El Centro de la Raza - October eNews
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October 15, 2014

Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

Gracias for honoring us with your love and support at our Building the Beloved Community Gala on Saturday, September 27, 2014. We had 844 guests and 106 volunteers in attendance for a silent and live auction, dinner, and award presentations to celebrate 42 years of working to build the “Beloved Community”. Due to your generosity, our event raised over $345,000 in funds to support our 44 programs and services. That is $67,000 more than last year! Your dedication has shown us what is possible when we come together to support our community!

Susan Maisel enjoying the photo sessions at the Gala. 
Susan and Blitz 2Congratulations again to our Roberto Maestas Legacy Award winners, Lisa Daugaard, Diane Narasaki, and Daniel Kogita, and our Scholarship winners, George Dick, Marjory Herrera, Rebecca Salazar, and Karen Sinay Barragan Urtiz. The legacy of Roberto Maestas is continued through all of you!

Mil gracias to all of our sponsors for making this event possible, and to our top sponsors Clear Channel Outdoor, Clear Channel, Chase, Comcast, and Muckleshoot for generously supporting us. Muchísimas gracias to Kip Toner, our auctioneer, Louis Mendoza, our MC, Reverend Angela Ying, our invocation speaker, Fé Lopez, our announcer, Justice Mary Yu and Brian Cedeño, our speakers, and the volunteers who helped make our celebration a sucessful evening. 

I still want to urge all eligible voters to register to vote and get to the polls this November to make sure our voices are heard. You must register to vote in person before October 27th! Don’t forget to register before the deadline is up. Ballots and pamphlets will be delivered next week. Click here for more information.

I also want to give you an update on the Plaza Roberto Maestas Capital Campaign. El Centro de la Raza will break ground on Plaza Roberto Maestas in March of 2015. Our goal is to raise $1.5 million in pledges by the end of this year, on our way to reaching the complete fundraising goal of $3.5 million. Thanks to a generous $500,000 gift from a local foundation, we have currently raised $1.45 million! Mil gracias to this foundation and all who have supported us by donating to help build Plaza Roberto Maestas. Although we are close to our goal, we cannot reach it without your help

Estela Ortega
Executive Director

P.S. - Don't forget to "like" us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter.

To make a donation to Plaza Roberto Maestas and help make the vision a reality, contact Stephen Deal, Capital Development Director, at (206) 957-4607 or stephendeal@elcentrodelaraza.org.

El Centro de la Raza News/Noticias

10th Annual Día de los Muertos Celebration!

DDM Field Trip Invite Collage 2014

El Centro de la Raza will hold its 10th annual Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) event on Saturday, November 1st from 5pm to 9pm. D
ía de los Muertos is a time for remembering and rejoicing in the lives of those who have passed. Come celebrate with us at our ofrenda exhibit opening and dinner. Dinner will be served from 5:30pm to 7pm. This year we call attention to the humanitarian crisis of the refugee children of Central America, the children who have died from violence in their countries, and the moral obligation of the U.S. to respond humanely to this catastrophe. We would like to invite you to come celebrate with us! Please contact cultura@elcentrodelaraza.org with questions. FREE admission, dinner, and parking. 

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  La Bruja Lesley Rialto                                      Duo Finelli

We would like to highlight some of the performers who will be at the Día de los Muertos event. Lesley Rialto La Bruja, who performed last year, is a Seattle based theatrical dancer expected to have a stunning performance again this year. She will inspire and blow you away with her artistic storytelling dances and beautiful costumingDuo Finelli, who also performed last year, is made up of two vaudevillians performing a comedy and circus act. You do not want to miss out on their hilarious show. These two women perform slapstick, music, and dance, drawing inspiration from the European Circus as well as American Vaudeville. We look forward to seeing you at the event!

Estela Honored with the Civil Rights Champion Award and Community Leadership Award 

Estela recieving her award from Patricia Lally, Director of Seattle Office for Civil Rights, and Seattle City Councilwoman Jean Godden. 

On Wednesday, September 24th, in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, the Seattle Women’s Commission and the Seattle Office of Civil Rights presented the Civil Rights Champion Award. The award honors outstanding women in our community who are advancing civil rights and eliminating barriers to equity. We are proud to announce that El Centro de la Raza Executive Director, Estela Ortega was one of two recipients of the Civil Rights Champion Award.

Estela was also awarded the Crystal Eagle Leadership Award in the area of Community Leadership by Tabor 100. Tabor 100, an organization dedicated to economic empowerment, held their Fifteenth Annual Captains of Industry Gala on Saturday, October 4th, to honor outstanding leaders in the Seattle area. 

Estela accepted both of these awards in the name of El Centro de la Raza collectively. This includes our board of directors, staff, volunteers, and all who participate in our programs. Estela sees these awards as a recognition of El Centro de la Raza’s continuous work in building Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Beloved Community” free of poverty, racism, and violence. Mil gracias to all who are involved at El Centro de la Raza, for your commitment to building a powerful and supportive community.

Congratulations to all recipients of the Civil Rights Champion Awards and Crystal Eagle Leadership Awards. View this press release and this webpage for more information about the awards.

Regístrese Ahora / Register Now

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 this link to view fees for specific classes. Upcoming cooking classes:

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


Seattle Park District Oversight Committee, Searching for Applicants

The Seattle City Council is seeking candidates to serve on the Seattle Park District Oversight Committee. The committee works directly with the Mayor, City Council, and Superintendent of Parks to guide policy, programs, and services in our public spaces. One person from each Seattle District will be chosen from the pool of diverse applicants. They are looking for applicants who use and are familiar with parks and community centers as well as people with professional experience with public parks keeping in mind the interests of low-income communities and/or communities of color.

If you would like to apply, submit a letter of interest and resume to Councilmember Jean Godden (jean.godden@seattle.gov) by October 20. For more information read the Seattle City Council press release


Spanish Speaking Volunteers Needed for El Centro de la Raza’s Free Tax Prep Site!

Tax VolunteersLooking to make an impact in your community? We have the volunteering opportunity for you!
For the past 7 years, El Centro de la Raza has partnered with United Way of King County to offer free tax preparation services through the Free Tax Campaign. Last year, El Centro and nearly 20 other tax preparation sites around King County were able to prepare 17,500 tax returns and bring $24 million back to the community in the form of tax refunds and earned income tax credit (EITC). Today, United Tax Volunteers 2Way’s Free Tax Campaign has become one of Washington’s largest anti-poverty campaigns.
United Way is looking to recruit and train over 1,000 caring volunteers in order to serve 20,000 clients this year. Bi-lingual volunteers make an incredible difference by helping Tax Volunteers 3populations who don’t speak English make sense of the often confusing tax system and helping to get them all the credits they’re eligible for.
Two volunteering options are available:

1. Volunteer Intake and Benefits Specialists (VIBS) – VIBS help clients get paperwork in order and connect them to other financial services they may qualify for.
2. Volunteer Tax Preparers – All of our Tax Preparers are IRS certified to help clients complete their tax returns and ensure they get the credits they’re eligible.

What kind of impact can you make?
By choosing our free services over a paid tax preparer, clients save on average $288. With an average tax refund of $1,700, that’s nearly $2,000 dollars back to the people who need it most.
To learn more and get involved, visit uwkc.org/taxvolunteer.



#GivingTuesday is a day to celebrate generosity and dedication to your community. As integral members of our community, participants here at El Centro de la Raza need your help! On December 2nd, give back to your community by donating here! Your donation puts food in the food bank, helps a family secure sustainable housing and employment, and empowers youth to attend college! Mil gracias for all of your support. 

NEW - Health Coverage Enrollment Program at El Centro de la Raza

Need help registering for health coverage? El Centro de la Raza has a new Health Coverage Enrollment Program! This program will be assisting people already enrolled in health care plans by guiding them through the state regulated website. We will also be re-directing people who are not eligible for state assisted health coverage to appropriate free clinics and community health centers in Washington State. There are new eligibility requirements for Washington Apple Health so more people are now eligible, including undocumented children and pregnant women! Stop by for information about your rights under the Affordable Care Act. If you need help registering for health coverage, sign-up for a personal one-on-one meeting with the enrollment navigator located in the Frances Martinez Community Services Center Rm 213. For more information, contact the Enrollment Navigator, Ramiro Reyes by email or at (206) 957-4625. 

Foster Parents Needed in our Friends of Youth Program

The current border crisis involving so many children from Mexico and Central America has many local adults asking the question: “How can I help?”

For almost six years, Friends of Youth, located at El Centro de la Raza, has licensed caring parents to take in undocumented and unaccompanied young people. The children have already been screened for health, behavior and education needs. These children do not have a relative to sponsor them and need a home to stay in while they progress through immigration court. They will be assigned a local attorney to represent them in court.

We have several foster homes already and have cared for many children. Some of the children have stories of being trafficked and many talk about the trauma they experienced in their home country and along their journey here. 

As a foster parent, you do not interact with the federal government or with the courts. Your responsibility is the same as any parent – to help your child thrive in family, in school, in social groups, and learn the necessary living skills to be ready for life as an adult. We have bi-lingual staff to support you.

The primary requirement for foster parents of our Unaccompanied Youth is the ability to become licensed as a foster parent with Friends of Youth. Please visit our website for more information about licensing your home. We will help you with the necessary training and support as you complete the steps to get a foster parent license. If you have any interest in ways to help, please contact Paul Tan or Karla Sanchez in our El Centro Office, Room 205. Our phone number is (206) 859-6290 ext. 221 (Paul), ext. 222 (Karla).

State Financial Aid for DREAMers, Apply NOW!

Beginning with the 2014-2015 academic year, a new state law will expand eligibility for the Washington State Need Grant to non-citizens who meet the program's income and eligibility requirements in addition to all three residency criteria listed below.
  • Have graduated from a Washington high school or obtained a GED.
  • Have lived in Washington for three years prior to earning the high school diploma or equivalent and continuously since.
  • Sign an affidavit to file an application to become a resident of the United States when eligible to apply.
The free web-based WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) allows non-citizens to apply for student financial aid in Washington State. Many colleges also require additional applications with separate deadlines, so make sure to check with your college for specific dates! Click here to access the WASFA application, and click here for detailed instructions that will guide you through the application.

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.

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, Health Coverage, and Financial Education classes, click here or call (206) 957-4652.

Save the Date - Community Events

“Why are Central American Kids Fleeing? A Beloved Response” Program by Professor Dana Frank
University Unitarian is hosting a program on Tuesday, October 21 at 6:15pm at University Unitarian Church featuring Professor Dana Frank, Central America Historian, University of California, Santa Cruz. The intention of this event is to engage community members in a conversation around the rights and well-being of immigrant families and child migrants. Cariño Barragán Talancón of Casa Latina, Jorge Barón of Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and Roberta Ray of University Unitarian Church will offer commentary about their local work. For more information contact: Kay Hubbard, kathubbard@gmail.com.

Latino Film Festival!
The Tenth Annual Hispanic Film Festival at University of Puget Sound will run from Wednesday, October 22nd until Wednesday, November 19th in Rausch Auditorium, Room 003, McIntyre Hall at University of Puget Sound. Each of the five outstanding foreign films which are free and open to the public will be at 6:30pm on consecutive Wednesdays. The festival focuses on familiarizing audiences with Hispanic and Latino cultures and filmmaking. Here is the list of featured films:
Oct. 22:  Con la pata quebrada (Barefoot in the Kitchen)
Oct. 29:  La Yuma
Nov. 5:  7 Cajas (Seven Boxes)
Nov. 12:  A Busca (Father’s Chair)
Nov. 19:  Chico & Rita
For more information and film descriptions, check out their website.


Seattle/King County Clinic with Remote Area Medical

From October 23 to October 26, there will be a free health clinic in Key Arena at Seattle Center. This volunteer-driven clinic will provide dental, vision, and medical care to anyone in the region who needs it. The purpose of this clinic is to specifically serve the underserved and vulnerable populations. There are no qualifications necessary. Visit their website for more information.  

Open House for PhD Program in Social Welfare

The PhD program in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington is holding an Open House on Thursday, October 30th from 5:00pm to 6:30pm at the School of Social Work, 4101 15th Avenue NE, Room #305. Appetizers and refreshments will be provided at the event. Current students will give an overview of the program and answer questions about their personal experiences and research projects. If you have any questions, please contact Maria at mariah3@uw.edu or vist their website.  

Our Community-Nuestra Comunidad

Task Force to create a Youth Action Plan!

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El Centro de la Raza is part of the King County Youth Action Plan Task Force to develop a plan that recomments to the King County Council a set of priorities in serving infants through young adulthood. You are invited to come learn about the Youth Action Planning process and share your perspective at one of the community discussions!

You can also help by encouraging young people between the ages 12-24 to fill out the survey. The results will be used by a Task Force to create the Youth Action Plan, which will be presented to the King County Council and Executive Dow Constantine.

The King County Youth Survey will be open from September 17-October 31. The purpose of this survey is to understand the ways young people want to be engaged in local government, as well as identify the most pressing issues they face.

King County Public Health to Close Many Necessary Services
Due to drastic budget cuts, King County Public Health is facing massive deficits. Therefore, this November, King County will decide whether or not to cut many vital public health services. The programs at risk include: family planning, maternity support, primary care, and many others. These cuts will increase health disparities along race lines and increase rates of disease across King County. There is currently a petition to stop these cuts from taking place. They have 131 signatures so far but they have a goal of 200. You can help by contacting your county council member (council@kingcounty.gov) and asking them to sign the petition to save our public health. Contact Communities 4 Public Health for more information and click here to view the petition.   

Change in UW School of Medicine DACA Policy

Starting with the 2014-2015 academic year the UW School of Medicine is considering applications from qualified students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. This change in admission policy is a step towards increasing diversity in medical students in order to train future doctors with an understanding of cultural factors that affect health care. UW School of Medicine went through a consideration process in which they determined that there are no significant barriers preventing graduates with DACA status from obtaining licensure to practice medicine in the State of Washington. Through this change, UW School of Medicine is not only taking a step towards increasing diversity, but also meeting the needs of our region by recognizing the importance of service to underserved populations. If you would like to know more or have any questions about the application process for DACA students, please contact Kim Blakeley at (206)-685-1323 or krb13@uw.edu

Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands - Seeking Artists!

The partners at Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands are searching for an artist to build wetland markers and an entrance gate for the location. They are looking for desgins that connect the community and the farm as well as provide beautiful artistry. If you are interested, you will need to submit a proposal detailing your project. In the proposal you must communicate how the projects fulfill the functional requirements and artistic requirements. The timeline for the building of the art will be between December 2014 and March 2015 and the budget is between $16,000 and $24,000. Make sure to submit your proposal here as soon as possible. For more details about the projects and proposals view their website and for information about the farm click here

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:

Building the Beloved Community Gala a Success

ía de los Muertos!

Plaza Roberto Maestas Update

Civil Rights Champion Award and Community Leadership Award

NEW- Health Coverage Enrollment Program

Friends of Youth Program-Foster Parents Needed

Spanish Classes Ad Ashley

Tamale Class Ad 2

Events Calendar:

October 18: Tamale Class
October 25: Vegetarian Tamale Class
November 8: Pozole Class

Mil Gracias Funders:

National Alliance for Hispanic Health 

$29,000 for Smoking Cessation

United Way of King County
Extended Employment Program funding another 6 months  

Building the Beloved Community Gala Sponsors:

Clear Channel Outdoor

Clear Channel

Chase Bank
Muckleshoot Indian Tribe

Bank of America
Ben Bridge Jewler
HomeStreet Bank

Catholic Community Services
Heritage Bank
Molina Healthcare
Seattle City Light
Walsh Construction
Washington Education Association

Kantor Taylor
Plaza Bank
PNW Carpenters
Puget Sound Energy
Seattle Education Association
Seattle Children's Hospital
Seattle Seahawks
SEIU Local 6
SMR Architects
Sprague Israel Giles
Union Bank
United Healthcare
United Way
Washington Dental Service Foundation
Washington Federal
Watson McDonnell
Washington Community Reinvestment Association

Cafe Ad 2


News Roundup:

Housing vouchers for homeless veterans in Seattle

The story of immigration advocate Giancarlo Tello 
Students help immigrant children
Encouraging Latinos Not to Vote is Irresponsible

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

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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