Here's how Julian Castro came to be a 2020 presidential contender and what might be next
Ellen Cranley,Ellen CranleyJan 13, 2019, 03:35 IST
San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julian Castro talks to reporters at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012.Jae C. Hong/AP
Julián Castro, former Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Barack Obama, has announced his bid for the presidency.
Castro has a track record that includes revolutionary early childhood education programs while mayor, and controversy around handling of mortgage sales during his tenure at HUD.
Based on his announcement, Castro plans to use his experience in local government to tout community-minded policies.
Julián Castro, former Housing and Urban Development secretary, has joined the race for the 2020 Election.
Speaking to a crowd in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday, Castro touted his commitment to policies that included early childhood education, accessible college alternatives, universal healthcare, and criminal-justice reform.
See the policies with roots in Castro's personal and professional past that he's cast as key to his campaign:
Castro and his twin brother, Joaquín, who is a US representative that heads the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, were raised in San Antonio, Texas by their activist mother, Rosie.
Both brothers went to Stanford University, where Julián credited affirmative action for his acceptance, before attending Harvard Law. After finishing his degree at Harvard, Julián ran for San Antonio City Council, which he won in 2001.
Castro has been a longtime support of LGBTQ rights. He became the first San Antonio mayor to serve as the grand marshal of the city's Pride Parade in 2009 and signed the "Mayors for the Freedom to Marry" petition for same-sex marriage equality in 2012.
After a failed bid for office in 2005, Castro was inaugurated as mayor of San Antonio in 2009.
Castro's signature policy as mayor was "Pre-K 4 SA," which established four pre-K centers that enrolled 500 kids each and provided free or low tuition for qualifying families. The programs showed impressive results, sometimes bringing below-average preschoolers above the national average in math and literacy.
Castro earned national attention in 2012 after he became the first Latino to deliver a keynote address at a Democratic National Convention.
The speech garnered him comparisons to former President Barack Obama, who delivered a keynote address at the convention in 2004.
Castro was confirmed as Housing and Urban Development Secretary in 2014 after a nomination from Obama.
But Castro also drew criticism from progressives who objected to HUD’s management of delinquent mortgages. The scrutiny came after Castro was reported to be on the shortlist to be former candidate Hillary Clinton's running mate.
Top Democrats, including Castro's fellow 2020 contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren, accused the department of selling too many mortgages to Wall Street banks without enough oversight or regulation. Guidelines were later adjusted for future sales.
Published last fall, Castro's memoir, "An Unlikely Journey," describes his life in a sometimes cash-strapped Mexican-American household in San Antonio, Texas. The revealing book sparked more serious discussions about Castro as a presidential candidate.
In his official announcement for candidacy, Castro touted his commitment to policies including early childhood education, accessible college alternatives, universal healthcare, and criminal-justice reform.
Castro also re-affirmed his support for "Black Lives Matter" and offered a rebuke to Trump by promising that, if elected, he would re-enter the Paris Climate Agreement.
Castro also took aim at Trump's claims there is a "crisis" at the southern border. His comments were the latest in his hits against Trump's handling of immigration issues, which last year included his leading the outcry against the administration's "zero-tolerance" policy.
After an announcement filled with homages to his background, Castro, the grandson of a Mexican immigrant, has indicated his campaign will include the same emphasis. "I'm very mindful, especially now for the Latino community, that there's a particular meaning to my candidacy," he said.
Before he even announced, Castro was set on emphasizing policy, saying "I'm not going to be a single-issue candidate. My vision ... is that we aim in the 21st century to be the smartest, the healthiest, the most fair, and the most prosperous country."