On August 21st, the Caucus for Kids campaign held our Facebook Live candidate conversation with Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro at Conmigo Early Education Center in Des Moines. We were joined by our advocates, teachers of Conmigo, students and parents of students as well.
Children’s advocate Emilee Harris asked Castro what actions he would take as president to ensure that all children have health coverage and have access to the services that they meet their needs. Castro responded that he plans on strengthening and expanding Medicare, so that everyone has access to coverage. He also wants to increase the amount of specialists available, and further address the issues of lead poisoning in our children.
Early education advocate Lauren Linnenbrink asked Castro what he would do as president to ensure that all families can afford child care and early education so children are prepared to enter school and parents can work. Castro said that he plans on making child care universal with a plan that ensures parents won’t have to pay more than 7% of their total income towards child care. He also plans to expand pre-K, making it a universal program for all 3 and 4 year olds.
Children’s safety and wellbeing advocate Bek Wright asked Castro about what he would do as president to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all children living in the United States. Castro stated that as president, he would focus on his “common sense gun safety” legislation. He also wants to increase access to mental health services for children and their families.
Family economic security advocate Lana Shope asked Castro what he planned to do as president to ensure that all families have the resources to meet their children’s basic needs and to invest in their children’s future. Castro said he plans on expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and to put $4 billion towards low income housing tax credits. He said that today’s economy demands a robust 21st century safety net for families.
Finally, equal opportunity advocate Angelica Cardenas asked Castro what he would do as president to ensure that all children have equal opportunities and to end discrimination and disparities on the basis on race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, orientation, ability, class and citizenship status. Castro stated that he plans on investing in and expanding fair housing and programs such as ESL. He also wants to pass the Equality Act and says that we must recognize and support the new family structures that we see today. He also plans to bring about changes to the immigration system.
To hear the full conversation with former HUD Secretary Castro, watch the Facebook Live video above.
The Children’s Policy Coalition is calling on every presidential candidate to address the issues affecting children and families. Candidate responses are shared here for informational purposes only. The Children’s Policy Coalition does not endorse candidates or parties. We’re caucusing for kids!