Teri Castillo: A community approach to politics
Teri Castillo is currently the youngest candidate running for San Antonio District 5 City Council. A life-long and generational resident of the district, she believes there is much opportunity for improvement and revitalization of the district. Castillo’s work has always been community focused, with the work that her community does to help one another in times of need being the biggest motivator for her to work in politics.
Castillo has had a career working on different issue campaigns but decided to run for her city council because she realized the vulnerable position the people of her community are in, as members of an economically poor district. She believes she can help to solve the issue of community displacement impacting the people of her district, as much of her career has focused on housing issues in her district. Castillo has seen how housing policies such as predatory eviction practices have impacted those around her in her community and is passionate about putting them to an end. She sees her work surrounding housing to be her greatest accomplishment in her career so far.
When asked what she believed to be the most pressing issues impacting her community at the moment, Castillo said that they were the housing crisis, environmental crisis, and economic crisis, which have all been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. All of these issues are intertwined and connected, Castillo says, and we must be intentional with solutions to all three. One potential solution to these issues would be the rehabbing of existing affordable housing, This would help the housing crisis in the district because it would provide more affordable and safe housing for members of the community, while also providing new jobs, improving the current economic crisis in the community.
Growing up, Castillo says that her mother was her biggest role model. Her mother has always been a strong advocate for the connection between family and community, and it inspired her to do the same, which is incredibly evident in the passion and effort Castillo brings to every issue she is working on.
For any woman wishing to pursue a career in politics and activism, Castillo advises them to take a leap of faith. She says that if you are qualified and have the experience to back up the work you want to pursue, that leap will be worthwhile. She also mentions, as a community-oriented politician herself, that if you have your community’s back, they will have yours. It is clear through the work and continued passion Teri Castillo has for her community that they have hers.