April eNews - El Centro de la Raza


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Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

I would like to offer a pre-emptive mil gracias and congratulations to the many advocates who have worked hard to move the Washington State Voting Rights Act forward! The Voting Rights Act passed in the state House, and will now proceed to the Senate for review. This measure would change the way elections are run from at-large elections to district based elections, and allow for greater representation of communities of color. You can read more about it the Seattle Times.


Estela resized 2
Estela Ortega
Executive Director

P.S. - And of course, visit our website to stay up-to-date on the happenings at El Centro de la Raza and in nuestra comunidad - our community.


Employment Program Helping People Shine
Job hunting is not easy for anybody, but for people in our community who have limited English, computer skills, and schooling, finding a job can be next to impossible. Getting over the initial hurdles is much easier with help from El Centro de la Raza's Employment Specialist, Camila Lagow. Camila teaches a three-part class including lessons on how to find a job, résumés and cover letters, and interview skills, followed by financial literacy classes from our Homeownership Department. Camila's partnerships with local businesses and her trusted recommendations help her match each job hunter with the ideal position. Camila helps more than 55 people each year through the job search process, and makes referrals for other needed services such as ESL classes and homeless assistance. More than 85% of the people who work with Camila find a stable position!

When José Zorraquin heard Seattle had a robust job market, he decided to make the move from his home in Sacramento. "I didn't know anybody here," José remembers. "I didn't know how to find a job, so I basically just killed time." He soon found himself sleeping behind a warehouse, and remained homeless for 8 months. He began working two jobs as a church custodian, and as a construction remodeler. He moved into an apartment but struggled to get by while working 12 hours a day. "The first job El Centro de la Raza helped me get was at a hardware store, but I didn't enjoy it. I worked full time, but I had no benefits." When he sawJose Zorraquin an ad for a welder at Alaskan Copper, he knew he wanted it, and came back to El Centro de la Raza to see Camila. She helped him write the cover letter and résumé, and José diligently brought every piece of documentation from his past experience. "He is really good," Camila says "so I sent a note to Alaskan Copper with my recommendation for José." José landed the position in February, and today, he is loving his job as a welder of plumbing fixtures for navy vessels. When he is done with the training process, he will be awarded full benefits, and will have the opportunity to work towards a wage of $70 an hour! "I love my job because every day I learn something new, every day I have to use my mind. Soon, I will be able to afford to buy a truck, something I've wanted since I came from Mexico." He also plans to use his increased income to continue his hobby as a Salsa, Bachata, and Kizomba dancer! Way to go José, we wish you every success!

Father Alejandro Solalinde at Seattle City Hall

Father Solalinde
A Celebration of Immigrants and Refugee Human Rights

April 11, 2013
7:00 - 8:30 PM
Seattle City Hall
600 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

Defender of Immigrants and Human Rights Activist Father Alejandro Solalinde is the Director of "Hermanos en el Camino", a shelter and center for immigrants passing through Southwest Mexico. The center provides food, lodging, medical care and legal assistance for people migrating from Central and South America. This is a FREE event! Please join us! Click here for more information.
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Saturday | May 4th, 2013 | 1:00pm-5:00pm
At El Centro de la Raza

Butterfly for newsletter with caption
Free Admission and Parking
Music & Prizes
Children's Activities
Craft and Informational Booths
Traditional Mexican Food for Sale

Performances by:
Seattle Fandango Project
Chief Sealth MEChLA Dance Group
José Martí CDC Desfile 


Ce Atl Tonalli Danza Azteca
Cinco de Mayo 2Ce Atl Tonalli is a traditional Aztec Dance group that has been dancing in the Northwest since 2004. Their mission is to  continue the legacy of sharing Mexican teachings and culture by organizing and participating in ceremonies and performances, and by maintaining a strong connection to their native land. "We believe that we have the power to change ourselves and come together collectively," says Ce Atl Tonalli, "to empower our community for self-determination through our rich history and traditions. We are the dreams of our ancestors." Look forward to seeing Ce Atl Tonalli Danza Azteca at Cinco de Mayo!

JMCDC Desfile Cultural Fashion Show Looking for Participants of All Ages!

If you have a traditional dress or outfit, and would like to participate in the Desfile Cultural fashion show, please call Hilda Magaña at (206) 957-4627.

The José Martí Child Develoment Center is Expanding!

Jose Marti BoyEnroll your child at José Martí CDC for full-time multicultural and dual-language education to prepare her/him for success in kindergarten and beyond! Classroom activities emphasize the four main areas of development: social/emotional, cognitive, physical and language, and we incorporate cultural traditions, social justice-themed issues and community participation. We utilize a holistic approach through family involvement and provide support and resources to the families in our program.

Beginning April 1st, full time spaces are available for preschool-age children. Click here to learn more, or contact Hilda Magaña at (206) 957-4627.

Join Governor Inslee in Standing Up to Big Oil!
Stand with Jay Inslee
Over the last decade, the Big Five oil companies – BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell – have earned more than $1 trillion in profits. The last thing the oil industry needs is millions more at the expense of Washington taxpayers. Governor Jay Inslee recently announced his 2013-2015 budget. With it, Governor Inslee draws a line in the sand: Close the Big Oil tax loophole that gives away $41 million each biennium to out-of-state oil companies! Will you join Governor Inslee in standing up to Big Oil?

Sign the petition!

Free blankets from Muckleshoot and El Centro de la Raza
Blanket passing out 4
Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Muckleshoot tribe last December, community members received warm and cozy blankets and protein-packed food in resuable grocery bags this month at El Centro de la Raza! Mil gracias to Muckleshoot and to the many volunteers who helped make this event possible!

Workstudy Volunteer Derrick Belgarde lovingly packs food and blanket bags for our community members.

Building the Beloved Community Gala October 5th, 2013

“This year’s Building The Beloved Community Gala will be held at the Washington State Convention Center on Saturday, October 5th, 2013. The evening will begin at 5:00pm with a silent auction and reception with mariachi music, appetizers and drinks. A three-course dinner will follow, accompanied by a live auction and the presentation of our Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Awards and Scholarships. Auctioneer Laura Michalek will lead the exciting live auction (updates on our items coming soon!), and will be joined on stage by this year’s Master of Ceremonies, Patricia Lally! For more information on our opportunities to purchase a table, buy tickets, make a donation or volunteer, please visit our Building The Beloved Community Gala webpage: www.elcentrodelaraza.org.

United Way Tax Prep

There are only two weeks left to file taxes, but don’t worry –  United Way of King County's Free Tax Prep site at El Centro de la Raza will be open until the filing deadline! So far this year, United Way of King County has served over 11,000 community members, has helped return more than $19 million back to the community, and wants to help as many people file as possible before the end of this tax season.  Please help in the final push to spread the word about free tax preparation, plus the additional services at tax-prep sites like assistance with pulling credit reports and applying for benefits.

Tax-Prep Schedule:

January 15th - April 15th, 2013
Tuesdays 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Thursdays 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Saturdays 10:00am - 2:00pm

El Centro de la Raza, Salvador Allende room on the basment floor.

Seattle Public Schools Excellence for All:

Seattle Schools logoSeattle Public Schools is updating its five-year strategic plan, Excellence for All, and is asking families, students, staff, and community members to share feedback through a new survey, which closes on April 15. This survey asks you to assess the draft District vision, mission and core beliefs statements, as well as the draft goals and strategies.
The draft statements, goals and vision were created with a task force consisting of families, teachers, principals, staff, and community and business members. The task force assessed Excellence for All and offered recommended changes, and is now seeking community input. The School Board is expected to vote on a final updated plan in July 2013.
We hope that you’ll take 15-20 minutes to complete the survey. SPS will produce a summary of the results and will share them with you. Click the link to take the survey:
English  Español  中文  Tiếng Việt  Af Soomaliga (Luqadda af Soomaliga)  Tagalog
Seattle Public Schools is hosting five regional meetings this month on the Strategic Plan. For more information and dates/locations, visit: http://bit.ly/StrategicPlanSPS. There will also be an opportunity for community members to complete a paper survey at one of the five regional meetings. If you have questions about the survey, please contact info@pivotlearningpartners.org.

South King County Stand Down and Veteran Resource Fair
 Stand Down Flag
Saturday, June 8th,
0900 to 1500hr
Green River Community College

FREE services include:
VA Benefit and claims assistance
Medical / Dental
Financial, housing, rent assistance
Individual and family counseling
Haircuts and clothing
Hot meal, and food to take with you
Plus more!

This is a free event to benefit all veterans and their families. GCC is easily accessible by Metro routes 164 and 181, or by State Route 18. Visit www.SouthKingCountyStanddown.org or call 206.802.5578 for more information.

Stand Down logos 3

Pictures from Latino Legislative Day!

We now have pictures of Latino Legislative Day! March 15th, participants and staff from our Hope For Youth Program travelled to Olympia to advocate for the Dream Act and for Plaza Roberto Maestas. It was an action-packed day, and the youth felt optimistic about the opportunity to make a difference! Please enjoy the pictures.
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Poetry Workshops Help Youth Form a Strong Identity

Youth in El Centro de la Raza's Hope For Youth program are learning new ways to express themselves! Amanda is a seventh grader in the Proyecto Saber program at Denny International Middle School. In her free time, she likes to listen to music, write music and write poetry.

Love is an illness,
I’ve caught it before,
It dragged me through the darkness,
Not giving me time to rest,
When the illness is gone a new one forms,

Love leads to heartbreak,
Heartbreak is like a bullet to the heart,
A bullet that you go back for more,
My only cure is finding the right guy at the right time.



El Centro de la Raza Events!           
                April 13:   Legal Clinic
                April 16:   Spring quarter Spanish classes begin
                April 20:   Tamale-Making class

               May 4:      Cinco de Mayo Celebration
               May 17:    Legal Clinic
               May 20:    Tamale-Making Class


Anuncios y Felicitaciones
Announcements & Congratulation


Parking for a Cause at El Centro de la Raza!

El Centro de la Raza has opened its temporary light rail parking lot to the public located at 2524 16th Ave S in Seattle next to the Beacon Hill Light Rail Station. The lot is minutes from downtown and the stadiums for Seahawks, Sounders and Mariners games! Proceeds benefit El Centro’s 33 human services and community building programs. Please call (206) 957-4603 or email facilities@elcentrodelaraza.org for monthly parking or airport passes.

We have 2 Zipcars living in our South Parking Lot!

Conveniently located next to the lightrail station, this neighborhood now has access to "wheels when you want them"! Click here to visit the Zipcar website and set up a Zipcar membership in support of El Centro de la Raza's programs and services!



Treatment Plant for Nuclear Waste has Design Flaws - Story
►Real Change Vendors Getting a Raise this Month - Story

►Healthy Fast Food on the Rise? - Story
►Mexican Police and the Perpetration of Sexual VIolence - Story
►"Should We care About North Korea's Threats?" - Story

Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for up-to-the-minute news and information!

El Centro de la Raza
2524 16th Ave. South | Seattle, WA 98144
Tel: (206) 957-4605 | Email: donor@elcentrodelaraza.org




Employment Program Helping People Shine

Father Alejandro Solalinde at Seattle City Hall

Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Looking for Childcare?

Join Governor Jay Inslee in Standing Up to Big Oil

Free Blankets from Muckleshoot and El Centro de la Raza

Building the Beloved Community Gala, October 5th

United Way Tax Prep

South King County Stand Down and Veteran Resource Fair

Youth Poetry

Easy ways to support El Centro de la Raza:
If   you use GoodSearch as your search engine, or do your online shopping through Goodshop, you can raise money for El Centro de la Raza without spending an extra cent! You may actually save money with Goodshop coupons!
GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!
Support El Centro de la Raza's 33 programs by simply clicking here! Automatic monthly donations are a great option to give all year long!
Learn More About El Centro de la Raza!
Visit our website by clicking here!
Be our friend! Join us on Facebook and
Want to keep updated on what
El Centro de la Raza is doing?
Tamale Making Classes
at El Centro de la Raza
10 AM - 12:30 PM, Saturdays: 
Next class wil be April 20, 2013
Taught by Master Tamalera, Jaimie Bautista!
Click here to learn more!
Class fee: $75 per per class - includes recipe & a dozen uncooked tamales.
Fees support our Senior Wellness Program which provides balanced daily congregate meals, social & educational activities, exercise classes three times weekly and meal delivery for homebound seniors.
For more details: 206-957-4611 or email.

Spanish Classes
6-7:30 PM Tuesdays/Thursdays:
Spring 2013 Class Schedule:
April 9 – June 13, 2013
Learn Spanish from native speakers in a unique educational setting! Class fees help support our 33 Human Service and Community Building Programs. Adult beginner to advanced level classes are available.
Click here to sign up!
For more details: 206-957-4605 or email.

Un grupo de apoyo y de conversación para la mujer Latina!
Para más información favor de contactor a Brenda Mendoza: (206) 957-4641.

                     You're invited!
Café con El Centro logo
Cafe con El Centro de la Raza:
At El Centro de la Raza
Next Cafe - Thursday, April 4th
8:00 AM
How can you become an integral part of the community at El Centro de la Raza? You can start by RSVPing to an upcoming Cafe con El Centro de la Raza!

The Cafe is a great way to introduce yourself to our executive director, Estela Ortega, a board member, and staff from our programs. Learn the history of our roots, tour our building and programs, learn ways to get involved and network with like-minded folks. Share coffee & pan dulce with us!

Café con El Centro de la Raza takes place the 1st Thursday of every month. Call 206-957-4652 or email to RSVP. 
Coffee generously donated by Starbucks!
Get more involved! Can you devote 2-3 hours or more a week, month, year, or just one time? We always have the need for volunteers.
For details contact our Volunteer Coordinator,
Taylor Skoglund:
(206) 957-4602 or by Email.
Also see our website's volunteer section!
El Centro de la Raza relies on donations from our individual supporters to keep our programs running.

We are also fortunate enough to have corporate and foundation sponsors and grants for many of our programs and services:

Wells Fargo Housing Foundation, $5,000 for one year of Homeownership services.

Seattle Foundation, $20,000 for one year of Senior Congregate and Wellness Programs.

Mil Gracias to all of our wonderful funders, sponsors and donors!
Ramon Soliz, President
Jeff Middelton, Vice President
David Gasca, Treasurer
Roxana Amaral, Secretary
Victoria Kill, Parliamentarian
Francisco Calderon

Dorry Elias-Garcia
Cristina Garcia
Ricardo Garcia
Rhonda Gossett
Pablo Mendoza
Janet Jaime Rodriguez
Madrienne Salgado
Urbano Santos
Ofelia Alanis Torres
With over 24,950 volunteer hours, El Centro de la Raza serves 18,633 individuals and 9,389 families annually through the following programs and services:
Basic Healthcare Enrollment
Bebes!  Infant Mortality Prevention
Café con El Centro
César Chávez Demonstration Garden
College Readiness
Community Meeting Space
Community Service
Crisis Advocacy
Cultural / Political / Social Events
Economic Development
ECR Transitional Housing
El Patio Apartments
ESL Classes / Spanish Classes
Financial Empowerment
Food Bank
Foreclosure Counseling
Growing & Learning Together
Healthy Cooking Classes /
   Nuestras Comidas
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
Senior Home Delivered Meals
Smoking Cessation
Tax Prep Site
Transit Oriented Parking
Veteran’s Services
Youth Case Management & Cultural
Youth Employment
Youth Technology Training
Youth Violence Prevention
Volunteer Opportunities

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