Cool Lateens – Julian Castro

A leader is someone that makes people believe in them, but a great leader is someone that makes people believe in themselves. That truth is all around the world. In different settings, there is always that one person that instills people with pride; there is always one person that makes a difference. For example in India, Ghandi believed in peace, in Rome Julius Caesar believed in fighting for the people, in the United States Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in a dream of equality. These individuals (and many more throughout time) allowed their beliefs to shape history for good and bad. These types of historical events inspire others to bend the rules, seek change, and pursue their convictions. A great example is Barack Obama: the first African-American President of the United States. He has made many people around the world believe that anything is possible. Now many Lateens are beginning to ask themselves; Who will represent us? Who will be the face of a progressive Latino society? I wish I could magically skip a few years to start my dream of being a “great” politician and run for Mayor, then Governor and who knows? Maybe even President. But the reality is I can’t skip ahead, and unfortunately I am not old enough. The fact is we need someone, and we need that person NOW.

Don’t have fear, Julián Castro is here! No, he is not a superhero, but he is a Latino politician. Castro was born in San Antonio on September 16, 1974 (also the same day of Mexico’s Independence Day). He is the twin brother of Joaquín Castro. He graduated in 1996 from Stanford University, majoring in political science and communications. He said he began thinking about entering politics while at Stanford. He later graduated from Harvard Law School.  Interestingly enough, his brother graduated from both schools with him.

In 2001, at the age of 26, Castro became the youngest elected city councilman in San Antonio history. In 2005, Castro founded The Law Offices of Julián Castro, PLLC, a civil litigation practice. He has served on the board of Family Services Association, the Clear Channel San Antonio Advisory Board and the San Antonio National Bank Advisory Board. In addition to his community service, Mayor Castro has taught courses at The University of Texas at San Antonio, Trinity University, and St. Mary`s University. Castro served on the San Antonio City Council from 2001 to 2005, representing District 7. He sought to establish himself as a leader on issues of economic development, education, and environmental protection. 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. While Castro received a plurality of the vote in the May 2005 election, he was narrowly defeated by Hardberger in the June 2005 runoff.

Castro ran for mayor of San Antonio again in 2009, announcing his candidacy on November 5, 2008. Castro won the May 9th election with 56.23% of the vote, his closest opponent being Trish DeBerry-Mejia. Castro is the fifth Hispanic mayor in the history of San Antonio, Antonio Menchaca being the first. A 35-year-old San Antonio native, Mayor Castro is the youngest mayor of a Top 50 American city. Castro’s accomplishments have made him one of the few government prospects to represent Latinos across the country. Castro is a very important leader to young Lateens because we see him as one of us. He has the image of a person that we will follow. Castro is a role model to many Lateens because he proves to so many that anything is truly possible. Castro is very dedicated to what he does, and Lateens (or at least this Lateen) feel he’ll be able to provide a very deep look into the changes that will benefit us all. However, Julián Castro plays a big role in many people’s lives. His job is serious. He is in charge of well over two million people, with San Antonio ranked seventh in the United States in regards to population. Julián faces a challenging responsibility, but I have hope he will continue to do great.  I just hope that Castro knows the difference between a mission and a promise. Because a mission is something you strive to accomplish and a promise is something you are compelled to keep. I hope that Castro’s only mission is to make all his promises a reality.

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