Julián Castro

Read Julián Castro’s positions on all 11 planks of the Pledge Agenda.
Scroll down – or click a plank in the outline below to jump to specific positions.

I. Jobs for All – by Investing in Rebuilding America and a Green New Deal
1. Jobs for All – Created by Rebuilding America
2. Invest in a Green Economy
II. Fight Inequality
3. Empower Workers to Reduce Inequality
4. Opportunity and Justice for All – With Focus on Communities Harmed by Racism
5. Guarantee Women’s Economic Equality
III. A New Social Contract – for Income and Retirement Security – and Healthcare and Education for All

6. High Quality Public Education – Pre-K to University
7. Medicare for All – And Shared Economic Security
IV. Stop Corporations, Banks, and the Wealthy from Controlling Our Economy and Our Democracy
8. Make Corporations and the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share
9. Close Wall Street’s Casino
10. Rescue Democracy from Special Interests
V. A Global Strategy for Working Americans

11. A Global Strategy for Working Americans

I. Jobs for All – by Investing in Rebuilding America and a Green New Deal
1. Jobs for All – Created by Rebuilding America

2. Invest in a Green Economy

II. Fight Inequality
3. Empower Workers to Reduce Inequality

4. Opportunity and Justice for All – With a Focus on Communities Harmed by Racism

  • “The color of your skin today affects whether you are treated equally and fairly in our criminal justice system…We’ve made strides over the years but we’re not nearly at a place where somebody who’s black is treated the same way as somebody who is white, or somebody who is poor is treated the same way as somebody who is rich when it comes to our criminal justice system.” (C-Span, 01/12/19) 
  • “If elected … I will create an office within the Department of Justice specifically dedicated to addressing discriminatory policing and strengthening the relationship between communities and law enforcement so that safety and justice are guaranteed to all people, no matter who you are, or where you come from.” (JulianfortheFuture, 01/31/19)
  • Castro has criticized the cash bail system, and a criminal justice system that only provides justice for those who can afford it. “You know what else is true? For far too many poor people who can’t afford bail, an accusation alone can swiftly turn into a jail sentence. In our country, “innocent until proven guilty” shouldn’t just be reserved for the wealthy few who can afford high priced lawyers. It should apply to every American.” (Castro 2020 candidacy announcement, 4presidency.org, 01/22/19)
  • “To be the fairest nation, we have to reform and reimagine our justice system. All over this nation, for far too many people of color, any interaction with the police can become fatal…We’re going to keep saying that Black Lives Matter, while working toward a justice system where it’s true.” (Castro 2020 candidacy announcement, 4presidency.org, 01/22/19)
  • “Seeking asylum is a legal right…Yes, we must have border security, but there is a smart and humane way to do it. And there is no way in hell that caging children is keeping us safe. We say no to building a wall and say yes to building community. We say no to scapegoating immigrants, and yes to Dreamers, yes to keeping families together, and yes to finally passing comprehensive immigration reform.” (Castro 2020 candidacy announcement, 4presidency.org)

5. Guarantee Women’s Economic Equality


III. A New Social Contract – for Income and Retirement Security – and Healthcare and Education for All

6. High Quality Public Education – Pre-K to University

  • “We’ll work to make the first two years of college, a certification program or an apprenticeship accessible and affordable, so millions more people get the skills they need to get a good job without drowning in debt.” (Julian Castro, Twitter 01/12/19)
  • “To be the smartest nation requires an early investment in our children’s education.” (Castro 2020 candidacy announcement, 4presidency.org, 01/22/19)
  • Castro supports – and initiated a pilot – universal pre-K program. “As Mayor of San Antonio, Castro’s “signature mayoral accomplishment  “Brainpower Initiative,” later changed to “Pre-K 4 SA” and passed by ballot measure in 2012. The initiative raised the sales tax by an eighth of one cent to pay for extending early childhood education to thousands of mostly impoverished four-year-olds. Castro initiated and relentlessly campaigned for the measure.” (Jacobin, 02/0619)

7. Medicare for All – And Shared Economic Security

  • Castro has said Medicare “should be there for everybody,” but has not backed a particular bill or specific Medicare-for-all proposal. He’s also said that we should not get rid of the private health insurance industry. (Washington Post. 04/09/19)
  • Castro has called for “universal health care,” also referring to it as “Medicare for all.” He indicated he would consider paying for such a system by raising taxes on corporations and on the wealthiest “0.05, 0.5 or 1 percent” of Americans. (PBS, 01/12/19)
  • Castro does not appear to have made a comment – one way or the other – about the government’s ability to negotiate drug prices for Medicare, to import drugs from other countries, or to produce and sell generic drugs to lower prices. (Washington Post, 04/09/19)


IV.
Stop Corporations, Banks, and the Wealthy from Controlling Our Economy and Our Democracy
8. Make Corporations and the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share

  • Castro supports raising the marginal tax rate on wealthy individuals, saying, “There was a time in this country where the top marginal tax rate was over 90 percent, even during Reagan’s era in the 1980’s it was around 50 percent. So do I support, in order to have something like Medicare for all, that we ask folks that are in the top 0.05 percent or 0.5 percent or the top 1 percent to pay more? And also, that we get more serious about making sure that the corporations pay their fair share.” (CNN, 01/27/19)
  • “I agree that we have to be much stronger in terms of antitrust enforcement…I believe that we need to ask a lot more of people at the top in this country, and of wealthy corporations. I don’t understand how Amazon made $11 billion in profit last year, paid no federal taxes, and at the same time, New York was about to offer them a $3 billion package to locate their second headquarters.” (The Verge, 03/14/19)
  • Julian Castro said that Warren’s plan [to break up big tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook] was “worth considering.” However, he focused his comments more specifically toward antitrust enforcement at large and the power held by major tech companies without going into much detail.” (Washington Post, 03/10/19)

9. Close Wall Street’s Casino

  • In 2016, Castro – as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development – was criticized for “Wall Street Giveaway.” A national coalition of housing advocacy, civil rights, and other progressive groups launched a campaign to urging HUD Secretary Julian Castro to “stop selling our neighborhoods to Wall Street.” Despite selling to nonprofit community organizations, HUD had sold 98% of distressed mortgages to the big banks under Castro’s leadership. “Julian Castro’s Wall Street giveaway lets the bankers that helped create the foreclosure crisis profit off of struggling homeowners’ mortgages,” said Matt Nelson, managing director at Presente.org, the nation’s largest Latino online organization. (Presente, 04/12/16)

10. Rescue Democracy from Special Interests

  • Castro tweeted support for a variety of voting changes in March, including eliminating the electoral college. He is also open to eliminating the Senate filibuster and adding term limits for Supreme Court justices. (Washington Post, 04/11/19)
  • He stands with the other Democratic candidates in supporting automatic national voter registration, making Election Day a national holiday, granting the right to vote to the formerly incarcerated, and granting statehood to Washington, DC. He also believes in Puerto Rico’s right to self-determination, and is open to lowering the voting age from 18 to 16. (Washington Post, 04/11/19)
  • “…as President, we will work to overturn Citizens United—to get big money out of politics.” (Castro 2020 candidacy announcement, 4presidency.org, 01/12/19)
  • “…we do see in the U.S. many clever newer ways to discriminate against voters of color — and all claiming to prevent “voter fraud” that doesn’t even exist. We’ve seen so many examples of this in my home state of Texas. … So the first order of business for Democrats as they take back state legislatures and governorships in 2018 should be to make it easier and more convenient for eligible voters to go out and vote, and for those not registered to get registered to vote. We need to peel back all of these terrible and unnecessary regulations that have created a wall against voting.” (11/02/18)

V. A Global Strategy for Working Americans
11. A Global Strategy for Working Americans

  • He’s been a strong advocate of free trade, which has benefitted his hometown. He’s defended free trade deals, arguing that instead of scrapping them, they should be reworked to strengthen protections for workers and the environment. (Quartz, 04/22/19)
  • Castro has credited NAFTA for his city San Antonio’s prosperity. Announcing the decision to hold a 20th-anniversary summit for NAFTA in there in 2012, “This summit will honor those who helped forge this critical agreement as well as help stimulate new economic opportunities and partnerships throughout North America.” (Washington Post, 09/04/19)
  • According to the Council on Foreign Relations, “Domestic policy rather than foreign policy has been Castro’s passion. He hasn’t made a habit of weighing in on Middle East policy, arms-control agreements, or trade deals. That makes it hard to say how his views might evolve in the months to come.” (CFR, 02/05/19)
  • Julián Castro has said he supported withdrawing troops from Syria, but not the manner by which Trump withdrew them. “I think that many folks recognize that it was time for us to pull out of Syria. However, here’s the thing. Once you’re there, you have to make sure that you have a plan for your operations there and, also, for your withdrawal. So I’m not a big fan of the commitments America has made, over these last 15 years, whether it was the Iraq War or this commitment. However, I do believe, and I agree with folks that say, that both for our own sake, for the sake of our troops, for the sake of our allies, once you’re there, you have to actually have a solid plan for how you’re going to withdraw. And what we saw this week is not the way that it should be done by a president.”  (Meet the Press, 12/23/19)
  • In an interview last month with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Castro warned that Trump “is damaging the relationships that we’ve had in place in the post-World War II era…The first thing that I would do if I were president with regard to our relationships around the world is to strengthen them, because those alliances have helped keep us safe.” (ABC News, 01/06/19)