January eNews - El Centro de la Raza


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Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

The year is off to a very busy start and we are looking forward to the many wonderful things we will accomplish this year together! Seattle Public School students are counting on YOU to ensure that public schools have the funds they need to provide the quality education EVERY child deserves! Your YES vote on February 12th, is critical. You can also do much more to help pass the levies just by spending a Tuesday evening at El Centro. We will enjoy dinner together, and spend the evening calling Seattle households to raise awareness and understanding of this important election.

A healthy school system provides the basis for a healthy community. Students and families are counting on your support to ensure that school facilities are safe, and class sizes stay small. On February 12th, please remember to vote YES on the Seattle school levies! Read more about the Seattle School Levies below.


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 and in nuestra comunidad - our community.

El Centro de la Raza Supports Seattle School Levies

Untitled 2Seattle Public School students are counting on you to renew two critical levies that will be on the February 12, 2013 ballot. The Operations Levy, which provides more than a quarter of SPS funding, and The Capital Levy, which will fund safety upgrades to existing buildings and allow SPS to build additional schools in growing communities. This year, Seattle Public School enrollment has increased by 1,400 students. BEX IV will renovate and build schools to help meet growing enrollment.   Read More   Lea más en español

You can help pass the levies!

Every Tuesday until the election, from 5:30pm - 7:30pm, El Centro de la Raza will be hosting phone banks in partnership with the Schoolsfirst! campaign. We will be enjoying pizza and calling Seattle households, engouraging them to vote YES on the Operations and Capital Levies.

Please call or email our Volunteer Coordinator, Taylor Skoglund at (206) 957-4602 to RSVP. 

Seattle Public Schools Seeking Sponsors for District Calendar

Due to recent budget cuts, Seattle Public Schools is depending on corporate sponsors who wish to advertise on the district calendar in order to fund the printing of the calendar. The full-color calendar reaches an audience of 55,000 families, and is an essential tool to help families stay informed of district-wide school closures and other important events. For more information contact Teresa Wippel, Media Relations, (206) 252-0203 or email publicaffairs@seattleschools.org.

Mil Gracias MLK Day of Service Volunteers!

The José Martí Child Development Center and Frances Martinez Community Service Center are looking much brighter thanks to volunteers from Microsoft, the University of Washington School of Law, CDK Construction Services, Architects Without Borders, and Blue Monkey Painting, and the parents who graciously gave up their holiday to help us renovate! A special thank you goes to Tim Gorman and CDK Construction Services for the generous donation of supplies and food, to pro bono Interior Designer Rose Rodriguez and Architect David Helton from Architects Without Borders for their unending support in designing the interior of our preschool. As we continue to renovate the José Martí Child Development Center, we will continue to need volunteers! Please call or email our Volunteer Coordinator, Taylor Skoglund at (206) 957-4602 to sign up for an upcoming work party.

MLK Day of Service JAN 21 2013 073

Mil Gracias MLK Day of Service Volunteers for all your hard work!


Program Highlight: El Centro tackles the Foreclosure Crisis

fee houseThe foreclosure crisis that has caused millions of families to lose their homes across the country continues to devastate familes in Washington state. El Centro de la Raza is one of the few organizations in Seattle that is tackling this problem head on, and helping many families facing foreclosure find a way to avoid it.

In 2007, Congress appropriated funds to address the crisis, and thus began the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program (NFMC). We started serving 13 participants in 2007, and since that time, our program has grown. Last year we served 323 familes, 98% of whom either kept their homes, or found an alternative to foreclosure (such as short sale)!

When the whirlwind of budget cuts, income loss, and the housing market crash hit Antonio Franco and Guadalupe Osegueda's family, they found themselves on the verge of losing their home. They came to El Centro in search of options, and left with powerful information. They requested a refinance, but were denied. Instead they were awarded a four month grace period of lower payments. "That time period is now over," says Antonio, "and we are not sure what is going to happen yet. But it was a very encouraging experience to go to El Centro. The professional advice we received has allowed us to keep our investment, and our credit has enjoyed good standing all the while. We are pleased with the work El Centro is doing in the community."

We couldn't do this important work alone however, and we'd like to say Mil Gracias to the many advocates in the legislature, namely, Represenatives Orwall, Hasegawa, Pettigrew, Moscoso, and Santos, who helped bring the Fairness in Foreclosure Act to reality! Mil Gracias also to Attorney General Rob McKenna for your advocacy on this issue. We recently received a grant of $600,000 to our homeownership center in recognition of our quality work. Mil Gracias!

Join the Seattle Police Department
SPD logo
Ever thought about joining the Seattle Police Department? The Seattle Police Department predicts that over the next 5 years, it will hire 300 police officers to replace retirees. The goal is to hire local officers who reflect Seattle's values and increasing diversity and represent all of its communities. SPD is holding a Pre-Test Workshop and Information Session at El Centro de la Raza on Saturday, February 16th, 11am - 1pm. All are welcome.

During the workshop officers will:

  • Provide details on the testing and hiring process
  • Specifically address the written and video exams, physical ability test, and oral board interview.
  • Discuss and answer questions pertaining to the Personal History Information (PHI) Packet.
For questions on recruitment or the workshop please contact SPD Officer Jojo Cambronero by emailing Robert.Cambronero@seattle.gov or at 206-293-2749.

Save the Date for Cinco de Mayo

This year our annual Cinco de Mayo celebration will be on Saturday, May 4th, at El Centro de la Raza from 1:00pm - 5:00pm. See you there!

United Way Tax Prep Volunteers Needed!

It's tax time again, and El Centro is a United Way tax-prep site!
In 2012, United Way’s 650 Free Tax Prep volunteers prepared 14,400 tax returns, returning clients $20.7 million in tax refunds to the community! In 2013, you can be one of them at El Centro de la Raza, and help community members learn which deductions and credits they qualify for, and keep more of their income in their pockets!

Tax-Prep Volunteer time-slots:

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

To register, visit the
United Way website.

Become a Teacher in Seattle Public Schools, Apply to the Seattle Teacher Residency Program

Teachers in schoolTeacher residencies around the country apply the medical residency model to teacher preparation. The Alliance for Education, Seattle Public Schools, the University of Washington and the Seattle Education Association have joined forces to create a powerful, sustainable way to prepare and support phenomenal teachers in Seattle. Click here for applicant information. Applications will be accepted until March 1, 2013. Please direct any specific questions and/or ideas to info@seattleteacherresidency.org

An Evening with Juan Felipe Hererra

Juan Felipe HerreraThursday February 21st 2013
7:00 pm
Johnson Hall, room 102
University of Washington

One of the finest, most innovative and challenging Chicano writers, Herrera has always been in the vanguard of Chicano
poetry. He is the author of 23 books of poetry, prose, young adults fiction, and children's literature. Among the honors he has garnered over the years he counts an American Book Award,  the PEN/Beyond Margins Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two NEA fellowships, the UC Berkeley Regents Fellowship, and a Stanford Chicano Fellows Fellowship. In March 2012, Governor Jerry Brown appointed him poet laureate of California, the first Chicano to hold this post.

Free and open to the public - limited seating, arrive early

Save the Date! Legacy Awards Gala on October 5th

This year, our annual Legacy Awards Gala will take place on October 5th, 2013, at the Washington State Convention Center. Save the date and plan to see us there! Web page coming soon.

Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle at El Centro de la Raza

Did you know that out of 17 developed countries, Americans under the age of 50 fare the worst in terms of life expectancy? Together, we can change the grim statistics for our community!  Whether its a community-based cooking class or excercise program, or just someone to turn to when you need health information or advice
, helping people stay healthy is an important function of a strong community.

Camila Lagow, our Employment Specialist, is a shining example of someone who reached her health goals with the support of her community. Camila has trained tirelessly for half marathons and half iron-man triathalons. Over the past year, Camila has lost 50 pounds! The secret, in addition to training, was finding a diet plan that worked for her, and finding like-minded friends who helped keep her on track. "I had to be really strong with my rules," she says, "I eat 6 small meals a day, and keep track of my calories, and go to the gym with my coworker. Even when I meet with Estela (Executive Director), we always talk about nutrition."

Camila Lagow AfterCamila Lagow 2

Camila Lagow (in blue) gears up for a race with her pals. Camila has since lost 50lbs, and can be seen showing off her rippling biceps above. Way to go Camila!

Simply keeping the health conversation going is an easy way anyone can promote health in the community. Additionally, El Centro de la Raza promotes healthy habits in a variety of ways. A nutritionist visits our seniors once per month, our Family Involvement Educator helps families find the nutrition and healthcare resources they need, and we organize participants for healthy cooking classes taught by Fred Hutchinson. Our food bank is always loaded with wholesome, produce, breads, and cheeses, and we also have a smoking cessation program. We would like to gather community members together one night per week for strength training classes. If you are a certified personal trainer and would like to volunteer with us, we have a fabulous opportunity for you to teach a class! Please contact Taylor Skoglund at (206) 957-4602 to inquire.

Save the Date for Latino Legislative Day!

Giesy09March 15th, 2013
8:30am - 3:00pm
Olympia, WA, at the Capitol building


Each year, the El Centro community heads to Olympia to participate in Latino Legislative Day. This year, save the date and plan to participate with us! Latino Legislative Day is a great way to gain knowledge on important topics in a series of informational seminars, network with others who care about the same issues you care about, meet with your legislator, and let your voice be heard! 
This year's focus will include:
  • Public Safety
  • Education
  • Economic Development
  • Farm Workers' Rights
  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Immigration
  • Labor   
This event is organized by the Latino Civic Alliance. Stay tuned for further information!

¡Guardar la fecha para el día Legislativo Latino!

Giesy09 2
15 de marzo 2013
8:30 am - 3:00 pm
Olympia, WA, en el edificio del Capitolio

Todos los años, la comunidad de El Centro se dirige a Olimpia para participar en el Día Legislativo Latino. Este año, salvo la fecha participar con nosotros! Día Legislativo Latino es una excelente manera de adquirir conocimientos sobre temas importantes en una serie de seminarios informativos, redes con otras personas que se preocupan por los mismos temas que le interesan, reunirse con su legislador, y que su voz sea escuchada!

El enfoque de este año incluirá:

  •      Seguridad Pública
  •      Educación
  •      Desarrollo Económico
  •      Los derechos de los trabajadores rurales
  •      Cuidado de la salud
  •      Viviendas
  •      Inmigración
  •      Laboral
Este evento es organizado por la Alianza Cívico Latino. Estén atentos para más información!

El Centro de la Raza Events!    

                February 7: Café con El Centro
                February 23: Tamale-Making Class

                March 8:   International Women's Day
                March 15: Latino Legislative Day
                March 16: Tamale-Making Class

Anuncios y Felicitaciones
Announcements & Congratulation

Do you need to access services at El Centro?

Come visit us! Our doors are always open, and we invite you to come and learn about El Centro's services. When you come, please step into room 211, on the main floor, and speak with the receptionist. He or she will be able to refer you to the correct office, make an appointment for you with a case manager, or refer you to the community service outside of El Centro that will best suit your needs!

Parking for a Cause at El Centro de la Raza!

El Centro 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 now 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's programs and services!



►John Perkins: Seattle local and former economic hitman speaks out - Story
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►"The Agricultural Fulcrum: Better Food, Better Climate" - Article

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





El Centro de la Raza Supports Seattle School Levies

You can help pass the levies!

SPS Seeks Sponsors for District Calendar

Mil Gracias MLK Day of Service Volunteers!

Program Highlight: El Centro Tackles the Foreclosure Crisis

Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle at El Centro de la Raza

United Way Tax Prep Volunteers Needed

An Evening with Juan Felipe Herrera

Save the Date! Legacy Awards Gala  October 5th

Join the Seattle Police Department

Save the Date for Latino Legislative Day

Guardar La Fecha Para Legislativo Latino

Easy ways to support El Centro:
If   you use GoodSearch as your search engine, or do your online shopping through Goodshop, you can raise money for El Centro without spending an extra cent! You may actually save money with Goodshop coupons!
GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!
Support El Centro's 33 programs by simply clicking here! Automatic monthly donations are a great option to give all year long!
Learn More About El Centro!
Visit our website by clicking here!
Be our friend! Join us on Facebook and
Want to keep updated on what
El Centro is doing?
Tamale Making Classes
at El Centro de la Raza
10 AM - 12:30 PM, Saturdays: 
Next Class will be February 23, 2013
Taught by a master tamalera!
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: 206-957-4611or email.

Spanish Classes
6-7:30 PM Tuesdays/Thursdays:
Spring 2013 Class Schedule:
April 09 – 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:
At El Centro de la Raza
Next Cafe - Thursday, February 7th
How can you become an integral part of the community at El Centro? You can start by RSVPing to an upcoming Cafe con El Centro!

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!

Cafe con El Centro 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:

Muckleshoot Tribe $56,000 for second year of our smoking cessation program.

Jesuit Volunteer Corps will fund a stipended volunteer in our Homeownership Center for one year.

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 28,500 volunteer hours, El Centro de la Raza serves 19,489 individuals and 9,721 families annually through the following programs and services:

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