent federal drug case — her first ever arrest and conviction. After serving more than 21 years in prison, she was granted clemency in June 2018... Read More →
avatar for Mimi Marziani

Mimi Marziani

President of the Texas Civil Rights Project
Marziani is the president of the Texas Civil Rights Project and an election law professor at the University of Texas at Austin. She previously served as counsel for the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, where she litigated election law cases... Read More →

Friday September 28, 2018 3:45pm - 4:45pm CDT
Texas Public Policy Foundation, Auditorium
Saturday, September 29

9:00am CDT

The Consequences of Gun Violence
They’re survivors of four infamous mass-casualty shootings — and they’re victims. Here are their stories.

avatar for Pamela Colloff

Pamela Colloff

Senior Writer at ProPublica and Writer-at-Large for The New York Times Magazine
Colloff joined ProPublica and the Times in 2017 after serving as an executive editor and staff writer for Texas Monthly. At Texas Monthly, she earned a National Magazine Award in Feature Writing for her 2012 story, "The Innocent Man." Colloff was awarded the Louis M. Lyons Award for... Read More →

avatar for Chris Grady

Chris Grady

Survivor of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting
Grady is a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He is a survivor of the 2018 Parkland school shooting. Grady has been a vocal advocate for gun policy reform in the wake of the shooting and is actively involved in the March for Our Lives movement... Read More →
avatar for Nicole Hockley

Nicole Hockley

Founder of Sandy Hook Promise
Hockley is the founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, an organization aiming to teach young people and parents about the signs of gun violence. She founded the organization after losing her son, Dylan, in the Sandy Hook school shooting and currently serves as spokeswoman... Read More →
avatar for Suzanna Gratia Hupp

Suzanna Gratia Hupp

Former State Representative, R-Lampasas
Hupp, R-Lampasas, represented Texas House District 54 from 1997 to 2007. She is a survivor of the 1991 Luby’s mass shooting in Killeen, Texas. Since then, she has become a strong proponent of allowing individuals to carry firearms for self-defense, testifying in favor of concealed-carry... Read More →
avatar for Frank Pomeroy

Frank Pomeroy

Pastor of First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs
Pomeroy has served as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs since 2002. The church was the site of the November 2017 Sutherland Springs mass shooting that claimed the lives of 26 people, including Pomeroy’s 14-year-old daughter. Pomeroy graduated from Texas State... Read More →

Saturday September 29, 2018 9:00am - 10:00am CDT
Central Presbyterian Church

1:45pm CDT

The Kavanaugh Download
Members of the cast of Showtime’s The Circus — along with a few very special guests — debrief a week of news like no other and answer your burning questions about what happens next.

avatar for John Heilemann

John Heilemann

Co-host of Showtime's The Circus
Heilemann is a reporter and commentator currently serving as co-host of Showtime’s political documentary series “The Circus.” He is a national affairs analyst for NBC and MSNBC, appearing regularly on programs including Morning Joe and Hardball. Heilemann previously served as... Read More →

avatar for Mieke Eoyang

Mieke Eoyang

Vice President for the National Security Program at Third Way
Eoyang is vice president for the National Security Program at Third Way. She previously served as chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo and as defense policy adviser to U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy. Eoyang is a contributor for Lawfare and has been featured in Politico, The Wall Street Journal... Read More →
avatar for Virginia Heffernan

Virginia Heffernan

Cultural Critic and Co-Host of Slate’s Trumpcast
Heffernan is a journalist, critic and author. In addition to co-hosting Slate's Trumpcast, she serves as a contributing editor at Politico and a columnist at FastCompany. Heffernan wrote "The Medium," a weekly column about internet culture for The New York Times, from 2008 to 2012... Read More →
avatar for Mark McKinnon

Mark McKinnon

Co-host of Showtime's The Circus
McKinnon has served as a commentator and a media adviser for numerous companies and candidates, including former Texas Gov. Ann Richards and former President George W. Bush. He is a cofounder of No Labels, an organization dedicated to promoting bipartisanship in politics. McKinnon... Read More →
avatar for Steve Schmidt

Steve Schmidt

Political Strategist
Schmidt is a veteran political strategist. He served as a top strategist for President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign and in his administration as his deputy assistant. Schmidt also worked on John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign; Woody Harrelson played him in the... Read More →
avatar for Joyce White Vance

Joyce White Vance

Former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama
Vance served as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama during the Obama administration. She currently serves as a distinguished professor from practice at the University of Alabama School of Law and is a contributor for MSNBC and NBC News. Vance previously served as assistant... Read More →

Saturday September 29, 2018 1:45pm - 2:45pm CDT
The Paramount Theatre 713 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701

3:00pm CDT

Is There Nothing We Should Do About Gun Policy?
The congressmen who represent Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas, on the tragedies back home and how to prevent the next one.

This event is part of Open Congress, a free, open-to-the-public street festival held on Austin's historic Congress Ave. on Saturday, Sept. 29. RSVP to attend Open Congress here.

avatar for Garrett Haake

Garrett Haake

Washington Correspondent for MSNBC
Haake covers national politics and breaking news for MSNBC, where he is a two-time regional Emmy winner for environmental and documentary reporting. Previously, he worked as a television reporter for WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C., and was an embedded reporter on the 2012 presidential... Read More →

avatar for Ted Deutch

Ted Deutch

U.S. Representative, D-Florida
Deutch has represented Florida’s 22nd Congressional District since 2010. He serves as the ranking Democrat on the House Ethics Committee and as a senior member of the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees. Deutch has been a prominent proponent of gun reform legislation in the... Read More →
avatar for Randy Weber

Randy Weber

U.S. Representative, R-Friendswood
Weber, R-Friendswood, has represented Texas' 14th Congressional District since 2009. He is a member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure and Science, Space & Technology committees and chairman of the Energy Subcommittee. Weber previously served in the Texas House.

Saturday September 29, 2018 3:00pm - 4:00pm CDT
NBC News & MSNBC South Tent, Open Congress