Julián Castro is running for president: Why he says America needs a gut check

Julián Castro still believes in the American dream. The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama sat down with Salon's D. Watkins on "Salon Talks" to discuss why he is exploring a run for the presidency in 2020 and his new memoir, "An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up from My American Dream,", available now.

Castro, also the former mayor of San Antonio, is optimistic about the American dream and the "ability to be successful as you define that," he told SalonTV. And here's why. He's seen it work in his own family. Castro shared this story about his grandmother, who immigrated to America as an orphan almost 100 years ago.

"My grandmother, for instance, was pulled out of elementary school, so she never finished, she worked as a cook and a babysitter. She never owned a car, never owned a house, she didn't even have a bank account. But at the end of her life I felt she was successful because she saw her only child graduate from high school and go on to college," Castro explained. "She knew that she had worked hard and successfully made sure that her daughter and I could have more opportunity in the country, so she lived her own American dream."

In 2012, Castro became the first Latino to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. Watch the interview above to hear why it was a big moment for him and the Latino community. Plus, check out the full interview above to hear why Castro is urging Americans to vote in midterm elections and why he's considering running for president in 2020 on a platform of "opportunity for everybody."

Photography by Jill Greenberg. Watch Jill's TedxTalk on the Female Lens and the problem with only seeing the world from a man's perspective. And find out more about Jill's initiative Alreadymade., a mission to hire more female photographers and content creators.

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