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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Visiting legislators to illuminate political landscape

The Texas Tribune will mediate a political discussion on campus Thursday in an effort to hold Texas politicians accountable and involve constituents outside of major cities in
the discussion.
Evan Smith, CEO and editor-in-chief of the Texas Tribune, said the political discussion comes at a time when competitive Texas elections are
a rarity.
The event is one of eight forums the publication hosts annually and will feature state Sen. Charles Schwertner and state Reps. John Raney and Kyle Kacal – members of the 83rd Texas legislature.
Tribune officials travel to a market outside the largest Texas cities to reach out to
college campuses.
Smith, who will mediate the discussion, said the topics to be covered will likely address the political landscape and upcoming issues of importance like water conservation
and education.
Smith said people attend the events because voters are given the rare opportunity to hear political conversation firsthand.
“It’s one and a half percent of the legislature right there on stage, and that’s significant,” Smith said. “They’re just three votes out of 181, but
they’re consequential.”
Smith said he hopes people walk away from the event with a greater understanding of the issues that Texas is facing and can utilize the political knowledge they gain.
“We have enormous challenges and opportunities in a state that is growing as quickly as ours, and in a state whose population is changing as quickly as ours,” Smith said. “We have an enormous set of issues we have to handle as a state.”
Smith said the democratic process works better when people participate.
“From my perspective, I don’t care what choices people make,” Smith said. “I don’t care how people vote, I care how many people vote. I don’t care what people think, I care that people think.”
The event will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in MSC 2400.

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