In the fall of 2012, Julián Castro, the young mayor of San Antonio, Texas, stood in front of a packed stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, and gave a rousing speech before the Democratic National Convention. He told the story of his grandmother, who came to the United States from Mexico and likely could not have imagined that her grandsons, Juli án and his twin brother Joaquin, would graduate from Stanford Law School and go on to lead successful political careers.
“The American dream is not a sprint or even a marathon, but a relay,” Castro said, touting his efforts to boost access to pre-kindergarten for San Antonio kids, and President Barack Obama’s work creates opportunities for underserved communities. He rallied the crowd to re-elect Obama, and in the process drew many comparisons to the president, who had given the convention speech eight years before.
Castro would go on to serve as Obama’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, where he worked to bring homeownership within reach of more Americans and launched an initiative that brought internet access to public and low-income housing. (His brother won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.) Castro is now widely viewed as a contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination for President.
On February 3, Juli án Castro will come to Seattle University to Headline the Crosscut Festival, a two-day event that will put elected officials, business leaders, and cultural luminaries onstage with the region’s top journalists. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum will also be among the more than 70 speakers and panelists.
The event is a partnership between Seattle University and Crosscut, a nonprofit news website dedicated to spurring smart, civil dialog about the Northwest’s most pressing issues. For more information, or to buy tickets, go to www.crosscut.com/festival.