We hardly ever talk about U.S. American relations vis-à-vis the rest of the American continent.

I’m from Peru; here going on 20 years. Came for college; stayed for the freedom and the family I found here. Here, where I enjoy certain (shared…for now?) privileges that are still out reach for many in South America, Peru included. Coming here in of itself was a privilege, OK.

Now, I don’t have a vote in the matter quite just yet, but Julián Castro’s 2020 candidacy for POTUS is an opportunity for us to be represented by someone who shares some history with the rest of us, for a change. As we all inevitably, yet hopefully move forward in time, Former U.S. Secretary Castro, an experienced, dignified politician, is ideally positioned to bridge between the established old guard y la nueva generacion.

People of Hispanic heritage, as of last check in 2015 (hashtag GTS) were the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority. And you know it: Some people already are trying to pit us against other people of color…. But we see you and we rise above ya, haters.

I feel like Julián is our shot come Nov. 3, 2020, to get in the room and, fingers crossed, to help adjust this great American experiment to the new millennium, already, in a meaningful way because the reality of our demographic and of our contribution and of our untapped potential cannot be denied any longer.

Tonight at Manny’s, a people-powered and community-focused meeting and learning place in the Mission here in San Francisco, Julián made the connection between immigration and what I hope are our collective environmental concerns. Who knows if the solutions to the sea-level-rise challenges that lie ahead aren’t in the minds of the children currently held apart from their families without any sort of due process, merit, rhyme, or reason.

Julián knows about growing up raised by hard-working women, trying to thrive and provide for their families in systems set out against them. He knows about the value of Pell Grants, which allowed him and his brother to access higher education and to see a world beyond their native San Antonio, Texas, and to serve in public office in Washington, D.C.

Look, Julián’s a bilingual Latino-American – he can talk to everyone and get everyone collaboratin’ again.

There he was tonight, promoting the foster program, inviting our police officers to learn unbiased, more enlightened ways of interacting with the public (championing education where mental-health issues can be a factor), and, to be even more candid, allowing me to trust that, in the Julián Castro era, no American will have to feel persecuted or be exploited so the rich can keep getting richer.

This is our time.

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