Remembering Billy Frank, Jr. - May eNews
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May 15, 2014
Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

As you may have heard last week on May 5th, the Pacific Northwest lost a true friend, leader, and hero in the passing of Billy Frank, Jr. Billy was a man who led by example and spent his entire life fighting for the rights of native people and defending the integrity of the Earth. I encourage you to watch a powerful film about the fishing rights struggle that Billy Frank, Jr. so passionately dedicated himself to and for which he was arrested over 50 times. The film is called "As Long as the River Runs" and can be found here.

The "fish wars" struggle of Billy Frank, Jr. and the Nisqually people is very similar to the plight of Chicanos in the United States, and unites our people. During the "fish wars," the Nisqually people, who had lived and fished on the Nisqually river long before it was forcibly seized by United States, were suddenly "breaking the law" by living and fishing as they had for countless generations. Similarly, Mexican people who had once called Texas, New Mexico, and California home had our land taken from us during the Mexican-American war, which resulted in Mexicans and their descendants being stigmatized as "illegals" for living on land that was once ours.

Recognizing this similarity, the Nisqually people and the Latino community formed a bond that symbolized solidarity in the fight for social justice. Roberto Maestas, myself, and other early "Centroistas" visited the Nisqually people during the "fish wars" to help with fishing and to show our support for their struggle. Simiarly, Billy Frank, Jr. and the Nisqually people supported El Centro de la Raza during the occupation of the Beacon Hill School, by bringing 300 pounds of fish to feed the group of occupiers.

Billy Frank Jr with caption 2We are saddened by the loss of Billy Frank,  Jr. but also hopeful for the future, as Billy has inspired so many people around him to face challenges head on, and continue fighting for social justice until it is achieved. Over six thousand people attended Billy's memorial service including many from the El Centro de la Raza community, and it was so good to connect with our amigos and amigas from Frank's Landing including Maiselle Bridges, Suzette Willis, and Hank Adams. Please click here to view a timeline of Billy's long and impactful life, and take a moment to reflect on his legacy and celebrate his life.


Estela Ortega
Executive Director

P.S. - Don't forget to "like" us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and spread the word about our great new cooking classes!
El Centro de la Raza News/Noticias

Rainstorm Can't Stop Cinco de Mayo Celebration!

cinco de mayo collage 2014
(Left to right: Dancer from Folklore Mexicano Tonantzin; decorated Cinco de Mayo banner; guests enjoying performances under the tent; children preparing for the desfile cultural; volunteer grill masters cooking up a storm)

Despite torrential rains and strong winds, El Centro de la Raza's 9th annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration on Saturday, May 3rd was a success! We have estimated that 500+ people attended our event to enjoy the fiesta with friends and family! The rain did not stop us from celebrating our heritage and sharing our culture with the community. In fact it brought us closer together as we gathered unter the tents and huddled in dry corners to enjoy the delicious food, lively music, and the colorful desfile cultural.  A special thank you goes out to our in-kind donors Pepsi Beverages Company, Sysco, Hilltop Red Apple Market, and La Mexicana for help making the food service a success, as well as our awesome volunteers who make everything possible. Mil gracias to all who attended, and we hope to see you again next year. Click here to view an article about El Centro de la Raza's Cinco de Mayo celebration, published by The Seattle Globalist.

El Centro de la Raza's Spring Volunteer Roundup

Volunteer Roundup Spring 2014

This spring, El Centro de la Raza was fortunate to host over ten different volunteer groups! As the weather has gotten warmer, we’ve been able to do some much-needed landscaping and clean-up around the building thanks to CenturyLink, Starbucks, Seattle Works Team Works, King's High School, SPU Latreia, and Liberty Mutual volunteers. Seattle Works Team Works and CenturyLink volunteers brightened the building with fresh paint in our food bank, main hallway, and meeting rooms. Compendium Inc. volunteers lent their graphic design skills, as well as worked hard in the garden and archives. Volunteers from the YMCA AmeriCorps team helped make our Children’s Day celebration a huge success, and we greatly appreciated the volunteer support of Union Bank, Bank of America, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at South Seattle Community College, Spanish 301 students at University of Washington at our Cinco de Mayo celebration.

We could not do the work we do without the support of our volunteers.  Mil gracias for all of your hard work. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Alexia Klatt at or (206) 957-4602.


Thousands Gather for Social Justice March/Rally

May Day 2014 eNews

(Left to right: El Centro de la Raza community marching together; former mayor Mike McGinn joins El Centro de la Raza in the march)

May 1st is often known as "May Day" and is celebrated in many ways by people around the world. Here at El Centro de la Raza, May 1st marks an annual march and rally for social justice. Thousands of people from many diverse interest groups and organizations gathered to march for different causes, including raising the minimum wage, comprehensive immigration reform, and worker's rights. El Centro de la Raza had a strong showing, as we brought over 50 community members and staff with us to the rally at Westlake park for comprehensive immigration reform. We were even joined briefly by former Mayor Mike McGinn! The march was fun, but also a reminder that there is always work to be done in the fight for social justice, and that our voices are the loudest when we stand together.

GiveBIG 2014 Raises Essential Funds for Nonprofits Throughout Seattle

Give BIG Kids 2014

(Children in the José Martí Child Development Center's El Sol class ask donors to GiveBIG)

GiveBIG has become the largest online giving day of the year here in Seattle, and the 2014 GiveBIG event did not disappoint. El Centro de la Raza raised $4,330, which will be partially matched by The Seattle Foundation's generous "stretch pool." Throughout Seattle, over 64,000 individuals donated on May 6th for GiveBIG and raised $12.8 million to support numerous nonprofit organizations in our great city. Mil gracias to all who made a contribution to El Centro de la Raza during GiveBIG this year. You are truly heroes as your contributions directly support our life-changing and life-saving programs and services.

If you didn't get a chance to give, you can still make a difference by donating through our website or signing up to volunteer!


2014 Tax Prep Season a Huge Success!

Thanks to the United Way, the 2014 Free Tax Prep season was the best season yet! As you may know, El Centro de la Raza was a tax prep site again this year, and we were able to serve 764 clients at our site alone! Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, we brought $1,178,442 back to the community in tax refunds, and the fact that the average income of our clients was $23,000 shows that we are truly reaching the people who need it the most. Totals for King County as a whole also reached an all-time high, as 17,451 returns were prepared, to bring $24 million in tax returns back to the community. Mil gracias to the 850 volunteers throughout King County who made all of this possible by donating over 34,000 hours of your valuable time! 

Save the Date/Reserva la Fecha

El Centro de la Raza’s 2014 Building the Beloved Community Gala

Save the Date for our Annual Fundraising Gala:

  • Saturday, September 27th, 2014
  • Washington State Convention Center
  • From 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.
  • Reception, Dinner, Silent Auction, & Live Auction

Join us on September 27th to:

  • Raise vital funds for El Centro de la Raza’s 44 programs and services 
  • Celebrate with the winners of the Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Awards and Scholarships
    • Click here to view the Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award Application form.

buy a ticket buttonbe a sponsor button 2table ambassador buttondonate item button

I can't make it to the event, but I'd like to donate.


Auction Item Preview May 2014 
Join Our Auction Item Procurement Committee!

On September 27th, 2014, El Centro de la Raza will hold its annual Building the Beloved Community Gala. To make this event a success, we are looking for volunteers to join our procurement committee. The procurement committee solicits donated items, gift certificates, or services from businesses to sell in our silent or live auction. If you’re creative, out-going, and full of ideas, we’d love to have you join us.

Procurement Committee meetings take place the last Tuesday of each month at 6:45 p.m. For more information, contact Anne Pfeifle, Events Coordinator at or (206) 957-4649.

Fourth Annual Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award Now Open for Nominations

maestas legacy award

Roberto’s life was dedicated to building the “Beloved Community” through multi-racial unity, and he deeply believed that poverty, racism, and social inequity could only be eradicated if people of all races and backgrounds came together to do so.
In honor of Roberto and his legacy the Fourth Annual Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award will recognize two individuals, a woman and a man, who have exemplified Building the Beloved Community through multi-racial unity and working to eliminate poverty, racism, and social inequity.
Legacy Award applicants can self-nominate or be nominated by someone else. Recipients are asked to participate in a video interview and attend El Centro de la Raza’s Building the Beloved Community Gala.
Deadline for application submission is Monday, June 9th, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Click here for more information and to view the application.

State Financial Aid for DREAMers, Apply NOW!

Beginning with the 2014-2015 academic year, a new state law will expand eligibility for the Washington State Need Grant to non-citizens who meet the program's income and eligibility requirements in addition to all three residency criteria listed below.
  • Have graduated from a Washington high school or obtained a GED.
  • Have lived in Washington for three years prior to earning the high school diploma or equivalent and continuously since.
  • Sign an affidavit to file an application to become a resident of the United States when eligible to apply.
The free web-based WASFA (Washington Applcation for State Financial Aid) allows non-citizens to apply for student financial aid in Washington State. Many colleges also require additional applications with seperate deadlines, so make sure to check with your college for specific dates! Click here to access the WASFA application, and click here for detailed instructions that will guide you through the application.

Sign Up for Our New Cooking Classes Today!


Learn how to cook traditional cultural dishes, and support your community at the same time!

El Centro de la Raza is excited to announce that we are expanding our popular Tamale Making Classes to include a wider variety of cooking classes! Learn how to cook our favorite dishes, share in our culture, and meet new people at the same time. Class fees vary and directly support our Senior Nutrition and Wellness Program. Classes are held on select Saturdays at El Centro de la Raza. Follow this link to view fees for these featured classes:

Click here to purchase tickets for cooking classes. For more information e-mail or call (206) 957-4611.

El Centro de la Raza Offering Financial Education Classes

Bring your financial questions, and we'll be sure to cover the topics that are most important to you, from getting affordable car loans to preparing yourself financially to buy a house! At the end of the workshop you will have the opportunity to schedule a one-on-one appointment with a financial counselor, as well as receive a certificate of attendance making you eligible for a $100 incentive! Click here for dates and more detailed, bilingual information.

Free Bilingual Legal Clinics at El Centro de la Raza

Need legal assistance but can't afford it? Mil gracias to Schroeter Goldmark & Bender and the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington for graciously providing free legal clinics in 2014, on the second Wednesday of every month. We are excited to be hosting these bilingual clinics here at El Centro de la Raza! Click here for more detailed, bilingual information.

Become a Knowledgeable Homeowner at Our Homebuyer Education Workshops

El Centro de la Raza's Homeownership Center is holding a series of monthly Homebuyer Education Workshops. These classes will give you an overview of the home buying process and will be led by fully bilingual volunteers and staff. Click here for more detailed, bilingual information.

To make a contribution to El Centro de la Raza and help us continue programs like Homebuyer and Financial Education classes, click here or call (206) 957-4652.

Our Community-Nuestra Comunidad

Celebrating Books & Reading with Fun for All

On May 17th the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) will be hosting a special event called “Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education for All” at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The focus will be on promoting reading at home among families. This will be a free, family event where children of all ages are welcomed. Each family will be provided new books that they will be able to take home! Click here for more information and to view the event flyer. Volunteers are also needed for the event, click here to sign up!

Fresh Fruits & Veggies for Low Income Seniors

Help us spread the word that applications are now available for the popular Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which provides low-income seniors with $40 checks that can be exchanged for fresh produce at farmers markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs throughout King County. Applications are available on the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program webpage and must be submitted by May 15th, 2014. All applicants will receive mail notification of their status on or before July 1st.

Click here for more information, and click here to access the online application in ten different languages.

Save 60% on Your Electric Bill This Year

seattle city light

Having trouble paying your electric bills? You may qualify for Seattle City Light's Utility Discount Program, which offers free home energy visits to help you maximize your discount, as well as assistance with other utilities such as water, sewage, and garbage. Visit Seattle City Light's website to see if you qualify for the discount program. To apply, call (206) 684-3417 or email Applications are available online in seven different languages.

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In This Issue:

Cinco de Mayo a Success Despite Bad Weather

Spring Volunteering at El Centro de la Raza

Thousands Gather to March for Social Justice

GiveBIG Raises Millions for Nonporfits

Auction Item Sneak Peek!

Join Our Auction Procurement Committee Today

2014 Legacy Awards Now Open for Nominations

State Financial Aid for DREAMers, Apply NOW!

Free Books for Kids and Families!

Fruits & Veggies for Low-Income Seniors

Spanish Classes Ad Ashley

Tamale Class Ad 2

Mil Gracias May Funders:

Harvest Foundation
$10,000 for Senior Congregate Program

Events Calendar:

May 17: Tamale Making Class
May 26: Memorial Day
May 31: Veggie Tamale Class

 Cafe Ad 2


News Roundup:

Report shows effects of climate change in the Northwest
Gov. Jay Inslee appoints Judge Mary Yu to Supreme Court

Jose Antonio Vargas opens up about 'Documented'
Sotomayor finds her voice among Justices

Board of Directors:

Ramon Soliz, President
Roxana Amaral, Vice President
 Pablo Mendoza, Treasurer
Victoria Kill, Secretary

Madrienne Salgado, Parliamentarian
Francisco Calderon
Juan Cotto
Cristina Garcia
Dorry Elias-Garcia
Ricardo Garcia
Jeff Middelton
Alexandra Narvaez
Bianka Sanchez
Urbano Santos
Ofelia Alanis Torres

Room Rental Ad

Parking Lot Ad

Programs and Services:

Basic Healthcare Enrollment
Bebes! Infant Mortality Prevention
Café con El Centro
César Chávez Demonstration Garden
College Readiness
COMCAST Digital Connectors
Community Meeting Space
Community Service
Crisis Advocacy
Cultural / Political / Social Events
Economic Development
ECR Transitional Housing
El Patio Apartments
Employment Assistance
ESL Classes / Spanish Classes
Financial Empowerment
Food Bank
Foreclosure Counseling
Growing & Learning Together
Homeless Assistance
Hope for Youth Poetry & Civil Rights History Classes
HUD Housing Counseling
Immigrant / Human / Civil Rights Social
Justice Advocacy

José Martí Child Development Center
Latino Hot Meal Program
Legal Clinic Site
Local, State, National & International
Coalition Building

Luis Alfonso Velásquez Flores
After School Program

Parent-Child Home Program
Plaza Roberto Maestas
Santos Rodriguez Memorial Park
Senior Nutrition & Wellness
Smoking Cessation
Tax Prep Site
Transit Oriented Parking
Veteran’s Services
Youth Case Management & Cultural
Youth Employment
Youth Technology Training

Youth Violence Prevention

GoodShop Ad

Bartells Ad

Community Action Agency • United Way Agency • Affiliate of National Council of La Raza 501(c)3 Nonprofit Tax ID: 91-0899927

Contact Us | 2524 16th Avenue South - Seattle, WA 98144 | 206-957-4652 | |

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