Jessica and Javier’s Stories

In May, our Benefits Enrollment Navigators provided $14,000 in rental assistance and $2,000 in grocery gift cards. We also shared community resources to assist families with rent and utilities. Many participants were not eligible to receive unemployment benefits, so our Navigators contacted them weekly to help them fill out their claims. We helped participants claim benefits totaling between $30,000 and $40,000. This work was made possible by our generous funders. Click to read about Jessica and Javier’s stories.

Many participants struggled to receive their unemployment benefits, two of whom are Jessica and Javier (names are withheld). Some barriers they experienced included not meeting the hour requirement to qualify for benefits, having to provide proof of their identities, or missing responses on their applications.

Our Navigators assisted both Jessica and Javier in their preferred languages. We explained their unique situation and walked them through their separate applications. Within two weeks, their applications were processed successfully. One received about $4,000 and the other individual received $5,000 in back pay of unemployment benefits. They were both very appreciative of the help and support that was provided. They were relieved and had peace of mind that they had enough to pay their rent and bills.

Census Operational Adjustments

To keep our communities safe, organizations and businesses everywhere are making operational changes by either canceling events or switching to virtual platforms. In order to protect the safety of the public and Census Bureau employees, please note the following changes:

  • The new dates for following up with households that have not responded to the Census are from August 11 – October 31. During the nonresponse follow-ups, Census takers will interview households in-person that have not responded to the Census yet. For many reasons, some people are hesitant to have strangers knocking at their doors, including wanting to continue social distancing due to COVID-19 or the connotations of federal officials knocking at their doors, mainly experienced by immigrant families. If you do not wish an enumerator to visit your home in person, it is especially important to fill out the Census ahead of time before August.
  • Counting people experiencing homelessness outdoors is from September 22 – September 24. For individuals who are experiencing homelessness, September 22, 23, and 24 are key dates. It is vital that we get an accurate account of people living under bridges, parks, in all-night businesses, emergency shelters, cars, or tent cities. The Census data helps allocate billions of dollars in federal funding for services such as shelters, soup kitchens, and programs that assist with housing and transitioning from homelessness.

We must let our loved ones who have not filled out the Census yet know about these critical changes. The next ten years of our communities’ resources depend on having an accurate count this year. It is essential that everyone is counted, regardless of race, citizenship status, or housing situation. If you have any questions about filling out the Census or who should be counted in your household, call Dulce Gutierrez Vasquez at 206-957-4605 for assistance.

Ajustes Operativos del Censo

Para mantener nuestras comunidades seguras, las organizaciones y las empresas de todo el mundo están haciendo cambios operativos como cancelando eventos o cambiando a plataformas virtuales. Para proteger la seguridad del público y de los empleados de la Oficina del Censo, tenga en cuenta los siguientes cambios:

  • Las nuevas fechas para el seguimiento de los hogares que no han respondido al Censo son del 11 de agosto al 31 de octubre. Durante los seguimientos sin respuesta, los encuestadores del Censo entrevistarán, en persona, a los hogares que aún no han respondido al Censo. Por muchas razones, algunas personas se pondrían nerviosos que estos extraños lleguen a tocar a sus puertas, incluido el deseo de continuar el distanciamiento social debido a COVID-19 o las connotaciones de oficiales federales que tocan a sus puertas, principalmente experimentados por familias inmigrantes. Si no desea que un enumerador visite su hogar en persona, es especialmente importante completar el censo antes de agosto.
  • El conteo de personas sin hogar o sin acceso a refugios es del 22 al 24 de septiembre. Para las personas que están sin hogar, el 22, 23 y 24 de septiembre son fechas clave. Es vital que obtengamos una cuenta precisa de las personas que viven debajo de puentes, parques, en negocios nocturnos, refugios de emergencia, automóviles o ciudades de carpas. Los datos del censo ayudan a asignar miles de millones de dólares en fondos federales para servicios como refugios, comedores o despensas comunitarias y programas que ayudan con la vivienda y la transición de la falta de vivienda.

Debemos informar a nuestros seres queridos que aún no han completado el Censo sobre estos cambios críticos. Los próximos diez años de recursos de nuestras comunidades dependen de tener un conteo exacto este año. Es esencial contar a todos, independientemente de la raza, el estado de ciudadanía o la situación de la vivienda. Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre cómo completar el censo o quién debe contarse en su hogar, llame a Dulce Gutiérrez Vásquez al 206-957-4605 para obtener ayuda.

Help your Community Recover from COVID-19

In the span of a few months, COVID-19 has devastated our communities. We have seen record-breaking numbers of people applying for unemployment. Every day new stories are circulating about how individuals and families are struggling to pay bills, rent, or even groceries to feed their children. Our society, particularly communities of color, will be feeling the effects of COVID-19 for years to come.

One of the most effective actions you can take right now is to invest in the future of your community: completing the Census. Filling out the questionnaire is quick and easy; it takes fewer than 10 minutes. By completing the Census now, you are helping to ensure your community has access to resources, such as:

  • Invaluable assistance programs like Medicaid, SNAP, and WIC.
  • Adequately-funded schools where there are enough teachers hired to give each student the attention they need.
  • Adequately-funded research centers that conduct life-saving studies. 
  • Expansion of public transit services to communities that need a reliable mode of transportation to commute to work, school, grocery stores, libraries, and more.
  • Community-based organizations, like El Centro de la Raza, can continue to provide culture-specific services and other resources to the most vulnerable of our community.

Like COVID-19, the effects of the 2020 Census will reverberate throughout every community for the next decade, which means accuracy is critical. By filling out 9 short questions, you are investing in the future of your community. Please fill it out today by either visiting https://my2020census.gov/ or calling 1-844-330-2020 (English) or 1-844-468-2020 (Spanish). Assistance in 12 other languages is available.

¡Ayuda a tu comunidad a recuperarse del COVID-19!

En el lapso de unos pocos meses, COVID-19 ha devastado nuestras comunidades. Hemos visto un número sin precedentes de personas que solicitan desempleo. Todos los días circulan nuevas historias sobre cómo las personas y las familias luchan para pagar facturas, renta, o comida para alimentar a sus hijos. Nuestra sociedad, particularmente las comunidades de color, sentirán los efectos de COVID-19 en los años venideros.

Una de las acciones más efectivas que pueden tomar en este momento es invertir en el futuro de su comunidad: completar el Censo. Completar el cuestionario es rápido y fácil; Toma menos de 10 minutos. Al completar el Censo ahora, está ayudando a garantizar que su comunidad tenga acceso a recursos, tales como:

  • Programas de asistencia invaluables como Medicaid, SNAP y WIC.
  • Escuelas, como el Centro de Desarrollo Infantil José Martí, donde hay suficientes maestros contratados para brindar a cada estudiante la atención que necesitan.
  • Los centros de investigación reciben fondos adecuados para hacer estudios que salvan vidas.
  • Expansión de los servicios de transporte público a las comunidades que necesitan un medio de transporte confiable para ir al trabajo, la escuela, los supermercados, las bibliotecas y más.
  • Las organizaciones comunitarias, como El Centro de la Raza, pueden continuar brindando servicios específicos de la cultura y otros recursos a los más vulnerables de nuestra comunidad.

Al igual que COVID-19, los efectos del Censo 2020 reverberarán en todas las comunidades durante la próxima década, lo que significa que la precisión es crítica. Al completar 12 preguntas cortas, está invirtiendo en el futuro de su comunidad. Llénelo hoy visitando https://my2020census.gov/ o llamando al 1-844-330-2020 (inglés) o al 1-844-468-2020 (español). Asistencia en otros 12 idiomas está disponible.

Say Their Names

John T. Williams 8/30/2010
Eric Blaine Evans 10/23/2011
Mike Kwan-Yu Chen 09/10/2012
Henry Frankie Lee, Sr. 09/23/2012
James David Anderson 01/27/2013
Jack Sun Keewatinawin 02/26/2013
Joel Douglas Reuter 07/05/2013
Martin Anwar Duckworth 08/12/2013
Leonid G. Kalyuzhnyy 11/29/2013
Andrew Joseph Law 01/20/2014
Cody Willis Spafford 04/03/2014
Oscar Eduardo Perez-Giron 06/30/2014
Austin James Derby 07/01/2014
Larry Andrew Flynn 07/20/2014
Stephen Porter Johnston 08/30/2014
Sam Toshiro Smith 07/17/2015
Shun Ma 12/03/2015
Raymond Azevedo 12/06/2015
Che Andre Taylor 02/21/2016
Michael L. Taylor 10/11/2016
Damarius Butts 04/20/2017
Charleena Lyles 06/18/2017
Kyle Gray 12/11/2017
Jason Seavers 02/19/2018
Iosia Faletogo 12/31/2018
Danny Rodriguez 02/07/2019
Ryan Smith 05/08/2019
Elliott Yearby 12/16/2019 (died in a crash after police pursuit)
Shaun Fuhr on 4/29/2020
Unnamed 05/19/2020

These names are of local victims who have died at the hands of the Seattle Police Department (SPD). These individuals did not make national headlines. Not only must we remember them, but also realize this list is indicative that the City of Seattle faces challenges similar to that of other cities where Black Americans’ lives are ended too soon because of racist violence and brutality. Say their names.

Since 2012, SPD has been under a federal agreement, also known as the federal Consent Decree, due to officers’ use of force and discriminatory policing particularly in communities of color. Under this settlement, SPD agreed to terms that addressed specific issues around police discipline, accountability, force, and community oversight. The City fell out of compliance with the Consent Decree last year because of the lack of police accountability. The court found that “the old accountability system [was] inadequate for purposes of compliance with the Consent Decree.” The City, the Department of Justice, the Monitor, and the CPC were ordered to collaborate and create a plan by July 15, 2019 to “resolve the City’s non-compliance with the Consent Decree.” On August 15, with no collaboration with the Community Police Commission (CPC), the City asked the court to approve its methodology for assessing the current accountability regime. The court warned that the City should not use its forthcoming assessment to “justify its current accountability system.”

On May 7, the City of Seattle and the Department of Justice filed a request with the court to terminate its commitments under the Consent Decree. To this day, the City has yet to formulate a methodology for coming back into compliance with the issue of accountability, as ordered in 2019. Then, the heinous, tragic murder of George Floyd happened and widespread protests ensued across the country, including in Seattle. SPD arrived in riot gear, used tear gas on demonstrators, pepper-sprayed a little girl, and threw blast balls into peaceful crowds.

SPD’s recent militant responses to peaceful protestors and the unprecedented number of public complaints received by the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) that now exceed 15,000 make it clear that the City of Seattle is constitutionally and morally obligated to achieve full compliance on the issue of accountability. Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes announced on June 3 that he would withdraw the City from the pending motion to terminate the sustainment areas under the Federal Consent Decree before the court. This announcement was a victory for our community, yet our City still has an immense amount of work to do. Change is overdue, and the community needs your help to overhaul the policing system.

As protests about systemic injustice and violence against Black Americans continue, we as a community must hold SPD accountable for complying with its court-ordered police reforms. To that end, the Seattle Community Police Commission (CPC) shared its recommendations for the next steps with the Mayor and City Council. The CPC has also submitted its legal response to the motion.

El Centro de la Raza supports the CPC’s recommendations as outlined on June 8, 2020 in a letter from the Co-chairs addressed to the offices of the Mayor and Councilmembers and Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best. The CPC recommends:

  • Immediate notification of SPD’s policy changes. The CPC can do their job more effectively if commissioners were aware of all policy changes and related memoranda issued by the City, including SPD.
  • Immediate work to address weaknesses in the police accountability system. The City’s three accountability bodies should convene to develop work plans that are comprehensive, coordinated, and compliant with the Consent Decree, starting with the development of a methodology to achieve compliance with the Consent Decree on the issue of accountability. The CPC expects the City to allocate adequate resources to oversight agencies and to ensure, at minimum, all the reforms in the 2017 Accountability Law are incorporated in the bargaining agendas with both Seattle Police Officers Guild and Seattle Police Management Association, including a mutually approved technical advisor to be at the table during bargaining. Only then can the CPC do its job.
  • Empowerment to the CPC to fulfill its mission. The CPC welcomes a meaningful, sustained partnership with City partners to collaborate on projects from start to completion regarding roles, responsibilities, expectations, and execution.
  • The City to address the role of an independent police monitor, as the federal court had ordered. The City has recently informed the Monitor that its contract is ending soon. However, the City has not yet conferred with the CPC about the Monitor’s ongoing role.
  • Support of King County’s inquest reforms. The City should not only withdraw its writ challenging the inquest process, but it should immediately work with the CPC to support the reforms.

We ask you to join us in supporting the CPC’s recommendations detailed in their letter to make meaningful, sustainable change in our policing system that has failed the general public. Yesterday we closed in solidarity with Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County (BLMSKC) in support of the Statewide Silent March and General Strike. We were silent yesterday and today we resume efforts using our collective voices. Please contact elected officials by phone and email to express your support using the following script:

Dear Mayor Durkan and Seattle City Councilmembers,

I call on you to respond to the CPC’s recommendations sent on June 8 in public support of their recommendations for the next steps in healing the mistrust toward local law enforcement and setting a precedent to protect Black and Brown lives. My demand is simple: ensure a thorough, transparent, and community-centered process for strengthening our relationship with the City by investing in social service providers trained to handle crises and issues relating to education, healthcare including mental health services, employment, and affordable housing. Thank you.

Sincerely,

[Insert your full name here]
[Insert your district number after verifying it
here]

Eduardo’s Story

Eduardo* is a student at Seattle World School, and he lives in South Seattle with his dad. Sadly, on April 8, his dad – the sole provider – was admitted to ICU at Harborview Medical Center for COVID-19. His father has been in ICU since then. Alone and devastated, Eduardo hopes his father will recover from the novel coronavirus soon and come home.

Eduardo had to take on yard work to pay the bills while attending virtual school with zero income coming in and little groceries stocked. That side job was not enough to begin covering rent. So, Eduardo reached out to our Systems Navigator team for emergency assistance through our Emergency Response Fund.

We spoke with Eduardo’s landlord and helped Eduardo make May rent. The landlord promised to ask the owner of the building about forgiving any amount of Eduardo’s debt. In the meantime, our staff is committed to providing Eduardo the assistance he needs by advocating for lower rent payments and ways to keep the utilities on.

As Eduardo holds out hope for his father’s recovery, he plans to enroll in Seattle City Light’s Emergency Low-Income Assistance program and attend an upcoming event, hosted by Seattle Public Schools, that will help get him set up with free Internet. While classes end next week, Eduardo had not been able to participate fully in his online classes because he did not have Internet access. He used his phone to complete school assignments.

Please consider donating to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to help student-age youth like Eduardo through the pandemic. Your support means Eduardo can afford to stay in his home while his dad remains hospitalized.

Adrian’s COVID-19 Story

Adrian* worked two jobs to meet his family’s needs. Due to the pandemic, he lost one of his jobs and his family of five was significantly impacted. He lost his second job after the Stay Home Stay Healthy Order’s extension.

Adrian was increasingly stressed and concerned about their situation. He had to somehow make rent, in addition to buying groceries and paying for utilities. Your support of our Emergency Response Fund made it possible to provide Adrian’s family with food and rental assistance. He said, “Mi vida ha cambiado drásticamente por la mejor.” (English translation: “My life has changed drastically for the better.”)

Adrian feels blessed that El Centro de la Raza understands and meets the community’s needs. El Centro de la Raza is also providing Adrian’s eldest son a laptop so that he can continue his education from home.

*Individual’s name has been changed to protect their privacy and identity.

Graves Complicaciones de Salud de COVID-19

Las personas que fuman o usan cigarrillos electrónicos pueden ser más propensas a desarrollar complicaciones de salud graves debido al COVID-19. Según el NIDA de los Institutos Nacionales de Salud, el COVID-19 ataca a los pulmones y podría ser una amenaza especialmente grave para quienes fuman tabaco o marihuana o quienes usan cigarrillos electrónicos. La exposición a los aerosoles de los cigarrillos electrónicos daña las células del pulmón y disminuye la capacidad de responder a la infección.

October 31 is the New Deadline for Completing the Census (Español)

Now more than ever is it important to participate in the Census and make our voices heard. An accurate count gives communities the resources they need to support themselves for the next 10 years. The Census Bureau generates statistics based on survey responses to help determine resources for:

• Schools including our Jose Marti Child Development Center.
• Health centers and hospitals.
• Roads and public transportation.
• Political representation at the state and local level.

In ten minutes (or less), you can complete the Census online www.my2020census.gov or over the phone. By April 1, everyone should have received an invitation in the mail with a 12-digit code to fill out the Census online. If you have not received the mail invitation, you can still go online and fill out the Census without the code. Just type in your address and go! If you need help filling out the Census online, click for some quick step-by-step videos on the Census Bureau’s YouTube channel (English | Spanish).

The Census is more than just a headcount. It is the first step to making sure our communities have the resources they need to thrive. The results of this Census will shape the next ten years. No matter where you were born, where you live, how old you are, or who you are, it is important that you participate and say what you want your future to look like. So count yourself and everyone in your home. If you need assistance completing the Census, call Dulce Gutierrez at El Centro de la Raza at 206-957-4605.

Ahora más que nunca es importante participar en el Censo y hacer que se escuchen nuestras voces. Un conteo preciso proporciona a las comunidades los recursos que necesitan para mantenerse durante los próximos 10 años. La Oficina del Censo genera estadísticas basadas en las respuestas de la encuesta para ayudar a determinar los recursos para:
• Escuelas, incluido nuestro Centro de Desarrollo Infantil José Martí.
• Centros de salud y hospitales.
• Carreteras y transporte público.
• Representación política a nivel estatal y local.

En diez minutos (o menos), puede completar el Censo por computadora en www.my2020census.gov o por teléfono. Para el 1 de abril, todos deberían haber recibido una invitación por correo con un código de 12 dígitos para completar el Censo en línea. Si no ha recibido la invitación por correo, aún puede conectarse y completar el Censo sin el código. ¡Simplemente escriba su dirección de casa y listo! Si necesita ayuda para completar el Censo en línea, haga clic aquí (inglés | español) para ver algunos videos rápidos de paso a paso en el canal de YouTube de parte de la Oficina del Censo.

El Censo es más que un simple conteo. Es el primer paso para asegurarse de que nuestras comunidades tengan los recursos necesarios para prosperar. Los resultados de este Censo darán forma a los próximos diez años. No importa dónde naciste, dónde vives, cuántos años tienes o quién eres, es importante que participes y digas cómo quieres que sea tu futuro. Así que cuenta a ti mismo y a todos en tu hogar. Si necesita ayuda para completar el Censo, no dude en comunicarse con Dulce Gutiérrez en El Centro de la Raza al número 206-957-4605.

Las Encuestas Del Censo Están Disponible – ¿Y Ahora Qué?”

¡Ya es hora! A partir del 12 de marzo, todos los hogares en los Estados Unidos pueden completar el Censo por teléfono, en persona y en línea. Como resultado de COVID-19, la Oficina del Censo de los Estados Unidos modificó sus operaciones; uno de los cuales es que los hogares tienen dos semanas adicionales hasta el 14 de agosto para completar el cuestionario. Queremos enfatizar que su información permanecerá segura. No hay preguntas sobre la ciudadanía en el Censo y no hay costo asociado con su presentación. Todos los hogares necesitan completar el Censo, sin importar el estatus de residencia o demográfico.

Esta es una oportunidad para que todos digan, “¡Estamos aquí y contamos!” Los latinos necesitan participar en el Censo de este año, ya que son un grupo históricamente menos probable que sea contado. De hecho, son más probables los latinos a no incluir sus hijos en el censo. Esto es particularmente impresionante ya que las estadísticas que provienen del Censo afectan la cantidad de financiamiento que reciben los programas públicos, como nuestro Centro de Desarrollo Infantil José Martí o cualquiera de nuestros otros 42 programas y servicios. Las organizaciones sin fines de lucro, como El Centro de la Raza, perderán financiamiento si no hay un recuento preciso del Censo 2020.

Para combatir este corto número, El Centro de la Raza ahora está ofreciendo ayuda para completar el Censo por teléfono. Llame al 206-957-4605 entre las 8:30 a.m. y las 5 p.m. para hablar con el personal de El Centro de la Raza. La Oficina de Censos de los Estados Unidos también ha proporcionado ayuda para completar el Censo en los siguientes idiomas:

•             English: 844-330-2020

•             Spanish: 844-468-2020

•             Chinese (Mandarin): 844-391-2020

•             Chinese (Cantonese): 844-398-2020

•             Vietnamese: 844-461-2020

•             Korean: 844-392-2020

•             Russian: 844-417-2020

•             Arabic: 844-416-2020

•             Tagalog: 844-478-2020

•             Polish: 844-479-2020

•             French: 844-494-2020

•             Haitian Creole: 844-477-2020

•             Portuguese: 844-474-2020

•             Japanese: 844-460-2020

•             English (for Puerto Rico residents): 844-418-2020

•             Spanish (for Puerto Rico residents): 844-426-2020

•             TDD (Telephone Display Device): 844-467-2020

Census Surveys Are Out – What Now?

The time is now! As of March 12, all households across the United States can fill out the Census over the phone, in-person, and online. As a result of COVID-19, the U.S. Census Bureau made adjustments to its operations; one of which is, households have two additional weeks until August 14 to complete the questionnaire. We want to emphasize that your information will remain safe and secure. There is no citizenship question on the Census and no cost affiliated with filing it out. Every household needs to complete the Census, regardless of residency status or demographic.

This is an opportunity for everyone to say, “We’re Here, and We Count!” Latinos need to participate in this year’s Census as they are a historically undercounted group. In fact, Latinos are more likely than non-Latinos not to report their children on the Census forms. This is particularly shocking as the statistics that come from the Census affect how much funding public programs receive, such as our Jose Marti Child Development Center or any of our other 42 programs and services. Non-profits, such as El Centro de la Raza, stand to lose funding if there is not an accurate count for the 2020 Census.

To combat this undercount, El Centro de la Raza is now offering help to fill out the Census over the phone. Call 206-957-4605 between 8:30 AM and 5 PM to speak with an El Centro de la Raza staff. The United States Census Bureau has also provided help filling out the Census in the following languages:

•             English: 844-330-2020

•             Spanish: 844-468-2020

•             Chinese (Mandarin): 844-391-2020

•             Chinese (Cantonese): 844-398-2020

•             Vietnamese: 844-461-2020

•             Korean: 844-392-2020

•             Russian: 844-417-2020

•             Arabic: 844-416-2020

•             Tagalog: 844-478-2020

•             Polish: 844-479-2020

•             French: 844-494-2020

•             Haitian Creole: 844-477-2020

•             Portuguese: 844-474-2020

•             Japanese: 844-460-2020

•             English (for Puerto Rico residents): 844-418-2020

•             Spanish (for Puerto Rico residents): 844-426-2020

•             TDD (Telephone Display Device): 844-467-2020