Meet a presidential contender

Julian Castro with ILS student ambassadors at Dominican University.

An unlikely journey, perhaps, but one that might inspire generations. Presidential hopeful Julian Castro’s story resonates with communities where poverty and crime might be commonplace, but everyone is looking for an opportunity for a better life.

Castro stopped at Dominican University recently during his book tour to promote his memoir “An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up From My American Dream”. The book in itself is an effort to familiarize Castro’s story with American voters in time for the 2020 presidential election.

Castro and his twin brother, Joaquin, were born to unmarried parents in a poor neighborhood, where opportunities for something better were few.

Their mother, described as a political activist, helped her sons find a direction to a new life. Julian went on to attend Stanford University, while Joaquin enrolled in Harvard.

Soon after jumping into the political pool at age 26, Julian was elected mayor of San Antonio and Joaquin became a Texas state representative. Julian Castro’s success in San Antonio did not go unnoticed and earned him a spot in Washington D.C., where he served as President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He was even considered as a vice-presidential running mate during Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign for the White House.

Castro is now considered by many to be the favorite as the Democratic National Committee’s choice for president in 2020.

Castro has made it clear he opposes the current Trump Administration’s immigration policies. His book describes a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border to join a protest of the federal government’s family separation policy. The story also mention’s Castro’s own grandmother’s journey to the United States from Mexico nearly 100 years ago.

In an interview with Marinscope, Castro compared the current immigration policies, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act and Operation Wetback.

During his evening at Dominican University, Castro said he wants the United States to take the path forward and not backward to revisit a culture of cruel racism inspired by the federal government.

Castro and his family saw examples of racism in Texas, but his mother pushed for change, which he said, inspired the rest of the family to get politically involved.

Castro said in an interview that each generation has a burden to create opportunity and embrace optimism in their own communities and around the country. That was his burden when he was “Waking up” from his American dream. And now he passes the torch to a new generation, who could be key voters in the next election.

Will he be on the 2020 ballot for president? That’s still uncertain, but he has said “I’m likely to do it” when asked if he will run.

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