Category Archives: Uncategorized

Seattle Gets Ready for President Obama’s Administrative Relief

21 PROGRESS partners, NWIRP and Casa Latina, held an informational event at Seattle Center, led off by greetings from Mayor Ed Murray.

The eligibility rules for expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), both announced by President Obama on Nov 20, 2014, were the main focus of the event.  People from all over the Seattle area and Washington State were invited to ask questions, and attend presentations in English and Spanish.

Photo: 21 Progress Outreach Coordinator Dante Garcia, and Student Intern, Yuri Cortez with Mayor Ed Murray.

Confessions of a Formerly Undocumented Youth

Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, had the courage to come out of the shadows and share his story of being undocumented (  This week New American Media shared another inspiring story of a young Filipino, Anthony Ng, who stepped out of the shadows with President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. You can read the full article here.

The story of Anthony’s family is one that anybody who has faced hardship in their life can relate to:
“The older Ngs only had a high school education and no professional skills to compete in the already overcrowded labor sector. The Philippine economy in the late 1990s was in turmoil, devastated by natural calamities and political strife, and unemployment was at an all-time high.

‘If you’re a responsible parent, the only way out from seeing your young driven to such a miserable existence is to get out. That defines the choices for many overseas workers,’ says Anthony.”


Let’s Close the Background Check Loophole in Washington!

Hey (you!)  Let’s Close the Background Check Loophole in Washington! Watch the videoHelp Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility pass I-594 in Washington to ensure criminal background checks. Sign up today to volunteer and Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility will contact you with more information. Sign up here. Curious what the latest news is on this issue? Here’s a recent write up from the Seattle P-I.

(Description of photo above: Cheryl Stumbo, a survivor of the Jewish Federation shootings, has become a leader in the campaign for Initiative 594.  If passed by voters, the initiative will expand background checks to all gun sales.  Joshua Trujillo,

Seattle – Indigenous People’s Day replaces Columbus Day

CITY HALL – 21 Progress staffers James To and Dante Garcia observed Seattle’s signing ceremony renaming Columbus Day, a holiday recognizing the accidental rediscovery of the Americas by a callous Italian explorer, to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, promoting the celebration of the many cultures and people who have called Seattle, the Pacific Northwest and the rest of the Americas home since long before any European explorers arrived.

This change represents more than a new name, but also a new message.  While Christopher Columbus is a symbol of Italian heritage in the U.S., to some, he is also a painful representation of the brutal oppression he inflicted on the peoples of the new world.  This renaming allows the second Monday of October to call forward the respect, community, and revitalization of those who have suffered.  With that in mind, may we be respectful of those who are different from us, strengthen the communities to which we belong, and lift up those who are less fortunate.
For more on this story, here is Indian Country Today Media Network’s coverage of the recent changes.
Below are more photos from the event:

The Supremes Did the Right Thing!

On Monday, October 6th, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand appeals court rulings which allow same-sex marriages. Five states – Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin now will be able to join Washington and 24 other states that allow same-sex marriages. New challenges will likely surface, but this is a real victory for the civil rights of all Americans. Here’s more coverage from the New York Times. (Photo: Sarah Cherin and Jen Strus wedding, 2010…and new addition to their family)

Register to Vote Online this Season!

Are you registered to vote? September 23rd is National Voter Registration Day and with that you can now vote online! Click here to register. Please share with friends and family. Our votes can make a difference! 2010 Census Data tells us that 50% of Asian voters and 75% of Latino voters are registered to vote. But that leaves us with almost 300,000 unregistered or infrequent Asian and Latino voters. With your help and participation we can lower the number of unregistered or infrequent Asian and Latino voters.

Dolores Huerta, in Seattle for National Voting Rights Commission

Lifelong civil rights icon, Dolores Huerta, was here this week for the Seattle hearing of the National Voting Rights Commission at the William H. Gates Law Center at the UW .  She and Cesar Chavez organized farm workers in California and was cofounder of the United Farm Workers.  Today, at 84 years young, she is president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and continues to travel and inspire new generations of activists for justice.

Huerta is a member of the National Voting Rights Commission was here to gather testimony from individuals and organizations in the Pacific Northwest. The National  Commission on Voting Rights is organized by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law.

The world mourns the loss of Maya Angelou

From Maya’s last tweet:

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.


Maya Angelou passed away in her home on Wednesday, May 28th.  We join the world in remembering her life.

ACLF and 21 PROGRESS Team Up!

A big thanks to the Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation (ACLF) for selecting 21 Progress for its 2014 community project: developing an outreach strategy to reach the 3,000 – 4,000 undocumented Asian Pacific Islanders eligible for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program.

Since the DACA program began in mid-2012, the percentage of Asian American and Pacific Islanders taking advantage of this program is less than 20%, while for Mexicans, it is over 70%.  DACA provides undocumented youth and young adults with a social security number and an opportunity for legitimate jobs and a college education.  And, perhaps most importantly, they can come out of the shadows and not fear deportation.

This project is part of ACLF’s Community Leaders Program (CLP), a six-month leadership program that offers training and mentorship to individuals with an interest and passion in social justice and leadership roles in their community. The CLP participants complete a group project that benefits and contributes to a healthy and vibrant API community

This year’s project focused on:

Identifying barriers and resources within the Asian Pacific Islander

Developing a strategic outreach and marketing plan to connect with

Building and maintaining lasting partnerships.

DACA Coordinator, Jesica Gonzalez responded to the CLP project presentation, “I’m speechless,” as all staff concurred that the CLP project had more depth and dimensions than we could have imagined. ACLF Class of 2014 Rocks!