Julian Castro launches presidential bid, as Texas Democrat looks to regain spotlight he once enjoyed
Julian Castro's keynote speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention was a potential star-making appearance designed in part to catapult the emerging politician to greatness.
The former San Antonio mayor was widely mentioned as a can't-miss prospect who would lead Texas Democrats to a historic statewide victory as a 2018 candidate for governor. Others saw him as a presidential contender, particularly after he was considered as a running mate for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Yet, in the years since his keynote speech in Charlotte, N.C., Castro has been content to remain on the sidelines as other Democrats moved ahead of him in notoriety and popularity.
Castro's dreams, he hopes, won't be deferred much longer.
In his hometown San Antonio on Saturday, Castro is launching his campaign for president, hoping to outrun a potential large and diverse field of Democratic Party contenders. If successful, he would be the first Hispanic and youngest American to win the White House.
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Dallas Morning News
Castro launches 2020 bid with nod to party’s future
The Texan will be one of the youngest candidates in the Democratic presidential field and likely it’s only Latino. ...
That could give Castro an edge in a key early presidential state — Nevada has the highest percentage of Hispanic voters of the four early voting states. And it’s likewise an asset in California, which stands to cast a long shadow over the Democratic presidential primary now that its primary has been moved forward to early March.
Together, the former San Antonio mayor and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development’s youth and background offer a profile built to appeal to the Democratic Party’s diverse and ascendent Obama coalition.
Castro, a longshot who lacks widespread name recognition or an extensive campaign infrastructure, will need every advantage he can get. That helps explain why he chose to hold his formal presidential announcement event before anyone else this year, declaring his White House bid at Plaza Guadalupe here on the west side of San Antonio, not far from where he grew up as the son of a single mother and twin brother to Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas). ...
It’s never been a problem for him in the past. Castro in 2001 became the youngest person ever elected to the San Antonio City Council; later, he became the youngest person in the Obama administration Cabinet at the age of 39. In between, he mounted an unsuccessful bid for San Antonio mayor in 2005 before winning the post in 2009.
“His biggest asset is he’s a policy wonk. I mean, this guy is really, really smart,” said Gilberto Hinojosa, the Texas Democratic Party chairman. “He knows a lot about a lot of issues. He is extremely articulate. He’s got really good ideas and he’s able to put those ideas in terms where ordinary Americans can understand them and I think what that does is puts him in the situation where he is best, not only talking to large crowds but talking to smaller crowds where he can answer questions and articulate and share his ideas on his vision for America.”
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The line to get in to @JulianCastro’s presidential announcement event is forming and wraps down the street around the block and stretches around the block.
“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
Julián Castro hits Trump in campaign launch: 'A crisis of leadership'
Former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro took aim at President Trump while announcing his Democratic presidential bid on Saturday, saying the U.S. is facing a leadership "crisis."
Speaking to supporters in Texas, the former San Antonio mayor and Obama Cabinet official accused Trump of failing to uphold America's values with his policies on immigration and calls for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
"There is a crisis today — it’s a crisis of leadership. Donald Trump has failed to uphold the values of our great nation," Castro told hundreds of supporters in San Antonio.
"Yeah, we have to have border security," Castro added. "But there's a smart, and a humane way to do it. And there is no way in hell that caging children is keeping us safe."
Castro also rebuked the president's attacks on the press during his speech, thanking members of the media who attended the rally and calling the press "the friend of the truth" in America.
Julián Castro launches 50-state strategy, a rare move as he seeks White House
Julián Castro this week set in motion a 50-state campaign strategy reminiscent of Democratic tactics a decade ago, traveling to Idaho and Utah in a campaign gambit that could set him apart from others seeking the Democratic nomination for president.
Veteran political operatives like to say it’s essential for a presidential hopeful, especially one who is not well known, to focus on the early primary season states. The primary season begins in February with contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, followed by Nevada and South Carolina.
Yet Castro campaigned this week in two western states where Democrats haven’t prevailed in a presidential election in more than 50 years.
“There are other campaigns and consultants who say that if you’re not spending all your time in early states, you’re not serious about running for president. We absolutely disagree with that assessment,” said Jennifer Fiore, Castro’s senior adviser for communications and digital.
An early measure of success of the strategy might be the crowd Castro turned out on Tuesday evening in Idaho when 600 people showed up at Boise State University to hear Castro, a former San Antonio mayor and housing secretary in the Obama administration.
New Hampshire Labor News
Julián for the Future
Julián Castro Announced Endorsements From A Number Of Texas Democrats
SAN ANTONIO, TX (March 14, 2019) — On Thursday, the presidential campaign of former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary under President Obama and San Antonio Mayor, Julián Castro, announced a new slate of endorsements from 30 elected and appointed Democrats across Texas. The new list of endorsements from state senators, representatives, judges and local officials builds on support he has already received from Congressman Vicente González (TX-15), a two-term member from the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, Congressman Colin Allred (TX-32), the 116th Congress Freshman Class Co-President, and Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), his twin brother and Campaign Chairman.
“I’m humbled by the support of so many of my fellow Texas Democrats,” said Secretary Julián Castro. “We’ve long been working together to turn Texas blue and I am confident that if I am the Democratic nominee for President, I will carry Texas’ 38 electoral votes to a win on election day 2020.”
The 30 endorsements include 17 Texas state representatives, two state senators, a Hidalgo County district attorney, three Bexar County officials, six San Antonio City Council members, and former San Antonio Mayor and Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Henry Cisneros.
“This is a critical moment in our nation’s political history,” said former San Antonio Mayor and HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros. “These times demand a candidate with the vision of an executive, the heart of a powerful personal story and a successful track record of not just talking about bold policy, but delivering results. As Mayor of the nation’s seventh-largest city and a Cabinet Secretary of a complex agency that touches Americans at every level along the economic spectrum, Julián Castro has proven himself at every step of the way, which is why he’s my choice to be the next President of the United States.”
Julián for the Future
Dallas Morning News
Julián Castro crafts plan to grant citizenship path to millions of unauthorized immigrants
Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro on Tuesday unveiled a detailed immigration plan that would offer a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the country without authorization. It would also revamp the nation's asylum and detention policies that are in full focus because of the growing migrant crisis at the southern border.
Castro's plan would treat illegal entry into the country as a civil violation, not a criminal violation, according to his campaign.
"The plan would reverse a Bush-era practice that prioritizes treating entry into the United States as a criminal, rather than civil, violation--a provision that has sanctioned many of the most egregious Trump administration immigration practices, such as family separation," according to a Castro campaign news release. "This bold vision would change the way the United States government views migrants entering our nation — not as threats to our national security, as prescribed by antiquated policies of previous administration — but rather as people and families in search of a better life who can contribute tremendously to the fabric of our nation and economy." ...
"It's time our nation's immigration system reflect the collective values that we all share — equality, fairness, justice, and compassion," Castro said on Medium. "It's time that we recognize that protecting our borders and treating immigrants with compassion are not mutually exclusive."
Castro's plan is the first major proposal offered by a candidate in the 2020 race for president, and contains dramatic proposals that would solve problems that have vexed both parties for decades.
Vox - Matt Yglesias
Julián Castro really wants to talk about immigration, but he’s most impressive talking about his work
The former mayor knows a lot about housing and education. ...
Since those previous jobs, as mayor of San Antonio and then as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, were executive branch posts, he actually has a record of having personally done a bunch of stuff in contrast to the small army of House and Senate backbenchers he’s running against. He adroitly pivoted a tough question about HUD’s sales of distressed mortgages into some expansive thinking about affordable housing, noting that this issue has been off the presidential agenda for a couple of generations but is extremely pressing today.
“Today in big cities and small towns there is an affordability crisis” proved to be a big applause line.
Later he spoke with great passion about his work as mayor in creating one of the nation’s earliest universal pre-K programs, displaying command of the relevant research and a somewhat distinctive perspective about prioritizing early childhood investments over higher education.
In response to a climate change question, he spoke in broad terms about the Green New Deal and clean energy investments but also got granular, mentioning a billion dollar National Disaster Resilience competition that he’d overseen.
Disaster resilience is obviously not anyone’s top voting issue in 2020, but there was something extremely refreshing about seeing a politician talk about specific things he’s actually done and display fluency with the way the government actually works.
Julián Castro: Trump should be impeached for trying to obstruct justice 'in very concrete ways'
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro (D) on Monday became the latest Democratic presidential candidate to say he thinks Congress should take steps to impeach President Trump.
In a radio interview, Castro said that he thinks actions to impeach the president would be “perfectly reasonable” following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report.
“What's clear from the Mueller Report is that Bob Mueller and his team left the decision about whether to move forward on this obstruction of justice issue with Congress,” Castro told SiriusXM host Michelangelo Signorile.
“So, what I said the other day is that I was asked, ‘Well, do you think that it, that they should move forward with an impeachment proceeding?’ And I think, yeah, that it would be perfectly reasonable for Congress to do that, that they should do that.”
Castro told Signorile that he thought the findings in Mueller’s redacted report indicate Trump “attempted in very concrete ways to obstruct justice.”
Democratic presidential hopeful Castro says country needs Yucca alternative, must re-commit to Paris climate deal during Las Vegas roundtable
Democratic presidential hopeful Julian Castro told a panel of conservationists and political activists Friday that he wouldn’t seek to reopen the shuttered nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, adding to a growing list of Democratic contenders who have turned away from the project as a means to store high-level nuclear waste.
“I’m sure many of the other candidates are opposed to restarting that conversation,” Castro said. “Of course, we’re going to have to deal with the issue, the underlying issue of what you’re going to do with that nuclear waste, but I do think that there are better ways to approach it.”
The Trump Administration has tried multiple times to kickstart the facility through proposed budgets, though to no avail. There is, however, a contingent in Congress who have sought to reopen Yucca, and court filings revealed in January revealed the Department of Energy had secretly shipped plutonium to Nevada without first informing the state’s representatives.
Speaking to The Nevada Independent, Castro said he would like to see a process that accounts for communities that “may be interested in taking on that challenge.”
“I know that there have been different processes that have been proposed, and I’m open to those different processes, but I don’t believe that we should restart the Yucca mountain conversation,” he said.
The comments came as the former mayor of San Antonio and Housing and Urban Development Secretary under President Barack Obama swung through Las Vegas ahead of a day-long candidate forum on Saturday.
Castro to be the first candidate to visit Flint
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro will be the first 2020 presidential candidate to visit Flint, Mich., this weekend as he travels to the state for several campaign stops.
Castro's visit comes as the city still struggles with upgrading and repairing its water system following the discovery of lead in the city's water which prompted a years-long water crisis.
"It's been more than five years since the #FlintWaterCrisis and some folks are still reeling from its effects. I saw the impact firsthand when I visited as HUD Secretary in 2016. I look forward to returning this weekend to meet with residents about the progress still to come," Castro said in a tweet Thursday. ...
Castro served in the Obama administration when the water crisis began in 2014.
"Secretary Castro will tour a local church and water distribution site with community leaders working to recover from the water crisis, and will host a town hall discussion with local residents," the release stated.
BuzzFeed News: This Democratic Presidential Candidate Has A Sweeping Plan To Eliminate Lead Poisoning
“Today I’m putting forward a plan to combat lead exposure across the country, and to ensure that no families experience what those in Flint have had to endure,” Julián Castro said.
Julián Castro’s Plan for Fixing Our Immigration System Is As Radical As It Is Excellent
A wonky bit of immigration law known as Section 1325 briefly took center stage during Wednesday night’s Democratic debate with a question about immigration directed at Julián Castro. Section 1325 is the part of the U.S. Code that criminalizes illegal entry and reentry to the United States, and Castro used some of his time during the debate to call for the section’s abolition.
Although being in the United States without status is not a crime, entering the U.S. “without inspection” or entering through an area that is not officially a port of entry is criminalized under Section 1325 and can lead to a conviction and incarceration for immigrants and asylum-seekers looking for protection in the United States. It was this provision that facilitated family separation, as children were taken from their parents when the adults were taken into federal criminal custody to face charges under Section 1325.
What would getting rid of Section 1325 actually do? Well, at its most basic, repealing the provision would virtually eliminate a huge chunk of the federal criminal docket. Immigration cases are the most common federal criminal case. In fiscal year 2018, they made up 34.4 percent of the total federal caseload with a whopping 23,883 cases. Those numbers are a 16.5 percent increase from FY 2017, when 20,496 immigration cases made their way through federal courts. Although Section 1325 has been on the books for almost a century, it was only under George W. Bush’s administration that prosecutors started pushing convictions for the offense.
Because of the desperation to get out of jail and the expediency of the mass trial program implemented under Bush and continued to this day known as “Operation Streamline,” many migrants plead guilty to the accusation. Following their release from criminal custody, migrants are then generally taken into immigration custody, where they face their underlying immigration removal proceedings. Most are ultimately deported.
Julián Castro knows criminalizing immigration is a failure
When Julián Castro advocated repealing the law making it a crime to cross the border without permission, he confirmed that in today’s political environment, there is no safe harbor for common sense. Republicans gleefully accused him of favoring “open borders,” as though he were going to eliminate all checkpoints and border agents.
Even former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, whose Texas House district adjoins Mexico, wasn’t willing to go along. When Castro challenged his fellow candidates during the first Democratic debate Wednesday to declare their support for repeal of Section 1325, as it is known, there was no stampede to join him. Sen. Cory Booker was notable for saying he had already endorsed it.
In the second debate, though, something striking happened: Most of candidates on the stage Thursday raised hands in support of the idea. They know this criminal classification is what gave the Trump administration the power to separate migrant parents from children. If it were a civil offense, migrants would not be jailed, only fined and deported — removing the pretext for tearing kids away.
Castro’s critics believe criminal penalties serve as a vital deterrent to lawbreaking. To which Ur Jaddou, director of DHS Watch at America’s Voice, a pro-immigration group, replies: “Has it been working?” The answer: no. This administration, she told me, “inherited the lowest number of border apprehensions in 46 years, and all we have seen since is a massive increase.”
Toughness is a failure. A 50% rise in prosecutions over the past five years has not dissuaded Central Americans from coming. The number of southwest border apprehensions has tripled since Donald Trump became president.
Julian Castro calls for surge in federal spending to end homelessness
Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro called for a sharp rise in federal spending on housing for millions of Americans who are living on the street or struggling to pay rent.
Castro, who was secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama, on Monday proposed a federal guarantee of housing for the poor.
“I see housing as a human right,” he said in an interview. “Especially in the wealthiest nation on Earth, I don’t think there’s anybody who should go without a safe, decent place to live.”
A former mayor of San Antonio, Castro, 44, said he would quadruple the size of the federal Section 8 rent voucher program, which subsidizes the housing of nearly 5.3 million Americans in low-income households.
The program serves only 25% of eligible households. Castro called for expanding it to the remaining 75%, transforming the program to “a fully-funded entitlement program” similar to food stamps or Medicaid.