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Julián Castro brings presidential campaign to Meskwaki Settlement

July 31, 2019
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

"I'm running for president (because) each and everyone in America have big dreams. Each member of this Tribe have big dreams," Julin Castro said in declaring his reason for seeking the Democratic nomination to a crowd at the Sac and Fox Tribal Center on the Meskwaki Settlement at rural Tama on Friday afternoon, July 26.

"I have a vision forged in public service," Castro said. The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama Administration and former mayor and city council member of San Antonio, Texas, is one in a currently crowded field of 25 seeking support in the Feb. 3 Iowa Caucuses, the first-in-the-nation test for 2020.

Castro recounted visiting many Tribes in 39 states as HUD secretary remarking, "I saw the deepest poverty and the highest hopes."

Article Photos

Julián Castro, seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination speaks during a campaign appearance on Friday afternoon, Aug. 26, at the Sac and Fox Tribal Center west of Tama. He is a former San Antonio, Texas mayor and HUD?Secretary in the Obama administration. At his left is Bessie Scott, tribal executive director, and Christnia Blackcloud, a Democrat Party leader in Tama County.

Chronicle photos/John Speer

He said a presidential administration he would lead would work to improve housing by "repairing, renovating and providing new housing" on Tribal lands.

"The Trump Administration has taken steps backwards for two years" in health care Castro charged. He cited figures showing the average federal spent on health care per person across the U.S. is $9,726 annually while Native American spending is at "only $4,078," a circumstance he said would be addressed if elected.

He vowed to improve law enforcement on Tribal lands and to put more focus on missing and murdered indigenous woman and children which he said he recognized as a critical problem across the country.

His campaign stop was sponsored in part by Tama County Democrats.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock and Democratic presidential nominee hopeful plans a return to the Meskwaki Settlement for the annual Powwow on Aug. 10. Bullock visited the Settlement in mid-May a couple of days after entering the presidential nomination race.



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