We are pleased to introduce this year’s Roberto Felipe Maestas Scholarship recipients!

It is an accomplishment in and of itself to graduate in a year like 2021, but these scholars have truly gone above and beyond. This year’s Roberto Felipe Maestas Scholarship recipients are helping to build the Beloved Community by fighting for justice and generational healing. They have already shown promise as young community organizers, advocates, educators, and leaders.

Announcing our 2021 Legacy Award Honorees!

In honor of Roberto and his legacy, the Annual Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award recognizes two individuals, who exemplify Building the Beloved Community through multi-racial unity and working to eliminate poverty, racism, and social inequity. Roberto’s life was dedicated to this mission and he believed only through multi-racial unity can we eradicate poverty, racism, and social inequity. El Centro de la Raza celebrates our Legacy award winner by making a $1,000 gift in their name to an organization of their choice.

Award recipients will be recognized at El Centro de la Raza’s Building the Beloved Community Gala on Saturday, October 2, 2021.

El Centro de la Raza is pleased to recognize our annual Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award honorees:

Dr. Estell Williams, M.D. and  Edwin Lindo, J.D. 

Dr. Estell Williams, M.D. is a board-certified general surgeon, an Assistant Professor of Surgery, and Executive Director of the Doctor For A Day outreach program through the University of Washington School of Medicine. 

Edwin Lindo, J.D. is a Critical Race Theory Scholar and educator and Assistant Dean for Social and Health Justice at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Edwin teaches, presents, and writes on issues of race and racism within Medicine and society.

​Together, Edwin and Estell are the co-founders of Estelita’s Library, a community library and bookstore with a focus on social justice, ethnic studies, and liberation movements. Estelita’s goal is to have community book talks, classes, meetings, history lessons, and much more to strengthen and develop our collective analysis for justice. Estelita’s Library’s model is to build upon the traditional bookstore model and include community book lending. The space and books are open to everyone, at no charge

Consider writing a letter to your local newspaper

Hello and happy summer! As the season winds down and families and teachers get ready for kids to return to school, we’re thinking about the boost they’ll get soon, thanks to new investments from the Education Legacy Trust. 

During the last legislative session, a majority of lawmakers took the bold and necessary step of balancing our upside-down tax code by passing a tax on extraordinary capital gains. While our tax code is still far from fair, we’re finally starting to make the wealthy to pay their share. 

The capital gains tax will add an estimated $500 million a year to the Education Legacy Trust, making child care more accessible and affordable, enrolling more children in early learning programs, funding K-12 education, and providing more opportunities for students in community colleges and universities. Less than 1% of the state’s wealthiest residents will pay this tax, but every community in Washington will benefit.

Will you help us share this good news? We have to thank legislators for their hard work and commitment and ask them to keep working to make the tax code more equitable. 

We’re asking friends and partners to spread the word. Consider writing a letter to your local newspaper about our upside-down tax code and how the capital gains tax will start to fix it. 

If you need inspiration, here’s an excerpt from a letter that SEIU 925 leader Kathy Yasi recently submitted to the Seattle Times: 

In D37 we elected Sen. Saldana, Rep. Santos and Rep. Harris-Tally to lead us in finding ways to make sure everyone pays their fair share in our state.  I want to thank each of them for their hard work and dedication to find solutions to our unfair tax system.  And still, we have more work to do.

Thank you, Kathy, for taking the lead! And thanks in advance for your efforts to do the same. We appreciate you helping us share ways that a fairer tax code will benefit you and your neighbors — and to counter those who like the system just the way it is. Together, we’re making progress!

Letter writing talking points

Capital Gains Letter to the Editor Templates

Introduction: Say who you are and why you’re writing. 

For example:

“I’m a mom in Edmonds and I’m excited about more options for child care that are coming because this year legislators passed a capital gains tax on the super rich.”


“As a local business owner here in Spokane, the new capital gains tax passed by state legislators this year means my employees will have more options for child care and parents will see more investments in education.”

Body: Talk about the capital gains tax and why it’s important. 

For example:

“Childcare, preschool, and other education are funded by a new tax on capital gains, profits of more than $250,000 from the sale of stocks and bonds. Less than 1% of Washingtonians will pay this tax, but everyone will benefit.”


“The capital gains tax is a good step to making sure everyone is paying their share in taxes and supporting the services — like early learning and education — that we all benefit from.”


“We can make sure that every community has what they need to thrive when we insist that every person pays their share in taxes.” 

Closing: Thanks legislators for their vote or ask legislators to continue fixing our upside-down tax code

For example:

“But those with the most are still not paying their share in taxes. Our tax code is the most upside-down in the country, which means those with the least income are paying the highest share of their earnings in state and local taxes. We have to make this more fair. Our elected leaders should find more ways to make sure everyone pays their share.” 


“I want to thank (legislator name) for having the courage to vote for the capital gains tax. Our community needs investments like (example) that the tax will fund. I also appreciate your recognition that the tax code still isn’t fair and I encourage you to keep working on solutions like a wealth tax and a more equitable estate tax. Thank you!” 

Sign: Don’t forget to sign your name. Some papers also require the city where you live or your address. 

Important Notes

  • Most publications set a limit of 200 words for letters to the editor so please keep your submission under that. 
  • Find your local paper and information on how to contact them on our handy spreadsheet

Sample Letter

Dear editor, 

I’m writing to thank our state legislators, (name) and (name), who voted for a capital gains tax that requires the wealthy few to pay their share and starts to balance our upside-down tax code and.

Washington is dead last when it comes to tax fairness, but that changed this week when the capital gains tax went into effect. 

For too long, we’ve asked those who earn the least to pay the greatest share of their income in state and local taxes. We’ve asked them to foot most of the bill for schools, health care, transportation, and other services that benefit all of us. 

A capital gains tax will make sure that those with the most pay their share. It will fund child care, preschool, and K-12 education. All of us will benefit, especially parents who need accessible and affordable early learning and employers who need a reliable workforce. 

Lawmakers should keep working to make our tax code more fair. They must make sure everyone pays their share so we can all get the services we need. They should look for other ways, like a wealth tax, to ask those who have done well in Washington to do right by Washington. 



Sample letter

To the editor:

This year, we came together to tell legislators it was time to address our upside-down tax code and ask the wealthiest Washingtonians to pay their share. I applaud state legislators (name) and (name) for their vote for the capital gains tax. 

Washington is dead last when it comes to tax fairness, but that changed this week when the capital gains tax went into effect. 

For too long, we’ve asked those who earn the least to pay the greatest share of their income in state and local taxes. We’ve asked them to foot most of the bill for schools, health care, transportation, and other services that benefit all of us. 

We’ve been told there’s not enough in the state budget to fund everything we need for our communities to be healthy and prosperous. But that’s not true. There are plenty of resources in our state. We must ask those who have done well in Washington to do right by Washington. 

I/my organization is going to continue asking lawmakers to make our tax code more fair. I hope you’ll join me/us. When everyone pays their share, we can all get the services we need, including (name your organization’s service or issue).



September Noticias and Articles Relevant to Our Community

Celebrate Heritage and Diversity!

National Voter Registration Day 2021 is September 28!

Interested in finding out how you can help to get out the vote? Reach out to our amazing Volunteer coordinator Mandela Gardner for more information: volunteer@elcentrodelaraza.org

Register to Vote!

A virtual, community meeting will be held this Thursday, September 23 at 7:00. Please email us at ECCCinfo@elcentrodelaraza.org to receive a Zoom link, or visit our project website for more information at  https://elcentrodelaraza.org/get-help/housing-economic-development/columbia-city/

Viviendas económicas propuesto para el vecindario de Columbia City.  Visite nuestro sitio web https://elcentrodelaraza.org/get-help/housing-economic-development/columbia-city/ para más información.

በኮሎምቢያ ሲቲ በዝቅተኛ ዋጋ ሊሰሩ የታሰቡ/ይታቀዱ ቤቶች:: ለተጨማረ መረጃ በድህረ ገፃችን https://elcentrodelaraza.org/get-help/housing-economic-development/columbia-city/ ይመልከቱ::

Guriyeen la awoodi karo ayaa loo soo jeediyay Magaalada Columbia. Kaga bogo boggayaga https://elcentrodelaraza.org/get-help/housing-economic-development/columbia-city/ wixii macluumaad dheeraad ah.

Chương trình nhà ở giá rẻ được đề xuất cho thành phố Columbia.  Xin vào Trang Web của chúng tôi tại https://elcentrodelaraza.org/get-help/housing-economic-development/columbia-city/ để biết thêm thông tin

Sentinel Event Review of Police Response to 2020 Protests in Seattle

King County launches Child Care Financial Assistance (CCFA)

Updated vendor schedule for Plaza Roberto Maestas!

Free Tax Preparation & Expanded Child Tax Credit Information at El Centro de la Raza – Every Tuesday from 2-8 PM in our Centilia Cultural Center until September 28th

Articles of Interest

Consider Writing a Letter to Your Local Newspaper [and Some Instructions on How]

Democrats Look for Plan B After Blow on Immigration

International Day of Peace | United Nations | 2021 Theme: Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world

Mayor Durkan Announces Fourth School Year of Free, Unlimited Transit Passes to Thousands of Seattle Students

Senator Murray Hails Senate Confirmation of David Estudillo as U.S. District Court Judge

There’s Noise, There’s Music. Estelita’s is Not Your Average Seattle Library — it’s a Space for Community.

Your Guide to Hispanic Heritage Month in Seattle

Cuentos From Our Programs and Community: September 2021

Sol, Sonrisas y Aventuras! Youth Scholars venture into Summer Hybrid Learning Programs at El Centro De La Raza

Summer Learning Program — Seattle and Federal Way: 6th – 8th-grade scholars enjoyed a field trip to the great outdoors!

With the glorious Pacific Northwest summer as our backdrop, the youth of the Summer Learning program were eager to venture on field trip excursions. Mask in hand and social distance guidelines in place, youth participated in four field trips carefully selected to give youth exposure to spaces they might not otherwise frequent.  Two of the most memorable field trips were a hiking excursion to Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, and a self-lead scavenger hunt tour of the University of Washington. “Just being out of the house is nice, and hanging out with friends make these the best field trips ever!” shared youth scholar, Jayson.

In order to be eligible for field trips, the youth had to attend 80% of virtual sessions held via Zoom during the week. #Earned! Centered on skill-building, youth attended three daily classes focus on math, language arts, and cultural enrichment. Though cameras reminded off, having in-person opportunity to meet created the comfort and open space for continuous participation. We look forward to transitioning scholars to the after-school program starting September 2021.

If you are interested in signing up your scholar, please contact our Youth Programs Manager, Liz Huizar M.A. at lhuizar@elcentrodelaraza.org.

A challenge to make ceviche for roommates inspired this Oaxacan immigrant to start his own Seattle business

The Business Opportunity Center of El Centro de la Raza would like to congratulate Marcos Arellano, owner of Shark Bite Ceviches and participant of our Food Incubator Program. We celebrate his hard work and his recognition in the Seattle Times! For more information about the Food Incubator Program, please contact Ivette Aguilera: iaguilera@elcentrodelaraza.org or at (206) 883-1981.

Marcos Arellano, a vendor who started selling ceviche five years ago, stands near the cart where he sells his ceviches at the outdoor plaza located at El Centro de La Raza, 1660 S. Roberto Maestas Festival St. in Seattle Monday-Friday, 12 p.m – 7 p.m. (Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)

El Centro de la Raza’s Small Business Development Program provides small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with workshops, business development advice, credit counseling, and access to a variety of resources all aiming to foster long-term financial stability and independence. Your donations ensure that we can continue to provide such valuable services.

Mil gracias Mick for all your hard work and the flowers!

“A garden should make you feel you’ve entered privileged space — a place not just set apart but reverberant — and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.”

Michael Pollan

We are sad to say goodbye to Mick Duggan our Master Gardner, who is retiring after 15 years from his amazing work in the Cesar Chavez Demonstration Garden! Mick has toiled and tilled as our our volunteer Master Gardener since 2006! We have learned so much and will miss you! Best of luck in all your future endeavors, and may all your gardens grow!