Julian Castro DNC Speech: 'It Starts With Education'

San Antonio mayor praises President Obama's support for Pell grants, DREAM Act.
3:00 | 09/04/12

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Transcript for Julian Castro DNC Speech: 'It Starts With Education'
Today San Antonio was our nation's seventh largest city by city on the -- it looks like America tomorrow. Leon it's also a dedicated husband to his wife Erica a public school teacher and a wonderful father to his three year old daughter -- So. It's -- much love and pride. -- I present to you. My best friend. My twin brother. San Antonio mayor -- -- gospel. It is seven. -- -- -- And his brother. And the -- -- moment in the streets making. Life. Thank you. My fellow Democrat. My fellow Americans. My fellow Texans. -- send the before you know. As a young American. A proud American. Other generation born as the Cold War receded. Shaped by the tragedy of 9/11. Connected by the digital revolution. And determined to reelect the man will make the 21 century another American century president Barack Obama up. And -- Journey that brought me here tonight begin many miles from this podium. My brother -- and I grew up with my mother -- And my grandmother -- Dodi -- My grandmother was an orphaned. As a young girl she had to leave her home in Mexico and moved to San Antonio. Where some relatives had agreed to take Hillary and she never made it past the fourth grade. She had to drop out and start working to help her family. My grandmother spent her whole life working as a maid a cook and a baby -- Barely scraping by but still. Working hard to give my mother her only child the chance in life. So that my mother could give my brother and be an even better one. As my grandmother got older she begged my mother to give -- grandchildren. She prayed to god for just one grand baby before she died. You can imagine her excitement when she found out her prayers would be answered. Twice over. She was so excited that the day of the poor working and I were born -- -- amid New -- off. And she won 300 dollars. That's how -- -- -- hospital bill. By the time -- and -- came along this incredible woman who taught herself to read and write in both Spanish and English. I can still see here in the room that lucky and I shared -- reading her Agatha Christie novels late into the night. And I can still remember her every morning as lucky that I walked out the front door to school making the side of the crossed behind us sane. -- -- most India. May god bless you. My grandmother didn't live to -- begin our lives in public service. But she probably would have thought -- extraordinary. The just two generations after she arrived in San Antonio. One grandson would be the mayor and the other would be on his way the good people of San Antonio willing to the United States congress. My family's story is -- special. -- special. Is the America. That makes our story possible. Ours is -- nation like no other. A place -- great journeys can be made and a single generation no matter who you are where you come from the -- is always. Forward. Am. It America didn't become the land of opportunity by accident. My grandmother's generation and generations and floor hallway saw beyond the horizons of their own lives and their own circumstances. They believed that opportunity. Created today. Would lead to prosperity. -- -- That's the country they envisioned and that's the country they helped build. The roads and bridges they've built. The schools and universities they created the rights they thought -- -- -- these open the doors to a decent job. A secure retirement. The chance for your children to do better than you did and that's the middle class the engine of our economic road. With a hard work. Everybody ought to be able to get there and -- hard work. Everybody ought to be able to stay there. And go beyond. The dream of raising a family and a place where hard work is rewarded. Is not unique to Americans. It's a human dream. One that calls across oceans and borders. The dream is universal. But America. Makes it possible and our investment opportunity makes a reality. Now. In Texas. -- Place. Where people actually still have bootstraps. We expect folks to pull themselves up I -- But we also recognize. That there are some things. We can't do alone. We have to come together and at -- an opportunity today for prosperity. Tomorrow. A. And it stars -- education and. Twenty years ago -- -- and I left home for college and then for law school. -- -- classrooms we met some of the brightest folks in the -- 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 the Stanford and Harvard. I realize the difference wasn't one of intelligence or drive the difference was opportunity. In my city -- San Antonio. We get that. So we're working to ensure that more four year old had access to -- day. We opened cafe college. Where students can't help -- -- -- -- from college test prep to financial -- paperwork. We know that you can't be pro business unless -- pro education. It. They're three K in student loans. Are charity. There -- Smart investment in a workforce that can fill -- create the jobs of tomorrow. We're investing in young minds today get to be competitive. In the global economy tomorrow. And its paid -- Last year the Milken Institute ranked San Antonio as the nation's top performing local economy. And were only getting started. Opportunity today. Prosperity. Tomorrow. News. Like many -- you. I watched last week's Republican Convention. -- and they told a few stories of individual success. We all celebrate individual success. But the question is. How we multiply that success. -- answer is president Barack Obama. Quite simply. Doesn't get it. A few months ago he -- liberty university in Ohio. And gave students there. Entrepreneurial advice. Start a business he said. But how. Borrow money if you have to from your parents be told him. Seed. What and I did do that. I. Her parents. But that shouldn't determine whether you can pursue your dreams. -- America not here not in the 21 century. I don't think governor Romney meant any harm I think he's a good guy. He just has no idea how good he's had it. Free market economy some will prosper more than others. What we don't accept is the idea that some folks won't even get a chance. And that -- is Mitt Romney in the Republican Party are perfectly comfortable with bad America. In fact that's exactly what they're promising us. The Romney Ryan budget doesn't just -- public education cut Medicare cut transportation and cut job training. It doesn't just -- the middle class it dismantles and it hit dismantles what generations before -- build. To ensure that everybody can enter and stay in the middle class. When it comes to getting the middle class back to work Mitt Romney says no. When it comes to respecting women's rights Mitt Romney says no. What -- cubs still letting people love who they love and marry who they want to Mary Mitt Romney says no. When it comes to expanding access to good health care Mitt Romney. Or. -- truly. -- Governor Romney and undergone. An extreme make over. Ready. I gotta say to Mitt Romney in November. We are done -- say no. Of all. Addictions we heard last. -- -- -- the one -- find most troubling is this. If we all just go our own way. Our nation will be stronger for it. -- -- the threads that connect it's the only people who will go far. Or those who already ahead. We all understand that freedom isn't free what Romney and Ryan don't understand is his opportunity. We have to address today. And. That -- the most prosperous among us do even better. That somehow the rest of us will too. Her folks. We've heard that before. First they called a trickle down. Then they -- supply side now it's Ryan -- Romney Ryan or is it Ryan run me. Either way -- Billy's been tested it failed our economy failed the middle class paid the price your family paid the price Mitt Romney just doesn't get. -- -- Obama gets it. Or. He understands. That when we invest in people. We're investing in our shared prosperity. And when we neglect that responsibility. We risk our promise as a nation. Just a few years ago families -- never -- Freeney being found themselves at risk of losing everything. And the dream my grandmother held. There were will be rewarded. But the middle class would be there if not for her than for her children. That dream was being crossed. But then President Obama took office and she took action. When Detroit was in trouble present Obama save the auto industry and -- -- -- Republicans and Democrats tried to expand health care to all Americans. President Obama got it done. Investment to lift our nation's public schools. An expanded pell grant so that more young people can afford college. And because he knows that we don't have an -- of talent to waste. The president took action to -- the shadow of deportation. From a generation of young. It. Now it's time for congress to enshrined in law of their right to pursue their dreams in the only place they ever called home. America. America stood on the brink of the depression. Despite incredible -- And united Republican opposition our president took action. And now we've seen four point five million new jobs he knows better than anyone that there's more hard work to do. But we're making progress. And now. We need to make a choice. It's a choice between a country where the middle class pays more so -- millionaires can pay less. Or a country where everybody pays their fair share so we can reduce the deficit and create the jobs of the future. I. Funding for our schools and God's pell grants. For a nation -- that invest more in education. And it's a choice between a politician. And rewards companies that ship American jobs overseas oral leader who brings jobs back home. -- To my generation and for all the generations to come -- hard choice is clear. Our joy to the men who is always children not a man who already -- our president Barack Obama. -- -- The American dream. The American dream is not a sprint. Or even a marathon. And relay. Our families don't always cross the finish line in the span of one generation. But each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor. My grandmother never owned a house. She cleaned other people's houses so she could afford to rent her own. She and her daughter become the first in her family to graduate from college. And my mother fought hard for civil -- So that instead of a -- I could hold this microphone. Plus she may be proud of -- night. I gotta tell you. -- I'm even more proud of you. It. Today my beautiful wife Erica and -- -- the proud parents. Of a three year old little girl. -- -- -- Named after my grandmother. A couple of Mondays ago. A couple of Mondays ago was her first day -- pre K. And as we dropped her off. We walked out of the classroom. And I've found myself whispering to her. As was once whispered to me. Get your -- he -- May god bless you. She's still young in her dreams -- far -- yet. But I hope -- reach him. The dad. I'm gonna do my part and I know she'll do hers. Our responsibility. As a nation. Is to come together and do our part as one community one United States of America to ensure opportunity for all of our children. The days we -- -- are not easy ones. But we have seen days like this before and America prevailed. With the wisdom of our founders and the values of our families America prevailed. -- these generation going further than the last America prevailed. And what the opportunity rebuild today -- shared prosperity tomorrow America will prevail that begins. A.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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