El Centro de la Raza - April eNews
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April 16, 2015

Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

In light of 2015 National Volunteer Weekwe would like to recognize all of our volunteers and the amazing work they do here at El Centro de la Raza. Volunteer work betters our community and makes a huge difference in the lives of those we serve.

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If you are interested in volunteering at El Centro de la Raza please contact Ruby Montes De Oca, Volunteer Coordinator at (206) 957-4602 or volunteer@elcentrodelaraza.org

In 2014, over 1,400 volunteers provided a total of 31,077 hours of service to El Centro de la Raza. According to the national estimated monetary value of volunteer hours, that means that our volunteer hours saved El Centro de la Raza a total of $846,810 in 2014! Everything that we do would be impossible without the drive and dedication of our volunteers. On behalf of everyone at El Centro de la Raza we are sending mil gracias to our volunteers for their skills, knowledge, and passion!

Please help us build a community Brick by Brick! From El Centro de la Raza’s beginning, Roberto Maestas had a dream of creating a community that fully embodied the values of a world free from poverty, racism, and social inequality guided by Dr. King's vision of the "Beloved Community."  


Buy a plaza brick and help us build affordable homes at Plaza Roberto Maestas. Buying a brick or making a donation will help complete construction on Plaza Roberto Maestas and help to provide housing that’s affordable for working families, quality early childhood education, a community that honors all cultures, and a chance at economic self-sufficiency. Your brick and your unique message will become a permanent part of the central plaza – the heart of Plaza Roberto Maestas. Buy a brick and be a part of history at El Centro de la Raza. Help us realize our shared vision of the Beloved Community. Click here for more information or order your brick now.

I also want to take the time to talk about the need for a state level voting rights act. Over the last two years, the Washington Latino Roundtable has been fighting for an equal opportunity for the Latino Community to influence local elections in Washington State. Even though the Latino population has grown, our representation in local government has not changed. The WA Voting Rights Act HB 1745, which has been amended from the original state level voting rights act, fights for such a change. Representative Luis Moscoso, Founder of the Latino Legislative Caucus, is attempting to move the bill to the Senate Floor, however some senators believe there is a split in the Latino Community over support of this bill. The Latino community sees the need for a state level voting rights act and we are standing up to tell the Senate and the public that we support this bill! View the joint statement in support of the HB 1745, WA Voting Rights Act.

Estela Ortega
Executive Director

P.S. - Don't forget to "like" us on Facebook, and "follow" us on Twitter. 

El Centro de la Raza News/Noticias

Cinco de Mayo 2015 eVite

El Centro de la Raza’s 10th Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration will take place on Saturday, May 2nd from 3:00-8:00pm at the Jefferson Community Center! Our celebration, free to the public, features live entertainment, local vendors, a health and social services fair, and traditional food for sale.


Folklore Mexicano Tonantzin is a talented non-profit dance group that teaches Mexican Folk Dancing to teens in the Seattle area. They strive to cultivate the love for Latino traditions and culture within the younger generations. They are one of the many talented groups performing at this year's event!

The groups performing at this year’s Cinco de Mayo Celebration include: Folklore Mexicano Tonantzin, 4 en la Mira (Grupo Norteño), Alex Luengas (la Voz Bohemia), Rolando Martinez (Cantante), Duo Finelli, Chief Sealth International's Mariachi Las Aguilas, and Latin Dance Group! 

Please RSVP at: (206) 957-4630 or cultura@elcentrodelaraza.org, www.facebook.com/elcentro72

Congressman Smith's Champion of Justice Awards

 Congressman Adam Smith's Award (3) 5 

Congressman Adam Smith presented the 2015 Champion of Justice Award to Estela Ortega and Francisco Irigon in recognition of their contributions as civil rights leaders to the Community of the 9th Congressional District. Mil gracias Representative Smith for honoring El Centro de la Raza and the work we do in the continuous fight for social justice. 

Signing the Closing Documents for Plaza Roberto Maestas!

Signing PRM Closing Documents

Celebrating the signing of the closing documents for all of the financing and deeds for Plaza Roberto Maestas! Special thanks to Kate Gill de la Garza, Beacon Development Group, SMR Architects, 7 Directions Architects/Planners, and Walsh Construction!

Closing the Opportunity Gap Press Conference

Closing the Opportunity Gap Press Conference 2 
Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos answering a community question at the Closing the Opportunity Gap Press Conference on April 1st. 

Mil gracias to all who joined us at El Centro de la Raza for the Closing the Opportunity Gap Press Conference on April 1st. Washington State House members Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self, Rep. Ruth Kagi, Rep. Brady Walkinshaw, members of Color Caucus, and additional members of the House Caucus led us through discussion on how the State House budget will support all of our children from early learning development and through their entire education. Due to our current education structure, students of color do not have the same opportunities for success in the classroom. Mil gracias Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self, Rep. Ruth Kagi and Rep. Brady Walkinshaw for addressing these inequalities and demanding fairness in education for all of our children. 

We're Giving Away 2 Free Tickets to Lila Downs! 

Lila DownsSeattle Theater Group presents Lila Downs on Tuesday April 28, 2015 at 8:00pm at The Neptune Theater (1303 Northeast 45th Street). Tickets are $35 but the first person to email development@elcentrodelaraza.org by Friday, April 17th at 5:00pm will receive two free tickets to the concert, compliments of STG Presents. Lila grew up both in Minnesota and Oaxaca, and her music and vocal artistry has many influences, including the folk and ranchera music of Mexico and South America and American folk, jazz, blues and hip-hop. Many of her lyrics focus on issues relating to social justice, and often tell the stories of the workers who migrate from rural Mexico to work in the U.S. (Seattle Theater Group) For more information or to purchase tickets to the show, visit the STG website

Regístrese Ahora / Register Now

Sign Up for Cooking Classes Today!

Tamale Class TY 2

El Centro de la Raza has expanded its 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. Follow this link to view fees for specific classes. Please help us improve our cooking classes by telling us what you want! Click here to take our quick 7 question survey. 

Make sure to check out the Seattle Weekly article about our cooking classes! Mil gracias Seattle Weekly and Brown Paper Tickets for helping us raise over $50,000 for our Senior Nutrition & Wellness Program. 

Upcoming cooking classes:

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

New ORCA Lift Reduced Fare Program

Our Frances Martinez Community Service Center now has a new transit fare program! The new reduced fare for riders on the Link Light Rail and King County Metro busses will be $1.50 per ride. The new fares went into effect on March 1, 2015 and will be available to adults who have incomes that are at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Click here to learn more about the changes. El Centro de la Raza will be one of the agencies partnering with King County Metro to verify program eligibility. If eligible, stop by El Centro de la Raza with proof of income to receive a special low fare ORCA card to be used for King County Metro and the Link Light Rail. For more information about our Human and Emergency Services check out our website or call us at (206) 973-4405. See information in Spanish.


Support El Centro de la Raza this year for Give BIG!
Please join El Centro de la Raza for The Seattle Foundation’s 2015 Give BIG event on Tuesday, May 5th. Last year we raised $4,330 and this year, with your help, we are hoping to have our most successful day of giving yet! Together we can raise essential funds to keep food in the food bank, empower youth to graduate high school and attend college, and help homeless families find shelter. Mark your calendars for Give BIG 2015 on May 5th! Click here to learn more about the Give BIG campaign. For more details about how to support El Centro de la Raza, follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/elcentro72.

ElCentro2015 Legal Clinic-page-001

Last Week of Free Tax Prep at El Centro de la Raza
Free-Tax-Prep Flyer

Take the stress out of filing your taxes – have United Way of King County prepare your return for free!
United Way of King County is offering free tax preparation services in 25 locations, including El Centro de la Raza, throughout King County until April 18th – waits are shortest in March!  Households making under $60,000 can have their taxes prepared plus they can get connected to one-on-one financial counseling, healthcare enrollment, and other public benefits. 

To find a location near you, languages available, a list of what to bring, and other details, visit their website at www.uwkc.org/taxhelp or call 2-1-1. ​Click here for information in Spanish.

Our Community-Nuestra Comunidad

Seattle's New Minimum Wage

Seattle’s new phased in minimum wage was launched at the start of the month with an increase to $11 an hour. This process, which addresses income inequality, will gradually raise the wage to $15 an hour over the next decade. Mayor Ed Murray, supporting the wage increase
 said, “When our $15 minimum wage is fully phased in, more than 100,000 workers across the city will benefit," and added, "Everyone who works in Seattle should be able to afford to live in Seattle.” (Press release) El Centro de la Raza also believes that everyone in Seattle deserves a livable wage and affordable housing and this is one important step in combating growing inequities. Click here for more information about the Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance. 

Town Hall Discussion on Affordable Housing 
There will be an affordable housing discussion with Councilmembers Kshama Sawant and Nick Licata at Seattle City Hall on Thursday, April 23rd, 6:00pm. They will be discussing rent control, tenants’ rights, and public investment in affordable housing. For more information see the flyer

Caravana43_Flyer 2

ALAS May 16th 2015 Invitation Final


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 SCL_RateAssistance@seattle.gov. Applications are available online in seven different languages.

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In This Issue:

National Volunteer Week

Brick by Brick Campaign

Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Plaza Roberto Maestas

Closing the Opportunity Gap

Win Lila Downs Tickets!

Nuestra Comunidad

Tamale Class Ad 2

Help us improve our cooking classes by telling us what you want! Click here to take our quick 7 question survey.

Events Calendar:

Apr 25: Vegetarian Tamale Class
May 2: Cinco de Mayo Celebration
May 9: Tamale Class
May 30: Pozole Class
June 13: Tamale Class
June 27: Vegetarian Tamale Class

Mil Gracias Funders:

NCLR Bienvenidos
$40,000 for ESL to serve an additional 100 students.   

Cafe Ad 2


Board of Directors:

Ramon Soliz, President
Roxana Amaral, Vice President
 Pablo Mendoza, Treasurer
Victoria Kill, Secretary
Madrienne Salgado, Parliamentarian
Ofelia Alanis Torres
Francisco Calderon
Emma Catague
Juan Cotto
Norma Cuevas
Cristina Garcia
Ricardo Garcia
Alexandra Narvaez
Bianka Sanchez
Urbano Santos

Room Rental Ad

Programs and Services:

Bebes! Infant Mortality Prevention
Business Opportunity Center
Café con El Centro de la Raza
César Chávez Demonstration Garden
College Readiness
Comadre Monthly Workshops
COMCAST Digital Connectors
Community Meeting Space
Community Organizing
Community Service
Crisis Advocacy
Cultural / Political / Social Events
DSHS People Point Washington Connections
Economic Development
ECR Transitional Housing
El Patio Apartments
Employment Assistance
ESL Classes / Spanish Classes
Families & Education Levy Case Management
Financial Empowerment
Food Bank
Foreclosure Counseling
Growing & Learning Together
Health Coverage Enrollment
Healthy Cooking Classes/Nuestras Comidas
Historical & Educational Presentations
Homeless Assistance
Hope for Youth Poetry & Civil Rights History Classes
HUD Housing Counseling
Immigrant / Human / Civil Rights Social
Justice Advocacy

Low-Income Transit Fare Enrollment
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
Seattke Youth Violence Prevention & Case Management
Senior Nutrition & Wellness
Senior Home Delivered Meals
Smoking Cessation
Summer Learning

Tax Prep Site
Transit Oriented Parking
Veteran’s Services
Volunteer Opportunities
Youth Case Management & Cultural
Youth Employment
Youth Technology Training

GoodShop Ad

Bartells Ad

El Centro De La Raza


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

Contact Us | 2524 16th Avenue South - Seattle, WA 98144 | 206-957-4652 | donor@elcentrodelaraza.org | www.elcentrodelaraza.org


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