A 38-year-old San Antonio native, Mayor Julián Castro is the youngest mayor of a Top 50 American city. First elected on May 9, 2009, Mayor Castro handily won re-election in 2011 with nearly 82 percent of the vote. He became a household name after being selected by President Barack Obama to deliver the Keynote Address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. In June 2012, he delivered the Keynote Address at the Texas State Democratic Convention.
Throughout his tenure, Mayor Castro has focused on attracting well-paying jobs in 21st century industries, positioning San Antonio to be a leader in the New Energy Economy and raising educational attainment across the spectrum. In 2011, the Milken Institute ranked San Antonio the nation’s top-performing local economy. Mayor Castro created SA2020, a community-wide visioning effort turned nonprofit that has galvanized thousands of San Antonians around a simple, but powerful vision for San Antonio — to create a brainpower community that is the liveliest city in the nation.
Under his leadership, the city in 2010 opened Café College, a one-stop center offering high-quality guidance on college admissions, financial aid and standardized test preparation to any student in the San Antonio area. In its first year, Café College served more than 5,000 area students, spurring an expansion of the facility in 2011. Mayor Castro also has brought a sense of urgency to revitalizing the city’s urban core, including the underserved East Side of San Antonio, by initiating the “Decade of Downtown” and approving a series of incentives to encourage inner city investment. These efforts have spurred plans for the construction of more than 2,400 housing units in the center city by 2014.
In March 2010, Mayor Castro joined executives from Google and Twitter in being named to the World Economic Forum`s list of Young Global Leaders. Later that year, Time magazine placed him on its “40 under 40” list of rising stars in American politics. Mayor Castro also serves on the board of directors of the National League of Cities, is a member of the Inter-American Dialogue, is an Aspen-Rodel Fellow, and has joined San Antonio business leaders for summits and official visits in England, India, Israel, and Mexico.
After attracting the support of prominent local CEOs and seven area Chambers of Commerce, a 1/8-cent sales tax referendum, called Pre-K 4 SA, was passed by San Antonio voters in November 2012. In tandem with state and federal dollars, Pre-K 4 SA is expected to provide high quality, full-day pre-kindergarten to more than 22,000 San Antonio four-year-olds over the next eight years. Mayor Castro’s tireless advocacy to grow a more skilled workforce in the region by supporting early childhood education has generated local and national new coverage.
Mayor Castro earned his undergraduate degree from Stanford University with honors and distinction in 1996 and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School in 2000. In 2001, at the age of 26, Castro became the youngest elected city councilman at that time in San Antonio history. Mayor Castro`s brother, Joaquin, serves in the United States Congress representing the 20th Congressional District of Texas.
He is married to Erica Lira Castro, an elementary school teacher, and they are the proud parents of Carina, born in 2009.