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Julián Castro insists “My family's story isn't special” – but tickets to hear it are limited.

  ·  Sara McElmurry

The grandson of an orphaned Mexican immigrant grows up to become mayor of San Antonio. Elected in 2009 at 34, he’s the youngest mayor of any Top 50 U.S. city. Bolstered by degrees earned from Stanford and Harvard, he was also the youngest city council member in San Antonio history, opened his own law firm, and delivered the keynote at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. 

Julián Castro’s story is inspiring. But that’s not the reason his speeches—or those of his twin brother, Joaquin, recently elected to represent Texas District 20 in the U.S. House of Representatives—have been dubbed “marquee engagements.” It’s because Mayor Castro’s story is the story of our future. (Or, as he demurred in his DNC speech, it’s because his “family's story isn't special. What's special is the America that makes [their] story possible.”) 

Julián Castro is this America. He represents the young, multicultural demographic that is often erroneously cited as “emerging” across the United States, though it arrived decades ago. (People of color make up half of Chicago’s under-30 population, for example.) Mayor Castro looks like the electorate that made both waves and headlines for helping usher President Barack Obama into a second term in office last November. He is a rising political star—neither despite nor because of the fact that he is Latino. He’s worked hard (a proud San Antonian, he acknowledges that “Texas may be the one place where people actually still have bootstraps, and we expect folks to pull themselves up by them”) but also acknowledges that his rise to the top has been facilitated by others’ investments in him.

Mayor Castro will reflect on this story—his story, the American story—at our annual policy breakfast, “Latino Education, Service and Leadership: A Shared Future,” on November 8 in Chicago. The mayor will discuss how a multicultural future is our country’s future—and how educational investments will ensure that other young, multicultural Americans like him have the opportunity to grow into leadership and public service, eventually shaping the shared future of our country.

As the only metro Chicago organization that facilitates the involvement of Latinos at all levels of public decision-making, advocating for educational opportunities, affordable housing, and inclusive immigration policies, the Latino Policy Forum embraces Mayor Castro’s story—and works to make others like it possible. By supporting our 2013 policy breakfast, you make it possible for us to continue this work. Limited numbers of event tickets and sponsorship opportunities are currently available. Contact us for more information. 

(PHOTO: Photo by Christopher Dilts for Obama for America/Flickr/Creative Commons)