Meet the Candidates: Julián Castro

Julián Castro, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Castro was first a City Council Member at age 26 and then mayor of San Antonio, TX, until he left to serve as Obama’s youngest cabinet member as HUD Secretary. Castro has been considered a rising star in the Democratic party, and is the only Latino candidate in the race. However, he has struggled for broader public recognition since launching his campaign – strong enough to make the third round of debates, but not yet enough to be considered a front-runner.

Immigration: Castro’s primary focus has been immigration. He plans to decriminalize illegal border crossings (making it a civil rather than criminal offense), overhaul ICE, address the root causes of Central American migration, and remove local law enforcement’s authority to manhandle immigrants. And, his plan calls for more mainstream ideas as well: creating a path to citizenship for migrants and reversing Trump’s Muslim Ban.

Universal Pre-K: A flagship of his campaign, Castro is building off his successes with pre-kindergarten programs in San Antonio by promising universal, federally-funded pre-K for 3 and 4 year olds. His early education efforts are aimed at supporting not just students but also parents who otherwise could not afford childcare. He sees universal Pre-K as a particularly effective and valuable program for low-income families.

Police Reform: Castro’s stance on police reform includes restricting the use of deadly force and providing officer-to-officer accountability on excessive force, standardizing body cameras, reducing the school-to-prison pipeline by providing federal funding to schools for eliminating police officers in schools and providing bias training, and restricting other common policing activities (ex: shooting at moving cars, stop and frisk). And, he plans to ensure officers who have been fired over misconduct can’t simply be re-hired elsewhere.

Housing: As former Secretary of HUD, Castro has been expected to deliver detailed housing plans — and he has. He’s planning a massive expansion of the voucher program to ensure every eligible family in need of housing has access, including all families who make under 50% of the median area income. For renters, a tax credit for all who pay more than 30% of their income toward rent. And Castro plans to increase funding for new affordable housing construction by an additional $45 billion per year.

Critics say… he’s too close to Wall Street and sold tens of thousands of delinquent mortgages to banks while HUD Secretary under Obama – though he did change course after receiving pressure from progressives. It’s rumored to be the main reason he was considered and then passed on as Clinton’s running mate for 2016.

…and finally: Castro’s policies include the PAW Plan, strengthening protections and rights for both wild and domesticated animals, and his campaign website includes links to pet adoption. It’s super cute, TBH.

To read up on all of Julián Castro’s policies, visit his website!


Required Reading for the Resistance. Actions that make a difference.