Category Archives: Newsletter

Demand Bill Language is Inclusive of Beacon Hill Neighborhood

BThe Washington State legislature is considering House Bill 1847, an Act relating to aircraft noise abatement for impacted neighborhoods surrounding the Sea-Tac Airport. The Beacon Hill neighborhood is a “vertical fenceline” community located right underneath the fixed flight path where 70% of the flight arrivals fly over us about every 60 to 90 seconds.

Flight operations from the Port of Seattle adversely impact the Beacon Hill neighborhood of 35,000 residents, yet the bill’s current language excludes us from the “impacted area.” As a direct result of planes flying overhead and major roadways surrounding us, these unjust environmental and health conditions expose residents – both young and old as well as new to long-time – to air and noise pollution.

If you either live in Beacon Hill or have a relationship with the relevant legislators connected to this bill, please urge them to fully consider Beacon Hill for inclusion in HB 1847 before February 20. Find your district here. You can defend Beacon Hill by commenting on the bill or emailing your legislators:

Representatives by District

District 9 
Adam Smith 

District 11

District 22

District 30

District 33

District 37

Members of the Local Government Committee

Chair: (District 46)
Vice Chair: (District 21)
Ranking Minority Member: (District 17)  
Ast. Ranking Minority Member: (District 35)
Member: (District 23)
Member: (District 12)
Member: (District 41)
Research Analyst:

Support the Passage of the HEAL Act

The disproportionate weight of the worst pollution impacts falls onto the shoulders of many affected communities statewide. This HEAL Act (SB 5489 | HB 2009) serves as the starting point for establishing a healthy environment for all. Let your representatives know how important it is to:

  • Establish a definition of environmental justice;
  • Entrust agencies to address health disparities; and,
  • Create a task force to recommend how environmental justice principles should be applied through agencies’ decision-making processes.

In addition to contacting your representatives using this sample call script and email template, there are many other ways to take action:


Recruiting Seven More Families for Growing & Learning Together Program

We have the vision that all children will grow and develop to reach their full potential. Growing & Learning Together is a family support home-visiting program for pregnant women or mothers of a child under 3 years old. Visits are bi-weekly for approximately one hour. We provide research-based information to support parent-child interactions, provide strength-based parenting support, and serve as partners in the well-being of the entire family. Our program also includes monthly group connections to connect with other families in the program, and we offer assistance with diapers, clothes, and books. We have space to enroll seven Seattle-based families right now, with more slots opening later this year. Click to read in Spanish and view the flyer in English.

Sign Up for Lending Circle – Four Spots Left!

Studies have found that loaners find some borrowers of color riskier than those who are non-White when making an investment. Communities of color are more likely encounter more hurdles because they may not have a full credit history or fall short of the minimum credit score. To increase one’s credit score or borrow money without any risks, El Centro de la Raza is offering assistance to help build borrowers’ credit safely with the support of a community. Click here to view the flyer in English and Spanish. For questions, please contact Elise Garcia via email or call 206-717-0085.

We Rallied and Marched in Honor of Rev. Dr. MLK, Jr.

All of El Centro de la Raza participated in the rally and march on Monday, January 21 to honor Dr. King’s messages of equality, democracy, and freedom. Featured above, children from our Child Development Center Chinatown International District location exercised their civic engagement. While discussing these values in the context of today’s political climate with young children could be challenging, it is important to educate them about the importance of equality and how to treat others including those who are different from them. Please support our teachers at José Martí Child Development Center to keep doing this important work by making a gift today.

Growing & Learning Together

Growing & Learning Together is a family support home-visiting program for pregnant women or mothers of a child under 3 years old. Visits are bi-weekly for approximately 1 hour. We have the vision that all children will grow and develop to reach their full potential. We provide research-based information to support parent-child interactions, provide strength-based parenting support, and serve as partners in the well-being of the entire family. Our program includes monthly group connections to connect with the other families in the program We also offer assistance with diapers, clothes, and books.

Creciendo y Aprendiendo Juntos es un programa de visitas en casa con apoyo familiar para mujeres embarazadas o madres con hijos menores de 3 años. Las visitas son aproximadamente 1 hora cada dos semanas. Tenemos la visión que todos los niños crecerán y se desarrollarán para alcanzar su máximo potencial. Proporcionamos información basada en la investigación para apoyar las interacciones entre padres e hijos, proporcionar apoyo basado en la fortaleza de los padres y servir como socios en el bienestar de toda la familia. Nuestro programa incluye conexiones de grupo mensuales para conectarse con las otras familias en el programa. También ofrecemos asistencia con pañales, ropa y libros.

Giving Credit to Seattle Credit Union Where it is Due

Ruben, current Seattle Credit Union employee and graduate of Unidos in Finance program at El Centro de la Raza

Ruben never predicted he would start his career at a credit union. In college, he studied international business. While the topic interested him, the experience just was not clicking. “I burned out. I decided to take a break from school and was eager to start working,” he recalls.

Ruben nunca había predicho comenzar su carrera en una cooperativa de ahorro y crédito (credit union). Estudió negocios internacionales en la universidad. A pesar de que el tópico le interesaba, la experiencia no estaba asentándose. “Me cansé, decidí tomar un receso de la escuela y estaba ansioso por comenzar a trabajar”, recuerda.

His mom, who works at El Centro de la Raza, encouraged Ruben to look into Latinos in Finance (L.I.F) program. After auditing a class and learning more about the structure, goals, and potential outcomes of the program, Ruben signed up.

Su madre, que trabaja en El Centro de la Raza, alentó a Ruben a fijarse en el programa del centro “Latinos en Finanzas” (LIF, por sus siglas en inglés). Luego de asistir como oyente a la clase y aprender más sobre la estructura, metas y posibles resultados del programa, Ruben se inscribió.

The L.I.F program provides students with six weeks of rigorous financial sector training along with job readiness, money handling, and customer service skills. The curriculum – taught in both English and Spanish – combines traditional in-class lectures with frequent guest speakers and lessons with professionals from leading organizations in the industry: Key Bank, Bank of America, Seattle Credit Union, among many others.

El programa ILF proporciona a los estudiantes seis semanas de entrenamiento riguroso en el sector financiero, así como preparación para trabajar, manejo de dinero y habilidad en servicio al cliente. El currículo – enseñado tanto en inglés como español – combina lecciones tradicionales en clase con exponentes invitados y lecciones con profesionales de organizaciones líderes en la industria: Key Bank, Banco de América y, Seattle Credit Union, entre muchos otros.

Ruben’s class of 10 was a blend of college students and older adults, native Seattleites, and transplants. Two of his classmates were from Colombia, and one was from Venezuela. This diversity added a valuable perspective and context to an already enriching classroom experience.

La clase de Ruben compuesta de 10, era una mezcla de estudiantes universitarios y adultos mayores, originarios de Seattle y trasplantados. Dos de sus compañeros de clase eran de Colombia y uno de Venezuela. Esta diversidad agregó una perspectiva y contexto valiosos a una experiencia en la clase ya de por sí enriquecedora.

Ruben is proud to point out that every person in his class graduated, and nearly all of them have found meaningful employment in the financial industry.

Ruben orgullosamente señala que todas las personas en su clase se graduaron y que casi todos han encontrado un trabajo significativo en la industria financiera.

For Ruben, the credit union philosophy aligns with his personal values. He is eager to bolster diversity not just among Seattle Credit Union’s staff, but among our membership, too. He is also proud to strengthen his own community by sharing financial education, tips, and resources with each member interaction.

Para Ruben, la filosofía del credit union se alinea con sus valores personales. Su empeño refuerza diversidad no solo entre el personal de Seattle Credit Union sino también en la membrecía. Se siente orgulloso de fortalecer su propia comunidad compartiendo educación financiera, consejos y recursos en cada interacción con socios.

“I know I’m building community every day. I really like the mission and vision here,” he says.

“Se que estoy construyendo mi comunidad día a día. Me encanta la misión y la visión de aquí”, dice.

Ruben’s spirit is a cultural norm at Seattle Credit Union, where Richard Romero is CEO.

El espíritu de Ruben es una norma cultural en Seattle Credit Union, donde Richard Romero es el Oficial Ejecutivo Jefe (CEO, por sus siglas en inglés).

Richard, CEO of Seattle Credit Union

In an industry often regarded as detached and numbers-driven, Richard’s motivation to help the community prosper is deeply personal. He recalls the struggles growing up as an immigrant from Peru, arriving in the United States without knowing a word of English.

En una industria muchas veces mirada como fría y enfocada en números, la motivación de Richard de ayudar a su comunidad a prosperar es profundamente personal. Recuerda los desafíos al crecer como un inmigrante de Perú, llegado a los Estados Unidos sin saber una palabra de inglés.

His introduction to banking came from his mother, who worked at a bank while he was growing up in Peru. As a single mother, she worked hard to make ends meet for herself and two sons. Observing this taught Richard not only the nuances of banking, but also fostered a keen understanding of just how difficult it can be for newcomers to this country.

Su introducción al sector de la banca vino de su madre, quien trabajaba en un banco cuando el estaba creciendo en Perú. Como madre soltera, trabajó arduamente para llegar a fin de mes con sus dos hijos. El observar ésto, enseñó a Richard los matices de la banca, además de fomentar un entendimiento aplicado sobre cuán difícil puede ser para los recién llegado a este país.

This understanding cultivated in him a skillset often underestimated in a leader: empathy.

Este entendimiento, cultivó en él un conjunto de habilidades muchas veces subestimado en un líder: empatía

“Now, as a husband, father, and CEO, I find it important to align my personal values with my work values,” Richard says. “It didn’t take long after I arrived here seven years ago to realize there had to be more than growing deposits and assets to feel fulfilled and make a real difference.”

“Ahora, como esposo, padre y CEO, hallo importante alinear mis valores personales con mis valores laborales”, comenta Richard. “No me tomó mucho tiempo luego de llegar aquí hace siete años para darme cuenta que tenía que haber más que crecer depósitos y activos para sentirme satisfecho y hacer una diferencia real”.

It is work that takes a great deal of time, energy, persistence, and dedication. And we are seeing the results.

Es un trabajo que toma una gran cantidad de tiempo, energía, persistencia y dedicación. Y estamos viendo los resultados.

Over the last two years, Seattle Credit Union has built new branches in neighborhoods that have historically housed underserved populations, including a location here in our own Plaza Roberto Maestas Festival. They have developed new community partnerships and strengthened existing ones. Their recent rebrand emphasizes not only its continued commitment to those it serves but a re-ignition of the motivation that fuels its staff every day. And they have designed products and services – like their Citizenship loans – that cater to frequently marginalized groups.

En los últimos dos años, Seattle Credit Union ha construido sucursales nuevas en vecindarios que han albergado poblaciones históricamente marginadas, incluyendo locales en nuestro propio Festival Plaza Roberto Maestas. Ha forjado alianzas comunitarias nuevas y fortalecido las ya existentes. Su reciente innovación de imagen enfatiza no solo su compromiso continuo a aquellos a quienes presta servicios, sino también un recomienzo a la motivación que alienta a su personal día a día. Y ha diseñado productos y servicios – como los préstamos para Ciudadanía – direccionados a grupos frecuentemente marginales.

Empathy is the key that will continue to inspire Seattle Credit Union on its mission to help all – especially underserved populations – prosper in whatever way they dream.

La empatía es la llave que continúa inspirando a Seattle Credit Union a ayudar a todos – especialmente poblaciones marginales – a prosperar en cualquier sueño que tengan.

What Self-Sufficiency Means to the Family: Jimena’s Story

Jimena felt initially unsure about her English speaking skills, but progressed through her ESL classes at El Centro de la Raza last quarter. The ESL teacher noticed Jimena’s growing confidence and praised her for being an “excellent student.” Jimena is now so confident that she can go out on her own in the city instead of previously always relying on her husband to be a translator for her.

Recently, she accompanied her son to his doctor’s appointment where she was able to communicate with ease with the doctor in spite of her husband’s absence. She has transitioned to on-site classes this quarter at Seattle Central where is enhancing her English language skills.

Thank you for supporting ESL classes at El Centro de la Raza. If you know anyone who would like to take ESL classes, consider enrolling at our ESL classes. We hold ESL classes every Tuesday night and are currently accepting students. Your support sends the message that everyone, including Jimena, deserves to continue challenging themselves and reach their fullest potential.

Why is the health of your mouth important?


For every person at every age, a healthy mouth is vital. Good oral health is essential for your overall health. If you have ever had a severe cavity, you know how painful it can be. Kids in pain from dental problems have difficulty learning, eating and getting a good night’s sleep. They are absent from school more often. Some children are embarrassed to smile because of dental problems.

For adults, there is a link between dental disease and serious health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and pregnancy complications. Poor oral health can make it difficult to get a job, perform well at work and eat healthy foods.

The good news is that cavities and gum disease are preventable. Prevention and early treatment save money by reducing the likelihood of more serious and expensive oral health issues.

Fortunately, Apple Health (Medicaid) covers many dental services. However, only 56 percent of lower-income children in the state, and 23 percent of lower-income adults, actually saw a dentist in the last year.

There is a free online tool available at to help you find a dentist who accepts your insurance, including Apple Health.  You can also call or text 844-888-5465.  There are Spanish speakers ready to assist.

All children should have their mouth checked by a dentist or physician by age one. And, every pregnant woman should visit the dentist because cavity-causing germs can be passed from mother to child.

In addition to regular checkups, here are some tips to keep your mouth healthy:

  • Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss daily
  • Drink water (fluoridated tap water is best)
  • Avoid sugary beverages including juice, sports drinks, and soda
  • Choose healthy snacks such as cheese, fruit, and vegetables

Surveys of people in Washington show that oral health problems occur in all communities, but are more common among minorities and people with lower incomes.  For example, Hispanic children have a 50 percent higher rate of cavities than Caucasian children.

Everyone should be concerned about these health disparities.  We can and must do better.  No one should suffer from an easily preventable disease, especially a disease that affects the ability to learn, eat and find a job.

Go to The Mighty Mouth for more tips because ‘You’re healthier with a healthy mouth.’

Note: Thanks to the Arcora Foundation for sharing these tips with us!