Sen. Rebecca Saldaña Newsroom

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    Saldaña: Changes to USPS must be undone to ensure fair election

Saldaña: Changes to USPS must be undone to ensure fair election

Deputy Senate Majority Leader Rebecca Saldaña (D-Seattle) issued the statement below following the announcement today by the Postmaster General that he will cease operational changes to the US Postal Service until after the November election:

“I am pleased and relieved that the Postmaster General has agreed to halt changes to mail service. It is important that this be followed by action to undo the damage already done to the Post Office. Every single Washingtonian relies on the essential services the Post Office provides from the delivery of critical medicine to paychecks, rent checks, and ballots.

“As one of five states that are exclusively vote-by-mail, Washingtonians rely heavily on the employees of the Post Office in holding a free and fair election. These changes will damage this fundamental American right and they must be undone.

“In this Washington, we believe our democratic institutions are stronger when we take down barriers to voting, instead of adding barriers.”

August 18th, 2020|E-News, News Release|

Summer Food and Meal Resources in Our Community

Dear neighbors,

Over the last several weeks, my office has received requests to help spread the word about the distribution of free food in our community for the many that are struggling to make ends meet due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s newsletter is dedicated to providing information about programs in and near our district that are providing free food to families and individuals.

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe in these difficult times, and I urge everyone to mask up and continue to practice social distancing since we’ve seen another surge in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks. Remember, “my mask protects you, and your mask protects me.” Each of us must do our part to keep our community safe.

Summer Meals for K-12 Students

Seattle Public Schools Child looking out a window while biting into a green apple.

Meals at School Sites

Seattle Public Schools (SPS) has sack breakfasts and lunches available at school sites Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Find a list and map of sites here.

Reheatable prepared meals provided by FareStart are available for families to pick up at these school sites, as well.

Weekend student meal support is provided by the Backpack Brigade and Food for Schools. Families in need can pick up these non-perishable food items on Fridays.

Additional information:

  • ADA accessibility support is available at school sites.
  • Meals must not be eaten at the school due to social distancing requirements.
  • All students can pick up meals at these sites, and parents or guardians may pick up meals for students. The student does not need to be present.
  • Adults delivering to non-family members in the community and requiring more than 10 meals should:
    • have agency identification, OR
    • be SPS staff, OR
    • have evidence that SPS can vouch for them.

Meals by Bus

Seattle Public Schools provides student meals by bus Monday through Friday throughout Seattle. Please refer to the online bus route maps and schedules, which can be found here.

If you have questions about the SPS summer meals program, please call 206-252-0900 or visit the SPS Student Meals website.

Renton School District

Renton School District will serve grab & go breakfast and lunch meals on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to noon at locations listed here.  Monday’s service will have meals for Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday’s service will provide meals for Wed-Fri. The summer program will run through August 21.

Please pre-order your meals for your pick-up location here.

Additional information:

  • Meals are free, no ID or income verification required.
  • Child does not need to be present to pick-up meals.
  • Students or families can pick up meals at any school or location nearest them. (You don’t have to go to your school.)
  • Boxes or bags will be provided to make it easier for families to carry multiple-day meal packs. Families are also encouraged to bring a backpack or bag to comfortably carry 2-3 days of meals.

Visit the Renton School District’s Students and Families website for more information.

Food and Meal Assistance in our Community

Person holding box full of food. Broccoli, carrots, and lettuce and two brown paper bags are visible in the box.

Below is an informal list of free food and meal assistance programs in our community. This list is not exhaustive, and you can request to add or change program information on this list as posted in this e-newsletter on my website by sending an e-mail to nicole.herrera@leg.wa.gov.

For a map with more Seattle area food resources, visit the City of Seattle’s map here.

 

Rainier Beach Farm Stand

Rainier Beach Community Center, 8825 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA  98118

Produce distribution: June 27th through September 26th on Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

God Is

9254 57th Avenue South, 98118; 206-850-8213

Food distribution: Thursdays and Saturdays, 12 to 2 p.m.

Please bring your own bag.

 

The following program information was found here and can be confirmed by calling the individual organizations.

 

 Food Lifeline

815 S 96th St, Seattle, WA  98108; 1-877-404-7543 or 206-545-6600

Distribution of emergency food boxes: Click here for dates, times and locations.

 

 Maranatha Church / LifeChange

7132 43rd Ave, Seattle, WA  98118; 256-684-7037

Food Box Distribution: Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Home delivery available.

 

International Drop-In Center Meal Program

7301 Beacon Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108, 206-414-4263

Home delivery only, call for information.

 

Rainier Valley Food Bank

4205 Rainier Ave. S, Seattle, WA  98118; 206-723-4105

Food delivery is available regardless of age, health, or income. Sign up for home delivery here.

 

El Centro de La Raza

2524 16th Ave S, Seattle, WA  98144; 206-973-4401

Food Bank Window Distribution: Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.

Food Bank Deliveries (for seniors and mobility-limited individuals): Wednesdays, 2 to 5 p.m.

Senior Nutrition and Wellness Program (ages 55 and up): Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 

The Food Bank at St. Mary’s

611 20th Ave S, Seattle, WA  98144; 206-324-7100

Food Bank Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 

Seattle Indian Center

1265 Main St Suite 105, Seattle, WA  98144; 206-329-8700

Food Bank Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 1 to 3 p.m.

Community Meals Program (to go): Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. (breakfast) and 12 to 1 p.m. (lunch)

 

Byrd Barr Place

722 18th Ave, Seattle, WA  98122; 206-812-4994

Food Bank Hours: Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesdays, 12 to 4 p.m.; Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 

YWCA Central Area Food Bank

2820 Cherry St., Seattle, WA 98122; 206-375-1496

Home delivery only, call for more information or visit this website.

 

Jewish Family Service

1601 16th Ave, Seattle, WA  98122; 206-861-3165

Food Bank Hours: Wednesdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Thursdays, 2 to 4 p.m.

 

Community Lunch on Capitol Hill

206-972-2524

Call to confirm location, or visit www.communitylunch.org

Hours for meals to go: Tuesdays and Fridays, 12 to 1 p.m.; Wednesdays and Thursdays, 5 to 6 p.m.

 

Salvation Army – Capitol Hill

1101 Pike St, Seattle, WA  98101; 206-442-8371

Call for distribution days and times.

 

ACRS Meal Service

919 S King St, Seattle, WA  98104; 206-774-2420

Home delivery by appointment only.

 

Lazarus Center

2329 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144; 253-335-1930

Distributing meals to go, 24 hours a day.

 

Emergency Feeding Program

851 Houser Way N, Suite A, Renton, WA  98057; 425-277-0300

Drive-thru and walk-up food distribution: For distribution dates, times and locations, call or visit www.emergencyfeeding.org

Food bag distribution (seniors, disabled community and social services only): Request bag pick-ups at www.emergencyfeeding.org/bagprogram

 

Salvation Army – Renton

206 S Tobin St, Renton, WA  98057; 425-255-5969

Food Bank: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.

Community Supper To-Go: Monday through Thursday, 5:30 – 6 p.m.

 

My office welcomes your thoughts and concerns, so please feel free to reach out and let us know what issues are important to you and your community.

Sincerely,

Sen. Rebecca Saldaña

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July 10th, 2020|Uncategorized|

E-newsletter: Holiday Celebrations and Child Care Grants

Dear neighbors,

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe as we continue to battle the public health crises of COVID-19, racism, and police brutality. It’s important we’re there to support each other, even as we practice social distancing.

Today’s newsletter reflects on the evolution of how we celebrate holidays, and includes important information about child care partnership grants the state is currently offering.

Rethinking Our Holiday Celebrations

The weather is beautiful, and July 4 is approaching. Many of us long to gather our family and friends to celebrate with barbecues, camping trips, and fireworks displays. Unfortunately, we’re also experiencing another surge in new COVID-19 cases, which puts public health at great risk.  That’s why health officials are advising us to fight that urge to congregate and stay home instead.

Dolores Huerta stands to the right of a podium, microphone held at her left side, and right fist raised in the air. Next to and behind her colorfully dressed people are gathered and appear to be shouting in support. Part of a Latino Legislative Day sign is visible in the background.

Dolores Huerta speaks at a rally at the Washington State Capitol on March 18, 2019.

This is a good time to reflect on what holidays mean to us and how they have evolved over time.  In Washington state, we’ve recently added Cesar Chavez Day and Dolores Huerta Day as observed holidays, and currently legislative efforts are underway to make Juneteenth a legal holiday, which would make it a paid holiday for most state workers.

This represents a departure from the holidays traditionally observed in our state, which largely commemorate war efforts, and still include Columbus Day and Marcus Whitman Day.

COVID-19 has affected our ability to celebrate holidays as we usually do, and we’re in a historical moment that is open to including holidays that reflect the true ethnic and racial makeup and history of our country. This seems like a perfect time to reevaluate the importance of our holiday celebrations.

For many of us, holidays are cultural expressions that focus on the importance of pause, reflection, community and celebration. As we resist the urge to go out and party in large groups, it’s time to consider how we can achieve these things without increasing our risk of infecting others or becoming infected with COVID-19.

Click here for some tips for celebrating as safely as possible if you choose to leave your home.

Child Care Partnership Grants

Small child surrounded by colorful toys holds out a transparent green cup being grasped by an adult hand.

The Washington State Department of Commerce is offering grants to local partnerships to stabilize and expand child care capacity in our communities. Organizations that are eligible to apply on behalf of a collaborative group include Washington nonprofits, federally recognized tribes, and local government entities (including school districts and educational service districts).

There will be two application rounds with deadlines of July 13 and September 11.

Click here to learn more about requirements, important dates, and more.

My office welcomes your thoughts and concerns, so please feel free to reach out and let us know what issues are important to you and your community.

Sincerely,

Sen. Rebecca Saldaña

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July 2nd, 2020|E-News|
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    E-newsletter: Addressing Police Brutality and Pandemic Recovery

E-newsletter: Addressing Police Brutality and Pandemic Recovery

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Dear neighbors,

Even in the midst of so much chaos, I hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe.

Thank you to so many of you who have been writing to me about your pain, your hopes, and your policy ideas for addressing racism, anti-blackness, and the culture of violence.  We’re fed up with police brutality against Black, Indigenous, and Brown people. Yet, we’re witnessing more of that violence even as communities across our city, state and country rise up against it.  These hurts are compounded by the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with disproportionately high rates of infection and death amongst our communities of color, record levels of unemployment, and economic losses that will continue to be felt for the foreseeable future.

It can be hard to find room for hope during these desperate times.  But I want you to know that I am here, aware of your pain and listening to our community’s needs and demands for a better future.  Below, you’ll find my policy ideas to lead us out of these hard times and into a more just future, with laws to protect and support all people in Washington.

At the end of this newsletter, there is an important message about summertime food assistance for K-12 students while their schools are closed.

Fighting Police Brutality

The grief and anguish our communities are feeling deserve direct and immediate action at every level. That’s why I supported I-940 to hold police officers responsible for excessive use of force and implement de-escalation training, but clearly more needs to be done.

What I’ve witnessed since the protests against police brutality began cannot be described as de-escalation. Alarmed by the behavior of the Seattle Police Department (SPD), I joined 9 other legislators of color in urging Mayor Jenny Durkan and SPD Chief Carmen Best to take immediate action to end law enforcement’s violent response. We’ve called for ending the use of the National Guard and stopping the use of all forms of chemical substances, rubber bullets and flash-bangs, as well as demilitarizing police on the streets who interact with protestors. The police should not be showing up to peaceful protests in riot gear ready for provocation.

Our state must also immediately institute accountability and transparency measures in police contracts and ensure public access to disaggregated data on complaints of misuse of force, investigation and action taken as the result.
I will continue to work with Black leaders, organizers and my colleagues to completely rethink policing and create a model for public safety that truly upholds the safety of all communities. We should consider redirecting spending on traditional law enforcement and create additional progressive revenues to be invested in foundational public health, essential services, restorative practices and community-led youth programming. This includes making sure everyone has safe housing, access to healthcare including mental health services, and ending the inhumane practice of criminalizing poverty.

This is a long list of things Washingtonians need and deserve. With the help of your advocacy, I am confident we can make them happen.

Recovering from the Pandemic

Smiling woman at cash register. Opposite from her, a woman's hand is visible, holding a take-out cup of coffee.

Our state’s economic recovery must be centered on racial equity. The pandemic laid bare the underlying societal illnesses of racism and xenophobia.  We’ve seen immigrants who are essential workers treated as expendable, with spikes in COVID-19 infection rates among Latinx people under 40. We’ve seen people in our Black, Indigenous and Pacific Islander communities get sick and die from COVID-19 at disproportionately higher rates than whites. And we’ve witnessed violence perpetrated by law enforcement officers against these communities and their allies as protests have spread across the state. Enough is enough.

Improve health, increase wealth.

Our recovery must focus on those who have been most impacted, improving their health and giving them real meaningful opportunities to increase their wealth, so that in the future our state can be more resilient in the face of disasters. Here are some actions I’m advocating for:

  • Use the recommendations from the Environmental Justice Task Force based on the Department of Health’s cumulative mapping tool for health disparities.
  • Make lasting changes to the Unemployment Insurance system so that it works for all participants in our economy, not just those who have traditionally benefitted from it.
  • Study how to extend other employment benefits for non-traditional employees and businesses, such as health insurance, retirement benefits, and paid sick leave.
  • Study how to institute a universal basic income in Washington.

Take care of essential workers.

We need to update state policy and regulations to ensure essential workers are not treated as sacrificial workers. This means we must:

  • Provide them with all the equipment needed to prevent exposure to communicable diseases at work.
  • Ensure workers can take paid leave when sick.
  • Pay wages that reflect the importance of the work people do to keep our society functioning.
  • Fully fund universal, accessible childcare that meets the needs of all workers and families regardless of immigration status.
  • Create a system to link unemployed workers from sectors such as service and hospitality with employers in sectors that need workers.

Transition away from incarceration.

We must reframe our ideas of criminal justice, addressing crime with restorative justice and a focus on remedying root causes instead of focusing on punishment and incarceration.

We’ve seen study after study about the ineffectiveness, inequity and cruelty of our country’s mass incarceration machine, but now during the COVID-19 pandemic, incarceration quite literally brings the risk of death.

Our new reality is that we cannot in good conscience concentrate large groups of people in prisons knowing we are putting their lives in immediate danger. It’s time to make a dramatic change.

Food Assistance for Families During School Closures

Because schools have been closed due to COVID-19, families in Washington state will soon have food benefits available to them to help buy groceries while children have been home from school. Called Pandemic EBT, or P-EBT, these food benefits are available to families with children who are eligible for schools’ free or reduced-price meal programs. The Public Charge rule does not apply to P-EBT benefits and will not impact immigration status.

Infographic describing the Pandemic EBT program.

For most families receiving SNAP/Basic Food benefits and free or reduced-price meals: You do not need to apply. A one-time amount of up to $399 will be automatically deposited onto existing EBT cards in early July.

Families who already receive free or reduced-price meals but do NOT receive SNAP/Basic Food benefits: Apply for P-EBT at washingtonconnection.org or call the DSHS Customer Service Contact Center at 877-501-2233 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Families who do NOT receive free or reduced-price meals: First, fill out a free or reduced-price meal application with your local school by June 30. Next, apply for P-EBT at washingtonconnection.org or call the DSHS Customer Service Contact Center at 877-501-2233 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Click here for a more detailed description of the program and answers to some frequently asked questions. 

Any questions about the P-EBT program should be directed to the DSHS Customer Service Contact Center number listed above.

My office welcomes your thoughts and concerns, so please feel free to reach out and let us know what issues are important to you and your community at this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Sen. Rebecca Saldaña

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June 17th, 2020|E-News|
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    Boletín: Abordando la brutalidad policial y la recuperación de la pandemia

Boletín: Abordando la brutalidad policial y la recuperación de la pandemia

English          Español

Estimados vecinos:

Aun en medio de tanto caos, espero que este mensaje los encuentre a usted y a sus seres queridos sanos y seguros.

Gracias a los ustedes que me han escrito sobre su dolor, sus esperanzas y sus ideas políticas para abordar el racismo, la lucha contra la anti-blackness y la cultura de la violencia.  Estamos hartos de la brutalidad policial contra la gente negra, indígena y otra gente de color. Sin embargo, estamos presenciando más de esta violencia aun cuando las comunidades de nuestra ciudad, estado y país se levantan contra ella.  Estos daños se ven agravados por los efectos devastadores de la pandemia de COVID-19 con tasas desproporcionadamente altas de infección y muerte entre nuestras comunidades de color, niveles récord de desempleo y pérdidas económicas que se seguirán sintiendo en el futuro previsible.

Puede ser difícil encontrar la esperanza durante estos tiempos desesperados.  Pero quiero que sepa que estoy aquí, consciente de su dolor y escuchando las necesidades y demandas de nuestra comunidad para un futuro mejor.  A continuación, encontrará mis ideas sobre políticas para sacarnos de estos tiempos difíciles y hacia un futuro más justo, con leyes para proteger y apoyar a todas las personas en Washington. Al final de este boletín, hay un mensaje importante sobre la asistencia alimentaria en verano para los estudiantes de primaria, secundaria y preparatoria mientras sus escuelas están cerradas.

Luchar contra la brutalidad policial

El dolor y la angustia que sienten nuestras comunidades merecen una acción directa e inmediata en todos los niveles. Por eso apoyé a la iniciativa 940 para responsabilizar a los agentes de policía por el uso excesivo de la fuerza e implementar capacitación para reducir la intensidad de los encuentros policiales. Pero ha quedado bien claro que todavía hay mucho por hacer.

Lo que he presenciado desde que comenzaron las protestas contra la brutalidad policial no puede describirse como una reducción de intensidad. Alarmada por el comportamiento del Departamento de Policía de Seattle (SPD), me uní a otros 9 legisladores de color para instar a la Alcaldesa Jenny Durkan y la Jefa del SPD Carmen Best a tomar medidas inmediatas para poner fin a la respuesta violenta de la policía. Hemos pedido que se ponga fin al uso de la Guardia Nacional y que se detenga el uso de todas las formas de sustancias químicas, balas de goma y explosiones, así como la desmilitarización de la policía en las calles que interactúan con los manifestantes. La policía no debería presentarse a protestas pacíficas con equipo antidisturbios listo para la provocación.

Nuestro estado también debe instituir de inmediato medidas de responsabilidad y transparencia en los contratos policiales y garantizar el acceso público a datos desagregados sobre denuncias de mal uso de la fuerza, investigación y medidas tomadas como resultado.

Seguiré trabajando con los líderes y organizadores de la comunidad negra y mis colegas para repensar por completo el papel de la policía y crear un modelo de seguridad pública que realmente defienda la seguridad de todas las comunidades. Deberíamos considerar redirigir el gasto en la aplicación de la ley tradicional y crear ingresos progresistas adicionales para invertir en la salud pública fundamental, servicios esenciales, prácticas restaurativas y programación juvenil dirigida por la comunidad. Esto incluye asegurarse de que todos tengan una vivienda segura, acceso a la atención médica, incluidos los servicios de salud mental, y poner fin a la práctica inhumana de criminalizar la pobreza.

Esta es una larga lista de cosas que los habitantes de Washington necesitan y merecen. Con la ayuda de su apoyo, estoy segura de que podemos lograrlas.

Recuperar de la pandemia

Cajera sonriendo, y una mano con una tasa desechable para café.

La recuperación económica de nuestro estado debe centrarse en la equidad racial. La pandemia ha expuesto las enfermedades subyacentes de la sociedad: el racismo y la xenofobia.  Hemos visto a inmigrantes que son trabajadores esenciales tratados como sacrificables, con picos en las tasas de infección de COVID-19 entre los Latinos menores de 40 años de edad. Hemos visto personas en nuestras comunidades de gente negra, indígena y de las islas del Pacífico enfermarse y morir a causa de COVID-19 a tasas desproporcionadamente más altas que los blancos. Y hemos presenciado la violencia perpetrada por los agentes de policía contra estas comunidades y sus aliados a medida que las protestas se han extendido por todo el estado. ¡Ya basta!

Mejorar la salud, aumentar la riqueza.

Nuestra recuperación debe centrarse en aquellos que han sido más afectados, mejorando su salud y brindándoles oportunidades reales y significativas para aumentar su riqueza, de modo que en el futuro nuestro estado pueda ser más resistente frente a los desastres. Estas son algunas acciones que propongo:

  • Utilizar las recomendaciones del Grupo de Trabajo de Justicia Ambiental, basadas en la herramienta de mapeo acumulativo del Departamento de Salud para las disparidades de salud.
  • Realizar cambios duraderos en el sistema de seguro de desempleo para que funcione para todos los participantes en nuestra economía, no solo para aquellos que tradicionalmente se han beneficiado de él.
  • Estudiar cómo extender otros beneficios de empleo para empleados y empresas no tradicionales, como seguro de salud, beneficios de jubilación y permiso por enfermedad pagado.
  • Estudiar cómo instituir un ingreso básico universal en Washington.

Cuidar de los trabajadores esenciales.

Necesitamos actualizar las políticas y regulaciones estatales para asegurar que los trabajadores esenciales no sean tratados como trabajadores sacrificables. Esto significa que tenemos que:

  • Proporcionarles todo el equipo necesario para evitar la exposición a enfermedades transmisibles en el trabajo.
  • Asegurar de que los trabajadores puedan tomar permiso pagado cuando estén enfermos.
  • Pagar salarios que reflejan la importancia del trabajo que realizan las personas para mantener nuestra sociedad en funcionamiento.
  • Financiar completamente el cuidado de niños universal y accesible que satisfaga las necesidades de todos los trabajadores y familias, independientemente de su estado migratorio.
  • Crear un sistema para conectar a los trabajadores desempleados de sectores como el servicio y la hospitalidad con empleadores en sectores que necesitan trabajadores.

Transición a menos encarcelamiento.

Debemos reformular nuestras ideas de justicia penal y abordar el crimen con justicia restaurativa, concentrándonos en remediar las causas a raíz de los problemas en lugar de centrarnos en el castigo y el encarcelamiento.

Hemos visto estudio tras estudio sobre la ineficacia, la inequidad y la crueldad de la máquina de encarcelación masiva de nuestro país. Pero ahora, durante la pandemia de COVID-19, la encarcelación literalmente conlleva el riesgo de muerte.

Nuestra nueva realidad es que no podemos en buena conciencia concentrar a grandes grupos de personas en las cárceles sabiendo que estamos poniendo sus vidas en peligro inmediato. Es hora de hacer un cambio dramático.

Asistencia alimentaria para familias durante el cierre de escuelas

Debido a que las escuelas han estado cerradas por la pandemia de COVID-19, las familias en el estado de Washington pronto tendrán a su disposición beneficios alimenticios para ayudarles a comprar alimentos mientras los niños siguen en casa sin ir a la escuela. Llamados “EBT de pandemia,” o P-EBT, estos beneficios de alimentos están disponibles para familias con niños que son elegibles para los programas de comidas gratis o de precio reducido de las escuelas. La regla de Cargo Público no se aplica a los beneficios de P-EBT y no afectará el estado de inmigración.

Ilustración informativa sobre el programa P-EBT

Para la mayoría de las familias que reciben beneficios de SNAP / Alimentos Básicos y comidas gratuitas o de precio reducido: No necesitan realizar una solicitud. Una cantidad única de hasta $ 399 se depositará automáticamente en las tarjetas EBT existentes a principios de julio.

Familias que ya reciben comidas gratis o de precio reducido pero NO reciben beneficios de SNAP / Alimentos Básicos: Solicite P-EBT en washingtonconnection.org   o llame al centro de atención al cliente del DSHS al 877-501-2233 entre las 8 am y las 5 pm de lunes a viernes.

Familias que NO reciben comidas gratis o de precio reducido: Primero, complete una solicitud de comida gratis o de precio reducido con su escuela local antes del 30 de junio. Despues, solicite P-EBT en  washingtonconnection.org  o llame al centro de atención al cliente del DSHS al 877-501-2233 entre las 8 am y las 5 pm de lunes a viernes.

Haga clic aquí para ver una descripción mas detallada del programa y las respuestas a algunas preguntas frecuentes.

Cualquier pregunta sobre el programa P-EBT también debe dirigirse al número del centro de atención al cliente de DSHS mencionado anteriormente.

Mi oficina sigue recibiendo sus mensajes sobre sus pensamientos y preocupaciones, así que puede sentirse libre para contactarnos para hacernos saber cuáles asuntos son importantes para usted y su comunidad en este momento difícil.

Atentamente,

Senadora Rebecca Saldaña

 Información de contacto

 

June 17th, 2020|E-News|

Health and Wellness Update

Dear neighbors,

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe. As the state starts to consider the transition to reopening, please remember that in order to avoid another spike in infection rates, we have to stay the course by staying home to stay healthy.

Sen. Rebecca Saldaña wearing a homemade face mask that is red with multicolored flowers.

The scientific data tells us if we were to lift all restrictions right now or even two weeks from now, the decline in cases would almost certainly stop and the spread of COVID-19 would increase. That would set everything back, which would bring more illnesses and more deaths, and businesses would remain closed for even longer.

King County residents have been directed to wear face coverings in most public settings beginning May 18. As a community, it’s our job to work together to stop the spread of COVID-19. Even if you have no symptoms, you may still be a carrier of the virus who could spread it to others.

Starting now, show the people in your community that their health matters to you, even if you are not concerned for your own. Do others the courtesy of wearing a mask to protect them and their families.

Learn more about the King County directive here.

Paying Rent in Times of COVID-19

Pay your rent if you can. Here’s why:

#1  The eviction moratorium does not forgive rent amounts you owe. Paying rent will help you avoid eviction after the moratorium is lifted.

#2  Tenants who keep paying rent free up resources for landlords to give a break to neighbors who can’t pay due to income loss.

#3  Willful failure to pay could end up getting you evicted later, which will limit your ability to rent a home in the future.

#4  Eviction courts are unlikely to give you a break if you had the ability to pay rent and did not.

#5  Smaller landlords are also struggling during this time, and if they are forced to sell their properties because they’re not receiving rent, even more of the rental market could end up dominated by large corporate landlords.

#6  Landlords have costs to keep properties open, healthy and safe, including:

    • Utilities
    • Repairs
    • Staff
    • Insurance
    • Mortgages
    • Property taxes

 If you can’t pay your rent:

Reach out to your landlord or property manager. In writing, explain your situation and request an accommodation. Here are some ideas:

  • Ask for a waiver of rent for a certain amount of time.
  • Propose a partial payment.
  • Ask to apply whatever deposits you have on file to the missed rent.
  • Request a payment plan for missed rent.

And remember:

  • Keep copies of all communications between you and your landlord.
  • Make sure any agreement you reach with your landlord is in writing.
  • Make sure to follow that agreement. If your circumstances change, talk to your landlord about changing it.

Note: If you are in subsidized housing, contact your local housing authority or your property manager to recalculate your rent due to your change in income.

If your landlord evicts you or threatens to evict you in violation of the moratorium, report it here. (Form is in English and Spanish).

Rental Assistance Programs

Call 2-1-1 Washington Information Network for current information about agencies providing rental assistance. Keep in mind that several rental assistance programs can only be accessed through a 2-1-1 telephone screening.

  • Write down the contact information, hours of operation and eligibility info for agencies suggested by the 2-1-1 operator
  • When you contact the agencies, make notes about the conversations (examples: “left message, need to call back” “appointment on Monday at 2:00”)
  • Generally, lowest call volumes are on Wednesday –Thursday between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
  • Call from a landline if you have limited cell phone minutes

Tip: If agencies report that funds are not currently available, ask when they will receive funding again so that you can contact them at that time.

Unemployment Insurance Updates

At this point, 810,000 people, or one in five of the estimated 3.6 million working Washingtonians, have applied for unemployment benefits since the start of this crisis. Of those, two thirds have received payments.

That’s why I want to share information and recommendations from the Employment Security Department to help you or those you know obtain the full benefits for which you or they might be eligible.

Top tips:

#1  File your claims every week. Many people who are eligible and qualified for benefits haven’t filed weekly claims. If you’ve already applied for unemployment benefits but have not yet filed a weekly claim, be sure to file your weekly claim and check this useful information out first before doing so. That will ensure you get through as smoothly as possible.

#2  Apply for expanded benefits. If you applied for regular unemployment insurance and were deemed ineligible, you may be eligible for the new expanded unemployment benefit called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). On the ESD website, go to your e-services account and if the “PUA” link is there, you may be eligible. Check out this guide before you apply.

#3  Answer the phone. The Employment Security Department (ESD) team members are reaching out and calling people to resolve their cases.

#4  Check your spam filter for emails and check your e-services account for notes from ESD asking for information. In some cases, they’ve reached out and haven’t heard back.

#5  Be prepared if you’re new to making a claim. Use the ESD materials like the checklist and the guide – these will help. Also make sure that the information is correct before you submit the application.

#6  Tell the truth. As you fill out, for example, your weekly claim – make sure you’re truthful. If asked whether you’ve been offered work, answer truthfully. If you refused the offer, state why. While it’s possible you’ll no longer be eligible for benefits, if you still have a  COVID-19 reason why you are unable to go into the workplace, such as kids home from a school that’s closed due to COVID-19, you may still be eligible for benefits. Here’s more information.

#7  Rest assured. The money will not run out and you will not miss out. There have been rumors/concerns that the money will run out before someone can obtain their benefits, but the money will not run out AND benefits will be paid retroactively to the date of eligibility. Even if you go back to work, you’ll be able to get benefits for all the weeks for which you were eligible.

If you’ve applied and your claim is “in adjudication”, the ESD just launched Operation 100% to quickly catch up on cases that need adjudication. Here’s their webpage with more information.

Has someone obtained your identity from some other source and then used it to apply for unemployment benefits? This page on ESD’s site has the information you need to report it. If you run a business and have seen this happen to multiple employees, ESD can also obtain the information in bulk from you and will soon have a template up on that same webpage. In the meantime, you can reach them via their email here: esdfraud@esd.wa.gov.

 

We’ve been successful in slowing the spread of the virus because the people of Washington have stepped up and sacrificed for each other to save lives. I know this is lasting much longer than we expected, but it’s important to stay the course and keep up the keep up the good work to protect the health of all Washingtonians.

My office welcomes your thoughts and concerns, so please feel free to reach out and let us know what issues are important to you and your community at this time.

Sincerely,

Sen. Rebecca Saldaña

 

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May 15th, 2020|E-News|
  • COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources for immigrants/recursos para inmigrantes
    Permalink COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources for immigrants/recursos para inmigrantesGallery

    COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources for Immigrants / Recursos para Inmigrantes

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources for Immigrants / Recursos para Inmigrantes

We know immigrant communities have been hit especially hard by the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis.  Click here for a comprehensive bilingual English/Spanish list of resources to help our state’s immigrant population through the unique challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll find links to:

  • general COVID-19 information in various languages
  • federal, state and county resources
  • information on education, housing and unemployment
  • resources specifically for undocumented folks
  • resources for Muslim communities
  • mutual aid, well-being, and anti-racism resources

Sabemos que las comunidades de inmigrantes en particular han sufrido mucho debido a los retos que enfrentamos por la pandemia de COVID-19 y la crisis económica.  Haga clic aquí para ver una lista comprensiva bilingüe de recursos en inglés y español. Encontrará enlaces a:

  • información en general sobre el COVID-19 en varios idiomas 
  • recursos federales, estatales, y del condado
  • información sobre la educación, el alojamiento, y el desempleo
  • recursos específicamente para las personas indocumentadas
  • recursos para comunidades musulmanes
  • recursos de ayuda mutual, bienestar, y en contra del racismo

The information for this resource was provided by OneAmerica.

La información para este recurso fue proporcionada por OneAmerica.

 

April 20th, 2020|E-News|
  • Permalink Gallery

    Don’t qualify for regular state cash assistance? Disaster Cash Assistance Program could help.

Don’t qualify for regular state cash assistance? Disaster Cash Assistance Program could help.

Not eligible for most state cash assistance programs?  You may qualify for the Disaster Cash Assistance Program. Please see the information below for an update from the Washington State Department of Social & Health Services about this program.

Washington State Department of Social & Health ServicesEconomic Services Administration to administer Disaster Cash Assistance Program (DCAP)

April 17, 2020

Effective today, the Department of Social and Health Services’ Economic Services Administration (ESA) received approval to begin administering a Disaster Cash Assistance Program (DCAP) in response to the Governor’s declaration of a statewide emergency related to COVID-19.

DCAP was originally designed to provide emergency assistance with natural disasters in mind, like wildfires and flooding. In order to expand DCAP to families and individuals affected by COVID-19, the Department adopted emergency rules allowing these funds to be used during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

DCAP benefits are available for one month, in a 12-month period, to all Washington families and people without children, who meet income and resource rules and who are not eligible other cash programs, such as:

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Aged, Blind or Disabled (ABD) cash
  • Pregnant Women Assistance (PWA)
  • Unemployment Compensation, or
  • Paid Family & Medical Leave through ESD or their employer.

DCAP Overview:

  • Applicants must be living in Washington before the emergency declaration happened.
  • Applicants must first apply and be determined not eligible for other cash assistance programs available.
  • Under DCAP, applicants are not required to:
    • Meet citizenship requirements;
    • Provide a social security number; or
    • Be pregnant or have a minor child.
  • Program benefits are available for one month in a 12 month period.
  • The program is not a public charge program since it is disaster relief.
  • Payment standards are based on income and need and may not exceed the TANF payment standards for their household size. For example, to be eligible for DCAP, a one person household must have less than $363.00 in income after deductions are applied in the month of application (approximately 34% of the Federal Poverty Level). If an individual has no income and is resource eligible, they may qualify for the maximum payment amount of $363.00 in DCAP.

People may apply for DCAP or other ESA administered assistance programs online at WashingtonConnection.org or by calling the Customer Service Contact Center at 1-877-501-2233.

April 17th, 2020|E-News|

Important Information for Unemployed Workers

Dear neighbors,

The good news is Washingtonians are doing a great job at following the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, and the curve is beginning to flatten. We must double down on this good work and continue to stay home to make sure it continues to flatten.

The mixed news is that with so many people out of work the unemployment insurance system is under extreme pressure. As you know, this has left many people frustrated and anxious about whether they will be able to access these vital benefits.

At the same time, many of us have realized that the immigrant and agricultural working community is being hit particularly hard, with many unable to qualify for unemployment, paid sick time, the federal stimulus, and other government relief programs.

Today I’d like to share some information from the Employment Security Department, along with a list of resources for immigrants dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accessing Unemployment Insurance Benefits

The Employment Security Department (ESD) has received record numbers of new claims for unemployment insurance, including extremely high numbers of phone calls and emails. We know many people have questions about the recent federal stimulus package and the enhancements to eligibility and available benefits for individuals.

To address your questions and to find out more information, please do not call their toll-free numbers first. Instead, visit their website at esd.wa.gov. There you will likely find answers to the questions you were going to ask and you will get them sooner than you will waiting on a back-up phone line. You can also sign up for action alerts to receive the most up-to-date information on these benefits. So please view the ESD’s Frequently Asked Questions for Workers and also for Businesses and use their checklist before applying for benefits.

To be clear, ESD’s toll-free numbers need to be reserved for individuals who need assistance with claims that have been filed. So, again, check their website, which has answers to most questions you may have.

COVID-19 Resources for Immigrants

Click here for a comprehensive list of resources to help our state’s immigrant community through the unique challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This bilingual English/Spanish guide provides links to:

  • general COVID-19 information in various languages
  • federal, state and county resources
  • information on education, housing and unemployment
  • resources specifically for undocumented folks
  • resources for Muslim communities
  • mutual aid, well-being, and anti-racism resources

The curve is flattening and the weather is great, but please do not give into the temptation to start gathering with friends and loved ones. The COVID-19 crisis is not over, and it will not subside unless we keep up the good work, be consistent, and continue to follow the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. Doing so will keep you and your loved ones healthier and will literally save lives.

As always, please feel free to reach out to my office. We want to do everything we can to support you in these difficult times.

Sincerely,

Sen. Rebecca Saldaña

April 10th, 2020|E-News|
  • Black and white photo of three empty chairs in a hair salon.
    Permalink Black and white photo of three empty chairs in a hair salon.Gallery

    Recursos para empleados por cuenta propia, contratistas independientes y pequeñas empresas

Recursos para empleados por cuenta propia, contratistas independientes y pequeñas empresas

English          Español

Estimados vecinos:

Sé que muchos de ustedes son empleados por cuenta propia, contratistas independientes o propietarios de pequeñas empresas y tienen dificultad para llegar a fin de mes debido a la respuesta COVID-19. A continuación, hay algunos recursos que pueden ayudar en estos tiempos difíciles.

Programa de protección de sueldo

El gobierno federal ha financiado el Programa de protección de sueldo con $ 349 mil millones destinados a ayudar a las organizaciones a pagar a sus empleados desde ahora hasta finales de junio de 2020.

Las solicitudes se pueden presentar a partir del 3 de abril y los fondos se distribuirán en función de por orden de llegada, por lo que es importante entregar su solicitud lo antes posible.

El programa es para pequeñas empresas con menos de 500 empleados (incluidas las empresas unipersonales, contratistas independientes y empleados por cuenta propia). También incluye las organizaciones privadas sin fines de lucro u organizaciones de veteranos 501 (c) (19) afectadas por la crisis de COVID-19. Algunas empresas con más de 500 empleados también pueden ser elegibles.

Obtenga más información sobre el programa y cómo presentar una solicitud en   https://www.sba.gov/ppp (inglés) o aprenda más sobre otros recursos para los negocios pequeños en https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-orientacion-y-recursos-de-prestamos-para-pequenas-empresas (español).

Recursos estatales y federales para pequeñas empresas

Visite los siguientes enlaces para obtener más información sobre recursos y programas para brindar ayuda a los propietarios de pequeñas empresas:

Haga clic aquí para obtener una lista detallada (en inglés) de los programas disponibles para las pequeñas empresas de Washington, actualizada el 1 de abril.

Visite el sitio web del gobierno federal sobre coronavirus (COVID-19) y recursos de orientación y préstamos para pequeñas empresas en http://www.sba.gov/coronavirus

Vea el sitio web (también en inglés) de recursos y herramientas de planificación de crisis del Departamento de Comercio del Estado de Washington en: http://startup.choosewashingtonstate.com/links/crisis/covid-19-resources/

Sus legisladores estatales están preocupados por los desafíos que usted está enfrentando. Además de la acción legislativa que tomamos para invertir inicialmente 200 millones de dólares en la respuesta a la crisis de COVID-19, apoyamos al Gobernador Inslee en sus respuestas ejecutivas y estamos listos para brindar ayuda adicional a medida que los eventos continúan evolucionando.

No dude en comunicarse con mi oficina si tiene preguntas que estos recursos no abordan.

Atentamente,

Senadora Rebecca Saldaña

April 2nd, 2020|E-News|