Castro to Serve as the Democratic National Convention Keynote Speaker

He’s a rising star in the Democratic Party… And now Julián Castro will be making political history.

The 37-year-old Mexican-American politician, the two-term mayor of San Antonio, will be the first Latino keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention, an event chaired by another famous Latino politician: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Julian Castro

“Not only was the administration and Democratic National Committee recognizing the importance of Hispanics in America, but also I think it tells you that they’re seriously looking at Texas, at the demographic changes that have occurred in Texas [that] are making this state a state that quickly will turn purple and then blue after that,” said Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa, the first Latino to hold that post. “This honor … is a recognition of that.”

To many, Castro—the son of famous activist Rosie Castro—represents the future of the party, which is making every effort to solidify its role as the party of choice for Latinos.

In 2010, he attended President Barack Obama‘s national jobs-and-growth economic forum at the White House, an event where the president actually joked that he thought Castro was an intern.

Many believe Castro could be considered the future face of the party, and someone who could win the presidency one day.

In a video announcing the address, Castro praised Obama’s 2004 speech, as well as his health reform act and foreign policy.

“Julián really stands out,” Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda, an associate professor of Chicano and global studies at the University of California Los Angeles, told the New York Times in what has become a widely cited profile. “There are other talented young Hispanic politicians around, but few have his stature or national potential. He’s from San Antonio, but he’s very much admired in California. He’s like Obama — one of us, but someone who also comes out of a broader American experience.”