On Saturday, Julián Castro officially announced his intention to run for president in 2020. Castro served as President Obama’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary from 2014 - 2017. Prior to his work in the Obama administration, Castro was the mayor of San Antonio, Texas.
The following are 10 key moments from his announcement speech:
To be the smartest nation requires an early investment in our children's education. As mayor, I challenged the voters to raise the sales tax to expand high-quality full-day pre-K for thousands of San Antonio four-year-olds. ... As president, I'll make pre-K for the USA happen. Universal pre-K for all children whose parents want it so that all of our nation's students can get a strong start.
And we’ll work to make sure every American has a safe, decent, and affordable place to live in this country.
To be the healthiest nation, we need a better health care system in this country. Not a health care system that bends to the will of big pharma or the big insurers, but a health care system that's built for the people who actually need health care.
... Medicare should be there for everybody in this country. It's time for Medicare for all; universal health care for every single American.
To be the fairest nation, we have to reform and reimagine our justice system. All over this nation, for far too many people of color, any interaction with the police can become fatal. If police in Charleston can arrest Dylann Roof after he murdered nine people worshiping at Bible study without hurting him, then don't tell me that Michael Brown and Tamir Rice and Aiyana Jones and Eric Garner and Jason Pero and Stephon Clark and Sandra Bland shouldn't still be alive today.
We're gonna keep saying their names and those of too many others just like them who are victims of state violence. We're gonna keep saying that black lives matter while working toward a justice system where that's true.
There is a crisis today; it's a crisis of leadership. Donald Trump has failed to uphold the values of our great nation.
We can raise the minimum wage so that people don't have to work two or three jobs just to put food on the table.
We must also reform our immigration system so that keeping families together instead of tearing them apart is our policy. ... Yeah, we have to have border security, but there's a smart and a humane way to do it – and there is no way in hell that caging babies is a smart or a good or a right way to do it.
We say "No" to building a wall, and "Yes" to building community. We say "No" to scapegoating immigrants, and "Yes" to DREAMers, "Yes" to keeping families together, "Yes" to finally passing comprehensive immigration reform in this country.
We can protect a woman's right to make her own decisions about her body because for women, access to reproductive health care is an economic issue.
We can protect people from discrimination no matter who they love or how they identify.
The biggest threat to our prosperity in this 21st century is climate change. Don't let anybody tell you that we have to choose between growing our economy and protecting our planet. We can fight climate change and create great jobs in America. And here's the thing, we don't have a moment to waste. Scientists tell us that if we don't get serious about this right now, the consequences will be tragic. So we won't wait. As president, my first executive order will recommit the United States to the Paris Climate Accord. We're gonna say "No" to subsidizing big oil and say "Yes" to passing a Green New Deal.
You can watch the speech here:
PBS has put together a short list of Castro’s ideological positions, which can be read here.
Castro is the third high-profile Democrat to officially announce their candidacy for the 2020 presidential election, following Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI). Several lesser-known individuals have declared their intention to run as well.
On December 12, the former mayor of San Antonio released a video in which he announced the formation of an exploratory committee called "Julián for the Future." At that time, Castro said he would make the announcement regarding his potential presidential run on January 12.