Julian Castro on Technology

Democratic Presidential Challenger (withdrawn); former HUD Secretary


E-PALS: Set up email between Harvard students & Texas kids

[At Harvard Law], I said to Joaquin one day, "we need to get more people from neighborhoods like ours here. Something that exposes them to the possibilities. I saw so many kids [at home] that could cut it here. But I could tell them that if I told them that they'd laugh."

Joaquin thought about his pool of friends [among fellow law students and noted], "Most of them seem willing to help people who don't have the same advantages,"

"Why not ask them to help now?"

Three days later, Joaquin sat down next to me. "Electronic Partnership of Aspiring Law Students--E-PALS. That's it," he said.

E-PALS became an informal, email-based pen pal project between students at Harvard Law School and those in the law studies magnet program at Fox Tech High School in the San Antonio Independent School District.

More and more classmates became involved with E-PALS. We need to find more opportunities for small projects like this that culminate ambition.

Source: An Unlikely Journey, by Julian Castro, p.149-51 , Oct 16, 2018

City Council 2000: pursue smart growth, knowledge economy

I began campaigning on Election Day 2000, seven months ahead of the city council election. My theory is that when running for office, a candidate needs to tell folk in simple terms what he or she stands for. I had shaved my initial list down and had two easy-to-understand phrases: smart growth and a knowledge economy.

I had my stump speech set on auto repeat and I would engage at almost any interaction. "Hi, I'm Juli n Castro. I'm running for city council because I believe we should pursue a smart growth, knowledge economy agenda to create opportunity in twenty-first-century industries and gave neighborhood residents a say in shaping the character of their neighborhoods."

As I soon found out, people want to know how you can improve life not just for them but for their neighbors as well. Overwhelmingly, they wanted to be part of a prosperous community. [He won the election.]

Source: An Unlikely Journey, by Julian Castro, p.160-1 , Oct 16, 2018

Investments in mass transit could stimulate job creation