Julian Castro
Presidential candidate Julian Castro, seen at a July 31, 2019 debate sponsored by CNN SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA

CHICAGO - Julian Castro, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary and 2020 presidential candidate, announced that he will be the next CEO of the Latino Community Foundation (LFC), a philanthropic organization based in California that invests in Latino-led organizations and works to increase Latino participation in politics.

The announcement comes days after the Latino Victory Project, another influential Hispanic organization, also appointed a new chief executive. On Tuesday, it appointed Sindy Benavides as its new president and CEO after President Biden tapped its previous leader to become ambassador to Croatia.

Castro has had a lengthy career in politics at both the local and national level. In 2010, he was elected as Mayor of Houston, a city where almost half of the residents are Hispanic. Castro was then reelected twice, winning with substantial majorities over his opponents.

In 2014, Castro was named Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary by President Barack Obama and held the position for three years. In 2020, he campaigned in the presidential elections and was one of the youngest Democratic candidates to run for the presidency. Ultimately, he dropped out of the crowded Democratic field after failing to gain significant traction.

Castro will officially take over as CEO of LFC on January 1 and will focus on expanding the organization's national footprint, according to Axios.

"I want to make sure that we're helping to greenlight the great work that Latino nonprofits all over California and then eventually outside of the state are doing to lift up Latinos when it comes to entrepreneurship, educational achievement, better access to credit and to health care resources," Castro told Axios.

According to the outlet, Another focus for Castro will be to improve civic participation among Latinos. The 2020 election set a record with many Latinos voting in the election. Data from the Pew Research center shows that 47 percent didn't vote in any of the last three elections (2018, 2020 and 2022), a much higher figure than the country average, 30 percent. With the 2024 elections around the corner, civic engagement will be as crucial as ever.

Civic engagement will also be an essential topic for Latinos as the demographic is expected to grow. According to the Pew Research Center, about 34.5 million Hispanics could cast a ballot in next year's elections, being the fastest-growing ethnic group in the U.S. electorate since the last midterm elections. It is expected the group will represent over 14 percent of the electorate. Census estimations show that by 2060 a quarter of the U.S. population will be Latino.

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