Secretary Julian Castro speaks to poli-sci students
By Julie Santiago
On a presidential campaign tour of California, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro visited East Los Angeles College.
In an intimate classroom packedwith political science students,Elans had an opportunity to askCastro about his stance on a wide range of issues such as immigration, health, the environment, equal pay and indigenous issues.
Castro’s visit to Los Angeleswas organized by his staff after he was invited by political science professor and ELAC alumn Felipe Agredano-Lozano.
Administrative Justice major, mother and full time state department of insurance employee, ElizabethConde, wasn’t interested in politics until taking Agredano’s introductorypolitical science class.
During the Q & A, Conde askedSecretary Castro about what he would do for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
“I know a lot of people that are notsure what is going to happen with them because they are recipients of DACA,”Castro said. Secretary Castro said he supported a path to citizenship for DACA recipients. Conde said a path to citizenship for her friends and family is important to her and would vote for Secretary Castro if she had the chance.
Mario Jaramillo, 21, and Child Development major says he felt he got to know Secretary Castro betterand appreciated that his visit was not announced to the public.
“I was looking at how he carriedhimself, very down to earth, [and] very calm,” Jaramillo said.
Jaramillo said he and hisclassmates have talked about Castrobecause he supports free education.
“He is a big competitor between him and Bernie especially since they target free education,” Jaramillo said.
Agredano said Castro’s visit wasdiscussed months ago, but became reality only recently.
Agredano hopes students are inspired by Castro and seethemselves in the future making animpact in our city, state, nation and world.
“It’s only a matter of time beforeour ELAC students will be the next decision makers that shape the world we live in, just like aJulian. I believe our ELAC students are just as resilient and dynamic individuals, when provided with the right opportunities and experiences students will evolve to become transformational individuals who will run our institutions and shape the next generation,” Agredano said.
Agredano met Castro through a mutual friend while they both wereattending Harvard.
Agredano says he has kept in touch with the Secretary through mutual organizations such as theYoung Elected Officials Network(YEO) and the National Association of Latino Appointed & ElectedOfficials, (NALEO).
Castro advised students to perservere despite how hard the next step in life might seem.
“A lot of times in life, when we go to the next level of life we psychourselves out about how difficultthat next level is going to be andit’s been my experience, at least,that the next level in life is always harder than the one you just came upfrom, but it’s never so difficult that if you don’t keep doing what made you successful in the first place that you can’t do well or that you can’t succeed,” Castro said.