Fasting for Justice, Aaron Borrero's Clemency, and more!
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March 26, 2014
Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

On Thursday, April 3rd, El Centro de la Raza staff and community members are participating in a 24-hour fast for immigration reform. The fast is a form of peaceful resistance, meant to bring awareness to the issue of comprehensive immigration reform, build solidarity, and hopefully spark a push for immigration legislation in the near future. The fast will begin at midnight on Thursday, April 3rd, and we will be hosting activities throughout the day here at El Centro de la Raza including a special event with Mayor Ed Murray and the Seattle Office of Civil Rights. At 1:30 p.m., Mayor Murray will sign an Executive Order to strengthen the Race and Social Justice Initiative followed by small group discussions.

Additionally, we will be participating with the group We Belong Together in raising funds for the families of those currently being held in the detention center. Fast participants are asked, if they choose, to give what they would have spent on food that day as a donation to the families of those locked up.

We currently have 42 staff members committed to the fast, and we hope to recruit more participants. If you would like to participate in the fast and spend the day with us, we would love to have you! Please RSVP to Yunuen Castorena at or (206) 957-4605, and help us spread the word by telling your family and friends. Mil gracias for joining us in the struggle for immigration reform.


Estela Ortega
Executive Director

P.S. - Don't forget to "like" us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and spread the word about our great new cooking classes!

A Vote Against Bus Funding is a Vote Against Equity and a Healthy Environment
by Estela Ortega and Dennis Hayes

Coco Chandi believes in the American Dream and knows that a good education will be essential to become a nonprofit development officer. She rises early every morning to catch bus #150 to Highline Community College, where she is taking her first step on an upward-rising escalator.

But there’s a catch: The bus service she depends on will be cut if voters do not approve its funding on the April 22nd election. With no affordable way to get to college, Chandi will be forced to drop out. The whole course of her life will be different, and poorer.

She is far from alone. If Proposition 1 is defeated in the upcoming election, Metro will be forced to eliminate up to 74 routes and reduce service on 107 others. Eighty percent of the people who currently ride Metro will be here to continue reading.

...Can we count on you to help save our bus service and fix our roads? Click here to sign up to volunteer, and click here to learn more about Move King County Now. 

El Centro de la Raza News/Noticias

César Chávez Social Justice Festival 2014

cesar graphic¡Vengan Todos! Everybody is invited to join El Centro de la Raza, Sea Mar Community Health Centers, Campaña Quetzal, and the Seattle Police Department in celebrating César Chávez Day on Saturday March 29th. The César Chávez Social Justice Festival is a family-oriented event, free to the public, and will include Mariachis, dancing, pan dulce, and presentations and speeches by local Latino activists. Join us on this special day to commemorate one of the most influential Latino leaders in United States history.

  • Saturday, March 29th @ 11:00 a.m.
  • Baile & Mariachi  from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
  • César Chávez Park - Corner of S. Cloverdale St. & 7th Ave.

For more information, call Adrian Moroles at (206) 790-0106


Clemency for Aaron Borrero on the Horizon

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Family and friends of Aaron Borrero after the clemency hearing on March 14th.

Last month we asked for your help in supporting our friend Aaron Borrero in his efforts to receive clemency from the State of Washington, by signing a petition in his favor and spreading the word about his inspiring story, which can be found here. We would like to take this opportunity to inform you that on Friday, March 14th, the Washington State Clemency and Pardons Board voted unanimously in Aaron Borrero's favor, recommending that his request for clemency be granted by Governor Jay Inslee.

The hearing on March
14th was well-attended by over 40 friends, family, and supporters of Aaron Borrero, including El Centro de la Raza staff members Miguel Maestas, Cristina Jimenez, Enrique Gonzalez, and Yunuen Castorena. Although Executive Director Estela Ortega was unable to attend personally, Yunuen Castorena took the stand on her behalf and read a statement to the Clemency and Pardons Board, outlining El Centro de la Raza's plan to support Aaron Borrero upon his release from prison. This plan includes welcoming Aaron into our community as an active volunteer and participant in our programs and events, in order to facilitate his transition back into society.

I am very hopeful that Governor Jay Inslee will do the right thing and grant Aaron's request for clemency within the coming weeks so that he can join his loving family and continue his transformation from inmate to loving father, husband, and dedicated community member. You can take action to facilitate Aaron's request for clemency by writing a letter to Governor Jay Inslee stating your support or simply signing and sharing the online petition, which can be found here. If you would like to write a letter to Governor Inslee, please mail it to the address provided:

Governor Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002

Please click here to view Yunuen's statement on behalf of El Centro de la Raza at the hearing. Stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter for updates on Aaron Borrero's case. Mil gracias for your ongoing support.

Hunger Action Week Spreads Food Justice Awareness Throughout King County

From March 17th-22nd, the United Way of King County sponsored Hunger Action Week, a week-long campaign to spread awareness about food justice issues and raise volunteership for hunger alleviation programs around Seattle. Hunger is a serious issue in the state of Washington, where one in four children struggles with hunger on a daily basis.

As a human service organization, El Centro de la Raza has worked hard over the years to establish strong programs aimed at alleviating hunger. Our Food Bank, Latino Hot Meal Program, and Senior Wellness and Nutrition Program are always in need of assistance, and it is never too late to get involved. Although Hunger Action Week has ended, your commitment to ending hunger doesn't have to. For more information about volunteering, please contact Alexia Klatt at (206) 957-4602 or

Donate now to ensure that our food justice programs continue to have the funds to eliminate hunger in our community.


El Centro de la Raza's Parent-Child Home Program Receives Special Recognition

On March
5th, the Seattle Road Map Project held an awards program to honor organizations and programs in South Seattle and South King County that work tirelessly to advance equity and close opportunity gaps for all students. El Centro de la Raza was honored to receive recognition (along with United Way of King County and other partnering organizations) for an outstanding Parent-Child Home Program promoting early education. The Parent-Child Home Program began in 2010, an now serves approximately 1,000 families a year by visiting hard-to-reach families at home to help 2-4 year-olds get off to a good start. Click here to learn more about the Parent-Child Home Program's success.

Donate now to ensure that programs like our Parent-Child Home Program continue to reach at-risk families in our community.

Save the Date/Reserva la Fecha

Join Us for Cinco de Mayo 2014!

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El Centro de la Raza’s 9th Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration is fast approaching! This event is free to the public and will take place on May 3rd, 2014, from 3-8 pm at El Centro de la Raza. We expect at least 800 people from Beacon Hill and surrounding neighborhoods.

  • Our Cinco de Mayo event will include a "Desfile Cultural” or cultural fashion show where we invite children, youth, families, and community members to participate by wearing their traditional clothing to celebrate our cultures. Contact Hilda or Enrique if you would like to participate at: (206) 957-4619 or
  • We are looking for help with set-up, greeting, ticket sales, children’s activities, and more! Please contact Alexia Klatt, volunteer coordinator, at (206) 957-4602 or to sign up!
  • We are also seeking local vendors to 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. We provide all vendors with a table and two chairs for the event. For more information about vendor booths, please contact (206) 957-4630 or

Click here to view the 9th Annual Cinco de Mayo event flyer.

Mark Your Calendars for Give BIG 2014!

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The Seattle Foundation's annual online giving campaign is back in 2014! Last year, El Centro de la Raza raised over $3,000 during Give BIG and this year we are aiming much higher!

Save the date for this year's Give BIG day on Tuesday, May
6th, and get ready to help us have our most successful day of giving yet! With your help, 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 2014 on May 6th! Click here to learn more about the Give BIG campaign.


El Centro de la Raza’s 2014 Building the Beloved Community Gala

Save the Date for our Annual Fundraising Gala:

  • Saturday, September 27th, 2014
  • Washington State Convention Center
  • From 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.
  • Reception, Dinner, Silent Auction & Live Auctions

Join us on September 27th to:

  • Raise vital funds for El Centro de la Raza’s 44 programs and services 
  • Celebrate with the winners of the Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Awards and Scholarships

buy a ticket buttonbe a sponsor button 2table ambassador buttondonate item button

I can't make it to the event, but I'd like to donate.

Join Us for This Week for an Engaging Charla

You are invited to join our staff for our weekly charla (Spanish for "chat") where we analyze and discuss topics that are pertinent to our lives and our communities. This week we will be watching the film "Cracking the Codes" and looking at racial inequities in our society.

  • Thursday, March 27th from 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Room 307 at El Centro de la Raza (2524 16th Ave S)
  • All are welcome! 

Please RSVP at 206-957-4605 or email 

Sign Up for Our New Cooking Classes Today!


Learn how to cook traditional cultural dishes, and support your community at the same time!

El Centro de la Raza is excited to announce that we are expanding our 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. Classes are held on select Saturdays at El Centro de la Raza. Follow the links below to view fees for these featured classes.


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

Join Our Auction Item Procurement Committee!

On September 27th, 2014, El Centro de la Raza will hold its annual Building the Beloved Community Gala. To make this event a success, we are looking for volunteers to join our procurement committee. The procurement committee solicits donated items, gift certificates, or services from businesses to sell in our silent or live auction. If you’re creative, out-going, and full of ideas, we’d love to have you join us.

Procurement Committee meetings take place the last Tuesday of each month at 6:45 p.m. For more information, contact Anne Pfeifle, Events Coordinator at or (206) 957-4649.

El Centro de la Raza Offering Financial Education Classes

Bring your financial questions and we'll be sure to cover the topics that are most important to you, from getting affordable car loans to preparing yourself financially to buy a house! At the end of the workshop you will have the opportunity to schedule a one-on-one appointment with a financial counselor, as well as receive a certificate of attendance making you eligible for a $100 incentive! Click here for dates and more detailed, bilingual information.

Get Free Tax Prep at El Centro de la Raza!

United Way of King County offers free tax preparation at 19 locations in King County. This year, El Centro de la Raza is one of the sites! Click here for more detailed information.
For site locations, hours of operation, maps, and more information visit or call 2-1-1. Anyone making under $58,000 annually can also file online by visiting

Free Bilingual Legal Clinics at El Centro de la Raza

Need legal assistance but can't afford it? Mil gracias to Schroeter Goldmark & Bender and the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington for graciously providing free legal clinics in 2014, on the second Wednesday of every month. We are excited to be hosting these bilingual clinics here at El Centro de la Raza! Click here for more detailed, bilingual information.

Become a Knowledgeable Homeowner at Our Homebuyer Education Workshops

El Centro de la Raza's Homeownership Center is holding a series of monthly Homebuyer Education Workshops. These classes will give you an overview of the home buying process and will be led by fully bilingual volunteers and staff. Click here for more detailed, bilingual information.

To make a contribution to El Centro de la Raza and help us continue programs like Homebuyer and Financial Education classes, click here or call (206) 957-4652.

Our Community-Nuestra Comunidad

Support the Seattle 15 NOW Movement!

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The $15/hour minimum wage movement is not a fad and it is not a phase; it is a significant battle in the ongoing fight for social justice, and we need your support to make this happen. Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant is working harder than ever to garner support for the $15 NOW movement, and you can help by putting the 15 NOW Conference on your calendar for April 26th, 2014.

The Conference will bring together low-wage workers, 15 Now Action Groups, unions, Occupy activists, and community organizations from Seattle and across the country in an exciting day to educate, share our experiences, and hammer out a strategy to win $15 in Seattle and nationally. Click here to learn more about the 15 NOW movement, and click here to register for the 15 NOW Conference.


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 Applications are available online in seven different languages.

Take Part in Seattle Neighborhood Summit 2014

Seattle Neighborhood Summit 2014 

City of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray made a pledge during his campaign that if elected he would hold Neighborhood Summit within his first 100 days in office. This April 5th, he is following through on his promise and holding the 2014 Seattle Neighborhood Summit, which will allow community members to provide input as to how to tackle pressing issues facing communities throughout Seattle. In order to make this event effective, Mayor Murray is asking community members to fill out this online survey (available in 5 different languages) to let the mayor know what is important to us in our communities and what we would like to get out of the summit. This is our chance to influence change! Click here to access the survey, click here for more information about the summit.

La encuesta también está disponible en Español. Haga clic aquí para tomar la encuesta en Español.


Help Us 'Move King County Now'!

The future of our region has never been so clearly in our hands.
Do we vote to put 30,000 cars back on our streets? Do we let our streets, roads, and bridges further deteriorate? And should we leave some seniors, students, disabled, and working families stranded, unable to get around completely?

Or do we save our bus service, fix our roads, keep our economy moving, and protect our quality of life? Given that choice, it’s an easy one for El Centro de la Raza. That’s why we’re excited to join Move King County Now to pass Proposition 1 this April.

The County Council agreed to give voters a chance - this April 22nd - to save our bus service and fix our roads by voting to support a new Transportation Benefit District.

Can we count on you to help save our bus service and fix our roads? Click here to sign up to volunteer, click here to learn more about Move King County Now.

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In This Issue:

El Centro de la Raza to Participate in Day-Long Fast for Justice

Vote Against Bus Funding is Vote Against Equity and Environment

Clemency Board Votes Unanimously to Release Borrero

César Chávez Social Justice Festival 2014
Hunger Action Week Spreads Food Justice Awareness

Parent-Child Home Program Receives Recognition

Be a Part of Cinco de Mayo 2014!

Join Us This Week for an Engaging 'Charla'

Support Seattle's 15 NOW Movement

Take Part in the Seattle Neighborhood Summit


Spanish Classes Ad Ashley

Tamale Class Ad 2

Mil Gracias March Funders:

Lutheran Volunteer Corps
Four full-time volunteer stipend positions for 2014-2015 year

Seattle Police Charity Fund
$1,500 unrestricted donation

Events Calendar:

March 29: Veggie Tamale Class
March 31: César Chávez Day
April 3: Café con El Centro
April 5: Tortilla & Pinto Bean Making Class

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News Roundup:

Prison hunger strike puts spotlight on immigration detention 
Tacoma Public Schools features teachers on YouTube

Peace Corps aims to boost diversity
Beyond the minimum wage: Jobs With Justice interview

Board of Directors:

Ramon Soliz, President
Roxana Amaral, Vice President
 Pablo Mendoza, Treasurer
Victoria Kill, Secretary

Madrienne Salgado, Parliamentarian
Francisco Calderon
Juan Cotto
Cristina Garcia
Dorry Elias-Garcia
Ricardo Garcia
Jeff Middelton
Alexandra Narvaez
Bianka Sanchez
Urbano Santos
Ofelia Alanis Torres

Room Rental Ad

Parking Lot Ad

Programs and Services:

Basic Healthcare Enrollment
Bebes! Infant Mortality Prevention
Café con El Centro
César Chávez Demonstration Garden
College Readiness
COMCAST Digital Connectors
Community Meeting Space
Community Service
Crisis Advocacy
Cultural / Political / Social Events
Economic Development
ECR Transitional Housing
El Patio Apartments
Employment Assistance
ESL Classes / Spanish Classes
Financial Empowerment
Food Bank
Foreclosure Counseling
Growing & Learning Together
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
Smoking Cessation
Tax Prep Site
Transit Oriented Parking
Veteran’s Services
Youth Case Management & Cultural
Youth Employment
Youth Technology Training

Youth Violence Prevention

GoodShop Ad

Bartells Ad

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

Contact Us | 2524 16th Avenue South - Seattle, WA 98144 | 206-957-4652 | |

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