NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo will host the first 2020 presidential primary debate in June of 2019. This is the seventh in a series of BFIA’s coverage and commentary of the announcement speeches by the declared Democratic candidates for president for 2020 in no particular order. To view the previous candidate announcement posts type the candidate’s name in the search box on this page.
“America isn’t just my home and my country — it’s always been a promise for a better life. A promise that every American deserves.”
That is the statement at the top of presidential candidate Julian Castro’s website. Beneath that is a quick synopsis of how the grandson of an immigrant became a candidate for president:
Immigrant roots, American dreams
“My path to public service did not begin with me. It began when my grandmother, Victoria, came to the United States at seven years old. She never made it past the fourth grade, but worked hard to teach her family the value of hard work as she cleaned houses and worked as a maid.
She passed on those values of hard work and perseverance to my mother, Rosie, who grew up to become a strong Chicana activist, educator and single mom to myself and my twin brother Joaquin.”
Time and again in various ways in his speech, Castro referenced a main pillar of his candidacy, community:
“There are no front runners born here (note: San Antonio). But I believe that with hard work anything is possible.”
“The American Dream is not a sprint or even a marathon, but a relay. ….. but right now the relay isn’t working. We are here today to make sure the promise of America is available to everyone.”
“If we want to compete in this world we need everybody’s help”
Castro then goes on to discuss the need for education for all from pre-K through college. He vowed to do this without students having to incur huge debts.
Reimagining the justice system in this country is one of Castro’s big issues, especially for people of color. This includes the bail system that gives the rich an upper hand while the poor often end up locked up.
Immigration is very high on candidate Castro’s agenda.
As Secretary of HUD, Castro visited areas of the US seldom visited by federal officials including Puerto Rico and Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Having been Mayor of San Antonio he has a unique perspective as our urban areas become larger and more diverse with bigger problems.
Climate change simply can’t wait. As President, Castro would rejoin the Paris Pact immediately.
Julian Castro is the very epitome of the American dream. The grandson of immigrants who worked hard for low pay so that their children and grandchildren might have a chance to achieve. Julian and his twin brother, Joaquin are the product of his family’s dreams and his community’s dreams.
As he pointed out his candidacy is built on the hard work of those who went before. Julian Castro is now running to continue to build for the future – but now his “community” includes the whole country, especially those who have not been treated equally in this country.