The Vice President Swears In Julián Castro as New HUD Secretary
04:25 PM EDT
Earlier this afternoon, Vice President Biden ceremonially swore in former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro as the new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Secretary Castro — who was confirmed by the Senate last month in a 71-26 vote — made significant progress in San Antonio and implemented a number of housing and economic development programs to help the city’s residents. In a statement last month, President Obama called Secretary Castro “a proven leader — a champion for safe, affordable housing and strong, sustainable neighborhoods.”
The President also voiced his confidence that Secretary Castro will work in his new role to “build on the progress we’ve made battling back from the Great Recession” — rebuilding America’s housing market, reducing veteran homelessness, and connecting neighborhoods with good schools and jobs that help Americans succeed.
- President Obama Nominates Julián Castro as Next HUD Secretary
- Julián Castro Confirmed by the Senate as the Next HUD Secretary
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Julián Castro (/ˌhuːliˈɑːn/ hoo-lee-ahn, Spanish pronunciation: [huˈljan] ;) (born September 16, 1974) is an American politician who has been the 16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development since July 28, 2014. Castro served three terms as the Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, from 2009 through 2014.
|16th United States Secretary of Housing and|
July 28, 2014
|Preceded by||Shaun Donovan|
|Mayor of San Antonio|
June 1, 2009 – July 22, 2014
|Preceded by||Phil Hardberger|
|Succeeded by||Ivy Taylor|
|Born||September 16, 1974
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
|Alma mater||Stanford University
Early life and family
Julián Castro was born in San Antonio, Texas, on September 16, 1974, to Maria “Rosie” Castro and Jessie Guzman. He is the identical twin brother of current United States Representative Joaquín Castro. His mother was a Chicana political activist who helped establish the Chicano political party La Raza Unida. She ran unsuccessfully for San Antonio City Council in 1971. Castro once stated, “My mother is probably the biggest reason that my brother and I are in public service. Growing up, she would take us to a lot of rallies and organizational meetings and other things that are very boring for an 8-, 9-, 10-year-old”. His father, Jessie Guzman, is a retired math teacher and political activist. Never married, Rosie and Jessie separated when Castro and his brother were eight years old. Castro’s roots trace back to 1920, when his grandmother, Victoria Castro, joined extended family members there as a six-year-old orphan from northern Mexico.
In 2007 Castro married Erica Lira Castro, an elementary school teacher. In 2009 their daughter Carina Castro was born.
Castro attended Thomas Jefferson High School, where he played football, basketball and tennis; he also collected trading cards. He skipped his sophomore year and graduated in 1992, ranking ninth in his class. He had received an offer to play tennis at Trinity University, a NCAA Division III school, but chose to attend Stanford University.
He graduated from Stanford in 1996 with a bachelors degree in political science and communications. He said he began thinking about entering politics while at Stanford, where he and his brother launched their first campaigns and won student senate seats, tying for the highest number of votes. Castro has credited affirmative action for his admission into Stanford, telling The New York Times, “Joaquín and I got into Stanford because of affirmative action. I scored 1,210 on my SATs, which was lower than the median matriculating student. But I did fine in college and in law school. So did Joaquín. I’m a strong supporter of affirmative action because I’ve seen it work in my own life”.
Castro entered Harvard Law School in 1997 and graduated with a Juris Doctor in 2000. His brother graduated from both schools with him. After law school, the two brothers worked for the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld before starting their own firm in 2005.
Castro was elected to the San Antonio City Council in 2001, winning 61 percent of the vote against five challengers. At age 26 he was the youngest city councilman in San Antonio history, surpassing Henry Cisneros (later mayor of San Antonio and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development), who won his council seat in 1975 when he was 27 years old. Castro represented District 7, a precinct on the city’s west side with 115,000 residents. The population was 70 percent Hispanic and included a large number of senior citizens. As a councilman from 2001 to 2005, he had opposed a PGA-approved golf course and large-scale real estate development on the city’s outer rim.
Castro ran for Mayor of San Antonio in 2005 and was widely viewed as the front runner in a field that also included retired judge Phil Hardberger and conservative city councilman Carroll Schubert. However, he was defeated by approximately 4000 votes when Hardberger received 51.5% of the votes.
Castro ran for Mayor of San Antonio again in 2009, announcing his candidacy on November 5, 2008. Castro won the election on May 9, 2009 with 56.23% of the vote, his closest opponent being Trish DeBerry-Mejia. He became the fifth Latino mayor in the history of San Antonio. He was the youngest mayor of a top-50 American city.
In 2010 Castro created SA2020, a community-wide visioning effort. It generated a list of goals created by the people of San Antonio based on their collective vision for San Antonio in the year 2020. SA2020 then became a nonprofit organization tasked with turning that vision into a reality.
In 2010 he established Cafe College, which offers college guidance to San Antonio area students. In 2012 he led a voter referendum to expand pre-kindergarten education.
Castro was re-elected in 2011, running against four candidates; he received 82.9% of the votes.
In 2013, Castro was re-elected for a third term as Mayor of San Antonio. Castro won 67% of the votes but did very little campaigning, as none of his opponents made a serious attempt to win the mayoral election.
Castro has been an advocate for LGBT rights and has stated that he opposes the law in Texas that bans gay marriage.
He resigned as mayor effective July 22, 2014, so that he could take up his duties in Washington. The San Antonio City Council elected council member Ivy Taylor to replace him.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
On May 22, 2014 the White House announced Castro as the nominee to be the next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by President Barack Obama. He was confirmed by the Senate on July 9, 2014 by a vote of 71-26 and will replace Shaun Donovan, who was nominated to be the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. He took office on July 28, 2014 as United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Following the announcement, Castro was discussed as a potential 2016 Democratic Vice Presidential nominee. On July 28, 2014, his first day in office, Castro was honored at a reception called “Celebrating Latino Cabinet Members” hosted by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
Julián Castro: New HUD Secretary