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News From Centro de la Raza, 

May Day March for Immigrant and Workers Rights

The 2012 May Day March for Immigrant and Workers Rights was on May 1st. The event was organized by El Comite Pro-Reforma Migratoria y Justicia Social and the May 1st Coalition which El Centro de la Raza participated in. The march began at Judkins Park and stood for justice by joining in solidarity with the many immigrants and workers whose rights are often repressed.

This year, El Centro de Raza marched for the end of the Secure Communities Program that was recently implemented by King County. The Secure Communities Program (SComm) is a Department of Homeland Security program designed to “identify immigrants in U.S. jails who are deportable under immigration law…participating jails submit arrestees’ fingerprints not only to criminal databases, but to immigration databases as well, allowing ICE access to information on individuals held in jails.”¹

Click here to sign an email petition to end Secure Communities in King County.

State and local officials have criticized the complete disconnect between SComm's stated target – serious convicted criminals – and ICE’s own data, which show's that the vast majority of people deported through SComm have no, or very minor, criminal convictions.

We marched to put an end to the Secure Communities Program in King County. The rally and march were well attended with thousands of people joining together in solidarity.

Siempre bienvenidos, nuestra casa es su casa.
Estela resized 2
Estela Ortega
Executive Director

P.S. - And of course, visit our website to stay up-to-date on the happenings at El Centro and in nuestra comunidad - our community.

NWIRP and ACLU File Lawsuit
Against Border Patrol

Three residents of the Olympic Peninsula filed a class-action lawsuit on April 26th challenging the U.S. Border Patrol’s practice of stopping vehicles and interrogating occupants without legal justification. Filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, the lawsuit says that the Border Patrol’s suspicionless stops on the Peninsula violate constitutional rights, and it seeks a court injunction barring such unlawful stops in the future. Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) and the ACLU of Washington are representing the residents and will seek class-action status for the suit.¹

“People are being stopped based solely on their appearance and ethnicity. This is unlawful and contrary to American values. No one in a car should be stopped and interrogated by government agents unless the law enforcement officer has a legal basis to do so,” said Matt Adams, legal director of NWIRP.

“The Border Patrol’s actions have created a climate of fear and anxiety for many people living on the Olympic Peninsula. The residents in this suit all are U.S. citizens who worry that they could be stopped and questioned without reason any time they drive or are passengers in cars. We’re asking the court to put in place safeguards to stop the Border Patrol’s unlawful and unfair practices,” said Sarah Dunne, legal director of ACLU.

The lawsuit seeks a declaration that the Border Patrol’s suspicionless stops violate the Fourth Amendment and exceed the agency’s legal powers. The suit seeks to prohibit Border Patrol agents from stopping vehicles without reasonable suspicion that an occupant has entered the U.S. without approval.

The plaintiffs have experienced unwarranted stops and interrogations in a variety of settings, all while going about their daily lives. Agents provided flimsy pretexts or no reason at all for the stops. Some stops appear to be based on nothing but the Border Patrol agents’ perception of the plaintiffs’ ethnicity or the color of their skin.

To read the full press release, which details the three individuals' experiences, click here. And/or read the official complaint filed in court here.

Seattle School Board Announces
Next Superintendant
josebandaAfter a national search to find the next leader for the Seattle Public Schools, the three finalists were named and our next super was chosen: José L. Banda. The hiring committee's desired characteristics and traits included: a visionary, inspirational leader; an instructional leader who has a proven track record; a knowledgeable manager and an effective communicator.
Board members said they chose Banda because they believe he can unite the community behind a collaborative approach that encourages parent involvement and emphasizes the importance of working in concert with the board.

Banda has run an elementary-only school district with about 20,000 students in Anaheim for the past four years, which is less than half the size of Seattle Public Schools. In that time, test scores have risen and the district won voter approval of a large bond measure in the middle of a recession.
"I think in Seattle, we can use both a strong superintendent and a strong board," School Board member Marty McLaren said. "I think we need that team. And that was one of the hallmarks of José Banda's approach. That he considers us a team."

El Centro's Board President, Ramon Soliz, participated in the 25 member Community Focus Group that met with the finalists. Ramon believes that Banda is "someone who will seek parent and teacher involvement and not get lost in the bureaucracy of managing a major metropolitan school district." Ramon said that Banda "has a record of excellence of being open and inclusive. He has a kind of energy, calm, stability, and superb management skills which is exactly what the school district needs at this juncture."
Cinco De Mayo Celebration
& Financial Sum-It Workshops
Cinco de Mayo 040On Saturday, May 5th El Centro de la Raza will present its 7th Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration from 1-5 PM outside El Centro de la Raza (2524 16th Ave S, Seattle). Festivities include music, children's activities, prizes, craft and informational booths, and traditional Mexican food for sale. We will feature performances by Ameyaltonal Danza Azteca, We Are Panama, MECh/LA Chief Sealth Baile Folklorico, Ofelia Alanis-Torres, Seattle Fandango Project, Seattle Mariachi Azteca and a desfile cultural. Please RSVP at (206) 957-4605 or here. For more information click here.
Join us for the Financial Sum-It!
From 10 AM - 12:45 PM, free bilingual "Financial Sum-It" Workshops will take place inside El Centro de la Raza. Workshops covering topics such as College Readiness, Identity Theft and Fraud, Home Buying, and Your Consumer Rights.

To register please contact Matthew Driscoll at (206) 957-4646 or at FinLiteracy@elcentrodelaraza.org In each workshop you have the opportunity to win a door prize of up to $250 in value!

These events are made possible by U.S. Bank and City of Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. Mil gracias a todos!
Comcast Cares Day at El Centro de la Raza
ComcastCaresDay2012166More than 2,200 local Comcast employees and their families and friends volunteered Saturday, April 21, 2012, at 13 school and nonprofit sites, including El Centro de la Raza, around Western Washington and Spokane as part of Comcast Cares Day. El Centro staff, Comcast volunteers, City Year volunteers, and volunteers from the community took time from a beautfiul Saturday to do much needed work. Some of the projects completed included: pot holes were filled, rooms were painted, landscaping was done, closets were organized, decorations and signs were made, along with many other much needed projects.

We had approximately 190 volunteers who provided $20,700 in value of volunteer time!

Mil gracias to all that came out to help El Centro. Steve Kipp, VP of Communications at Comcast, gracias for the years of support and love you have provided El Centro de la Raza. A special gracias must go out to Taylor Oden, Nichole Morales, and all the City Year folks, who spent time preparing for the event on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and whose leadership on the day of the event helped all the projects go very smoothly. Also, a shout out to the Starbucks group who was here helping paint and prep on Friday, to Mick and the Master Gardeners who effectively oversaw all our grounds keeping and yard work projects, and to Boy Scout Troop 222, who helped out with the yard work projects. A special gracias to C.B Bell for taking pictures of the days events. And of course, a big thank-you to Tiffany Tate, Michelle Becker, and all the folks at Comcast, who not only helped organize the event and provided a huge number of volunteers for the event, but who also generously provided food and supplies for the event.
El Centro de la Raza Selects SMR Architects/Glenn & Glenn Architects/DKA Architecture
El Centro de la Raza is excited to announce that we have selected the architecture team of SMR Architects/Glenn & Glenn Architects/DKA Architecture to work on the redevelopment of our south parking lot into a flagship affordable mixed-use transit oriented development. For the past several years El Centro has been working with the community on the re-zone of the south lot. Now, with the re-zone and the architecture team in place, we are ready to make this vital project a reality!

SMR Architects/Glenn & Glenn Architects/DKA Architecture was selected because of their deep level of experience in multi-family mixed-use affordable housing development, work with non-profit cultural organizations and skill in community-based design and outreach. Their ideas for the site were well-received at the community open house attended by more than 50 neighbors on April 28th.

“We couldn’t be happier about the selection. We are confident that this team will help make our development a destination point on Beacon Hill and will deliver a beautiful community plaza that we can all be proud of, building Dr. King Jr.’s Beloved Community.” Estela Ortega, Executive Director of El Centro de la Raza.

Click here to read the full press release.
Calling for Nominations!
2nd Annual Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award
legacy logo 2Roberto’s life was dedicated to building the “Beloved Community” through multi-racial unity, and he deeply believed that poverty, racism and social inequity could only be eradicated if people of all races and backgrounds came together to do so.

It is in honor of Roberto and his legacy that the 2nd Annual Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award will recognize two individuals, a woman and a man, who have exemplified building the Beloved Community through multi-racial unity, and working to eliminate poverty, racism and social inequity.

Last years recipients (Dorry Elias-Garcia, Executive Director of the Minority Executive Directors Coalition of King County; and Michael Ramos, Executive Director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle) demonstrated years of service on an impressive variety of issues and causes and continue to be examples of Roberto’s legacy.

To view the application please click here.

Deadline for application submission is Monday, July 9, (Roberto’s Birthday) 2012 at 5:00 pm Pacific Time.
Tax Season is Over, Leaving El Centro's Families
with Some Impressive Numbers
United Way of King County had an extremely successful season helping people with their taxes, which included growth at almost all sites, and an increase in households served program-wide by over 1,000. This year the 650 tax volunteers completed 14,400 tax returns, refunding clients $20.7 million dollars, which included $7 million in the Earned Income Tax Credit.

El Centro de la Raza was a tax site again this year and our returns and refunds both went up. See the graph below to view our improvements. Mil gracias United Way for the help you have provided the community.
El Centro de la Raza Tax Prep Site
2012 total # of returns 2011 total # of returns
604 582
2012 total refunds 2011 total refunds
$1,028,415 $868,129

Your Part in Police Reform:
Sign Petition Today
SPD jobsThe Minority Executive Directors Coalitions’ Multi-racial Task Force on Police Accountability (MTFPA) believes the Mayor’s recently released policy reforms are a good start; it is our position that the proposals only partially reflect and address the MTFPA’s recommendations. In addition, the MTFPA believes that meaningful reform will only be accomplished if the Mayor, City Council, and Justice Department agree to a consent decree with a monitor. The Mayor and City Council have been going back forth with the DOJ for months on how to implement reforms. Talking about reform has only wasted time - click here to send an email petition to say: talking is not enough, and that a consent decree is needed as a crucial step to ensure lasting reform will be implemented.
Washington State Youth Summit
Deadline to Apply May 11th
mt rainierThe WA State Trust for Historic Preservation is organizing a Youth Summit in July that will be taking youth, grades 7-12 to the Yakima Valley and Mt. Rainier!

The purpose of this trip is to learn about historical sites in both the Yakima Valley and Mt. Rainier and to learn about cultural connections Latinos have to our state. Several of the guest speakers include: Dr. Erasmo Gamboa-UW Professor, Ricardo Garcia-Founder of Radio KDNA and El Centro Board Member and Miguel Trujillo-El Ranchito Restaurant Owner.

In addition, participants will take part in a town meeting designed to gage their thoughts on what would draw more Latino families to enjoy Mt. Rainier, and how could the Yakima Valley share the story of Latino history with heritage travelers.

For more information contact Anne Holland at the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation at 206-624-9449 or aholland@preservewa.org

View more about the application here.
Children’s Day at El Centro
Marco Cortes performed Latin American Music and Children’s songs at El Centro de la Raza’s event for Children’s Day on April 30th. Our celebration served as a reminder to all our families and children how precious and important our children’s needs and rights are.

Children's Day APR 30 2012 005In 1954, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution establishing “Universal Children’s Day,” and it was further developed by UNICEF. The U.N recommended that all countries observe Universal Children’s Day as a day of brotherhood and understanding among all children around the world and to promote children’s welfare overall.
Since its adoption by the U.N. in 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child has been signed or ratified by 193 countries, which is more than any other international treaty. The United States is one of the few countries that have not given it legal force, but they have signed it. November 20th is a common day for many countries to celebrate this day, because that is the date the resolution, Declaration, and CRC were originally adopted, but some countries choose to celebrate on days of their choice; Mexico celebrates on April 30th.

Children’s Day celebrations often include cultural activities, entertainment and artistic expression, as well as the distribution of toys or gifts, especially among the neediest populations, but the objective is farther reaching – it is also an opportunity to call attention of both parents and the government to the inalienable needs and rights of children and how we must support them. Children’s Day further serves to inform children of their own rights, so they know if they are not getting what they rightfully deserve, such as education, housing, nutrition, etc.
Interested in City Government?
Deadline May 14th

Get EngagesBecome involved with Get Engaged! Seattle residents between the ages of 18-29 are eligible for the program and will have the opportunity to be placed on boards and commissions. Commissioners help shape policy decisions, make recommendations, and provide citizen participation in city government. Commissioners also have the opportunity to serve on committees such as: the arts commission, pedestrian advisory board, design commission, landmarks preservation board, and human rights commission.

Get Engaged is dedicated to advocating for youth voice in city affairs and to cultivating local leaders, especially those who have had limited opportunities to be involved in civics and community. Apply at getengagedseattle.org/apply. For more information, contact Roni Ayalla at rayalla@seattleymca.org or (206) 250-2456.

Latino Hot Meal Program Partners
with Tutta Bella

El Centro’s Latino Hot Meal program is happy to announce the beginning of a partnership with Tutta Bella, an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria with locations in Columbia City, Stone Way, Issaquah, and Westlake. This partnership will provide the Latino Hot Meal program with nutritious high quality food that otherwise would go to waste. We are extremely grateful to Tutta Bella for their support and interest in providing this important service to the community. Mil gracias to Dani Turk and her Seattle’s Table program through Food Lifeline for helping to foster this relationship which we hope to continue for many meals to come.

YES! Magazine's 2nd Annual
Celebration of People Power

YESWednesday, June 6, at 7:00pm
Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Ave

With Alice Walker, Frances Moore Lappé, and Makana

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear Pulitzer Prize-winner Alice Walker (The Color Purple, The Chicken Chronicles) and bestselling author Frances Moore Lappé (Diet for a Small Planet, EcoMind), speak to our power as change makers, interwoven with inspiring music from Makana, the acclaimed Hawaiian songwriter and slack-key guitarist who made national news last fall when he performed his Occupy anthem, “We Are the Many,” for President Obama.

Expect a full house, with over 800 members of a vibrant cross section of the Seattle community. A dessert reception will follow in the lobby, with live music from Makana, book signing, and locally-sourced refreshments. All proceeds from this evening will benefit the nonprofit YES! Magazine. Donations made that night will be matched, and are tax-deductible.

Tickets are on sale now at Brown Paper Tickets and going fast. $25 tickets include a one-year subscription to YES! Magazine for non-subscribers. If you already subscribe to YES! Magazine, be sure to use your subscriber number as your "member code" to get the special $15 ticket price.

"A Sustainable Rainier Valley: Moving Racial Justice to the Center of Transit Oriented Development Planning in Seattle"
May 14 at 5:30-8:30
Filipino Community Center
5740 Martin Luther King Junior Way

Puget Sound Sage in partnership with numerous organizations will release the report: “A Sustainable Rainier Valley: Moving Racial Justice to the Center of Transit Oriented Development Planning in Seattle."

You are invited to an interactive community conversation with the authors of the report and a panel of experts and community leaders.

For more information contact: Rebecca Saldaña at Rebecca@pugetsoundsage.org or 206-568-5000 ext. 25

Latino Community Forum with
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn

Saturday, May 19 at 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Beacon Hill International School
2025 14th Ave S

An opportunity for open conversation with the Mayor of Seattle on topics of interest to the Latino community of Seattle.

El Centro de la Raza Events!

May 1: May Day March
May 3: Cafe' Con El Centro
May 5: Cinco de Mayo Celebration and Financial Sum-It
May 9: Legal Clinic
May 11: Deadline for WA Youth Summit Trip
May 12: Alternatives to Foreclosure Orientation

May 12: Homebuyer Education Workshop
May 12: Gardening Class
May 12: Summer Learning Family Symposium
May 14: Deadline for Youth "Get Engaged" Program
May 14: "A Sustainable Rainier Valley" - Community Conversation
May 19: Tamale Class
May 19: Latino Community Forum with Mayor McGinn
May 20: Cooking Class (pork carnitas, pozole, ceviche)
June 6: YES! Magazine's Celebration of People Power
July 9: Deadline for nominations - Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award

Sept 29: 40th Anniversary Celebration
- Save the Date!
Celebrating 40 Years!
ECR_40yearsWe are turning 40 years old! El Centro de la Raza was founded in 1972 which makes 2012 our 40th Anniversary. We will be celebrating this monumental milestone on Saturday September 29, 2012 from 5-8pm at the Westin Seattle, downtown. The evening will consist of a reception, silent auction, raffles, historical art-walk, three course dinner, keynote speaker, Legacy Awards and scholarship presentations and an exciting live auction.

We want the event to honor the efforts of El Centro de la Raza over the last 40 years and celebrate all the people who have participated in or supported our programs and services. Please join us in this celebration by purchasing a ticket to the event HERE. Tickets are $100 and all the proceeds go to El Centro de la Raza and our work. Hope to see you there! If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or Table Ambassador, please contact us at events@elcentrodelaraza.org or (206) 957-4649.
Cooking Class - Pork Carnitas, Pozole, Halibut Ceviche
Spend a Sunday afternoon cooking and eating while supporting El Centro de la Raza! Local Chef Vincent Rivera of Jazz Alley will demonstrate cooking a three course meal of pork carnitas, pozole, halibut ceviche, and side dishes. Recipes will be provided.

Please come prepared to observe, learn and take notes! There will be some hands-on cooking opportunities, so please bring an apron. The demonstration will take place in a community-based setting at El Centro de la Raza, and provides a wonderful opportunity to learn something new, meet new people, and support a local non-profit organization! Proceeds benefit the El Centro de la Raza Senior Nutrition and Wellness program, which provides daily social and educational activities, exercise, a congregate meal and hot home-delivered meals to seniors.
The fee is $40 per person. Please register in advance via Brown Paper Tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/241660, or contact us at (206) 957-4611 or development@elcentrodelaraza.org to register today!
Juvenile Justice at El Centro
El Centro will be launching a juvenile justice youth sub-committee that will focus on the perspectives and input of students. Topics will range from informal discipline practices, school resource offices and law enforcement. Meetings times and schedules will be announced soon.

El Centro also continues to look at parents' access to youth incarcerated in detention facilities as an issue of disproportionate minority contact. We continue to explore ways through which parents can become better advocates for their children.

Summer Learning Family Symposium
The Seattle Public Schools believes that providing opportunities for families to gain knowledge on how to effectively partner with schools and learn practical strategies on how to support student academic achievement at home is crucial to addressing Educational Equity.

The Office of School & Family Partnerships is hosting Building Bridges for Summer Learning Family Symposium on Saturday, May 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Chief Sealth High School, 2600 S.W. Thistle St., Seattle, WA 98126.

The goal of the Family Symposium is to support families as critical partners with Seattle Public Schools in their student’s academic success. This symposium will offer workshops for families, staff, and community partners on research-based best practices and practical strategies to help support student academic achievement at home, at school, and in the community.

Arts activities for children, ages 4 and up will be available. Interpretation services in the top eight languages and light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

For more information, please visit the symposium’s Web page at: http://bit.ly/FamilySymposium2012 or contact Bernardo Ruiz at (206) 252-0693 or email at bjruiz@seattleschools.org.

Gardening Classes!
L1030231Has the warmer weather made you think about gardening? You may be interested in a series of free gardening classes that will be held through September at El Centro de la Raza. Master Gardener Mick Duggan is teaching the “Growing Your Own Groceries” series on the second Saturday of each month, from 10-11:30 a.m.

Each class will include free information handouts to take home. All are welcome to “join when you can, for as long as you can.”

The next meeting will be on May 12 in room 106.
Topics on May 12 include:
  • What to plant now? Inside, outside, and under cover
  • Crop rotation
  • Planting and spacing
  • Vegetable specifics
  • Containers and small space
  • Weeding and slugs
  • Water smarts
  • Pest management
Click here for more info.
Employment Program / Programa de Empleo
Our Employment Program provides job training skills and the opportunity to find employment. Our services include: monthly workshops, one-on-one support, assistance applying for jobs & preparing for interviews. We can help you acquire new skills to advance in your career! If you would like to participate or need more information, please contact Camila Lagow: (206) 957-4622 or email or Maria Bocanegra: (206) 957-4642 or email. Para ver en español, haga clic aquí.
Alternatives to Foreclosure Orientation
May 12thHomeStreet Bank and Freddie Mac Initiative OCT 17 2009 (11)
Are you at risk of falling behind on your mortgage payments or already behind? Would you like to learn about your options and rights when it comes to being in default on your mortgage? Come to our Alternatives to Foreclosure Orientation from 10am-12pm. You will meet with HUD approved housing counselors and learn about the process of foreclosure and alternatives to foreclosure. At the end of the orientation, you can sign up for your one-on-one appointment with a counselor. To register for this FREE Alternatives to Foreclosure Orientation contact: Piero Prada, Default and Foreclosure Intervention Housing Counselor at (206) 957-4633 or foreclosure@elcentrodelaraza.org.
What do homeowners say about their experience?
“We wish to thank you for your help with the homeownership foreclosure process. We think it was done so well starting with the orientation session and then the one-on-one counseling meeting. I appreciated so much you pouring through those stacks of documents, and I say this because I tried it here at home and didn't get anywhere. As the customer, or client, we like to be treated fairly and with respect and we appreciate your kindness and patience. I thought that was a heavy load, and again, you handled it so well, with expertise and professionalism.”
2011 Auction Items on Sale at El Centro!
imagesWe will accept the “best offer” on each item!There is a special opportunity to do some shopping and help El Centro in the process. We have a special selection of items reserved from the 2011 Legacy Awards and Auction Banquet in September. All proceeds from this sale go to the support of our 33 human service programs. So make an offer on any number of exciting gifts such as bottles of wine, a wedding/event deal, and venue rentals.You suggest a reasonable price and all proceeds benefit El Centro’s vital human services and community building programs!To see the complete list of items and instructions to purchase, simply click here. Questions? Email Betsy Mardany.
Anuncios y Felicitaciones
Announcements & Congratulation
Coming Soon - Food Trucks in our Parking Lot
Plans are being finalized to bring two food trucks to our new South Parking Lot.The main truck stationed here is El Sabroso de Seattle - Bocados Latinos owned by Alma Isabel Aleman and Francisco Daniel Perez. They feature Mexican food. The second truck which will be here once a week is Caravan Crepes owned by Brook Sumner. If you're hungry and in the neighborhood be sure to check out our website to see when the trucks arrive (should be sometime in May). We are excited to start these partnerships and bring some more delicious food to Beacon Hill.
Parking Lot Now Open
at El Centro de la Raza!
El Centro has opened its temporary light rail parking lot to the public located at 2524 16th Ave S in Seattle next to the Beacon Hill Light Rail Station. The lot is minutes from downtown and the stadiums for Seahawks, Sounders and Mariners games! Proceeds benefit El Centro’s 33 human services and community building programs. Please call (206) 957-4603 or email facilities@elcentrodelaraza.org for monthly parking passes.
Rental Spaces Available at El Centro!
El Centro de la Raza has office space for lease, 1044 sq ft, 1-yr lease required. The monthly lease rate is $1044/month for non-profits and $1262.54/month for-profits. Please contact our Facilities Manager, Elisa Miranda, directly for lease application and to view the space at (206) 957-4603 or facilities@elcentrodelaraza.org.

► Finalists named in Seattle Superintendant Search: Story
► Video taken at El Centro on Comcast Cares Day: Video

PBS video - Crossing the Line at the Border: Have U.S. border agents been using excessive force to curb illegal immigration?: Video
► Supreme Court Takes up Arizona Immigration Law: Story
► Immigration Stalls as Opportunity in U.S. Declines: Story

Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for up-to-the-minute news and information!

El Centro de la Raza
2524 16th Ave. South | Seattle, WA 98144
Tel: (206) 957-4605 | Email: donor@elcentrodelaraza.org

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