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Summer updates from the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs

Cuc Vu, Director, Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs

I hope you’re enjoying the warm summer days as much as I am. There are few places as beautiful as Seattle and the Pacific Northwest when the sun comes out to play. We have a ton of updates below. Thank you for continuing to stay informed of our work to support immigrants and refugees in Seattle!


I. New New Citizen Campaign Website

Our New Citizen Campaign (NCC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new website: The site acts as a central hub for citizenship events, programs, services, and information for the Seattle-King County community. Please take some time to explore the site to learn more about all things citizenship, including a free online application tool called Citizenshipworks. Thanks to our wonderful partners who provided their skill and expertise to help create the site.

Please help us promote this web portal. OIRA is participating in the Cities for Citizenship #NaturalizeNow campaign. Consider promoting the web portal as a part of this yearlong effort to naturalize 1 million residents. Or you can simply repost/retweet from our social media feeds.


II. Legal Defense Fund Updates

As you probably heard, last month, King County and our office released a joint request for proposals (RFP) for the Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants and Refugees. The deadline was July 12, and we had many excellent proposals for community navigation and for legal defense. We anticipate announcing the awardees in early August.


III. Language Access Updates

OIRA and the Department of Neighborhoods recently shared a report with Seattle City Council on language access in response to Council’s request. The work is another step that advances one of Mayor Murray’s priorities that he announced at the start of his term in 2014: to make Seattle accessible to all residents regardless of the language they speak. Stay tuned for a Language Access Executive Order from the Mayor to continue creating a more equitable Seattle.


IV. Seattle/King County Free Clinic: October 26-29

The 2017 Seattle/King County Clinic is scheduled for October 26-29 at KeyArena at Seattle Center. Volunteer registration for the 2017 clinic is now open. They have a huge need for interpreters. If you are able to volunteer, please register here.

More information about volunteering is here.


V. SAVE THE MONTH: February 2018

And now for a different type of clinic. Our next Citizenship Mega-workshop will take in February 2018, day and time TBD. More details to follow. If you or someone you know needs assistance with applying for U.S. citizenship now, please direct them to one of our monthly citizenship clinics. These monthly events are organized by our community partner organizations and are much smaller in scale.

More about our Citizenship Clinics here.


VI. Introducing our new MYEI Interns!

In 2015 Mayor Murray launched the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative, which connects Seattle youth ages 14-24 with paid internships and employment opportunities. Our office is proud to host not just one, but two interns:

Kyla Tabasan (left) will be a senior at Cleveland High School. She runs cross country and is excited to be the captain of her school’s team when she starts this fall. Kyla’s family immigrated to Seattle from the Philippines, and this is her first ever summer job.

Phuong Vong (right) will be a senior at Franklin High School. This employment opportunity with the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs is her third SYEP experience and first with the City of Seattle. Phuong’s family immigrated to Seattle from Vietnam. She is interested in taking a pre-med program in college.

More information about the MYEI here.


Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of your summer.