Take Action July 2022

What our representatives are doing to address health care workforce shortages and help immigrant workers

On June 7th, Representatives Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) introduced legislation to help alleviate health care workforce shortages across the country and reduce employment barriers for immigrants who want to work in the health care field. Here is a brief summary of the three bills that were introduced:

  • The Immigrants in Nursing and Allied Health Act would help immigrants, regardless of whether they have any previous health care experience, get the financial support they need to enter nursing and allied health careers including nursing, mental and behavioral health, and other health care professions.
  • The IMG Assistance Act would help reduce the barriers that international medical graduates face when trying to complete the necessary training and certification to receive a U.S. medical license.
  • The Professional’s Access to Health (PATH) Workforce Integration Act would offer training and counseling opportunities to internationally trained health professionals who are U.S. citizens, or immigrants legally residing in the U.S. while educating employers on the abilities and capacities of health professionals who have been educated overseas.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated national workforce challenges in health care. We must do everything we can to support health care workers, combat staffing shortages, and rebuild our health care system. One way we can do that is by reducing barriers to employment for immigrants looking to enter the health care field,” said Rep. Adam Smith. “Many immigrants, including those with international medical degrees, face significant costs and challenges to becoming health care professionals that deter them from entering the field. These bills will help reduce existing barriers and provide funding for training, licensing, certification, and case management services for immigrants in the U.S. to expand access to good-paying health care jobs and build a stronger health care workforce. Our country is in desperate need of more primary care physicians, nurses, behavioral health professionals, technicians, and other critical workers who care for our communities. There are many immigrants who are willing and able to fill these positions – these bills would take meaningful action to make these job opportunities a possibility for immigrants.”

“Healthcare provider shortages have created care deserts. This is unacceptable. At its current capacity, our nation’s infrastructure does not have the ability to supply a health professional workforce to fill the current and projected U.S. needs. At the same time, internationally educated health professionals already residing legally in the U.S., including physicians, nurses, dentists, mental health providers, pharmacists, social workers, and other health professionals, are currently working as childcare providers, home health aides, taxi drivers, laborers, and low-skilled jobs,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard. “I commend my colleague, Representative Smith, for his leadership in addressing this issue and I am proud to be working with him to introduce these three bills that will reduce barriers to entry into the workforce for internationally educated health professionals. My bill, the “Professionals Access to Health Workforce Integration Act,” or PATH Act would help to create a pipeline for lawfully present foreign trained health professionals to enter the American workforce with employment matching their health professional skills, education, and expertise. By facilitating the integration of these internationally trained health professionals into the U.S. health workforce, we will help increase our nation’s workforce diversity and contribute to improvements in the quality and availability of care for underserved populations.”

More information about the bills and a list of endorsements can be found here.

Mark and share Voting Deadlines Washingtonians!

Get registered here: https://voter.votewa.gov/WhereToVote.aspx?org=ECDLR & add these dates to your calendar:

Primary election: Tuesday, August 2

  • Deadline to register online or by mail: Monday, July 25

General Election: Tuesday, November 8

  • Deadline to register online or by mail: Monday, October 31

Events: July- August 2022

August 12, 2022: Somos Seattle Pride Celebration at El Centro de la Raza!

Everyone is invited free event to celebrate our 4th Annual Seattle Latinx Pride Festival! Let’s celebrate our LGBTQ and Latino/a/x identities

Acompañanos en el cuarto festival del Orgullo LGBTQ Latino! Ven celebrar el orgullo de la comunidad Gay, Lesbiana, Bi, Trans Latina.


Event: 4th Seattle Latinx Pride Festival

Date: Friday, August 12, 2022

Time: 5:00 PM -10:00 PM

Location: Plaza Roberto Maestras, 1650 S Roberto Maestas Festival Street, Seattle WA 98144

August 13: Movie Night at El Centro! Noche de Pelicula!

El Centro de la Raza looks forward to our monthly market to support our local businesses and to host a movie night!

More information to follow as the date approaches in the link below!

Event: Noche de Pelicula y Mercado!

Date: Saturday, August 13, 2022

Time: 10:00 AM  8:00 PM

Location: Plaza Roberto Maestras, 1650 S Roberto Maestas Festival Street, Seattle WA 98144

October 8: Reserve your tickets for our 5oth Anniversary Gala now!

Celebrate 50 triumphant years of El Centro de la Raza with us at our annual Building the Beloved Community Gala on October 8th, 2022. It has been an honor to spend the last half-century dedicating our work towards serving our community, and we have so many people that we are grateful to. We want to dedicate this momentous anniversary year to:

  • Pioneers of social change, including advocates for mutli-racial unity, shepherds of anti-war movements, local faith communities, volunteers, and activists
  • The people who originally occupied the old Beacon Hill school in the name of dignity and for a better life for the Latino community
  • Our generous supporters from all walks of life, who have made it possible for us to continue our work, from 1972 to this present day

It is an honor to still be here today providing critical services, life-changing opportunities, developing resiliency, and hope. We are so fortunate to not only be surviving, but thriving, with all thanks due to our incredible community of supporters, donors, residents, and staff.


Join us on Saturday, October 8, 2022 for our 50th Anniversary Building the Beloved Community Gala and take part in an exciting live event that raises funds for vital programs and services that benefit more than 21,000 individuals and families across our region. The evening also includes the presentation of our Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Awards & Scholarships. Registration will become available later this year.

Please call (206) 957-4649 or email events@elcentrodelaraza.org for more information.

June-July: Cuentos from Our Work

81 Students Graduate to Kindergarten from the José Martí Child Development Center

We are proud to announce that a total of 81 children successfully completed their final year of preschool and graduated from the José Martí Child Development Center! They are now prepared for their next adventure: kindergarten!

Though the ongoing pandemic posed many challenges, the children participated in dual-language programming and learned the skills to prepare them for kindergarten. They engaged with social justice and community involvement topics and made significant strides in social/emotional, physical, cognitive and linguistic development.

We are so thankful to all of our students, families, and community of supporters for their role in keeping our program running, and keeping our students safe and healthy. And mil gracias to Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) and Seattle Preschool Program as well as the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) and City of Seattle subsidy programs that make it possible for many of our students to attend high quality, affordable preschool.

Finally, we just want to say another BIG congratulations to our graduates for a great year — our hope to each of you is that you will continue learning and continue to be proud of your cultures, languages and who you are. You and your families are always welcome at El Centro de la Raza, and we hope to see you all at future community and cultural events. We will miss you all and wish you the best of luck in kindergarten!

We Remember July 27th and Santos Rodriguez, Always

Before dawn of July 24, 1973, 12-year old Santos Rodriguez and his brother were taken from their home in Dallas to the back of a police vehicle at gunpoint by Officer Darrel Cain. With a gun pointed at Santos’ temple, the officer pulled the trigger once, warning both children that he would continue until he had the truth. Convinced they were both lying about robbing a soda machine, he pulled the trigger again, ending Santos life instantly.

At El Centro de la Raza, employees decided to name a park in his memory, the Santos Rodriguez Memorial Park, to remind us that we must continue to fight against racism for a better world for our children.

Henry Sanchez joins El Centro de la Raza

We are glad to introduce Henry Sanchez, our Ethnic Studies Aide who will be mentoring students at El Centro de la Raza. He is a first generation student who is currently a senior at University of Washington, majoring in Comparative Ethnic Studies with a minor in Sociology.

Henry first connected with El Centro when the landowners of the mobile home park in SeaTac where his family lived decided to sell its land and give long time residents a two week eviction notice. He and other kids and teens formed a Youth Committee, and the largely Hispanic mobile park neighborhood became activists. They put together a documentary to talk about why they loved where they lived and the community that was there. For many in Seattle, it is one of the last bastions of affordable housing. With such short notice, people who had poured all of their savings into their homes for decades were about to lose their houses–many of which were not structurally sound to move or had difficulty finding spaces in other parks.

With El Centro de la Raza’s support, Henry’s family was able to purchase another home in time. Like many families, Henry engaged with different programs to strengthen his household and today he is mentoring others to do the same. Welcome Henry!