By Mesquite Editorial Board
On Tuesday, San Antonio was represented on a national level by Mayor Julián Castro who delivered the most important speech of his political career when he delivered the keynote speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Castro, 37, is the first Latino to deliver a keynote address at a Democratic National Convention.
His speech was a groundbreaking event for Hispanics not just in Texas, but across the country.
Because of the booming Hispanic population, the Hispanic vote plays a crucial role in the upcoming election.
While the Hispanic population is increasing nationally, the number of Hispanic voting registrations has dropped by 700,000 from 2008 to 2010, according to an article on mysa.com.
If the Hispanic vote can be secured for either presidential candidate, it could potentially determine the election turnout.
San Antonio is the nation’s seventh-largest city, and 63 percent of the population is Hispanic. Castro, the mayor of the predominantly Hispanic city is trying to appeal to Hispanics and secure their vote for Obama.
Partisan politics aside, here are two lessons from Mayor Castro’s speech that students can act on. One, invest in the future of our country by educating ourselves on today’s politics, so that we can make informed opinions about our candidates. Two, take the opportunity to act on that opinion and vote in November.
From the United States to San Antonio, the opportunity to invest begins with you.
Castro said: “Twenty years ago, Joaquín and I left home for college and then for law school. In those classrooms, we met some of the brightest folks in the world. But at the end of our days there, I couldn’t help but to think back to my classmates at Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio. They had the same talent, the same brains, the same dreams as the folks we sat with at Stanford and Harvard. I realized the difference wasn’t one of intelligence or drive. The difference was opportunity.” Read the full transcript.
Seventy-four percent of Texas A&M-San Antonio’s student population is first-in-family, meaning they are the first in their families to attend college. We are a perfect example of intelligence, drive and potential that fills a campus community.
In the speech, Castro said that it is a shared responsibility on behalf of citizens to shape our country in such a way so that Americans can thrive in a nation of opportunity where bettering oneself can be a reality. The opportunities that Mayor Castro repetitively spoke of are the investments in the future and these investments begin with education.
If we want to “invest in the future for prosperity tomorrow,” it is crucial to recognize the need for an educated society and own up to that need.
Regardless of individual age, race, background, political position or the like, recognize that Mayor Castro’s emphasis on investing in education for tomorrow’s success can be applied to you.
Castro’s idea of investing in education could mean having initiatives like Cafe College or funding for Pre-K, while others ideas may be to better equip our future educators or counselors before they go into the workforce.
Or, it could simply mean getting involved and educating yourself on current politics and issues.
Either way, your education is an investment in your future. By becoming informed, we are taking action for a better tomorrow.