Julian Castro: The 7 Issues Guide


Photo Credit: Bahram Mark Sobhani

The Democrats have a big field of candidates running for President in 2020. To briefly use a sports analogy, I see our candidates as the starting players on the Blue team, each bringing their own unique strengths to the table in a bid to take our country in a very different direction than the one we’re on today.

But as we well know from 2016, the media (and especially social media) gets fixated on non-substantial issues that take up all the oxygen. Plus, they don’t give the candidates the same treatment or the same amount of airtime.

In order to help voters get to know the Democratic candidates, I’ve enlisted the help of a team of terrific volunteers who have helped gather quotes and information about what the candidates have said or done in regards to the 7 issues that midterm voters identified as the most important. I hope that these guides serve as a helpful starting point for you as you look into which candidates (or how many candidates!) you are interested in supporting in their bid to become our next President.

Today, let’s get to know Julian Castro!


Career Highlights

✦ Former Councilman on the San Antonio City Council
✦ Former Mayor of San Antonio
✦ Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (under President Obama)



Affordable Healthcare:  “Millions of Latinos have benefited from the Affordable Care Act.” Source  “We need a better healthcare system in this country. Not a health care system that bends to the will of big pharma or the big insurers…” Source 

Women’s Health:  “We can protect a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her body because for women, reproductive health care is – it is a health and economic issue.” Source 

Medicare for All:  “I believe that it’s time for Medicare for All in the United States of America. There is no reason, that in this wealthiest nation on earth, anybody should go without health care in our country.” Source  “[Castro] indicated he would consider paying for such a system by raising taxes on corporations and on the wealthiest “0.05, 0.5 or 1 percent” of Americans.” Source

Private Insurance:  “Countries around the world that have health insurance for everybody do it in different ways…We can get to a point where, if people want to have a supplemental plan, that they can do that.” Source 

Expanding Medicaid: “San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro told a delegation of San Antonio business and civic leaders at the annual San Antonio to DC trip in Washington, D.C. during early March of 2012 that Governor Rick Perry and the State of Texas should approve the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act of 2010 to uninsured Texans.” Source 

Opioids: “We need to invest the resources and be a strong partner with our states to ensure people have the resources they need to combat the crisis when it comes to treatment, also when it comes to the prevention of abuse.” Source 

Pro-Choice: “He vigorously opposed a Texas law to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and limit facilities and access to abortions in general.” Source


Climate Change

Paris Climate Accord: “Castro has criticized President Donald Trump for withdrawing from the Paris climate change accord. Castro’s overall approach in public office was to try to convince businesses to increase their reliance on renewable energy voluntarily. (While he was mayor of San Antonio, the local utility committed to close a coal plant and embrace a 20 percent renewables goal.) Source 

Green New Deal: “We’re gonna say no to subsidizing big oil and say yes to passing a Green New Deal.” Source 

Combatting Climate Change: “You’re right that oftentimes when a lot of Americans think about energy efficiency they think about being environmentally responsible, folks tend to think that well that something for people that have a lot of resources, driving electric car or installing rooftop solar.  The fact is that the declining cost of solar and the declining cost of being energy efficient in general is making that more and more affordable for middle-class Americans and folks of modest means. … So it really is a new era where everyone can participate in combating climate change.” Source 

Environmental Record: “While he was the mayor of San Antonio, Castro pushed the city’s public utility to close a 900-megawatt coal-powered plant, adopt a 20 percent renewable energy by 2020 pledge, and offer green jobs training. The city also launched a small car-sharing program and a bike-share system aimed at making transportation greener under his leadership.” Source 


Civil Rights

LGBTQ Rights: “Castro has long supported same-sex marriage, serving as Grand Marshal of the 2009 San Antonio Gay Pride parade. In 2017, he tweeted that the military should allow Americans of all gender identities to serve in the military.” Source  “In 2011 [Castro] led a push to offer domestic partner benefits in [San Antonio], which passed on an 8-3 vote in the City Council.” Source

Marriage Equality: “In 2012, he joined mayors across the country in signing the “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry” petition for same-sex marriage equality.” Source

Transgender Rights:  As HUD Secretary under President Obama, “Castro…published guidance to ensure trans people aren’t turned away from homeless shelters, and led efforts to tackle LGBT+ housing discrimination.” Source 

Equal Rights:  Castro teamed with Sally Field to support Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance in 2015. Appearing in a political ad he said, “In Houston, 56 percent of discrimination reports filed in the last year were based on race, and 14 percent were based on gender or pregnancy. That’s why Houston needs Proposition 1, the Equal Rights Ordinance. It’s a local tool that helps protect everyone; regardless of race, religion, gender, military status and more.” Source 

Disability Rights:   “’Secretary Castro has been a champion of safe, accessible and affordable housing in the community for people with disabilities,’ said NDRN Executive Director Curt Decker. ‘We are thrilled to have Secretary Castro deliver the keynote address at the 2016 P&A/CAP Annual Conference.’”  Source 

Criminal Justice Reform:  “The color of your skin today affects whether you are treated equally and fairly in our criminal justice system…We’ve made strides over the years but we’re not nearly at a place where somebody who’s black is treated the same way as somebody who is white, or somebody who is poor is treated the same way as somebody who is rich when it comes to our criminal justice system.” Source  “If elected … I will create an office within the Department of Justice specifically dedicated to addressing discriminatory policing and strengthening the relationship between communities and law enforcement so that safety and justice are guaranteed to all people, no matter who you are, or where you come from.” Source 


Gun Reform

Background Checks: Castro has spoken out about stronger background checks at gun shows. Source

Assault Weapons: Castro has pushed for renewing the assault weapons ban and limiting high-capacity magazines. Source

2nd Amendment: “The Second Amendment is there in the Constitution, folks will have the right to bear arms. At the same time, like every other freedom, there are reasonable limits, regulations to be placed on it.” Source


Voting Rights

Voter ID:  Julian Castro endorsed “broadening democratic participation by making it easier for people to participate than by making it more difficult, as some have tried to do, with these voter roll purges, shortening early voting periods and unnecessary voter ID laws.” Source 

Restoring the Voting Rights Act:  “The enormous efforts that went into electoral reform are one of the fundamental differences between my mom running for City Council and failing to win at age 23, and me winning a seat 30 years later at age 26. We needed the federal government to extend Voting Rights Act protections to Latinos in 1975. We needed the creation of localized electoral districts in San Antonio in 1977. And even before all of that we’d needed the elimination of the Texas poll tax in 1966, which over time had enfranchised many more people. Each of these reforms made a tremendous difference in the ability of the Latino community to participate in elections.” Source 

Expanding Voting Rights: “…we do see in the U.S. many clever newer ways to discriminate against voters of color — and all claiming to prevent “voter fraud” that doesn’t even exist. We’ve seen so many examples of this in my home state of Texas. … So the first order of business for Democrats as they take back state legislatures and governorships in 2018 should be to make it easier and more convenient for eligible voters to go out and vote, and for those not registered to get registered to vote. We need to peel back all of these terrible and unnecessary regulations that have created a wall against voting.” Source 


Economic Inequality

Taxes: Castro supports raising the marginal tax rate on wealthy individuals, saying, “There was a time in this country where the top marginal tax rate was over 90 percent, even during Reagan’s era in the 1980’s it was around 50 percent. So do I support, in order to have something like Medicare for all, that we ask folks that are in the top 0.05 percent or 0.5 percent or the top 1 percent to pay more? And also, that we get more serious about making sure that the corporations pay their fair share.” Source

Minimum Wage:  Castro supports campaign and government staff workers’ rights, including a staff union,  diverse senior staff, $15 minimum wage, paid interns and an anti-harassment policy. Source 

Equal Opportunity: “How do we ensure that everyone–no matter where they live or how much they earn–can make it in America? … First, we must ensure that all communities provide their citizens with a strong foundation, which means ensuring folks have clean water, that electricity and transportation are reliable and available to everyone, that neighborhoods are safe, and that the housing market is free from discrimination and affordable to Americans up and down the income scale. … Second, we must promote smart, inclusive planning in every community. … Finally, our nation must make the investments necessary to prepare citizens, especially our youth, to compete in the global economy.” Source

Automation & Jobs: Castro has talked about investing in “brain power,” meaning education and job training programs. “As for jobs that will continue to be lost due to automation, we don’t have a single person to waste in this country. We need everybody’s talent. We need to make sure that everyone counts in our country, not just some people!” Source


Foreign Affairs

Foreign Policy: “Castro doesn’t like President Trump’s America First foreign policy. Castro told Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” in December that the president was “not giving the American people or our allies around the world any sense that there’s a rationale for the decisions that he’s making.” Castro cited Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria, accusing the president of “behaving extremely erratically.” Castro said, “I agree with folks that say, that both for our own sake, for the sake of our troops, for the sake of our allies, once you’re there, you have to actually have a solid plan for how you’re going to withdraw.” “We get stronger and safer the more that we exercise our soft power, and not necessarily our military power.” Source


Campaign website: Julian Castro for President

Check out all of our 7 Issues Guides: Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jay Inslee, John Hickenlooper, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, John Delaney, Joe Biden, Eric Swalwell


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15 replies

  1. Reblogged this on Bennet Kelley's Clippings & More and commented:
    Political⚡Charge, one of the few media sources focusing on the issues with their 2020 Candidates 7 Issues Guide- this edition features Julian Castro.

  2. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    This is the third of TokyoSand’s excellent series that introduces us to the many candidates who will be running on the democratic ticket for the office of president next year. So far we have met Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar, and today we will meet Julian Castro. This is an excellent series providing valuable information about the candidates all in one place, so I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read it. Thank you again, TokyoSand, for this post and permission to share it!

  3. Does he accept corporate pac money? Also what is his position on regime change wars? Progressive Democrats want to know. Thx!


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