Texas Tribune Festival offers political debate, dialogue
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 23:09
Sunday marked the culmination of the second annual Texas Tribune Festival. Hundreds of speakers came from all across Texas to discuss topics ranging from law and order to energy and environment.
John Sharp — chancellor for the Texas A&M University System — was in attendance, joining chancellors from the other six major university systems in Texas, including Francisco Cigarroa, Kent Hance, Lee Jackson, Renu Khator and Brian McCall.
As chancellor, Sharp is responsible for the 11 universities that encompass the Texas A&M System.
Formerly a Texas politician, Sharp used his experience at the state capital to help better Texas A&M by raising government funding.
“I thought I knew something about politics until I got this job,” Sharp said. “That was kindergarten, this is really serious stuff.”
Each of the chancellors that spoke at the event made it clear that although their efforts would be primarily used to better their respective universities, there seemed to be a cooperative attitude towards the upcoming legislative session.
“We’ve got to go to the next legislative session, look at the freshman class and respect what the voters have said,” Sharp said.
Other events at the festival included a speech by Gov. Rick Perry, a heated panel on standardized testing, Texas vs. Obamacare, and The Future of Texas Politics in which the Mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro, and Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate, Ted Cruz, spoke.
Castro said the economy, though lacking, has managed to improve.
“I would say that every American would agree that the economy is not where we want it to be, but are we better off than where we were four years ago? Yes we are,” Castro said.
Cruz said he did not share the view of his counterpart, Castro.
“1.5 percent has been our GDP growth for the three and a half years since Obama took office,” Cruz said, “Historically, for the last 70 years GDP growth has been 3.3 percent.”
The Texas Tribune Festival has grown significantly since its inauguration last year. It gives citizens of Texas a chance to become more involved in the decisions faced by the law makers in Austin regarding education, universities, the economy, transportation systems and more.