Category Archives: Uncategorized

Seattle says: Black Lives Matter!

On December 6, 2014 over 1,000 people marched from Garfield High School to the Seattle Police Headquarters calling for an end to the tragic shootings of unarmed black men by police officers.  The march was led by young organizers from around the county.  Michael Brown and Eric Garner were remembered with an extended period of silence as the marchers knelt in the street with their hands up for several minutes in front of the Seattle Police Department Headquarters.  Seattle stands with Ferguson in the national fight to stop unjustified police shootings.

#BlackLivesMatter

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 (defineamerican.com).  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, seattlepi.com)

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.