Julián Castro’s new mission: Helping Latinos help themselves

By LG Staff

By LG Staff

May 17, 2024

Julián Castro, a prominent figure in elevating Hispanic representation in national politics through his 2020 presidential campaign, has shifted his focus to empowering Latinos to take charge of their own destinies.

In his role as CEO of the Latino Community Foundation based in California, Castro has wasted no time diving into the critical arena of the 2024 elections. The foundation has begun distributing grants to Latino organizations in pivotal battlegrounds like Arizona, Nevada, and other states, alongside California, where congressional races could sway the balance of power.

Speaking from a Mexican eatery in his hometown, San Antonio, Castro emphasized the importance of extending their efforts beyond California, stressing the urgency of enhancing the economic prospects of Latino communities and ensuring their participation in the democratic process.

Additionally, Castro has directed the foundation’s attention towards the Imperial Valley in California, where a burgeoning lithium mining industry promises substantial wealth. He aims to ensure that this economic boom benefits local residents comprehensively, addressing not only financial aspects but also healthcare, education, and overall quality of life.

The Latino Community Foundation, known for its commitment to supporting Latino-led initiatives, has historically operated within California. However, it’s now poised to broaden its scope, leveraging its extensive network of Latino philanthropists. With over $25 million invested in more than 375 grassroots organizations, the foundation’s impact is tangible.

From direct investments in Latino groups to the establishment of “giving circles,” where members collectively decide on funding allocations, the foundation’s approach is multifaceted. These circles, composed of individuals contributing $1,000 annually, have already directed substantial funds towards community initiatives.

Castro views grants to organizations like Make the Road Nevada and the Arizona Center for Empowerment as a crucial step towards amplifying Latino voices beyond California. These progressive groups are dedicated to voter registration and mobilization efforts within Latino communities.

Furthermore, the foundation has commissioned polling to gauge the perspectives and voting intentions of Latino registered voters across different states. The findings underscore a shared desire to participate in the electoral process, though many express a need for better understanding of policy agendas.

In Castro’s view, political candidates must prioritize addressing the concerns of the Latino community, irrespective of ideological differences, to secure electoral success. His message is clear: to win, candidates must engage meaningfully with Latino voters and their issues.

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