El Centro de la Raza - March eNews
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March 31, 2015

Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

Every year the El Centro de la Raza community participates in Latino Legislative Day, a day designed by the Latino Civic Alliance, to engage in policy sessions, meet with legislators, participate in informal seminars, and meet with legislators regarding issues impacting the Latino community. The event was organized and took place on Monday, March 16th at the Capital Campus in Olympia, WA. 

Latino Legislative Day
Students from El Centro de la Raza's Roberto Maestas Leadership Institute participating in the 2015 Latino Legislative Day in Olympia!

This year, El Centro de la Raza staff and students from the After School Program went to advocate for affordable housing and equal access to higher education for low-income and undocumented students. Many of the students in our group are themselves “Dreamers,” meaning they are undocumented students hoping to attend college and receive financial aid from the state.

That same week, we saw some of their hard work pay off when Senators Patty Murray and Mazie Hirono and Representatives Jared Polis and Joaquin Castro introduced The Investing in States to Achieve Tuition Equality (IN-STATE) for Dreamers Act of 2015 that would expand access to higher education for low-income students, regardless of immigration statues. “[This legislation] would establish The American Dream Grant program with $750 million in funding to supplement need-based financial aid in states that offer in-state tuition and state financial aid to Dreamer students, without discriminating based on their immigration status” (News Release). This legislation is crucial for helping support the many qualified low-income and undocumented students who deserve the opportunity to obtain a higher education and start successful futures. 

Mil gracias to all who joined us on that day to raise awareness with the general public and government, business, and civic leaders about the needs of the Chicano/Latino community in the United States.

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

MATH—Still for Men, Only?
(You have the power to help change that!)
By Paul D. Nichols
Are girls just as good, or better than boys in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math? In a 2010 paper entitled, “Why so few:  Women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” researchers Catherine Hill, Ph.D, Christianne Corbett, and Andresse St. Rose, Ed.D chronicle the lack of equity for women and girls in these core, 21st Century fields. 

Although equally-qualified, by the end of college, men earn STEM degrees at four times the rate of women. These researchers believe that girls’ interest and their achievement in the STEM fields may be shaped by their social environments—despite the fact that the data on the ascendency of girls in higher education proves otherwise. Although scientists and engineers are developed in both colleges and universities, what matters most in their developmental stages is the belief in them during their early years, (on the secondary level), of those in the student’s social network—and most importantly, what their teachers believe about their potential for intellectual growth is crucial. Most critical is the idea that if these STEM fields are to become more diverse, then everyone will have to review their social biases about who comprises these fields. 

Who is Valerie?
ValerieAt Thomas Jefferson High School, through a student, you have an opportunity to help to dispel the myth of these inequities. Her name is, Valerie Herrera Ortiz.  Valerie is a 9th Grade Latina student who, qualified recently as a National-Level competitor in TJ’s, highly-touted, Math team. (She is 1 of 2 Latinos on a team of 50-students.)  

Valerie competes in the area of Equations and Functions. She is a go-getter. According to her Math teacher, “Valarie is a very hardworking, motivated member of our math team. I would love to see her have the opportunity to dedicate her summer to exploring higher level math topics. She is extremely gifted and excited about going to Nationals this summer. Her family is unable to send her financially, but I would love to see her have the chance at going. She is in my Algebra 2 Honors class and as a freshman is getting a high A.”

Future Goals
Valerie is a classic case of a young woman with both an interest and a skill-set that will enable her to develop and succeed on the next level. She represents a rare opportunity, “In 5-years, I see myself attending college, a 4-year college, probably going toward some sort of math degree, and, being in advanced math classes right now will help me prepare for college-level math classes.” 

Support more than a girl. Support a growth mind-set that girls can achieve at similar—if not, higher— levels than boys in the STEM fields. Your kind donations to this Go Fund Me site are appreciated, greatly. 


El Centro de la Raza and the Roberto Maestas Youth Leadership Institute Celebrates Women’s History Month

La LuchaLoteria 2Loteria 2 3

In honor of International Women’s Day (March 8) and Women’s History Month El Centro de la Raza staff, during our weekly Charla meeting, and The Roberto Maestas Youth Leadership Institute, as part of a monthly workshop series, played a version of Lotería Meixcan Bingo in tribute to the many women leaders in our community, nationally and internationally. 

Youth, young adults, and community members are welcome to join us in our monthly workshop series where we explore how leadership is interconnected with community organizing, culture, history, politics and social justice.

Upcoming General Workshop Schedule:

April 15: Arts for Civil Rights
May 20: The Ban on Ethnic Studies

The program is free and you can earn service-learning credit for school. Please contact Alex Bautista for more information: 206-957-4620 or abautista@elcentrodelaraza.org. Classes are hosted at El Centro de la Raza in Rm. 300.


Cinco de Mayo 2015 2

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. We are seeking local vendors to engage with our community, share information and sell crafts, textiles, and more! Vendors will pay a flat fee, and we will gladly provide you with promotional Cinco de Mayo flyers or posters if you would like to advertise the event. 

Our Cinco de Mayo event will also include a "Desfile Cultural” or multicultural fashion show where we invite children, youth, families, and community members to participate by wearing their traditional clothing. We invite people of all cultures to participate by wearing their own traditional dress in a fashion show that will express racial diversity and unity in our community. We are excited to share and celebrate all of our cultures together!

Due to the Plaza Roberto Maestas groundbreaking, there will be on-site construction at El Centro de la Raza with limited parking for the next two years. Therefore, we have chosen to move this year’s Cinco de Mayo event to the Jefferson Community Center where we hope to continue to offer our events until the construction is finished.

For more information about vendor booths or participating in the fashion show, please call (206) 957-4630 or contact cultura@elcentrodelaraza.org.

Regístrese Ahora / Register Now

Sign Up for a 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 in 2014 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 Low-Income Transit Fare Program

Our Frances Martinez Community Service Center now has a low-income transit fare program! The new reduced fare for low-income 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 income 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) 957-4634. See information in Spanish.

Please help us build a community Brick by Brick!


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 courtyard – the heart of Plaza Roberto Maestas. Please help us build a community Brick by Brick! Click here for more information or order your brick now.


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

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

NCLR Photo Contest

We are excited to announce that El Centro de la Raza has received honorable mention in the 2014 National Council of La Raza (NLCR) Affiliate Photo Contest! As winners of this contest, El Centro de la Raza will receive a $100 Southwest Airlines voucher that we plan to use to raise money for our programs in our annual auction gala. Mil gracias to all who helped us win this contest by spreading the word and voting. Your support has helped our programs receive national recognition. 

Closing the Opportunity Gap Press Conference

We ask that you join with our elected officials this Wednesday, April 1st at 3:00 PM at El Centro de la Raza in Room 307 to learn how the State House budget will support our children from cradle to career. We encourage you to bring children of all ages as we are discussing their future.

Washington State House members holding this press conference include Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self, Rep. Ruth Kagi and Rep. Brady Walkinshaw. The Members of Color Caucus, additional members of the House Caucus and community members will also be in attendance. Please stay after the press conference to participate in a conversation with the legislators on Washington's education system. RSVP to Yunuen Castorena at (206) 957-4605.


Youth Action Plan Task Force Seeking Feedback

Last year, the King County Council created a 25 member task force, including Miguel Maestas, Associate Administrator at El Centro de la Raza, to help develop a Youth Action Plan to ensure youth and young adults in King County have access to the resources and opportunities they need to become thriving members of our community.

After nearly a year of work, the Youth Action Plan is near completion. In keeping with the collaborative nature of the plan’s development, the final step is to share the recommendations and to solicit your feedback before the plan is finalized. Please click here for a copy of the plan and access to a form to submit your public comment. The public comment period will close on April 1st and the final Youth Action Plan submitted to the County Council on April 15th. All public comments will be compiled and included as appendices to the plan. Mil gracias for your contributions.


Seattle Times LiveWire event “Priced out: The struggle for an affordable Seattle


LiveWire comes to Kane Hall at the University of Washington on March 31st with "Priced out: The struggle for an affordable Seattle." Speakers will include Zillow senior economist Skylar Olsen, Service Employees International Union president David Rolf, Jake McKinstry, principal with Spectrum Development Solutions, which has developed both market rate and affordable housing, Nela Richardson, chief economist at Redfin, and other local and national experts. Tickets are free but space is limited, reserve tickets today.  

Save the Date: Youth Opportunity Summit

Youth Opportunity Summit

Mayor Murray is convening an all-day Youth Opportunity Summit, with a particular focus on improving outcomes for young men of color.
When: Saturday, April 11th, 2015, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Where: Rainier Beach High School
The Youth Opportunity Summit will serve as a space for dialogue on how Seattle can connect to a larger national network of communities engaged in addressing disparities for young people of color, identify ways to improve on our local strategies, and ultimately take action to move the needle locally. Click here for more information. 

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:

Cooking Class Survey

Latino Legislative Day

Valerie Herrera Ortiz

Women's History Month

Cinco de Mayo Celebration

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 11: Tamale Class
Apr 25: Vegetarian Tamale Class
May 2: Cinco de Mayo Celebration
May 9: Tamale Class

Mil Gracias Funders:

Umpqua Bank
$4,000 for College Readiness Program

Cafe Ad 2


News Roundup:

Vigil held for Robert Robinson
Women's History Month

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

Parking Lot 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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