February eNews - El Centro de la Raza


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Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

When a community works together, amazing things are possible! This month, I believe we have seen proof of that. Two levies have passed, which means the 50,000 students enrolled at Seattle Public Schools will learn and grow in safe, functional buildings. Felicitaciones to Seattle Public School families, and mil gracias to our volunteer phone bankers (pictured below), and all who supported the effort to pass the levies! Your effort has resulted in more than 70% support from the community for both levies! Phone Bankers 2Click here to read Superintendant Jose Banda's letter to the community.

We have also seen our political leaders take a stand on immigration reform. Last week, President Obama made proposals that we hope will bring some relief to the many Americans who suffer in the struggle to "become legal". Mil Gracias to the many advocates, organizers and supporters who are keeping immigration reform at the forefront of our leaders' consciousness. We are not there yet, however, and as we continue to fight, we should remind ourselves that "the land belongs to those who work it" (César Chávez). ¡SI SE PUEDE!


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.

NWIRP Community Advisory on Proposed Immigration Policy

NWIRPOn January 28 and 29, a bipartisan group of Senators and President Obama announced frameworks of proposed legislation to reform our immigration system. While this is encouraging that our political leaders recognize the need for change, no changes to our current policy have yet been approved. The need for caution is higher than ever, as many individuals will try to take advantage of the confusion. Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) would like to remind community members to be wary of this possibility, to prepare for future policy changes, and to stay informed. NWIRP has published a helpful list of tips. Please share them broadly. Read the full advisory

NWIRP Asesor Comunitario de Política de Inmigración Propuesta

NWIRP 2En Enero 28 y 29, un grupo bipartidista de Senadores y el Presidente Obama anunciaron marcos de la legislación propuesta para reformar nuestro sistema de inmigración. Aunque estamos encantados que nuestros líderes reconocen la necesidad de cambio, ningún cambio en nuestra política actual se han realizado. Por lo tanto, tenga cuidado porque algunas personas tratan de explotar la confusión. NWIRP desea recordar a los miembros de las diversas comunidades a desconfiar de esta posibilidad, para prepararse para los cambios de política en el futuro, y para mantenerse informado. NWIRP ha publicado una lista de consejos útiles. Por favor, comparta ampliamente. Esta publicación es bilingüe, Bajar para el español.

¡Conozca sus derechos! La Disposición Antidiscriminación
de la Ley de Inmigración y Nacionalidad

Office of Special Counsel¿Cómo puede saber si un empleador está violando las leyes de inmigración, y qué se puede hacer al respecto? Usted tiene derechos a los empleadores que te intimiden acerca de su estatus migratorio. Este artículo de la Oficina de Asesoramiento Especial Prácticas Injustas en el párrafo el Empleo Relacionadas a la Inmigración le ayudará a entender sus derechos y cómo pueden defenderlos.

Smoking Cessation at El Centro de La Raza

No Smoking signDid you know:

  • Cigarette smoke contains over 4,800 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer?
  • Smoking is the cause of 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S. annually and that tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death?
  • Every day over 3,800 teens, 18 and younger, smoke their first cigarette?  - Legacy for Health.
These facts are disturbing… yet there is hope.

ARE YOU READY TO QUIT? El Centro de la Raza is here to support you on the path towards quitting and finding a healthier lifestyle for you and your family. Individual, group and telephone counseling are effective in supporting efforts to stop smoking. Start by calling Enrique Gonzalez at 206-957-4640 or email nosmoking@elcentrodelaraza.org for more information. This program is possible thanks to a grant from Muckleshoot Tribe! Mil Gracias Muckleshoot!

Bees Do More than Make Honey

Save the beesEveryone knows bees make honey, but did you know bees are responsible for pollinating 1/3 of our produce? What happens to our food supply when bee colonies across the nation collapse mysteriously? We may find out the answer to that question sooner than anyone wants to admit. The frightening reality is that bees are dying at an alarming rate, and no one knows exactly why. The European Food Safety Authority has recently labeled the pesticide Clothianidin as unsafe for bees. Until thorough research can be performed on this chemical, we must tell the EPA to take emergency action, and suspend the use of this chemical. Sign the petition.

Colony, an informative documentary on the colony collapse phenomenon, is available on DVD, Netflix, and iTunes. Click here to watch the trailer.


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

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 Schedule:

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

To register to volunteer, 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

Veteran's Resource Fair: Saturday, June 8th 2013, SAVE THE DATE!

Save the date for the Veteran's Resource fair, coming June 8th to the Green River Community College. More than 30 community organizations will be there helping veterans access the help they need, including the Washington Department of Veteran's Affairs (WDVA) medical and benefits programs, the King County Veteran's Program, and the Veteran's Administration. Free haircuts, dental exams, health screenings, VA claims assistance, clothing and more will be provided! Spread the word!

Volunteers will be needed at this event! If you'd like to volunteer, please contact Alfredo Tito Medina at (206) 973-4287

Poetry Workshops Help Youth Form a strong Cultural Identity

Youth in El Centro's Hope For Youth program are learning new ways to express themselves through hip hop and poetry workshops. Eduardo Diaz, our Washington Service Corps Americorp Volunteer Curriculum Assistant recently co-facilitated a poetry workshop that focused on the meaning of the names we receive at birth, and all that we gain from our place of origin, place of residence, and our elders. He has graciously allowed his poetry to be published! Look forward to more youth poetry in future newsletters!

Eduardo; the guardian                      Eduardo at Denny Middle Proyecto Saber

Born in Jalisco
Right by Lake Chapala
Mi Mexico querido
America has my soul
But you carry my spirit

Raised in California
To pursue a better life
Mi madre me enseño
To live your dreams
Reach past the stars

First in my family to
Graduate from college
Mi educación me libero
It gave me strength
It helped me grow

Now, I'm living here
In Seattle, Washington
Mi corazon me dice
Keep moving forward
Your struggle is worth it

Diaz; the wise one

Save the Date! Legacy Awards Gala will be on October 5th

This year our annual Legacy Awards gala will take place October 5th, 2013 at the Washington State Convention Center. Save the date and plan to see us there! 
Click here for more information.

Martin Luther King County Institute (MLKCI) is Hiring Spanish Speakers

MLKCIMartin Luther King County Institute (MLKCI) is recruiting and training “Spanish Speaking” persons interested in working with the enhancement of family relations. MLKCI has secured scholarships for persons over 18 years of age that will work with Martin Luther King County Institute and a coalition of organizations that include Seattle Parks & Recreation, Central Area Drug Free Coalition and Seattle University in conducting Strengthening Family Program (SFP) engagement in English and Spanish. The upcoming training for Spanish Speaking Facilitators is schedule for February 27th through March 1st, 2013. Click here for more information.

Join us 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!

¡Acompañanos 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, aparte el día 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 23: Tamale-Making Class

                March 7: Café con El Centro
                March 8:   International Women's Day
                March 15: Latino Legislative Day
                March 16: Tamale-Making Class

Anuncios y Felicitaciones
Announcements & Congratulation

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!



"Bus on a fiscal cliff" - Story
"Scaled down background checks do not satisfy gun-bill critics" - Story
►"Grupo organiza Día del Inmigrante" - Story

►Stop using border security as an excuse to avoid reform! - The Hearing
►Regulators reluctant to test the health affects of fracking - 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



NWIRP Community Advisory on Immigration Policy

NWIRP Asesor Comunitario de Política de Inmigración Propuesta

¡Conozca sus derechos! La Disposición Antidiscriminación
de la Ley de Inmigración y Nacionalidad

Ready to Quit Smoking?

Bees Do More Than Make Honey

Save the Date for Cinco de Mayo

United Way Tax Prep Volunteers Needed

Become a Teacher in Seattle Public Schools

Save the Date for Veterans' Resource Fair

Poetry Workshops Help Youth form a Strong Cultural Identity

MLKCI is Hiring Spanish Speakers

Join us for Latino Legislative Day

Acompañanos para el Día 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 wil 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 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:
At El Centro de la Raza
Next Cafe - Thursday, March 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:

City of Seattle Human Services Department $98,908 for our Homeless Assistance Program

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:
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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