San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro was chosen yesterday to deliver the keynote address at the forty-sixth Democratic National Convention (DNC), to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, from September 4-6. Castro, 37, is the youngest mayor of a major U.S. city and will be the first Latino to give keynote remarks at the DNC. Other notable speakers include First Lady Michelle Obama, Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren and former President Bill Clinton.
In a video message posted yesterday on DemConvention.com, Castro says that he was inspired by Barack Obama’s 2004 DNC keynote address that catapulted the then-senator into the national spotlight, and ultimately, the presidency. He praises Obama for championing the Affordable Health Care Act and keeping his commitment to creating opportunities for the middle class. Castro published a profile of another one of his heroes, Cesar Chavez, in the Spring 2012 issue of Americas Quarterly on Social Inclusion.
Castro is one of the Democratic Party’s rising stars and the New York Times has called him “the favorite to fill the [national Hispanic] leadership void.” Past DNC organizers see his keynote address as a strategic opportunity to rally Latino support, which has grown tremendously in Charlotte and across the South over the past decade.
Obama maintains a lead over Mitt Romney among Latinos in five swing states, according to polling data published Monday. Last year, Castro spoke with AS/COA in an exclusive interview about the growth of the Latino population in the U.S., how San Antonio leads the way for immigrant integration and the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform.