Julian Castro grew up in a tough neighborhood in San Antonio, Texas. He often was toted around with his twin brother by his mother Rosie, a civil rights activist. He attended farm worker rallies and distributed literature about political candidates and policies. His early childhood introduction to politics left its mark on both he and his brother Joaquin. Julian and Joaquin went to Stanford and Harvard Law School and then returned to the city of their roots.
Julian is the mayor of San Antonio, the seventh-largest city in the U.S. and his brother is a state representative in Texas, ready to win a seat in Washington. On Tuesday night, both brothers will be under the spotlight when Julian, following an introduction by his brother, will deliver the Democratic National Convention’s keynote address. He will become the first Hispanic to ever be given the honor of making that address.
Julian told reporters he would use his speech to highlight the Castro family story as one example of the great American Dream. He said that growing up he did not want to go to the political events, but over time, when he was older, he developed a great appreciation of how important it is to be involved in the democratic process in the U.S.
His family’s story is rooted in the West Side of San Antonio, the area is predominantly Mexican-American and it is where he and his brothers were raised. His grandmother first and then his mother were also raised in the same part of San Antonio. Residents of the West Side, even though it is in view of the tourist destination of downtown San Antonio, generally do not earn as much and are less likely to attend college than those people in the city’s other neighborhoods.
The brother’s grandmother arrived as a six-year old orphan from Mexico to live with family members in the West Side.