Things That Matter

Julián Castro Did Not Hold Back When Democrats Debated Immigration During The First Debate

Since Julián Castro first announced his presidential bid in January, he’s been looking for a breakout moment in a crowded field of Democrats. Looks like he might have gotten it during the first Democratic Debate of the 2020 election season. The former Housing and Urban Development secretary and mayor of San Antonio, seized the stage when discussing immigration and his plan to overhaul it. It was a performance that might have just separated Castro from a crowded field of contenders.

There was a 2,400-percent surge in Google searches for Castro during and after the first 2020 Democratic debate show.

Credit:@juliancastro/Twitter

Up until this point, Castro has largely been known to most folks solely for being the only Latino candidate on the Democratic side. But things have quickly picked up for him and people are noticing. He’s released multiple policies since he announced his bid, shared his personal story and has a resume fit for a serious contender. But what he’s lacked is attention.

He finally got that on Wednesday night. As he shared the stage with 10 other Democratic hopefuls like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Castro finally had his moment.

“There was more excitement when he showed command in his voice and passion and compassion, which I think you need to have as president, so he really helped himself out.” Lawrence Romo, who organized a Democratic debate watch party in Castro’s hometown, told NBC News.

The highlight of the debate was Castro squaring off against fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke.

One of Castro’s strengths has been his immigration plan which he rolled out in April. On Wednesday, he took the chance to showcase it to a national audience. But it was one particular part of it that he sees as most important, his proposal to repeal a section of U.S. law that makes it a federal crime for migrants to cross the border unlawfully.

During the debate, Castro said it’s time to “go back to the way we used to treat this when somebody comes across the border, not to criminalize desperation, to treat that as a civil violation.”

It was that policy, Section 1325 of Title 8 of the US Code, that had Castro and O’Rourke debating with one another. To this point, O’Rourke hasn’t considered repealing the policy because he feels that it might make it harder to prosecute drug smugglers and human traffickers.

Castro interrupted O’Rourke’s discussion about the deaths of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his daughter, Valeria, migrants who died crossing the Rio Grande river.

Credit:roqplanas/Twitter

“I just think it’s a mistake, Beto. I think it’s a mistake,” Castro said. “I think that if you truly want to change the system, that we’ve got to repeal that section.”

O’Rourke responded saying that during his time in Congress he helped bring legislation that would guarantee the U.S. wouldn’t criminalize asylum seekers and refugees. Castro countered by saying that wasn’t good enough.

“I think that you should do your homework on this issue,” Castro said. “If you did your homework on this issue, you would know that we should repeal this section.”

The exchange between both candidates went viral and showed how serious of a contender Castro should be considered moving forward. While Castro has been polling in single digits so far, when it comes to Latinos, he’s registered among the top or at the top.

Being the only Latino in the Democratic field, Castro will now have to build off the momentum from his performance on the debate stage.

Credit:@selectedwisdom/Twitter

Castro has been clamoring for recognition and now he’s finally getting his moment in the spotlight. Many political pundits called him one of the biggest winners of the night, along with Warren and Booker.

Beyond immigration, Castro scored well when it came to healthcare issues like whether his health plan would cover abortion access. Castro said that his policy would cover it and that coverage wouldn’t just apply to women but also include “someone in the trans community.”

Many who never even heard of Castro before the evening took to Twitter to show their support for him. For some, just having a candidate they could relate to was enough to get their support.

“Tonight, I saw Julian Castro on that debate stage. He (like me) is the child of a single mother, coming from a Mexican immigrant family and was clearly the break-out. I got emotional. We NEED to get him to the NEXT debate,” comedian Cristela Alonzo wrote.

On a night where candidates like O’Rourke and Booker spoke Spanish as a way to connect with bilingual audiences, Castro didn’t need that. He instead saved his Spanish for his closing statement.

“On Jan. 20, 2021, we’ll say adios to Donald Trump.”

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

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AOC Is Calling On Democrats To Hold No Punches In Response To Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation

Things That Matter

AOC Is Calling On Democrats To Hold No Punches In Response To Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation

Tom Brenner-Pool / Getty Images

It’s official. Amy Coney Barrett, the judge who is opposed to marriage equality and the Affordable Care Act, is a Supreme Court justice. Barrett has two years of experience as a judge and her confirmation to the Supreme Court has renewed the fight by Democrats, especially AOC.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is ready to fight after the latest Supreme Court confirmation.

Amy Coney Barrett is President Trump’s third Supreme Court appointee and her confirmation has reenergized Democratic politicians. Rep. AOC used the confirmation to call for the Democrats to step up and fight like Republicans.

During President Obama’s last year, the Republican-led Senate refused to hold hearings for his appointee Merrick Garland 8 months before the election. Sen. Mitch McConnell at the time claimed it was inappropriate to hold a hearing during President Obama’s last year. Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation was rushed through with only 8 days till an election.

Barrett’s confirmation is energizing Democratic voters and what they want to see from a Democratic-controlled government.

Democratic voters have long been calling for politicians to pushback against the Republican Party. A common sentiment among the voters is that the Democrats in power have not been forceful enough on behalf of the voters. Rep. AOC is a politician elected to power in the name of that frustration.

An argument has been made to change the court by following past precedent.

Democratic candidates and politicians are calling the Republican Party’s move to confirm Barrett a sham. The argument used is that millions of American have already voted and the confirmation should have been held until the election. Democrats claim that if President Trump loses then Barrett’s confirmation goes against the will of the American voters.

Voters are hoping for a more vocal Democratic Party.

There is one week before the election and millions of people have already voted. Millions more will vote before Nov. 3 and both parties are doing everything in their power to win the election. Democrats saw a historic surge in donations after Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death through ActBlue. It is clear that the Democratic Party is motivated but will it translate into votes.

READ: Several Republicans And White House Officials Test Positive For Covid After Amy Coney Barrett Event

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‘Hamilton’ And When We All Vote Get Creative To Engage Voters In The Upcoming Election

Entertainment

‘Hamilton’ And When We All Vote Get Creative To Engage Voters In The Upcoming Election

Walter McBride / WireImage

When Disney+ started streaming “Hamilton,” the wildly popular Broadway musical made it into the homes of millions. The mix of rap lyrics and American history set the musical apart from the beginning. Now, “Hamilton” is teaming up with When We all Vote to get people charged up for the election.

“Hamilton” has never been shy to get involved in politics.

The musical has a diverse cast of Black and Latino actors and singers deliver a tremendous performance with a powerful message. The musical makes the case that every American should have the opportunity for their voice to be heard.

Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda raises the importance of unification no matter race, religion, or socioeconomic status. His work emphasizes the notion that all Americans can make the difference in reframing our nation’s narrative. “Hamilton” is not the only project where he aims for others to feel inspired for change.

Miranda has partnered up with When We All Vote to focus on voter education.

When We All Vote is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization launched by Michelle Obama and Janelle Monae in 2018 aiming to to focus on bridging the gap around race and age within voter culture. The organization hopes to raise awareness on the importance of voting especially in the upcoming election in November. Knowing Miranda’s activistm, he was bound to do so with an exciting spin.

Miranda is taking music from “Hamilton” and changing the lyrics to encourage voters.

Miranda and When We All Vote want all people out there to stand up and make their voices heard. Lyrics like “I’m just an ordinary citizen/ I’m not political, I’ve never been/ And I don’t vote/ I don’t vote” in the tune of “Alexander Hamilton” raises awareness that choosing not to vote weighs equally as heavily in the election and has resulted in the swayed outcome of our past presidential election back in 2016, where the nearly 100 million voters who were claimed as non-participatory contributed in swinging it more in the favor of the current occupant of the white house. 

Miranda is conscious of all sides of why the public may be hesitant to be active such as voter fraud and the lack of education on how to register amidst the current Covid-19 restrictions. The team addresses every concern with ingenious lyrics and tunes that create an exciting atmosphere around election talk. With a creative, exciting, and revolutionary way of getting information so you can vote in the next primary, who wouldn’t want to get involved? So go get your ballot ready and “Let’s get this done!”

For more information on When We All Vote’s initiative, click here. And to register to vote, visit our homepage and click on the Register to Vote icon pop up because “you are not throwing away your shot.”

READ: ‘Hamilton’ Won’t Be Eligible For An Academy Award Next Year

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