News

Cuentos From Our Programs and Community: April

Marisa*, 77, is one of our senior lunch program’s longest-standing participants. She has been joining us for lunch since 2004 or 2005 since she met Raquel, one of our program coordinators. Marisa has also supported the community by volunteering with our food bank and with other senior programs. She says the program has helped her with many parts of her life and she has met many people over the years, being part of this community. Marisa is a great example for our community and a wonderful member of it. We appreciate her support, her presence, and the love she brings with her.

*Name has been changed for privacy


Latino Legislative Day 2021

On March 17, 8 middle school youth from the Totem After School Program attended Latino Legislative Day Leadership workshops. To their surprise, the workshops were completely led by high school youth. Among the topics discussed were discussions around anti–Blackness in Latinx communities, mental health, and environmental justice. As youth left the workshop, they shared with the facilitators, “I learned A LOT today, I’m glad I was here”. During reflections the next day in the after school program, youth wanted to know how they could get to that level, “How do I facilitate a workshop like them when I grow up?” youth were reassured, they are already capable and on track to lead their own workshops. During the cultural enrichment segment, the lessons offered are providing youth a social justice framework.


A story about El Centro de la Raza & The Plate Fund

Since March 2020 El Centro de la Raza has been partnering with the Schultz Family Foundation to distribute funding to restaurant workers impacted by the pandemic through The Plate Fund. The Plate Fund is a one-time funding source of $500 Visa gift card that can be utilized in any store to purchases necessities like food, or even for things like online payments for utility bills or rent. During the pandemic, the restaurant industry was incredibly unstable due to the constant closing and reopening of businesses due to the changing restrictions and phases. Many restaurant workers lost income due to the businesses shutting down, to severe reductions in hours, or even contracting COVID-19 forcing them to take time off work. The pandemic has shown us how difficult it is to navigate resources, however many restaurant workers also had to deal with the language barrier that they faced when they tried to find any assistance or aid.

One participant, in particular, called El Centro de la Raza and told staff that they were rejected from many other organizations and were in desperate need of support. This participant, Martin Sanchez*, is a 70-year-old man who was not able to work as a result of his age and diabetes making him at higher risk for contracting COVID-19. His daughter was also laid off from Mcdonald’s in early March and had not been able to find work since then. Both father and daughter had exhausted the last of their savings and sold their car for further income but were in dire need of financial support as they had medical expenses as well as housing and food expenses. Due to the language barrier, technology barrier, and limited ability to read or write, the family had a difficult time accessing resources for relief. Our staff at El Centro de La Raza was able to work with them to get Martin’s daughter qualified to receive a $500 Visa gift card to the Plate Fund and referred them to receive rental assistance as well.

*Name has been changed for privacy


Vaping is Not My Thing Contest

Through an interdepartmental partnership, youth from the Plaza Roberto Maestas After School and FW Totem After School Program were invited to submitted entries to the Scholastics’ “Vaping is Not My Thing” contest. To enter the contest, participants had to create an infographic poster targeted to their peers and informing them of the dangers of vaping. Two youth of the Plaza Roberto Maestas After School program were able to submit entries. Through the process, both scholars developed their stance to say no to vaping and encourage their peers to steer away from vaping dangers. We are very proud of them both! Below is one of our scholar’s entries.

March Noticias and Articles Relevant to Our Community

Latino Legislative Day

“Allow yourself to ask your community for help” – Nina Martinez Board Chair of Latino Civic Alliance.
on March 16th, LCA hosted the annual Latino Legislative Day. The program featured experts on COVID-19 and the Latino community, advocates for safer policing in crisis, and folks working towards reopening schools safely. We look forward to continuing to participate in this day and advocating for our Latino community. Latinos have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and are disproportionately forgotten when it comes to the vaccine. We appreciate points of view from our diverse Latino community advocating for the safety and support of our community.

Articles of Interest

Union leader Pedro Espinoza named to Housing Finance Commission

The ‘Crisis’ at the Border Won’t End Until We Admit We Need Immigrants at Least as Much as They Need Us (OPINION)

TRABAJEMOS JUNTOS PARA VENCER AL COVID-19(VIDEO) 

Free Multilingual Tech Support

Seattle NAACP among dozens of groups now supporting full ban on credit scoring in insurance

Important Statements from AAPI Community Orgs in Seattle

National CAPACD is Devastated by Loss of Lives in Atlanta Shootings

Love to all Massage Parlor Workers & Those Harmed by White Supremacist Violence – API Chaya

ACRS Mourns Georgia Shooting Victims, Calls for Solutions to Root Causes of Anti-Asian Violence

Support Us By Taking These Acciónes

Please take this Mount Baker Early Learning Center Survey

We have been collaborating with the University of Washington on the Mount Baker Early Learning Center. We would appreciate if you took this survey(Español), before April 6th, which will help make sure parent, educator and community voices are heard in planning for this early learning hub.


Upcoming Town Halls

Ask this targeted question:

  • What actions can you take to ensure $240M of cash assistance for undocumented immigrants is included in the biennial budget?

If you get a response, please let us know! Email: c.barragan@waisn.org

March 24 at 7pm

33rd District (SeaTac, Burien) – Rep Mia Gregerson + Rep Tina Orwall + Sen Karen Keiser

  • Submit questions ahead of time: surveymonkey.com/r/LSTG8BR or submit questions live during the event by leaving a question in the comment section
  • Facebook Live event open to all

March 31st at 6pm

For an update on the HEAL Act, which we mentioned in our last newsletter, check out this 37th Legislative District Town Hall on March 31st at 6pm. We continue to support the HEAL Act, which would take essential steps by defining environmental justice to improve all Washington residents’ environmental health conditions. This bill would prioritize improvement in areas where communities suffer most from pollution. It will be available on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter accounts for the Senate Democratic Caucus and the House Democratic Caucus.  The easiest way to join will be at State Senator Saldaña’s FB page. Stay tuned for more details as the event approaches!  



Working Washington’s Pay Up Campaign

Gig companies have been expanding rapidly throughout the pandemic. At the same time as they’re making their executives into billionaires, they’re getting away with paying as little as $2 a job to the people who do the work. Here’s 3 things you can do to support Working Washington’s Pay Up Campaign and help raise pay for tens of thousands of people in our city:

  • Build the coalition: Share our sign on with other people and organizations. (Need more information? Let me know! Happy to share more detail about the policies we’re fighting for!)
  • Spread the word: Share our worker survey with any delivery drivers & other gig workers you may know to help us make sure the policies we’re advancing are grounded in workers’ needs.
  • Help make gig workers a priority at City Hall: Send a quick personal message to your city councilmembers and the mayor, letting them know that raising pay in the gig economy is a priority! 

Essential Workers Graphic

To achieve the pandemic recovery we ALL want to see, we must ensure that everyone is included in it. That means ensuring that we stabilize our workforce by protecting immigrants serving as essential workers and providing them with an earned path to citizenship. We must honor and protect those who have spent so much effort protecting us by keeping our hospitals running, stacking our grocery shelves, and cleaning our homes and offices.

We call on the Biden administration to commit to including a pathway to citizenship for essential immigration workers in the president’s Build Back Better recovery package.

Let’s truly “build back better” by stabilizing our workforce and families.


Health care should be available to all, regardless of immigration status.

Access to affordable health care is particularly crucial now, as underlying inequities have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Immigrants and communities of color are disproportionately contracting, hospitalized for, and dying from COVID-19.

Urge your lawmaker to ensure the state budget includes funding for health care services for uninsured and underinsured people regardless of immigration status


$1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan

What does President Biden’s recently enacted $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan mean for HUD and USDA housing programs and the people and communities they serve?

Housing Provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

COVID-19 has exacerbated our nation’s already severe housing affordability crisis. Today, 1 in 5 renters is behind on rent and just over 10 million homeowners are behind on mortgage payments. People of color face even greater hardship and are more likely to have deferred or missed payments, putting them at greater risk of eviction and foreclosure. At the same time, our nation’s homelessness crisis has worsened during the pandemic, as people experiencing homelessness are highly vulnerable to COVID-19 transmission, illness, and severity due to their use of congregate shelters and their high prevalence of underlying health conditions.

The Biden-Harris Administration has made delivering housing relief a top priority. Recently, the administration announced a coordinated extension and expansion of forbearance and foreclosure relief programs, an important step towards building stronger and more equitable communities.

To bolster these efforts, Congress has passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021to deliver more aid to people struggling to pay their rent or mortgage. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021includes a number of provisions to be administered by HUD and other agencies to provide immediate and direct relief to help people across America remain stably housed during the pandemic.

Specifically, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021provides:

·        Emergency rental assistance. The legislation provides more than $21.5 billion in emergency rental assistance to be administered by Treasury to help millions of families keep up on their rent and remain in their homes.

·        Homeowner Assistance Fund. The legislation provides nearly $10 billion to be administered by Treasury to help homeowners behind on their mortgage and utility payments and avoid foreclosure and eviction.

·        Emergency housing vouchers. The legislation provides $5 billion for emergency housing vouchers for individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness

·        Homelessness assistance and supportive services program. The legislation provides $5 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program to help create housing and services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

·        Housing assistance and supportive services programs for Native Americans. The legislation provides $750 million for Native Americans and Native Hawaiians’ assistance, helping reduce housing-related health risks during the pandemic.

·        Emergency assistance for rural housing. The legislation provides $100 million to be administered by USDA to help people in rural communities keep their homes during the pandemic.

·        Funds for housing counseling. The legislation provides $100 million to be administered by NeighborWorks, for grants to housing counseling providers to provide services to households facing housing instability.

·        Relief measures for section 502 and 504 direct loan borrowers. The legislation provides $39 million to be administered by USDA for USDA Section 502 and 504 home loans, which help low- and very-low-income borrowers purchase, repair, and rehabilitate housing in rural areas while helping existing borrowers who are struggling to afford housing.

·        Funds for fair housing activities. The legislation provides $20 million for the Fair Housing Initiatives Program to investigate fair housing complaints, strengthen enforcement, and assist those who believe they have been victims of housing discrimination.

More info on this and other programs: HUD COVID-19 Resources and Fact Sheets

El Centro de la Raza’s COVID Relief Fund

El Centro de la Raza’s COVID Relief Fund

Mil gracias for your generosity and support of our Emergency Response Fund during the COVID-19 pandemic. You are helping community members rebuild their self-sufficiency during one of the worst crises in our history. With your help, we are providing emergency assistance to struggling families and small business owners. Our Emergency Response Fund has expanded our ability to answer calls for help from our community members.

With the rollout of the vaccine this year, 2021 presents opportunities for us to heal our communities and restore our local economy by getting families back to work and our children back to school. Until then, we will continue to help our community members weather the pandemic.

National Voter Registration Day

Querid@ Amig@, 

Feliz Día Nacional de Registro de Votantes. 

Hoy, 22 de Septiembre, es el Día Nacional de Registro de Votantes. Con todo lo que enfrentamos hoy en este momento crítico en nuestro mundo, ahora más que nunca vemos la importancia de usar nuestro voto y nuestra voz para lograr cambios. En El Centro De La Raza creemos que la participación en nuestro proceso electoral democrático es una parte indeleble de nuestra sociedad, y estamos orgullosos de apoyar los esfuerzos para registrar más votantes en todo el condado de King y recordar a los miembros de nuestra comunidad la importancia de obtener el voto.  

También estamos muy agradecidos con nuestros voluntarios de registro de votantes, que nos han ayudado a difundir la importancia de votar en todo el condado de King. Han ido a eventos, programas de agencias e incluso han utilizado los teléfonos para ayudar a la comunidad a registrarse para votar. 

Lea a continuación para obtener información y recordatorios importantes sobre cómo obtener el voto. 

Elección General – 3 de Noviembre 

¡La próxima elección es el martes 3 de Noviembre! En esta elección, los votantes de todo el país elegirán al próximo presidente de los Estados Unidos. Además, los votantes del estado de Washington también elegirán gobernador, secretario de estado, tesorero del estado de Washington y otros seis puestos a nivel estatal, así como representantes de distrito. Será una elección de verdadera importancia y magnitud histórica. Vea lo que está en lboleta aquí. 

¿Sabe ud. dónde ir para registrarse? Puede hacerlo: 

• En línea por oprimir aquí (For English, click here)  

• En persona en su centro de votación local (Encuentre aquí su centro de votación más cercano en el condado de King

• Por correo, solicitando una boleta en papel a Mandela en volunteer@elcentrodelaraza.org 

¡El Ãºltimo día para registrarse para votar en línea o por correo para las elecciones generales del 3 de noviembre es el lunes 26 de octubre! Después de ese día, debe registrarse para votar en persona visitando su centro de votantes local para ser elegible para votar antes del día de las elecciones. Encuentre su oficina electoral más cercana en el Condado de King aquí. Tenga en cuenta que, de acuerdo con las medidas de seguridad pública, los centros de votación tendrán una disponibilidad limitada y pueden tener mayores tiempos de espera y restricciones de capacidad, por lo que es muy recomendable que se registre en línea hoy si es posible.  

¡Pregúntales a todos tus amigos si están registrados para votar! 

Quién puede registrarse para votar 

Lea más sobre quién puede votar en Washington. 

Oprime aquí para ver si ud. ya es inscribido a votar. 

(Cortesía de foto: El Centro de la Raza) 

Update

The clock is ticking! September 30th marks the last day that households can respond to the 2020 Census. There’s still time to make sure everyone in our community is represented. Many Washingtonians have already done their part – our state has the 3rd highest total response rate in the country!  As of early September, 96.2% of Washington residents have been counted.

If you haven’t had a chance to complete your census online, by phone, or by mail, it’s possible an employee of the US Census Bureau will visit your home to collect information. In this event, here’s what you can expect:

  • Census takers work between 9am and 9pm, including weekends.
  • They will be using PPE and following public health guidelines.
  • They will not be entering your households.
  • Census takers will have the US Census Bureau logo on their bags, badges, and phones or tablets.
  • Census takers will never ask for your banking information or credit card numbers.
  • If they visit while no one is home, they will leave a notice with information on how to respond to the census online, over the phone or by mail.
  • If the census taker doesn’t speak the language of the individual they are visiting, the respondent can request a person of the same language to visit. Census takers will have materials to help identify what language they should speak.

You can complete the 2020 census:

Online – www.my2020census.gov Phone – English: 844- 330-2020

Spanish: 844-468-2020

Mail – U.S. Census Bureau

National Processing Center
1201 E 10th Street
Jeffersonville, IN 47132

It’s safe, takes less than 10 minutes, and ensures your community has resources for years to come!

¡El reloj está corriendo! El 30 de septiembre marca el último día en que los hogares pueden responder al censo de 2020. Todavía hay tiempo para asegurarnos de que todos los miembros de nuestra comunidad estén representados. Muchos habitantes de Washington ya han hecho su parte: ¡nuestro estado tiene la tercera tasa de respuesta total más alta del país! A principios de septiembre, se ha contabilizado el 96,2% de los residentes de Washington.

Si no ha tenido la oportunidad de completar su censo en línea, por teléfono o por correo, es posible que un empleado de la Oficina del Censo de EE. UU. Visite su hogar para recopilar información. En este caso, esto es lo que puede esperar:

• Los censistas trabajan entre las 9 am y las 9 pm, incluidos los fines de semana.

• Usarán equipo de protección personal y seguirán las pautas de salud pública.

• No ingresarán a sus hogares.

• Los encuestadores tendrán el logotipo de la Oficina del Censo de los Estados Unidos en sus bolsos, insignias y teléfonos o tabletas.

• Los censistas nunca le pedirán su información bancaria o números de tarjetas de crédito.

• Si visitan cuando no hay nadie en casa, dejarán un aviso con información sobre cómo responder al censo en línea, por teléfono o por correo.

• Si la persona que realiza el censo no habla el idioma de la persona que está visitando, el encuestado puede solicitar la visita de una persona del mismo idioma. Los censistas tendrán materiales para ayudar a identificar qué idioma deben hablar.

Puede completar el censo de 2020:

En línea: www.my2020census.gov

Por tel̩fono РIngl̩s: 844-330-2020

  Español: 844-468-2020

Por Correo: Oficina del Censo de EE. UU.

National Processing Center
1201 E 10th Street

Jeffersonville, IN 47132

Es seguro, toma menos de 10 minutos y garantiza que su comunidad tenga recursos para los próximos años.

Miguel and Neyi’s Story

Miguel and Neyi approached El Centro de la Raza in Federal Way upon hearing about our Tandas de Ahorro (Lending Circle). They were interested in learning more about the program and its benefits, including 1) establishing and improving their credit score profile and 2) increasing their financial capacity by gaining access to capital with 0% interest and no fees.

They signed up in January 2020 and saved $1,400, allowing them to buy their first direct vehicle from an agency and with the credit backing of both. Miguel and Neyi are excited to continue saving through the Lending Circle. To date, they have saved $4,800 (240% more in savings from their first Lending Circle). Miguel and Neyi attended our certified seminar for first-time homebuyers in December 2019. They have received emergency assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic through our Emergency Response Fund

Teaching our Youth about Race and Racism

Due to the recent tragic murders of Black men and women, our José Martí Child Development Center staff at Hirabayashi Place wanted to help tackle conversations with children about race, racism, and systemic injustices. Seattle Public Library’s Early Learning Program Manager CiKeithia Pugh and Children’s Librarian Mynique Adams helped us by ordering books through the generous funds from the Seattle Public Library and the Seattle Public Library Foundation. In total, we received 478 books donated to our classrooms at Hirabayashi Place. We are grateful that she shared her knowledge about challenging subject matters while considering our youth participants’ different home languages.

Cheryl’s Story

As with all of us, the COVID-19 crisis has changed Cheryl’s life. Her last day of work was in March, and her position remains on standby. She is no longer receiving unemployment benefits but still needs to cover her living expenses. Cheryl is seeking a different job, where she would be using computer technology in her new role. She is grateful for the knowledge she has gained through El Centro de la Raza’s Unidos @ Work training program.

Cheryl’s primary motivation for enrolling in the Unidos @ Work course was to invest in her skillset. She wanted to increase her proficiency in using computer programs and the Internet. Now she feels more confident in her personal and professional life because of the skills she acquired throughout the course. She said her experience was amazing because she thought that the instructors were knowledgeable, educated, patient, and polite. They were always happy to answer any questions.

Cheryl is uncertain about what her future looks like because life has been unpredictable. Cheryl does know that she wants to work for a stable company with a remarkable reputable, thrive in a positive and professional work environment with growth opportunities, and make a difference in her community.