More than 1300 people were on hand at the Convention Center last night for the formal farewell to Mayor Julian Castro, who will resign next week to take a new job as President Obama's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Newsradio 1200 WOAI's Stephanie Narvaez reports.
The event, called 'Thank You, Julian!' was sponsored by the five local Chambers of Commerce. Castro had a reputation in his five years in office as a major booster of business.
Castro got emotional when he was talking about his controversial mother Rosie Castro, the La Raza activist who got him and his brother, Congressman Joaquin Castro, interested in politics.
"Because of her work and the work of so many folks of different backgrounds and different ideologies, not only did young folks like me win, but San Antonio won and Americans won," Castro said.
Castro said he will miss the 'sense of community' in San Antonio.
"Even though we are a city of 1.4 million people, we still have a sense that we are all working together," he said. "That lends itself to an optimism that I haven't seen in any other big city."
Community leaders like San Antonio Chamber of Commerce President, and former City Council member Richard Perez were on hand to praise Castro.
"We are gong to have a fantastic friend in Washington DC," Perez said. "The programs that he is going to be responsible for are the programs we need here in San Antonio."
The crowd at the event was a cross section of San Antonio, indicating the mayor's broad based support as he moves to Washington to further his political career on the national stage.
But Castro said that move probably won't last long.
"Leaving for me is very bitter sweet because I love San Antonio," he said. "I have no doubt that in a couple of years from now, I will be back."