Julián Castro (// HOO-lee-AHN, Spanish: [xuˈljan]; born September 16, 1974) is an American politician from San Antonio. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the youngest member of President Obama's Cabinet, serving as the 16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014 to 2017. Castro served as the mayor of his native San Antonio, Texas from 2009 until he joined Barack Obama's cabinet in 2014.
|16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development|
July 28, 2014 – January 20, 2017
|Deputy||Nani A. Coloretti|
|Preceded by||Shaun Donovan|
|Succeeded by||Ben Carson|
|Mayor of San Antonio|
June 1, 2009 – July 22, 2014
|Preceded by||Phil Hardberger|
|Succeeded by||Ivy Taylor|
|Member of the San Antonio City Council|
from the 7th district
July 1, 2001 – July 1, 2005
|Preceded by||Ed Garza|
|Succeeded by||Elena Guajardo|
|Born||September 16, 1974|
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Erica Lira (m. 2007)
|Relatives||Joaquin (twin brother)|
|Education||Stanford University (BA)|
Harvard University (JD)
Castro was mentioned as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign. He is the twin brother of Congressman Joaquin Castro. On January 12, 2019, Castro launched his campaign for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 2020 in San Antonio.
Early life and familyEdit
Castro was born in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Maria "Rosie" Castro and Jessie Guzman. He is the identical twin brother of current United States Representative Joaquin Castro; Julián is one minute older than Joaquin: they were born at 2:40 and 2:41 am, respectively.
Their mother is a Chicana political activist who helped establish the Chicano political party La Raza Unida, and who ran unsuccessfully for the San Antonio City Council in 1971. Castro once stated, "My mother is probably the biggest reason that my brother and I are in public service. Growing up, she would take us to a lot of rallies and organizational meetings and other things that are very boring for an 8-, 9-, 10-year-old". His father, Jessie Guzman, is a retired mathematics teacher and political activist. Never married, Rosie and Jessie separated when Castro and his brother were eight years old. Castro's Texan roots trace back to 1920, when his grandmother Victoria Castro joined extended family members there as a six-year-old orphan from northern Mexico.
Castro attended Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio, where he played football, basketball and tennis; he also collected trading cards. He skipped his sophomore year and graduated in 1992, ranking ninth in his class. He had received an offer to play tennis at Trinity University, an NCAA Division III school in his hometown, but chose to attend Stanford University.
Castro graduated from Stanford in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in political science and communications. He said he began thinking about entering politics while at Stanford, where he and his brother launched their first campaigns and won student senate seats, tying for the highest number of votes. Castro has credited affirmative action for his admission into Stanford, telling The New York Times, "Joaquin and I got into Stanford because of affirmative action. I scored 1210 on my SATs, which was lower than the median matriculating student. But I did fine in college and in law school. So did Joaquin. I’m a strong supporter of affirmative action because I’ve seen it work in my own life". Between his sophomore and junior years, Castro worked as an intern at the White House during the presidency of Bill Clinton.
Castro entered Harvard Law School in 1997 and graduated with a Juris Doctor in 2000. His brother graduated from both schools with him. After law school, the two brothers worked for the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld before starting their own firm in 2005.
San Antonio city council and mayorEdit
In 2001, Castro was elected to the San Antonio City Council, winning 61 percent of the vote against five challengers. At age 26 he was the youngest city councilman in San Antonio history, surpassing Henry Cisneros, who won his council seat in 1975 at age 27. Castro represented District 7, a precinct on the city’s west side with 115,000 residents. The population was 70 percent Hispanic and included a large number of senior citizens. As a councilman from 2001 to 2005, he opposed a PGA-approved golf course and large-scale real estate development on the city’s outer rim.
Castro ran for mayor of San Antonio in 2005 and was widely viewed as the front runner in a field that also included retired judge Phil Hardberger and conservative city councilman Carroll Schubert. He was defeated by approximately 4000 votes when Hardberger received 51.5% of the votes in the runoff. Following his election defeat, Castro established his own law practice.
Castro ran for mayor of San Antonio again in 2009. Castro hired Christian Archer, who had run Hardberger's campaign in 2005, to run his own 2009 campaign. Castro won the election on May 9, 2009 with 56.23% of the vote, his closest opponent being Trish DeBerry-Mejia. He became the fifth Latino mayor in the history of San Antonio. He was the youngest mayor of a top-50 American city. Castro easily won re-election in 2011 and 2013, receiving 82.9% of the vote in 2011 and 67% of the vote in 2013.
In 2010, Castro created SA2020, a community-wide visioning effort. It generated a list of goals created by the people of San Antonio based on their collective vision for San Antonio in the year 2020. SA2020 then became a nonprofit organization tasked with turning that vision into a reality. Castro also established Cafe College in 2010, offering college guidance to San Antonio-area students. In 2012 he led a voter referendum to expand pre-kindergarten education. Castro persuaded two of the most prominent businessmen in San Antonio, Charles Butt and Joe Robles, to lead an effort to pass a $30 million sales tax to fund the pre-kindergarten education program.
In March 2010, Castro was named to the World Economic Forum's list of Young Global Leaders. Later that year, Time magazine placed him on its "40 under 40" list of rising stars in American politics.
Castro gained national attention in 2012 when he was the first Hispanic to deliver the keynote address at a Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Following the 2012 elections, Castro declined the position of United States Secretary of Transportation, partly with an eye on running for governor of Texas after 2017. However, in 2014, Castro accepted President Barack Obama's offer of the position of United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Castro resigned as mayor effective July 22, 2014, so that he could take up his duties in Washington. The San Antonio City Council elected councilmember Ivy Taylor to replace him.
Secretary of Housing and Urban DevelopmentEdit
On May 22, 2014 the White House announced Castro as the nominee to be the next secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by President Barack Obama. He was confirmed by the Senate on July 9, 2014 by a vote of 71-26 and replaced Shaun Donovan, who was nominated to be the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. He took office on July 28, 2014. Following the announcement, Castro was discussed as a potential nominee for vice president for the Democratic Party in the 2016 presidential election.
Upon exiting office in 2017, Castro's final memo outlined various accomplishments of the department under his leadership. These areas included HUD's work to stabilize the housing market, rebuild communities struck by natural disasters through a $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition, expansion of lead safety protections in federally assisted housing, and the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule to "finally fulfill the full obligation of the Fair Housing Act.
2016 presidential electionEdit
On October 15, 2015, Castro endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. When Clinton was asked if Castro could be her pick for vice president, she said, "I am going to look really hard at him for anything because that's how good he is." Discussion of Castro as a candidate to run on the Democratic ticket with Hillary Clinton increased markedly in January 2016, as the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries approached. In late January, Castro began to campaign for Clinton in Iowa, a move interpreted as a test of his appeal to the electorate. In July 2016, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel issued a finding that Castro had violated the Hatch Act by commenting on the 2016 campaign while giving an interview in an official capacity; Castro admitted the error and ordered his team to improve training on the Hatch Act.
2020 presidential campaignEdit
Castro has already visited the first in the nation New Hampshire primary state in 2018 and delivered the commencement address at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire, on May 12, 2018. Castro stated that he would make his decision on whether to run in 2020 after the November 2018 mid-term elections. On December 12, 2018, Castro announced the formation of an exploratory committee. The next day, during an episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Julián’s brother Joaquin (during a joint appearance by both brothers) stated that he confidently believes that Julián will be running for president.
Castro formally announced his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election on January 12, 2019. Castro would be the first Democratic presidential nominee since 1924 to not serve as vice president, governor or senator. He was the first Texan in the 2020 race and would be third-youngest president if elected. In his announcement, Castro emphasized Medicare-for-all, universal pre-K, and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants as part of comprehensive immigration reform. In 2019 he purchased a Fox News ad in order to speak directly to Donald Trump about the El Paso shooting.
Castro "believes in balanced budgets".
Castro is a supporter of free trade. He has been a strong supporter of the North American Free Trade Agreement while serving as mayor of San Antonio, but has also said that the agreement should be renegotiated to "strengthen worker and environmental protections".
Castro has voiced support for making the first two years of higher education free. He supports universal pre-kindergarten, and managed to institute a pre-kindergarten program for 4-year-olds, funded by higher local taxes, while serving as mayor of San Antonio.
Castro has called for universal health care and Medicare for All, and indicated he would consider funding such a program by raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy. He has supported the Affordable Care Act.
Castro supports the Paris climate accord, and has criticized President Trump's withdrawal from the agreement. While in office, Castro worked with companies to promote their transition to renewable energy. He has voiced support for a Green New Deal.
Castro has stated that he is "not going to take any PAC money" as a presidential candidate, and has encouraged others to do the same. He had however formed a PAC (Opportunity First) in 2017 which mostly covered his running expenses while also donating to several dozen "young, progressive" Democratic politicians.
Social issues and civil rightsEdit
Despite his Catholic background, Castro is pro-choice, and has "vigorously" opposed state laws limiting abortion access after the 20th week of pregnancy and other restrictions.
Castro has been an advocate for LGBT rights and, as mayor, opposed the law in Texas (later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court) that denied legal recognition to same-sex marriages. He is also a member of Washington D.C. based think tank the Inter-American Dialogue. Castro was the first San Antonio mayor to serve as the grand marshal of the city's Pride Parade in 2009 and in 2011 led a push to offer domestic partner benefits in the city. In 2012, he joined mayors across the country in signing the "Mayors for the Freedom to Marry" petition for same-sex marriage equality.
Castro said in a tweet that transgender persons should be allowed to serve in the armed forces.
In his remarks during the first round of 2019 Democrat Presidential debates, Castro pledged to make abortions available to trans men, mistakenly referring to them as trans women. He later rectified himself to include all trans and non-binary people after having been corrected on Twitter.
Castro has backed affirmative action.
Castro supports a pathway to citizenship for most undocumented residents of the US, has opposed President Trump's "border wall" plan, and has said that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency needs to be "reconstituted". Additionally, he asserted in the first Democratic primary candidate debates on June 26, 2019 that he would repeal Section 1325 of Title 8 of the U.S. criminal code, which would decriminalize illegal entry into the U.S., rendering unlawful entry a civil offense instead of a criminal one.
In 2007, Castro married Erica Lira, an elementary school teacher. They had a daughter in 2009 and a son in December 2014. He is Catholic. He speaks Spanish, and studied Latin and Japanese in school.
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- "1911. 8 U.S.C. 1325". U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
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- Fernández, Francisco. "Julián Castro, first Hispanic President?". Observatory of the Spanish Language and Hispanic Cultures in the United States. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Julian Castro.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Julian Castro|
- Official website as Mayor of San Antonio
- Julian Castro profile in the New York Times Magazine from May 2010
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Official Website of 2020 Presidential Campaign
| Mayor of San Antonio
| United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
|Party political offices|
| Keynote Speaker of the Democratic National Convention