Felicidades Seahawks! February eNewsletter
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February 6, 2014
Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

If you caught the State of the Union Address last week, you heard President Barack Obama stress the importance of taking action on comprehensive immigration reform. Fixing the broken immigration system is not only an issue of morality and basic human rights, but Obama also pointed out that rewriting immigration laws will help boost our economy, stating that "When people come here to fulfill their dreams -- to study, invent, contribute to our culture -- they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everybody."

El Centro de la Raza is very excited to announce that the Washington State Senate has passed a new version of the Washington DREAM Act last week, and we are now awaiting the vote of the State House. This is great news, as the Senate had previously blocked the bill after it had passed the State House on the first day of the 2014 legislative session. Governor Jay Inslee has already stated that he is in favor of the bill and the House has already voted to pass this bill in the past, so it is safe to say we are on the brink of a huge victory! If passed, the DREAM Act will extend state financial aid to students without legal status who have lived in the United States for at least three years and graduated from a Washington State high school. Although there is still much work to be done to ensure that immigrants are treated fairly and affored the opportunities they deserve, the DREAM Act would be a significant step for children of immigrants pursuing higher education.
Lastly (but definitely not least), as I'm sure you all know... WE ARE SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS! The Seahawks absolutely CRUSHED the Denver Broncos on Sunday to become NFL Champions for the first time ever! Our beloved Roberto Maestas was a huge Seahawks fan, and we know he would be proud of our Seahawks spirit as we gathered on Blue Friday before the big game to take the picture below. GO HAWKS!!



Estela Ortega
Executive Director

Cañedo Family Finds Hope Through Creciendo y Aprendiendo Juntos

Growing and Learning Together (Creciendo y Aprendiendo Juntos) is a support program for families with children age six and younger who are not enrolled in a child development center. Through the program, families learn how to get involved in their child’s development and education. The program offers individualized support and two home visits during the program year, as well as access to other resources and basic necessities such as diapers, formula, clothing, and car seats.

The Cañedos are a family of three living in a low-income apartment complex in Seattle. Paula and Jorge are raising their first child, Cristina, and their current economic situation makes this very difficult. As Paula cares for Cristina full-time, Jorge is the only source of income for the Cañedo family and has recently been laid off from one of his two jobs. This makes it very hard for the family to pay the bills and keep a roof over their heads, and was the initial reason Paula came to El Centro de la Raza in search of support.
Paula decided to enroll in the Growing and Learning Together Program to learn more about her daughter's development and how to provide a safe and positive home environment for Cristina despite her current hardships. Having learned about the importance of communication through Growing and Learning Together, Paula shared her family’s situation with Parent Involvement Educator Irma Mendoza, hoping Irma might be able to assist her. Thanks to El Centro de la Raza’s vast range of resources, Irma was able to work with WestSide Baby to provide the Cañedo family with essential child care items that are often costly, such as baby formula and diapers. This alleviated some of the financial stress the family was dealing with, and allowed them to pay for rent and utilities.
For the Cañedo family, El Centro de la Raza is not just a place to learn about child development or to receive temporary assistance, it has become a place where they are welcomed like family and invited to live out their culture. Jorge and Paula are still dealing with economic hardships as Jorge continues his search for another job, but the support they have at El Centro de la Raza brings them hope. The Cañedo family often find themselves at El Centro de la Raza for family oriented cultural events, and other programs and services like COMADRES workshops, and employment assistance.
To make a contribution to El Centro de la Raza and help families like the Cañedo family, click here or call (206) 957-4652.
El Centro de la Raza News/Noticias

Santos Rodriguez Memorial Park Now Open!

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Children from JMCDC's El Sol class in Santos Rodriguez Memorial Park.

El Centro de la Raza is excited to announce that after four months of renovation, our Santos Rodriguez Memorial Park is now open to the public! The park, located in front of our west entrance, features a brand new playground, picnic benches, a grass lawn, a greenhouse, and our César Chávez Demonstration Garden.
Santos Rodriguez Memorial Park is named in honor of Santos Rodriguez, a 12-year-old boy from Dallas, Texas whose tragic death is a reminder that our fight for racial equality is far from over. Santos was killed in 1973 by a police officer who had arrested Santos and his 13-year-old brother David for suspecting them of robbing $8.00 from a soda machine. Officer Darrell Cain played Russian roulette with Santos to force him to confess. When Santos stated his innocence, Cain pulled the trigger and Santos died instantly, with his brother watching.
Cain was sentenced to 5 years in prison for this heinous crime, of which he only served 2 ½. El Centro de la Raza named our children’s park Santos Rodriguez not only in memory of this young victim of racism, but in resistance to the society that caused his death and in confidence that we will end racism. The story of Santos Rodriguez reminds us all of the importance to respect, love, care for, and protect all of the children of the world.
The Santos Rodriguez Memorial Park was funded generously by 2008 Seattle Parks & Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund, King County Parks, Neighborhood Matching Fund Award of the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, and the United Way of King County.

Click here for park hours and other park information. Click here for a more detailed story of Santos Rodriguez's death.

Homeownership Participants Featured in WSCAP Video

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Screen shot from WSCAP's "Helping People, Changing Lives."

Kat & David Chavis are a couple from Puyallup who sought help from El Centro de la Raza's Homeownership Center with the hopes of avoiding losing their home and much more. After months of tireless work and the assistance of the Homeownership Center, Kat & David are back on their feet and thriving in their home. They were so moved by the dedication of the El Centro de la Raza staff, and the welcoming they felt in our community that they shared their story with the Washington State Community Action Partnership (WSCAP) who decided to feature them in a short video. The video was debuted on Tuesday, February 4th at the WSCAP Legislative Reception in Olympia, Washington. Click here to watch "Helping People, Changing Lives," or click the image above. Mil gracias to Kat & David for shaing your story, and to the Homeownership Center for your great work!

U.S. Representative Adam Smith Visits MLK Day Food Drive

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MLK Day Food Drive volunteers with U.S. Congressman Adam Smith (center).

On January 20th, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, El Centro de la Raza (ECDLR) held food drives at area grocery stores to benefit the more than 350 families who come weekly to our Food Bank. Since the alarming cuts to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) took effect on November 1, 2013, our food bank has already seen an increased number of people coming through. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, more than 47 million Americans, including 22 million children, receive food assistance under SNAP and have seen their benefits cut.

El Centro de la Raza staff members Alexia Klatt, Kayla Peterson, and Claudia Cortez were joined by volunteers from Seattle University's Social Justice League. The Social Justice League is comprised of SU law students and is led by Yessenia Medrano, former volunteer program assistant at El Centro de la Raza. The food drives, held at Hilltop Red Apple and Rainier Ave QFC, brought in $309 in cash donations and over 1,100 pounds of donated food items. These generous contributions will go directly towards funding and stocking our food bank, with the hopes of alleviating some of the burdens imposed on families by SNAP cuts.
To make a contribution to El Centro de la Raza and ensure that the food bank has food, click here or call (206) 957-4652.

New Affordable Housing Center in the Works
Estela Hirabayashi Groundbreaking (cropped2)

Executive Director Estela Ortega breaks ground with her granddaughter, Lucia, alongside Washington State Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos (far right).

On Saturday, January 25th in partnership with El Centro de la Raza, Interim Community Development Association broke ground on their latest project; Hirabayashi Place. Hirabayashi Place, which is projected to be completed by early 2015, is a transit-oriented affordable housing development located in the International District's Japantown, and will be home to ECDLR's newest José Martí Child Development Center expansion. With a mix of affordable housing and commercial/retail space, Hirabayashi Place will provide 96 affordable apartments, 6,500 square feet of commercial space, and of course a child development center operated by El Centro de la Raza. El Centro de la Raza's Executive Director Estela Ortega was honored to be part of the groundbreaking ceremony.

Hirabayashi Place is named after Gordon Hirabayashi, a sociologist known for his resistance of Japanese American Internment as a student at the University of Washington during WWII. To learn more about Interim CDA, Hirabayashi Place and other projects, visit their website here.

Save the Date for Latino Legislative Day!

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El Centro de la Raza youth with Governor Jay Inslee (center) at Latino Legislative Day 2013.

Every year the El Centro de la Raza community comes together to participate in Latino Legislative Day, a day at the State Capitol in Olympia to meet with legislators, participate in informational seminars, and discuss plans to tackle issues that are important and relevant to the Latino community. The event is organized by the Latino Civic Alliance, and will take place on Monday, February 10th. Click here to register to participate in this year's Latino Legislative Day. This year, El Centro de la Raza's trip to the capitol will include a visit to the Nisqually Tribal Center for a tour and history of the Nisqually and their Fishing Rights struggle. For more information contact Alex Bautista at (206) 957-4620 or abautista@elcentrodelaraza.org.

Learn to Make Vegetarian Tamales this Year!



Due to the success of our tamale classes and the generosity of our volunteers, we are able to respond to the requests to hold vegetarian tamale classes! Now is your chance to learn how to make vegetarian tamales from a master tamalera!
  • Our next Vegetarian Tamale Class will be held on Saturday, March 29th from 10 AM - 12:30 PM. Check back quarterly for future Vegetarian Tamale Class dates.

  • Class fee: $75 per person per class - includes recipe and one dozen uncooked tamales.

  • Class fees go to support our Senior Nutrition & Wellness Program that provides balanced daily congregate meals, daily social and educational activities, and exercise classes three times a week.

For more information or to sign up, click here or call/e-mail development@elcentrodelaraza.org or (206) 957-4611.


Free Tax Prep at El Centro de la Raza

United Way of King County offers free tax preparation at 19 locations in King County with sites opening on Tuesday, January 14. This year, El Centro de la Raza is one of the sites!  Additionally, a King County Assistor will be on site on Thursday, March 20th during Tax Prep hours to help enroll people in healthcare and basic food benefits. More information about Tax Prep is below.
For site locations, hours of operation, maps and more information visit uwkc.org/taxhelp or call 2-1-1. Anyone making under $58,000 annually can also file online by visiting www.myfreetaxes.com/kingcounty.

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 again in 2014. We are excited to be hosting these bilingual clinics here at El Centro de la Raza! More information can be found below, English information can be found here.

FINAL 2014 SGB Free Legal Clinic Spanish

Join Us for Homebuyer Education Workshops

Starting in February, El Centro de la Raza's Homeownership Center will be holding a series of Homebuyer Education Workshops. These classes will give you an overview of the homebuying process and will be led by fully bilingual volunteers and staff. Information in Spanish is below, the English flyer can be found here.Homebuyer Workshop Sched 2014_Page_2 (cropped) 2
To make a contribution to El Centro de la Raza and help us continue programs like Homebuyer Education, click here or call (206) 957-4652.


Office Space for Lease in El Centro de la Raza
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Pictured Above: View from office window.
El Centro de la Raza has a 1,055 square foot office space available. The space was redesigned by the previous tenant to create a small opening reception office space, a huge back office, and a small storage/office space. The space is located in the historic Beacon Hill School building that was built in 1905. The space itself has been updated, but for the most part the building and space has maintained much of its historic look. We are located in the heart of North Beacon Hill across from the Beacon Hill Light Rail Station and the organization has become a hub of the Latino Community with its 40+ service programs that it provides to the community. Please come visit us or contact our Facilities Manager, Elisa Miranda, if you are interested in this space. She can be reached by phone (206) 957-4603 or email: facilities@elcentrodelaraza.org.
Our Community-Nuestra Comunidad

An Evening With Justice Sotomayor
As the first Latina and only the third woman to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor's story is truly inspirational. On Monday, March 10th Justice Sotomayor will be here in Seattle, at Town Hall to share her new book, "My Beloved World," and talk about her journey to becoming a Supreme Court Justice. Unfortunately due to the popularity of the event, it is currently sold out, but more information about the event can be found here. We suggest checking the event website regularly, as circumstances may change and spots may become available. Click here for more detailed information about Sonia Sotomayor and her life.


Get Your Small Business Certified This Year

The Washington State Office of Minority and Women's Business Enterprises (OMWBE), is launching a traveling road show throughout the state to help your small business get state and federally certified! The Get Certified Campaign's main goal is to educate small businesses around the state about the benefits of getting certified, and to help and encourage them to start the process. If you are a small business owner or hope to be a small business owner, don't miss this opportunity to learn straight from the state officials who certify your business. Click here to see a list of sites and dates around the state, and to register for an event near you. Click here to visit the Get Certified Campaign's web page for more information.

Community Action Year 2014!

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a War on Poverty and signed the Economic Opportunity Act which created Community Action Agencies and other programs to fight poverty. 50 years later, we are still working hard to fight poverty, and Governor Jay Inslee has declared 2014 Community Action Year in honor of the struggle for economic equity. The Washington State Community Action Partnership (WSCAP) has launched a 2014 campaing called "Community Taking Action," a movement to honor Washington State's progress towards alleviating poverty. As a Community Action Agency, El Centro de la Raza is looking forward to working with you - our comunity, nuestra comunidad - to spread awareness about issues of economic and social justice. Click here to read more about the Community Taking Action movement and how you can get involved.
Mil Gracias February Funders:

King County Community and Human Services
$700 for Metro Bus Tickets

JP Morgan Chase
$100,000 for Plaza Roberto Maestas
Events Calendar:

Feb 6: Café Con El Centro
Feb 10: Latino Legislative Day
Feb 22: Tamale Class

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News Roundup:

Washington State Senate passes Dream Act
New report shows opportunity gap starts as early as Kindergarten

Watch Obama's State of the Union Address
First undocumented immigrant sworn in as lawyer in California

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
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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

Social Media Links:


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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 | Phone: 206-957-4652 | donor@elcentrodelaraza.org | www.elcentrodelaraza.org

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