Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro
California Democratic Party State Convention
San Francisco, CA
June 2, 2019


Good morning.  First of all, let me just say a huge felicidades, congratulations to Rusty Hicks, your new chairman. And give a shout out to Kimberly Ellis for the great campaign that she ran for chair. And also say thank you gracias to Alex Gallardo Rooker, your interim chair for the fine job that she's done.

I'm Julián Castro and as you can see, a lot of times I need a name tag. My brother likes to go around telling people that the way to tell us apart is that I am a minute uglier than he is, which is not true.

Joaquin and I grew up with a grandmother who had come from Mexico when she was seven years old with her little sister because their parents died. She ended up on the west side of San Antonio where the closest relatives, worked as a maid, a cook and a babysitter, raised my mom as a single parent. My mom was a hellraiser when she was young; she was involved in the old Chicano movement of the llate 1960s and early 1970s.

She raised us as a single parent. And to think that just two generations after my grandmother came to this country with nothing, that one of her grandsons is a congressman representing the city she came to, and the other is a candidate for president of the United States of America. That is our country.

I'm running for president because I believe that we need new leadership with a new vision, that we need a president for all Americans, that understands that we need to move forward in the years to come as one nation with one destiny. And that destiny for our country is to be the smartest, the healthiest, the fairest, and the most prosperous nation on Earth,

The smartest, the healthiest, the fairest and the most prosperous nation on Earth.

If we want to be the smartest nation on Earth, tit means we need to invest in universal pre-K for three and four year olds.

We need to pay teachers what they deserve.

We need to ensure that all children can have their needs met in the school that they go to.

We need to ensure that we have universal higher education so no matter who you are, you can go tuition free to a public state university, community college or job training program or certification program. Because jobs require more knowledge and more skill than ever before.

If we're going to be the healthiest nation on Earth, we need to change our healthcare system. My grandmother had diabetes and right before she passed away in 1996, she had to have one of her feet amputated, which is very common for folks with severe diabetes. But that whole time she had Medicare.

I want to strengthen Medicare for the people who are on it and make sure that it's available to every single person in this country.

If we want to be the healthiest nation, it also means that we need to protect a woman's right to get an abortion in the United States of America.

If we're going to be the fairest nation on Earth, we need to reimagine our justice system. You know, a few weeks ago, I was in Charleston, South Carolina, a couple of blocks away from the Mother Emanuel AME Church. And it reminded me that four years ago, Dylan Roof went into that church and he murdered nine people. And then a few hours later, he was apprehended without incident, as he should be.

But what about Eric Garner? And what about Tamir Rice? And what about Laquan McDonald? And what about Pamela Turner? And what about Sandra Bland? And what about Jason Pero? And what about Antonio Arce? And what about Stephon Clark across the Bay? They deserve justice too.

We need to make sure that no matter who you are, you're treated the same way under the law.

And we need to do simple but straightforward things like make sure that women make equal pay for equal work, and that we pass the Equal Rights Amendment. And that we pass the Equality Act.

If we're going to be the most prosperous nation on Earth, it has to mean prosperity for everybody.

We need to raise the minimum wage in this country.

We need to reform our immigration system, I was the first candidate to propose a comprehensive immigration plan that represents a completely different vision than this president. I'm asking Americans to believe that we can fix this broken system, but to do it with compassion and common sense instead of cruelty. And I know that we can.

It also means that we need to invest in things like affordable housing, because we have a rental
affordability crisis here in California and throughout the United States. But we haven't taken it seriously for the last 40 years, or seriously enough. We can do things like expand the low income housing tax credit, and home and CDBG funds and the National Housing Trust Fund.

You know, if we're going to prosper in the 21st century, it also means that we need a tax code that rewards work and not just wealthl, that invest in small business and not just the Amazons of the world.

And somebody asked me the other day, what's the first thing that you would do if you were elected President of the United States? And I told him, well, you know, the first thing I would do on that afternoon in office is that I would sign an executive order recommitting the United States to the Paris Climate accord, so that we lead again, on sustainability. And we never look back.

But that I would actually enjoy a moment that would come a little bit earlier during the day, when its traditional for the incoming president to usher out the outgoing president. I said, I look forward to being there with my wife Erica, and our daughter Carina ,our son Cristián on the White House lawn, getting ready to say goodbye to Donald Trump and Melania Trump. And they'll be ready to go back to New York or to Mar a Lago and the helicopter will be there waiting in the distance to take them away. And right before he leaves, right before he walks away, I'm going to tell him "Adios."

Thank you very much. Thank you very much, California. Thank you. Thank you.

Ed. notes: Castro's brother Joaquin introduced him. The backbone of the speech, as it has been from early days of his campaign, is the theme of "the smartest, the healthiest, the fairest and the most prosperous nation on Earth."

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