Join Me for UW’s Womxn of Color In Politics Forum!

Ever wanted to learn about what it's like to run for office as a woman of color?

Join me, Seattle City Council Position 8 Candidate Teresa Mosqueda, and ASUW President Daniele Meñez to hear about our experiences!

This Monday, May 15th, at 6 PM

Husky Union Building

Room 250

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ICYMI: Murray Signs $1 Million Immigrant Legal Defense Fund

Recent incidents at SeaTac International Airport, where refugees and immigrants from several majority-Muslim countries were denied entry into the U.S., and the detainment of Daniel Ramirez-Medina, a young man who was brought to the U.S. as a child, highlight the need for legal assistance for people facing immigration proceedings initiated by the Trump administration. In the first national study of access to counsel in immigration courts, the American Immigration Council found that immigrants who were represented in court were up to 10 times more likely to obtain relief than those without representation. “The scales of justice are out of balance when immigrants, and oftentimes children, appear alone in court without legal representation or any viable way to defend themselves, while the government has seasoned immigration attorneys working every single case,” said González. “Everyone deserves access to legal aid, and this legislation will help make that a reality.”…Source

City Council passes ordinance to create legal defense fund for immigrants and refugees

April 17, 2017 - In an unanimous vote, the Seattle City Council passed a resolution to dedicate $1 million to helping locally-based immigrants and refugees get legal representation. City Councilors Lorena González and Tim Burgess first announced the legislation late last month.

In immigration court, people don’t have the same right to an attorney that they would otherwise—and without access to public defenders, proceedings often go on without representation.

The fund will function as a grant, and community organizations will be able to apply for the money to secure immigration attorneys and other legal assistance for people facing immigration court or going through a complex naturalization process.

In chambers today, Councilor González thanked the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs for making sure the ordinance had “enough flexibility in the underlying legislation to make sure [the legislation] truly meets the needs of the community.”

“To me,” said González, “this is a beautiful opportunity for this council and this city to really stand by its values.”

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Seattle officials propose $1M legal defense fund for immigrants

  The latest arenas for the city of Seattle's multi-front resistance to the Trump administration are likely to be immigration courts in Seattle and Tacoma. Two City Council members, with backing from Mayor Ed Murray, said Thursday they want to use $1 million in city money to establish a legal defense fund to help the Emerald City's immigrants and refugees. "Each of our friends, neighbors and family members who go to immigration court deserve to be accompanied by someone who understands their case," said Councilwoman M. Lorena Gonzalez, proposing the fund with council colleague Tim Burgess.
The fund will be taken up on April 12 at the council's Gender Equity, Safe Communities and New Americans Committee.  (Yes, that's actually its name.) Help would be structured as a grant, and community-based organizations would apply for money to hire immigration attorneys, legal staff and "legal navigators" to aid immigrants facing trial and removal from the United States. Source

Work in Seattle? Six months of paid family leave may soon be an option

The proposal, introduced by Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez on Wednesday, would dramatically increase the compensation for new parents in all sectors. Gonzalez, who championed paid parental leave when she ran for office, is proposing  26 weeks of paid leave to workers to care for a new child or a family member with a serious medical condition. … READ MORE

Councilmember pitches Seattle paid family and medical leave

Seattle Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez says it’s time for paid family and medical leave. She’s made a bold suggestion: Either the State does it, or the City will. “It’s fundamentally unjust to say that you can take time off, but we’re not willing to pay you to take care of a basic human need that we … READ MORE

Family and parental leave policies are new front for labor supporters

Efforts to craft a parental- and family-leave law are underway in the state Legislature, while Seattle City Councilmember M. Lorena González plans to introduce Wednesday a proposal for a leave law that would cover all employers within the city. … Councilmember González’s proposal, which she intends to introduce Wednesday at a committee meeting, would cover … READ MORE

Councilmember González: “The Equality Act is not only needed, it is long overdue”

March 13, 2017 Seattle City Council unanimously approved a resolution today urging Congress to introduce and adopt “The Equality Act,” which would grant equal protection to LGBTQ residents across the United States.  Currently, individual states are able to deny access to housing, employment, education, public accommodations, and more because of a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity … READ MORE

Councilmembers’ Statement of Support Following Threat to Jewish Community Center

February 28th, 2017 All nine Seattle City Councilmembers issued the following statement after yesterday’s bomb threat to the Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island: “We are horrified by yesterday’s bomb threat against the Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island and the anti-Semitic and racist graffiti found in Ballard. As leaders of Seattle and … READ MORE

After Delay, Seattle Expands Paid Family Leave for City Employees

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously this afternoon to approve a new paid leave policy for city employees, expanding leave for new parents from four to 12 weeks and creating a new four-week family leave policy for employees who need to care for sick family members. (The vote was 8-0; Council Member Debora Juarez was … READ MORE