Things That Matter

People Are Already Excited Julian Castro Announced That He Is Considering Running For President

We’re two years out until the 2020 presidential election, and there’s already much anticipation over who’s going to go head-to-head with President Donald Trump.

Despite losing their midterm elections, Beto O’Rourke and Andrew Gillum are already two strong contenders for the upcoming presidential election. For further proof that these two may be in the running, look no further to separate meetings with former President Barack Obama. However, it looks like Obama may need to schedule a meeting with an old friend from the White House.

Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro announced he is looking into running for president in 2020.

“I’ve spent the past several years traveling around America and listening to people’s concerns — mothers from Arizona, college students in Iowa, teachers in Florida,” Castro, who is also the former mayor of San Antonio, said in a video. “It doesn’t matter where we come from, we want the same things, we want to do right by our families, we want America to keep its promises. Americans are ready to climb out of this darkness…That’s why I am exploring a candidacy for president of the United States in 2020.”

Castro also discussed some of the key issues concerning the country including border security. He said that he believes in having a strong border presence and also treating undocumented people with respect.

So who is Julian Castro? Check out his impressive résumé.

CREDIT: Twitter/@SaraSbean
  • In 2001, he became the youngest city councilman elected in San Antonio history at 26 years old.
  • In 2009, he was elected mayor of San Antonio and was re-elected in 2011 and 2013.
  • In 2012, he gained national attention for being the first Latino to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina.
  • In 2014, Obama asked him to be the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and served until 2017.
  • It’s also important to mention that his twin brother Joaquín Castro is currently a U.S. Representative, and his parents are both Chicano activists. He is also married to a school teacher and has two kids.

So what are people saying about this possible run, which could lead to the first Latino president?

He hasn’t even started his campaign and people are already lining up to join his team. That’s what you call excitement.

He’s getting high praise from popular social justice advocates.

Castro certainly has the leadership experience and name recognition needed to get people interested.

People understand he’s a strong candidate.

Our politics are saturated with issues and moments that impact and highlight the lives of the Latino community. A Latino presidential candidate would further prove the importance of one of the fastest growing communities in the country.

Congresswoman-elect Veronica Esobar understands what Castro can bring to the table.

Newly elected politicians see a future in Castro and his leadership. We are witnessing a change in the two major parties in the U.S. and Castro’s bold stances could be what the Democratic party is looking for.

Some have been following his political career for years.

Timing is always crucial in running for any office. While so many wanted Castro in 2016, now could be his time to shine.

He’s always been fighting for the entire country.

While his focus may have been in Texas, working under Obama certainly taught him a lot. It was his first experience making decisions that impacted the American people as a whole.

Representing the Latino community will be important in the 2020 presidential race.

“I’m also very mindful, especially now for the Latino community, that there’s a particular meaning to my candidacy,” Castro said, according to the Huffington Post. “We can’t go through the 2020 cycle with nobody on that stage because of what’s happened over the last couple of years.”


READ: Will We Have A Latino Vice President Or Nah?

What do you think about Julian Castro thinking about running for president? Let us know by sharing this story and commenting below!

A Former Brazilian President Was Just Released From Prison And Here’s What That Could Mean For The Country

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A Former Brazilian President Was Just Released From Prison And Here’s What That Could Mean For The Country

Henry Milleo / AP Images

A judge ordered the release of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, affectionately known as Lula, from prison today. Lula was sentenced to eight years and 10 months in prison in 2018, following a conviction on charges that he took bribes from engineering firms in exchange for government contracts. However, many Brazilians and officials felt Lula’s conviction was the result of corruption. 

The decision came after Brazil’s Supreme Court overturned a law that required convicts to be imprisoned if they lose their first appeal. The ruling could end up benefiting other high profile prisoners and thousands of other convicts, according to Al Jazeera, and was not met without detractors. 

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is freed from prison.

On Thursday, Brazil’s Supreme Court decided in a 6-5 vote that a person can only be imprisoned after they’ve exhausted every possible appeal to the higher courts. Lula, who is currently appealing his case, benefited from the new rule. 

“There are no grounds for the continuation of this provisional criminal enforcement,” Judge Danilo Pereira Júnior said.

The ruling could release almost 5,000 inmates who are currently appealing their convictions, according to The Guardian. 

In 2016, the courts operated on the premise that defendants who have been convicted can be imprisoned pending the decisions of any appeals. However, Brazil’s constitution states that no one can be labeled guilty unless due process is completed in its entirety. 

Justice Gilmar Mendes acknowledged that Lula’s involvement in the discourse overshadowed the discussion, but that overall it is good for the public, according to the Guardian. However, analysts say that incarcerating people before they have appealed gives authorities leverage to strike plea deals that can garner vital information. 

Many analysts are criticizing the new rule. 

The “Car Wash” operation, as it is nicknamed, that got Lula arrested, benefited from the rule. By trading plea deals that would keep convicts out of prison, prosecutors obtained information that allowed them to unravel a massive conspiracy of corruption that resulted in entrepreneurs and politicians being imprisoned for bribes and kickbacks. 

According to Al Jazeera, “The Car Wash prosecutors said the ruling would make their job harder and favor impunity because of Brazil’s ‘excessive’ appeal processes. They said in a statement that the court’s decision was out of sync with a country that wants an end to corruption.”

Not only are officials displeased with Lula’s release, but some Brazilians are also angry as well. 

“I’m not surprised, politicians rarely stay very long in jail,” Rivaldo Santos, a 43-year-old waiter in São Paulo, told The Associated Press. 

Brazilians rally in support of Lula’s release. 

Lula was a once-beloved conduit of change. The Bolsa Familia welfare program significantly reduced poverty in Brazil, and his policies created widespread economic growth. Lula left the office with an 80% approval rating, only to have his legacy tarnished by his involvement in the Car Wash operation. 

In a turning point over the summer, Brazilians were left stunned by allegations that prosecutors and a judge colluded together in the criminal investigation of Lula. Sergio Moro, the judge who convicted Lula, allegedly gave prosecutors strategic advice and tips during the investigation. 

“The judge’s relationship with prosecutors is scandalous,” the Intercept Brasil’s executive editor, Leandro Demori, told The Guardian. “This is illegal under Brazilian law.”

The revelations caused many to wonder if Lula had been wrongfully imprisoned altogether. Last year, Lula was the left-leaning presidential frontrunner only to have his imprisonment pave the way for the far-right Jair Bolsonaro to snag the presidency. Thus, many Brazilians still revere Lula for the sweeping changes he brought to Brazil while wondering all that could have been.

“He is very happy and so are we,” Gilberto Carvalho, Lula’s former chief of staff and one of the leaders of the Workers Party, told The Washington Post. “We are pinching ourselves to make sure this is all true.”

Bernie Sanders and others praise the release of Lula.

“As President, Lula has done more than anyone to lower poverty in Brazil and to stand up for workers. I am delighted that he has been released from jail, something that never should have happened in the first place,” Sanders tweeted.  

“Lula is free. He walked out of Sergio Moro’s prison today, where he spent almost 2 years as a result of corrupted process conducted by a corrupt judge (now Bolsonaro’s Minister of Justice and Public Security) and corrupt prosecutors,” journalist Glenn Greenwald said on Twitter. 

While Brazil was set on an entirely different course after Bolsonaro’s election, perhaps, Lula’s release can usher in needed change.

“[Lula] is eager to come out, but at the same time he is asking everyone to stay calm and be careful with provocations to keep an atmosphere of peace,” Carvalho said. 

Beto O’Rourke Dropped Out Of The Presidential Race But Julián Castro Is Holding On

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Beto O’Rourke Dropped Out Of The Presidential Race But Julián Castro Is Holding On

juliancastrotx / Instagram

As the primary race draws closer, the restrictions on who is allowed on the debate stage are getting tougher. Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro had announced mid-October that if his campaign didn’t raise $800,000 by Halloween his campaign would be over. While fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke announced the end of his campaign on Oct. 31, Castro’s campaign successfully pushed to raise enough money to keep his campaign going. In fact, he announced that they raised over $1 million for the month of October, well above the campaign goal.

“We’re not going anywhere,” campaign manager Maya Rupert told Politico. “Julián will keep being a voice for the voiceless, and a champion for the Americans who have been left behind. We will keep lifting up important issues others choose to ignore, and demonstrating by example why Secretary Castro is the best candidate to take on Donald Trump.”

Castro implored his supporters to keep his campaign going.

Credit: @MauraBarrettNBC / Twitter

In an email sent out to supporters, Castro put it bluntly: “If I can’t raise $800,000 in the next 10 days—I will have no choice but to end my race for President. The truth is, for our campaign, these debates have offered our only guaranteed opportunity to share my vision with the American people. If I can’t make the next debate stage, we cannot sustain a campaign that can make it to Iowa in February.”

Beyond logistics, Castro acknowledged the integrity of the campaign donors. “I started this campaign on a shoestring budget in the neighborhood I grew up in. I didn’t grow up a frontrunner. I didn’t have personal wealth to pump into this race,” he wrote in the email. “And we’ve built this campaign without a cent from super PACS or billionaires.” 

The Mexican-American politician now needs to poll higher than 3 percent in four national polls to qualify for the next debate.

Credit: juliancastrotx / Instagram

With the funds needed to campaign in battleground states, Castro is better poised to meet that DNC qualification. He has the 165,000 donors required to qualify but is still polling in low single-digit numbers. According to FEC filings, Castro’s campaign only had about $672,000 on hand at the end of September. Money goes far in elections, but it isn’t the deciding factor for campaign longevity. Beto O’Rourke had $3.3 million on hand by the end of September, a significantly higher amount than Castro, and Beto conceded.

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders remains the Democratic candidate with the highest sum of cash on hand, at a whopping $33.7 million by the end of September. Both Sanders and Castro refuse to accept donations from super PACS or billionaires. Trump, however, had a reported $83 million on hand by the end of September.

Even, AOC asked her supporters to make a contribution, though she’s endorsed Bernie Sanders for president.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

On Nov. 1, Castro shared the good news from the backseat of a vehicle, saying, “I am so happy to announce today that, because of grassroots contributions from all over the country, we hit our $800,000 goal for the month of October.” Even better, he said, “We raised just over $1 million.” Castro effused gratitude as he spoke to the individual donors that make his campaign possible, “I just want to express my appreciation and say thank you to each and every one of you…Whatever you gave, I appreciate it. Thank you for believing in a campaign that is focused on lifting up the most vulnerable folks in our country and making sure that all of us can prosper in the years to come.”

The night before the deadline, Castro’s team hosted a call-a-thon to raise the remaining estimated $200k.

Credit: @juliancastro / Twitter

Of course, Castro’s campaign has a long way to go. He made sure to tell his supporters, “I also want you to know that this campaign, not only is it going to keep on going, but it continues to need your support. Spread the word. Talk to your friends, your family, your coworkers. We’re going to make a strong push to try and get onto the debate stage and go on. Take care.”

Halloween wasn’t so scary for Castro’s campaign after all.

Credit: juliancastrotx / Instagram

“THANK YOU!” Castro tweeted Friday. “With the help of tens of thousands of donors across the country, we reached our $800k fundraising goal—and crossed the $1M mark for the month of October. We’re going to keep pushing to make the debates and raise issues others won’t address. Thank you for your support.”

In response, one supporter tweeted, “You are very welcome! Keep fighting for racial justice in public policy hermano! We stand with you and your vision for humane and dignified treatment for our communities 🦋.”

READ: Julián Castro Is Rolling Out A $10 Trillion Plan To Fight Climate Change