Confirm Mayor Julian Castro as HUD Secretary

Media 06.17,14

Recipient: Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

View the PDF of this letter here.

The Honorable Tim Johnson, Chair
Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mike Crapo, Ranking Member
Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Johnson and Ranking Member Crapo:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, we write to express our strong support for the nomination of Mayor Julian Castro, of San Antonio, Texas, to serve as our next Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Mayor Castro’s stellar credentials, and his successful track record in spurring economic growth in San Antonio, make him an outstanding choice to serve as the next Secretary.

Mayor Castro exemplifies what can be achieved through hard work and determination when one is given a chance. He attended Stanford University as an undergraduate, where he was involved in student government, and graduated in 1996 with degrees in political science and communications. From there, along with his twin brother, now Congressman Joaquin Castro, he attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 2000. Both brothers went to work in the high-profile law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP, before leaving in 2005 to open their own law firm.

At the same time he was in private practice, Mayor Castro began his public service career. In 2001, at the age of 26, he became the youngest member ever elected to the San Antonio city council. In 2009, he was elected mayor of San Antonio, becoming the fifth Latino mayor of the city and the youngest mayor of a top-50 American city.

During his time in office, Mayor Castro has focused extensively on the kind of urban core revitalization work that would make him a valuable asset as Secretary. The “Decade of Downtown” initiative has helped San Antonio avoid the sort of decay that plagues many major American cities; under the initiative, 2,463 housing units will rise in downtown San Antonio by the end of 2014 and will generate $349.8 million in total investment. Under his leadership, San Antonio’s East Side is the only neighborhood in America to have received each of the Promise Grant, Choice Grant, and Promise Zone designations – creating jobs, economic opportunity, and quality affordable housing. At the same time, he has made extensive progress in promoting workforce development, education, energy policy, and health care throughout the entire city. As a result, San Antonio has experienced – and has been recognized for – economic growth that makes it an example for the rest of the nation to follow.

Thanks to the extraordinary work of outgoing Secretary Shaun Donovan, HUD has played a vital role in returning the nation’s housing economy back to health. Yet there is clearly more work to be done, particularly in the ongoing need to expand affordable housing, making good on our nation’s historic commitment to fair housing, and ensuring that all American communities are being served. Given Mayor Castro’s compelling life story, his accomplishments both before and during his public service career, and his management of San Antonio’s revitalization, we believe that he is an outstanding candidate to lead the Department in the coming years. We urge you to quickly confirm him.

Thank you for your consideration. If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact either of us, or Senior Counsel Rob Randhava, at (202) 466-3311.


Wade Henderson
President & CEO

Nancy Zirkin
Executive Vice President