In the FormaciónCivic program we work with newly registered Latino and Immigrant voters to provide non-partisan civic education and training on effective ways to participate in our democratic system.
Our points of focus for civic engagement:
- Protecting Civil and Human Rights
- Increasing access to safe and affordable housing
- Sustainable Jobs that Provide Healthy Livelihoods
- Access to Quality Education
- Access to Affordable Health Care
- Fair and Just Immigration Reform
We work to educate our communities to: Vote their needs, priorities and values.
We also work with our allies!
The Immigrant Solidarity Committee is made up of community allies organizing and advocating for justice for immigrant
families in Whatcom County. Members provide support by participating in advocacy at the National, State and local levels; conducting ongoing citizenship classes; support for families at crisis times such as ICE raids, keeping the community updated on immigration reform legislation; building relationships with local law enforcement and Border Patrol to support justice for immigrants.
For more information, contact Caroline Correa; Chair – Immigrant Solidarity Committee at Cecorrea2002@yahoo.com, 360-647-1232. Join the Immigrant Solidarity Committee the 2nd Wednesday of every month or sign-up for the ISC listserve. Caroline posts regular updates on immigration reform and immigrant justice related topics from local, regional and national sources.
Latino Legislative Day (LLD)
Friday Feb.17 / 2012.
The day began for many of us around several counties, earlier than usual, finally the day that our voice would be heard as a community, a good number of members of the Latino community would be meeting us. All, at one same event. Community to Community (C2C) and other groups in Skagit and Whatcom Counties Where appointed: children, adolescents and adults, all boarded the bus that would take us to Olympia, the capital city of the State of Washington.
In many of us a look of uncertainty and even perhaps a bit of fear was the common denominator, because in a way, we were headed, to “The Lion’s Den.” After all based on similar experiences, one wouldn’t know, what kind of reaction or resistance to our requests we could find, by walking or protesting at the legislative halls. Unfortunately this “Fear” of the authority and it’s “Laws”, is something we can not easily overcome and is present in our lives, both the same as the color of our own skin.
Once there, it became noticeable the importance, and the convening power that this day had, hundreds of people filled every seat in the auditorium. In fact a good number of people had to remain standing in the absence of more seats. So the day began, several issues of importance to the Latino community, made part of the day’s agenda.
Topics such as:
• Priorities in the health system. (The goal is to protect their health lifeline for hundreds of thousands of citizens of the state of Washington, examining all sources of income available, giving priority to finance the “Basic Health Plan,” the Health Insurance for Kids “Apple Health for Kids Program “and the “Disability lifeline “.
• Priorities in the legislature of Education.(Project achievements in the education of Latinos( “LEAP”)
• Grant Financial Aid to Undocumented students, based on their financial needs.
• Voting rights. (In general elections remain an obstacle that prevents Latinos and other racial and Ethnic minorities to have access to political processes at a Local Level)
• Judicial priorities, the HB2432 (Intervention Program and Crime Prevention for youth involved in gangs).
• Part 1 and 2 of the immigration policy for field workers, the HB2568 (It gives the employer the option to voluntarily participate in the use of Electronic Verification Program (E-Verify) to employ workers without the need to verify their migratory status.
Subsequently, we marched to the Capitol’s Rotunda, led by the Council of the Carpenters Union and workers of the Northwest Teamsters 760 of Yakima, and C2C Leader Angelica Villa and young lady Kenia Gonzalez. The atmosphere that reigned during the march, was that of Unity and Struggle at the same time. About 400 people walked peacefully, not without expressing their feelings by shouting the familiar popular slogans such as:
“YES WE CAN …..YES WE CAN “and also: “WHAT DO WE WANT?….Justice ….WHEN DO WE WANT IT? ….Now “
People were screaming, with the same passion as they did 30 years ago, during the decade of the 70’s time during which the leader of the Latino movement, Cesar Chavez founded the UFW (United Farm Workers) .They walked the streets of different states across America, raising awareness of the Unfair working conditions and needs of the migrant workers, not only in the agricultural industry, but several others as well. To this day Cesar Chavez is celebrated in many states around the country, the day of his birthday on March 31, particularly in the State of California where it is celebrated as a State holiday. Chavez’s legacy continues to inspire our common struggle, hence the relevancy of today’s event .
The ‘Latino Legislative Day’ is one of particular importance to this Minority Community and in part due to the efforts of people like: Nina Martinez leader of the “Latino Civic Alliance”. (www.latinocivicalliance.org)
Multiple speakers from different districts participated. First District (D) representative Luis Moscoso, made it clear to everyone attending the event, the importance and purpose of our visit and participation as a community by saying:
“TODAY, IS THE DAY THAT YOU… LATINOS COME TO OLYMPIA, UNITED TO MAKE THE LEGISLATORS AND THE GOVERNOR, TAKE ACTION ON THE IMPORTANT ISSUES TO OUR COMMUNITY.”
At the end of the day, after the participation of: Maru Villalpando Representative of the “Latino Advocacy and United Workers”, who in her speech talked about the Immigration /Farm Worker Policy Session Part 1 . Followed by Rosalinda Guillen, Director of (C2C) Community to Community whom talked about the Immigration/farm Worker Policy Part 2. It was made clear that the struggle continues, and that this is only one more step that the Latino Community in Washington State takes towards the changes currently needed, and for decades now, still want to achieve. On this day, we caught the attention of our Legislators and other politicians, whom are very aware of the perseverance and commitment behind these goals yet to reach.
If you are interested in participating or want to know your rights as a future citizen or legal resident.
or by Phone at:(360) 738-0893