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Roll Call’s Guide to SXSW Interactive

Watch out, Austin: Washington is coming to town.

The Interactive week of mega-festival South By Southwest will attract more than 30,000 nerds to the Texas capital, and more of them than ever are coming from Capitol Hill. No fewer than six members of Congress are slated to make appearance — a record number — and many more Hill staffers are coming along for the ride.

Reps. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., are all speaking on panels at the Interactive festival. Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., are taking part in an Economist-led panel on local tech economies.

Most of the members are first-timers, with the exception of Moran, whose SXSW appearance will be his third. Moran, who we already know can’t say no to good ‘cue, recommends Iron Works BBQ in Austin and plans to dine there again this year, according to a spokesman.

But there could have been even more Capitol representation at SXSW: Before his resignation in January, Florida Republican Rep. Trey Radel was scheduled to present a social media session called Vine to Spotify: Making Politics Personal Again. D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis had also been penciled in but had to back out because of schedule conflicts.

As always, the hardest part of SXSW is having enough time to see everything and everyone on your list. There are hundreds of Interactive sessions (and almost as many parties) happening over the next week. We’ve put together a short list below of the sessions that will be most interesting to people coming to Austin from the Hill.

We’ve also got a running list of Capitol Hill and D.C. SXSW attendees on Twitter — tweet @rollcall and @GraceDobushToGo if you’re in Austin this week.


Friday, March 7

12:30 p.m.

Star Power: Innovative Ways to Engage Millennials

Alex Wagner of MSNBC and Rosario Dawson of Voto Latino
Austin Convention Center Room 6AB

3:30 p.m.

Clubbing the Patent Trolls: How We Can Fight Back

including Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.
Austin Convention Center Room 10AB

Privacy: What Your Car Tells the World About You

including Anna Laitin of Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
Sheraton Creekside

Saturday, March 8

9:30 a.m.

Mobile Security & the Future of the App Economy

including Jaclyn Louis, legislative director and counsel to Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa.
Sheraton Austin Creekside

11 a.m.

It’s Not About Tech: Hack the Bureaucracy

Austin Convention Center Room 5ABC

A Virtual Conversation with Julian Assange

Austin Convention Center Exhibit Hall 5

12:30 p.m.

Beyond Voter Reg: How to Engage the New Citizen

Austin Convention Center Room 5ABC

3:30 p.m.

After Snowden: Privacy, Surveillance, & the NSA

AT&T Conference Center Classroom 106

5 p.m.

How to Beat the Man (without Becoming the Man)

Austin Convention Center Room 5ABC

Sunday, March 9

9:30 a.m.

Economist Breakfast Discussion on Local Tech Economies
including Matthew Bishop of The Economist and Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Mark Warner, D-Va.
bGiv Social Good Space, Sixth Street and I-35

11 a.m.

Policymakers & Startups Can Build Ecosystems

including Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Suzan DelBene, D-Wash.
Hilton Austin Downtown Salon C

Monday, March 10

9:30 a.m.

Do It Together is the new Do It Yourself

Omni Downtown Lone Star

11 a.m.

How Elizabeth Warren Built Her Grassroots Army

including campaign staffers Amanda Coulombe, Lauren Miller, Mike Firestone and Mindy Meyers
Austin Convention Center Room 10AB

A Virtual Conversation with Edward Snowden

ACC Exhibit Hall 5

Is It Possible to Change Someone’s View Online?

Sheraton Austin Capitol EFGH

12:30 p.m.

Big Data & Sensors: Blowing Up Transportation

including Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas
Radisson Town Lake Riverside Ballroom

3:30 p.m.

Obama & Beyond: Political Tech in Business

Hilton Downtown Austin

5 p.m.

A Texas Filibuster: How Streaming Politics Beat TV

Driskill Hotel Maximilian

The Future of Government-Citizen Interaction

Austin Convention Center Ballroom E

5:30 p.m.

Gov2.0: Enhancing Citizen-Politician Interactions

Austin Convention Center Ballroom E

Tuesday, March 11

11 a.m.

Representative Democracy in a Social Media Era

including Matthew Desjardins, press officer of DC mayor
Austin Convention Center Room 5ABC

Innovation Gatekeepers of the Digital World

Lamberts, 401 W. Second St.

2 p.m.

Startup Advocacy: A Guide to Navigating D.C.

Lamberts, 401 W. Second St.

5 p.m.

The Kids Are All Right: Youth Activists Online

including Ronnie Cho, former White House Staffer

Austin Convention Center Room 10AB

Friday, March 15

3:30 p.m.

Music Law Up, Down and Around Capitol Hill

Austin Convention Center Room 9ABC


Facebook Politics, Government, Non-profits Happy Hour
Friday, March 7, 3-6 p.m.

Digital DC Day Party
Saturday, March 8, 3-5 p.m.

DC All-Star Event
Saturday, March 8, 8 p.m.

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