Castro to tout family story at Senate hearing

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro touted his personal story and efforts to create a “vibrant, economically prosperous” city in testimony submitted before Tuesday's confirmation hearing for secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

In a two-page opening statement to the Senate Banking Committee, Castro, whom many see as a possible 2016 Democratic vice presidential pick, shared his family history and spoke broadly about his plans for the agency if confirmed.

ADVERTISEMENT
"I grew up on the West Side of San Antonio in a neighborhood of hardworking families of very modest means. My father at two different times in his life lived in public housing. "My mother worked for the San Antonio Housing Authority," Castro wrote in his opening remarks.

“I’ve seen with my own eyes how talented and driven Americans who just want a fair shot are weighed down by the conditions in which they live, and this simply isn’t right,” he continued. “All Americans deserve the same opportunities that I had, and I’ve dedicated my career to giving back to the country that has given so much to me."

He also thanked his family, including twin brother Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), who is slated to appear at Tuesday's hearing.

Castro wrote in his testimony that he's "keenly aware of the value of measuring results," and touted a program he started as mayor that tracked and logged how the city was initiating and following through on its plans.

"Similarly, I would like HUD to focus on outcomes, not only inputs," he wrote. "The 21st century is shaping up to be the century of cities. And I believe there's a reason for that: In America's local communities, partnerships and pragmatism are the key drivers to success."

Obama nominated Castro in May to succeed outgoing HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who has been tapped to be director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Castro burst onto the national political scene after a well-received speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

He spent last week in a series of Hill meeting with members of the Senate Banking Committee.

The committee is expected to approve Castro and the upper chamber is expected to confirm him because of Senate rules changes invoked last year.

Castro could face tough questions from Republicans over a HUD inspector general report, which found that San Antonio mishandled $8.6 million the agency allocated for the city in 2012.