According to the Huffington Post, Julián Castro became one of the first candidates to fully step into the ring for the presidential cycle of 2020 when he announced his intention to run on Saturday in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas, where he had previously been mayor. Among many progressive positions Castro gave in his speech were his unequivocal support of #BlackLivesMatter, a rejection of corporate PAC donor money, and the support for #MedicareforAll.

“For far too many people of color, any interaction with the police can become fatal,” Castro said. “If police in Charleston can arrest Dylann Roof after he murdered nine people worshipping at Bible study without hurting him, don’t tell me that Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Aiyana Jones, Eric Garner, Jason Pero, Stephon Clark and Sandra Bland shouldn’t still be alive today. We’re going to keep saying Black Lives Matter.”

After leaving the Obama administration, Castro played a somewhat quieter role in politics, supporting plenty of young and progressive candidates all over the country through his PAC Opportunity First and in the process became one of the most popular surrogates of the election season. But Castro had also sent out the signals that he would soon be announcing a run at the White House, releasing a memoir in October and launching an exploratory committee in December, which allowed him to start raising money for his campaign.

During his speech, Castro also denounced Trump’s practice of separating children from their families and mothers at the Southern border, telling the crowd: “Yeah, we have to have border security… But there’s a smart and a humane way to do it. And there is no way in hell that taking babies is a smart or humane way to do it.” In his speech and in his video for the campaign, he evoked his immigrant grandmother and his mother, who he says taught him the value of hard work. “She taught my brother and me that if you want to make a change in your life, in your community, you don’t wait, you work,” Castro continued. “So I’m taking a lesson from my mother — if we want to see a change in this country, we don’t wait. We work. We make our future happen.”