San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro stumped for President Barack Obama and called on Hispanics and all Americans to get out the vote to reelect the president during a stop at the campaign’s Mount Vernon office Saturday morning.
Castro, the first Hispanic keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention, recounted his nervousness prior to giving the speech and thanked volunteers for their time to help make the campaign a success. He recounted how his grandmother came to the United States from Mexico as a young girl and how her hard work allowed his mother to go to college.
Castro told the crowd how he was able to attend college only due to federal loans and scholarships. “That’s the difference,” he said. “President Obama is intent on investing in opportunity for people so that we can have prosperity, individually, also as families, but as a nation for the future,” he said to a round of applause.
He continued, “I’ve gotten very concerned over the past few months when I hear the Republicans talk about women and women’s issues,” he said. “I want a world where my daughter can reach the sky if she wants to, not a world where she’s seen as somehow she can’t make her own decisions or (is) somehow lesser.
“There are a lot of stakes in this election, and so we need to do everything we can, every minute that we can spend, trying to get out there and block walk or canvass or get voters interested, make sure they understand what the stakes are, the future that we have in front of us with President Obama versus Gov. Romney, the progress that we have made as a nation under President Obama.”
He recalled the difference that only a few hundred votes made in the 2000 presidential election, calling on supporters to bring out as many votes for Obama as possible.
“There are only a few paths for either one of them, and those paths come through the state of Virginia,” he said. “ … Virginia is among a handful of states that is carrying the voice of the nation with it, and that voice needs to be strong on Nov. 6 and say that President Obama deserves re-election.”
Also speaking was Virginia state Del. Alfonso Lopez, a Democrat whose district covers parts of Fairfax and Arlington counties. Lopez called on Hispanics, in particular, to come out and vote.
“If Latinos get registered, if Latinos vote, Democrats win in Virginia,” he told the cheering crowd.
Castro spoke a a canvassing kick-off. Following is speech, about 100 volunteers took to the streets to convince residents to cast their vote for Obama.
Soffia Fraser, a Mount Vernon campaign volunteer, told Patch she was frustrated that Republicans have stymied Obama’s attempts at reform in Congress and called Casto “fantastic."
“He’s our hope for the Latinos, that it can happen to us, because his background, where he came from, a very humble, very poor family, and like he said, ‘My grandmother was holding a broom, or a mop, and I am right now holding a microphone,’ ” she said. “And that’s given a lot of hope to the Latino community. And not only the Latinos — every single minority in the United States … everybody.”
Campaign volunteer Jessica Cuellar called Castro’s stop excellent.
“It really pumped us up, and I think it really brings out the Latinos out here,” she said. “We have a large majority of Latinos in Woodlawn who, I think, think they’re not being represented and hopefully through this they’ll receive us out there and see that Obama really does care, and hopefully it will bring us out to the polls.”
After Castro’s speech in Mount Vernon, campaign volunteer Sandra Dalal of Mount Vernon prepared to go knock on doors in her neighborhood.
“He is so inspiring,” Dalal said. “I think he is just a personification of the American dream. I was in tears watching him speak at the convention. It was amazing. And it so cool that he gets to come here to our little office here.”
Castro was also scheduled to speak in Fairfax and Woodbridge Saturday.