Julián for the Future
For Immediate Release: January 23, 2019
Contact: Jennifer Fiore, Senior Advisor for Communications and Digital, Julián for the Future

ICYMI: Castro Campaign Sets Standard in Supporting Staff Unionization, Paying Interns $15/hour Minimum Wage

SAN ANTONIO, TX, (January 23, 2019) — Two articles out this week are worth noting regarding the Castro campaign's groundbreaking approach to campaign staffing and human resources. As McClatchy News reported yesterday, "Only one already-declared [2020] presidential contender made a commitment" to supporting campaign unionization and paying interns a minimum wage of $15/hour: Julián Castro.  Additionally, as the Daily Beasthighlighted Monday, the Castro campaign has been actively developing a comprehensive sexual harassment policy to protect workers as early as the exploratory phase of the campaign. As Jennifer Fiore, Senior Advisor to the campaign highlighted this week, these actions underscore the campaign's commitment to inclusivity and equity, beginning with the campaign workplace. See excerpts below from McClatchy and the Daily Beast.

McClatchy News -- Campaign workers demand minimum wage, progressive culture from 2020 Dems

McClatchy contacted representatives for 12 Democrats who have declared or are considered likely to declare presidential campaigns and asked detailed questions about their approaches to internal campaign culture. The questions ranged from whether they would support a campaign unionization effort to whether they would commit to paying workers a minimum wage.

Only one already-declared presidential contender made a commitment: Julián Castro, the former Obama administration housing secretary and the ex-mayor of San Antonio, would support his staffers if they want to unionize and will pay a $15 minimum wage, a representative for his team told McClatchy.

“We will completely support the staff organizing a union,” said Jennifer Fiore, senior adviser on the Castro campaign. She added that the campaign plans to pay everyone a minimum of $15 an hour, including interns.

Daily Beast -- Dems Scramble to Prevent 2020 #MeToo Scandals

Other operations that have had a bit more time in their preparations thus far told The Daily Beast that they have considered a number of factors to create a healthy environment for all the staff that eventually comes aboard. Those steps include diversifying top leadership and hiring people from a variety of backgrounds, which they believe could help open lines of communication and make flagging problematic incidents easier.

“The leadership of this campaign comes from the social justice movement,” Jennifer Fiore, a senior adviser on former HUD Secretary Julian Castro’s presidential bid, told The Daily Beast in an interview. She noted that Maya Rupert, who is Castro’s campaign manager, has never worked on a political campaign previously and has prior experience at HUD, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Center for Reproductive Rights. That background and Rupert’s prominent role as an African-American woman at the head of a campaign helps inform how issues of harassment, pay disparities and inclusion would be addressed.

“It signals not just to the rest of the campaign world but to voters that [Castro’s] commitment here is to moving these issues forward and that’s inclusive of the feminist issues of sexual harassment policies but also of workplace rights,” she continued.

Fiore added that during the time between Castro’s announcement of an exploratory committee and his formal announcement of his run, the team worked with lawyers to develop a policy for harassment in the workplace. Additionally, she said that the campaign will have volunteers, but not unpaid interns, who would be working full-time and that they have already decided to support a union should the campaign staff decide to unionize. Having a union on a large national campaign, advocates say, can facilitate better communication among staffers and a collective bargaining agreement can ensure that every staffer knows their rights and has a representative to whom they can report issues of harassment.

Julián for the Future
For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 9, 2019
Contact: Sawyer Hackett 

Castro Campaign Officially Unionizes Following Candidate’s First-in-the-Field Pledge to Support Workers

Campaign staff sign agreement with Campaign Workers Guild (CWG) that was swiftly recognized by campaign management
SAN ANTONIO, TX (April 9, 2019) – On Thursday, April 9, 2019, the presidential campaign for former Obama Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, Julián Castro, announced that its workers had officially formed a union, following Secretary Castro’s first-in-the-field pledge to support unionization of his staff. After campaign staff unanimously signed cards with the Campaign Workers Guild (CWG), the Julián for the Future campaign management swiftly recognized the union, per a neutrality agreement reached with the CWG.
"From the first days of his exploratory committee, in December 2018, Secretary Castro committed to supporting his campaign staff in efforts to unionize,” said Campaign Manager Maya Rupert. “Unions are essential protections for workers, including campaign workers, and the teams of people who work to elect out leaders should do so with the protections of union organizing. Our campaign is extremely proud to be the first presidential campaign to take this step with the Campaign Workers Guild, and we look forward to bargaining in good faith.”
"Secretary Castro takes a backseat to no one when it comes to supporting his staff,” said union member and Deputy National Press Secretary Sawyer Hackett. “He was the first candidate to pledge to pay interns $15/hour, the first to put together a staff manual with a strong sexual harassment policy, and he was the first to support his staff forming a union to ensure the employees of his campaign are not left behind in advancing his vision for the future of our nation. I'm proud to announce that our campaign has availed ourself of that support and formed a recognized union with the Campaign Workers Guild.”

CWG Executive Council Member Sarah Willenbrink-Sahin added  “The Campaign Workers Guild is thrilled to represent the workers on Julián for the Future. We share a devout commitment to true, sustainable, progressive change in our industry and our country. We look forward to meeting with management at the bargaining table and making the policies we believe should be standard a reality for Castro workers.”
About Secretary Julián Castro
Julián Castro served as U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama from 2014-2017. Before that, he was Mayor of his native San Antonio, Texas — the youngest mayor of a Top 50 American city at the time. In 2012, he gave a rousing keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention, during which he described the American Dream as a relay to be passed from generation to generation. In 2018, Castro founded Opportunity First, an organization to invest in the next generation of progressive leaders. In October 2018, Little, Brown published Castro’s memoir, An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up from My American Dream. On January 12, 2019, Secretary Castro announced his candidacy for President of the United States. Follow Julián Castro on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. JulianfortheFuture.com and Julianparaelfuturo.com.