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Julián Castro Is Promising To Confront The Growing Housing Crisis In The US With An Ambitious Housing Plan

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Presidential hopeful Julián Castro has just unveiled a plan that will address housing discrimination, homelessness and increase homeownership. The plan, part of his “People First” policy, is an area that Castro is quite familiar with as he served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under President Obama. He is now using some of that experience to push forward with a plan to tackle increasingly difficult housing issues in the U.S.

Castro wants to expand housing assistance programs for the poor and give renters a tax credit.

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In unveiling the first installment of his three-part housing plan, Castro voiced the concerns that many renters and potential home buyers are feeling across the country. As home and rent prices have risen to historic numbers, many are a bad bounce or missed paycheck from living on the streets.

His housing proposal focuses on expanding federally funded vouchers to help at-risk Americans pay their rent, creating a refundable tax credit for Americans whose rent exceeds 30 percent of their income and bolster the supply of affordable housing units.

“People are experiencing an affordable housing crisis, whether they live in a red or blue community, whether they are white or black. This rental affordability touches the lives of so many,” Castro said.

Castro’s plan includes improving Section 8, a housing assistance program, which subsidizes the housing of almost 5.3 million Americans in low-income households. The program is currently only helping 25 percent of eligible families. Castro wants to expand that number and transform the program to “a fully-funded entitlement program” similar to food stamps or Social Security.

A person making the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour) is unable to afford a two-bedroom rental in any state. Castro wants to change this.

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Housing affordability is an issue that Castro has heard time and time again on the campaign trail. He wants to change this by increasing the number of affordable housing units. This will include putting money towards the construction of additional public housing and through the expansion of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.

Another issue he wants to address is reducing America’s homelessness epidemic. Castro says he will create new government housing targets, increase assistance grants and invest in a variety of programs designed to help individuals who are homeless or at risk. His plan would also decriminalize homelessness and put an end to laws that discriminate against those without homes.

“Those experiencing homelessness are our most vulnerable citizens. They are single adults, veterans, families with young children, and kids on their own,” Castro said. “I know that when the public sector invests effort and money into ending homelessness — as we did during the Obama administration — we make a difference.”

According to HUD’s 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, there were about 553,000 people experiencing homelessness every night in 2018. Castro predicts that his new initiative would end homelessness for veterans and children by the end of 2024 and put a stop to chronic homelessness by the end of 2028.

Castro has also included plans for environmentally sustainable housing.

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Castro’s second part of his plan describes investing in “climate-driven” initiatives as part of an effort to achieve net-zero global greenhouse emissions by 2050 and “meet the promise of the Green New Deal.” The Green New Deal, which was introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), is a plan that calls to make the U.S. carbon neutral by 2030.

Castro’s environmental plan would establish a $200 billion Green Infrastructure Fund that would fund local and national natural energy projects. This includes increasing and steadily improving public transportation, make buildings more energy efficient, and add more public electric vehicle charging stations.

While many support the plan or ones similar to Castro’s, it begs the question of how will this all be paid for?

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According to his campaign, Castro’s housing initiatives would cost at least $970 billion over the span of 10 years, which includes $410 billion to expand the rent voucher program. While Castro’s plans for solving the U.S. housing crisis are definitely lofty, research and numbers show that the situation is only getting worse.

“I’m committed to working toward prosperity for every single American no matter their background,” Castro told NBC News. “The fact is in our nation’s history, poverty and racism have been so intertwined that we need to address both at the same time.”

READ: Julian Castro Is Running For President On A Platform Of Giving A Pathway To Citizenship For 11 Million People

Here’s How Julián Castro Is Going To Take On The Gun Violence Health Crisis And The Deadly Rise Of Unchecked White Supremacy

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Here’s How Julián Castro Is Going To Take On The Gun Violence Health Crisis And The Deadly Rise Of Unchecked White Supremacy

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro has unveiled a plan to combat white supremacy and gun violence as the country grapples with recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. His policy proposal, called “People First Plan to Disarm Hate”, was released last Friday, Castro says it will try to “disarm hate” and would take on “white supremacist terrorism” by combating it with a “coordinated federal response.” The former U.S. housing secretary and San Antonio mayor says he would also sign executive orders on his first day in office “to end the gun violence epidemic.”

“Now is our moment to decide what kind of country we want to be,” Castro’s seven-page plan says. “We can be paralyzed by fear of extremism and cower before the corporate gun lobby, or we can combat white supremacist terrorism directly and end the gun violence epidemic that has plagued our nation for too long.”

JuliánCastro has been one of the vocal advocates for stronger gun control since the terrible mass shootings over a week ago. The gunman of the El Paso shooting confessed that he was looking to kill “Mexicans,” a point that Castro has referred to when discussing his policy.

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Being the sole Latino candidate in the 2020 presidential race, Castro has voiced and echoed much of what the Latino community in El Paso and around the country have said about the recent shootings. Whether it’s been the heightened fear of a future attack or the call for stricter gun laws, Castro wants to address and calm the worries of the Latino community. 

“As a candidate for president, this issue is not only political, it’s personal. My wife Erica, an educator, and I are raising a daughter and son who both have brown skin. We worry for them and their friends,” Castro said. “They should be able to grow up free from fear of hate and safe from gun violence. Their safety is our foremost responsibility.”

The 2020 contender has also proposed an initiative to renew a permanent assault weapons ban and require gun users to have a license in order to purchase such firearms. His plan will also seek to establish education opportunities to “bridge racial and cultural divides” in this country.

“We can prevent it by making sure that these weapons of war are not on the street. We can also ensure that we have better tools to investigate something once it happens. I think when we’re talking about changing the hearts and the minds of people that are headed down the road of white nationalism, that means that we have to be better about ensuring that people are exposed to different ideas and different types of people in our country.”

Among other details in his proposed plan, Castro says his initiative would get at least $100 million in federal funds every year to coordinate anti-hate programs across five federal departments.

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Castro joins a handful of Democratic presidential candidates that have unveiled plans to combat white supremacy and gun violence in the wake of the recent mass shootings. But his plan is going to in a slightly different route compared to other candidates as Castro wants to attack the root of the problem: hate. 

“My plan to disarm hate starts with comprehensively identifying the threat of white supremacist terrorism and combatting it directly with a coordinated federal response,” Castro said.” We’ll also invest in programs to fight radicalization and educational opportunities to bridge racial and cultural divides and lead a global coalition to defeat this rising tide of white nationalism.

Castro says combating white supremacy would entail convening a yearly summit for the cause hosted by the president and require state, local and tribal governments reporting hate crime statistics. He is also looking to sign an order directing the FBI to deny gun purchases to an individual with a pending arrest warrant, which would be a rebuke of a change in rules by President Trump.

There has been growing support for Castro in recent weeks due to strong performances at the Democratic Debates. This latest policy proposal has already won over some people. 

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Growing support has already been seen with this latest policy reveal and people on Twitter are taking notice of Castro. He has already previously rolled out proposals on important issues including immigration, education, housing, and police reform.

“Folks need to keep @JulianCastro on their radar! I’m invested in those who are willing to speak up, take action where it’s most needed—push against & undo white supremacy ideology, foundation of systemic oppression in US.” one user said on Twitter.

The gun reform plan is Castro’s latest policy rollout and his latest attempt to separate himself in a crowded field of candidates where he’s gained media momentum. But as of now, Castro is still polling around 1 percent and will need to gain more support if he is to continue his campaign.

READ: Julián Castro: The One Presidential Candidate Taking A Strong Stand For Migrants At The Border

After The El Paso Shooting, Julián Castro Releases Ad Tying Trump’s Rhetoric To The Deadly Massacre Targeting Latinos

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After The El Paso Shooting, Julián Castro Releases Ad Tying Trump’s Rhetoric To The Deadly Massacre Targeting Latinos

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Julián Castro is one of two Democrats running for president from the state of Texas. As a member of the Latino community in Texas, the shooting in El Paso was personal for Castro. With the shooting fresh in everyone’s mind and Latinos in Texas arming themselves for protection, Castro released a new message for Trump. The message places the blame for the shooting and anti-Latino sentiment squarely on Trump and his dangerous rhetoric.

Presidential hopeful Julián Castro has a message for Trump about his hateful and dangerous anti-Latino rhetoric.

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“President Trump,” Castro starts.

“You referred to countries as shitholes. You urged American Congresswomen to “go back” to where they came from. You called immigrants rapists. As we saw in El Paso, Americans were killed because you stoked the fire of racists. Innocent people were shot down because they look different from you. Because they look like me. They look like my family. Words have consequences. Ya basta.”

The message is being received with support from people concerned about the rhetoric.

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There has been a documented uptick of hate crimes targeting Latinos since Trump took office. His own rhetoric calling immigrants rapists and criminals as well as saying Latinos are invading the U.S. has stoked anti-Latino sentiment throughout the country.

The ad comes at an important time as even U.S. citizens are being targeted by immigration enforcement because of their skin color, names, or language.

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Recently, an American teenager was released from an immigration detention center after spending three weeks detained. Francisco Erwin Galicia was born in Dallas and presented his Texas ID, birth certificate, and social security card when going through an immigration checkpoint. Despite the government-issued documentation, immigration officials refused to believe his citizenship and detained him for 23 days where he lost 26 pounds because he was starved and he almost self-deported because of the inhumane conditions.

Castro’s words are ringing true for a lot of Latinos who have felt the attitude toward the community turn hateful and unwelcoming.

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Social media has been filled with videos and posts about people being told to stop speaking Spanish in public. Military personnel, restaurant managers, and everyone else has been harassed by people telling them to stop speaking Spanish because they are in America and need to speak English. However, these people seem to forget that there is no official language for the U.S. so the argument is deeply rooted in xenophobic hate.

People are paying attention to Castro’s new ad and him holding Trump’s rhetoric accountable.

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Castro is speaking to and on the same frustrations and fear that has many in the Latino community living on the edge. The Trump administration continues to push through policies that have a direct impact on the Latino community and claim it isn’t targeted. The gaslighting from the administration is not a mystery. It is clear as day that the Trump administration’s policies, like attacking legal immigrants using benefits, are clearly targeted at the Latino community. The fact that the administration has to release statements saying they aren’t targeting Latinos is telling of their true motives.

The new ad is convincing people to give Castro more attention in the current presidential race.

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Castro is at risk of not making the next debate, scheduled for Sept. 13 – 13 in Houston, Texas. The Texas politician is close to qualifying for the next debate but is short when it comes to the qualifying polls.

Candidates need at least 2 percent support in four qualifying polls and at least 130,000 individual donors. There have to be at least 400 donors in 20 states.

Watch Castro’s full video below!

What do you think about Castro’s ad against Trump?

READ: Julián Castro: The One Presidential Candidate Taking A Strong Stand For Migrants At The Border

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