We’ve Hit the Ground Running!
This week, during my inauguration for my full-term as Council Member, I gave a glimpse into the work we will be doing in 2018. The challenges facing the people of our city are real, but I when we work together with solutions rooted in community needs, I know we can right the course.
I was honored to join the roll-out of the campaign for a Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, which will ensure that the folks who care for our kiddos and elders have protections enjoyed by other members of the workforce. The connection between affordability in housing, healthcare, and access to services such as childcare, transit, and recreation is real, and my office will be collaborating with fellow council-members to move our city forward with more options for childcare providers, and an aim to ensure that no family pays more than 10% of their income for care of their kiddos.
We will work to ensure that Seattle City Light provides affordable rates for low-income families, while pushing for more housing types in all neighborhoods of our city, expanding missing middle dramatically while providing more opportunities for families to thrive near our amazing parks, with access to our trail system and great schools. We will push forward with anti-harassment, anti-assault, anti-intimidation policies, ensuring that all workers – especially women – feel safe and welcome in all parts of our society, and that there is a meaningful response for those who would abuse their power.
So, keep watching and stay involved. There is a lot of work to do, and together, we can accomplish great things.
We have other pressing matters on our doorstep. Monday, the Trump Administration announced it is ending the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program for immigrants from El Salvador. Salvadorans fleeing their home country have done so due to natural disasters, violence, and real threats to their and their families lives. Since 2001, with the support of the United States government, 250,000 Salvadorans have resettled in the U.S., have built homes, raised families, and been part of the fabric of our nation. The administration’s move, with a Congress complicit through inaction on immigration reform measures, is yet another attack on our neighbors across the country. But, in Seattle, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all members of our community.
I am proud to serve as Vice Chair on Councilmember Gonzalez’s Gender Equity, Safe Communities, New Americans and Education Committee which has purview over protecting immigrants and refugees. We would like to make sure everyone knows about an upcoming mega workshop, organized by the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. This is an opportunity for immigrants to obtain assistance with citizenship applications, and attorneys and paralegals to give back to the community by volunteering time.
Seattle United for Immigrants and Refugees
Free Citizenship Assistance
Our volunteer attorneys and experts can help you with your citizenship application. Click here to register. (NOTE: The City of Seattle does not share personal information with ICE or any other federal agency for OIR programs).
If you have other immigration questions, volunteer immigration attorneys will offer free legal consultations from 10 AM to 2 PM; you do not need to register in advance for immigration consultations. For more information and help getting prepared, call 206-386-9090 or visit www.newcitizencampaign.org. Also, please share and spread the word with the two images below:
Want to Volunteer?
Do you want to help prepare and/or provide legal support for this workshop? OIRA is seeking volunteers, especially attorneys, paralegals, and bilingual logistics volunteers. If you are If you are interested in volunteering, click here to register as a volunteer. Please share this volunteer opportunity with your networks via social media or otherwise.
Seattle, this is a crucial time for our community to stand together, and stand up against xenophobia and bigotry that the current administration is attempting to foment and weave into public policy. Our shared commitment is stronger, and together we can ensure that families are not torn from their communities in an effort to advance a white-nationalist agenda. Thank you for your commitment to all Seattleites!
Of course, there is some good news to report. Late on Tuesday night, U.S. District Judge William Alsup temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s phaseout of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and ruled the administration must resume receiving DACA renewal applications. However, the ruling is also limited since it doesn’t’ allow for new applications from those who haven’t received DACA in the past. I support Judge William Alsup’s decision, but we must also remember that the DACA program was never going to be a permanent solution for DREAMers and that the Trump administration will likely challenge this ruling. Unfortunately, this will likely cause confusion and anxiety in the community. This decision further highlights the need for Congress and the White House to find a permanent legislative solution for DREAMers with a path to citizenship. As a Welcoming City, we have made a commitment to all our immigrant communities. This includes finding ways to make Seattle a safer and more equitable city for all our residents as well as being a vocal advocate on the national stage. This is the time for courageous action. Now, more than ever, we need to stand in solidarity with undocumented immigrant youth to keep advocating for a clean Dream Act.