Julian Castro in Jacobin Magazine


On Civil Rights: Protections for GLBTQ; benefits to same-sex partners

Castro also led the creation of one of the country's strictest anti-smoking laws, drafted a successful resolution denouncing Arizona's racist 2010 immigration law, supported extending benefits to same-sex partners of city employees and , after years of reluctance, eventually supported an update to anti-discrimination protections to include sexual orientation.
Source: Jacobin Magazine on 2020 Democratic primary contenders Feb 15, 2019

On Corporations: Supported tax breaks to lure corporations

Castro's approach to job growth often involved corporate giveaways. A month after insurance company AllState announced it was opening up a bilingual customer information center in San Antonio, receiving $1.1 million from the state government, Castro backed and voted for an incentives package that gave the company a six-year, 65 percent tax abatement, a $30,000 grant for permitting and development fees, and nominated it to be able to receive a $1.25 million refund in sales and uses taxes.
Source: Jacobin Magazine on 2020 Democratic primary contenders Feb 15, 2019

On Education: Extended Pre-K education for needy kids

Castro's signature mayoral accomplishment was his "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.
Source: Jacobin Magazine on 2020 Democratic primary contenders Feb 15, 2019

On Energy & Oil: Green Jobs Leadership Council: more solar; less coal

Castro created a Green Jobs Leadership Council and voted for an incentive package to bring solar panel maker Nexolon America to the city. CPS Energy (San Antonio's publicly owned energy utility) invested $50 million in alternative energy research and signed a deal for the world's largest solar installation, approved energy efficiency upgrades to three landmarks, lured green tech companies to the city, inked a deal to build five solar plants, and pledged to close one of its coal plants by 2018.
Source: Jacobin Magazine on 2020 Democratic primary contenders Feb 15, 2019

On Energy & Oil: Supported both fossil fuel and green energy

San Antonio relied on a drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale, an oil and natural gas basin. It contributed to the city's poor air quality. This was Castro's "new energy economy": continued investment in and promotion of oil, natural gas, and "clean coal," partnered with a movement toward alternative energy for electricity production. It was Obama's "all of the above" energy policy, but at the municipal level.
Source: Jacobin Magazine on 2020 Democratic primary contenders Feb 15, 2019

On Homeland Security: Supported military expansion into cybersecurity

By 2011 the military's economic impact in the city was measured at $27.7 billion, larger than any other sector. After the US Cyber Command announced plans in 2009 to hire one thousand cyber experts, Castro co-signed a letter asking for them to be headquartered in the city. "San Antonio is producing the brainpower in the twenty-first century to defend our nation," he told a cybersecurity conference held by the St. Mary's University Center for Terrorism Law.
Source: Jacobin Magazine on 2020 Democratic primary contenders Feb 15, 2019

On Jobs: Opposed unionizing city employees

Castro promised not to use the mayor's office to empower unions. While Castro backed the right of non-uniformed city employees to "meet and confer" with the city manager, something unanimously approved by a 2008 council vote, he stressed that "it's non-binding; it's not collective bargaining," and opposed granting such rights to civilian city employees. Nonetheless, he received the endorsements of several local unions, including the San Antonio Police Officers Association.
Source: Jacobin Magazine on 2020 Democratic primary contenders Feb 15, 2019

On Tax Reform: Senior/disabled property tax freeze favored wealthy

Castro was the first council member to advocate for a ballot measure to permanently freeze San Antonio's property taxes for seniors and disabled, even though the city already exempted the elderly from the first $65,000 of their home's value, and the first $12,500 of a disabled resident's home value. Rather than propose raising these thresholds, Castro favored a blanket freeze. This would chiefly benefit residents in the city's North Side, where property values were higher.

Castro balked at raising property taxes. The 2009 budget cut them by less than 0.2 cents. When one council member suggested raising them in 2010 to avoid service cutbacks, Castro demurred. "I'm very comfortable leaving the property tax rate where it's at," he said. "We have made significant spending cuts over the last couple years and that has served us well during this budget year." By the time he left office, property taxes in the city hadn't gone up for more than twenty years.

Source: Jacobin Magazine on 2020 Democratic primary contenders Feb 15, 2019

The above quotations are from Jacobin Magazine
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Page last updated: Nov 12, 2019