Julian Castro used a stop in Keokuk this week to promote his plan for reforming the criminal justice system. The former Mayor of San Antonio and former HUD Secretary is one of roughly two dozen Democrats seeking their party's nomination for President.
Castro spent nearly two hours at the Keokuk Labor Temple, laying out his plan for the country to a crowd of nearly 100 people before answering questions and posing for photos. He said his goal is for the U.S. to be the smartest, healthiest, fairest, and most prosperous country in the world.
Castro said those goals cannot be accomplished without making college more affordable, promoting trade schools, strengthening Medicare, allowing families to keep their private insurance, and investing in broadband and infrastructure in rural America.
One aspect of Castro’s plan to make the U.S. more “fair” is to establish a national standard for use of force by law enforcement. He said it is clear that young, black men are treated differently by police.
“Police officers should only use lethal force if they have exhausted all other reasonable alternatives in a situation,” Castro told reporters after the event. “We would end the militarization of police departments. We would work with Congress to prohibit racial profiling and also stop and frisk.”
“Why should a police department in Keokuk and a police department in San Antonio have a different standard for deciding when to use a weapon?”
Castro told the crowd he also supports:
- Passing the Equal Rights Amendment
- Equal Pay for Equal Work
- Raising the Minimum Wage
- Rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement
- Investing in Rural Hospitals/Infrastructure/Broadband
Castro said his immigration reform plan includes partnering with South American countries to help create environments in which people do not feel they need to leave their home country for the U.S. He said he would also add more judges to handle asylum claims, reverse the deportation of U.S. military veterans, and work on a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals and families.
Castro also announced during his stop in Keokuk that he raised more than $2.8 million in the second quarter of 2018. That’s more than two-and-a-half times what he raised in the first quarter.
“This campaign is getting stronger, stronger, and stronger,” said Castro. “I am not near the top of the pack right now but I did a lot better in Quarter 2 than Quarter 1, and where some campaigns are starting to lose altitude and are going backward in their fundraising, I am getting stronger and stronger and that is a great thing for the campaign.”
Castro said he is a fearless and bold leader who has the executive experience necessary to take the U.S. in a new direction.
“I don’t want to make us anything again,” said Castro. “I want to make us better than we have ever been.”