NEWS GLEAMS | Energy Assistance Programs Support Low-Income Households, Free Car Battery Testing

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!

curated by Vee Hua 華婷婷


✨Gleaming This Week✨


A 2018 Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebration in Seattle, WA. (Photo: Susan Fried)

Monday, Oct. 10, Is Indigenous People’s Day

Seattle City Council President Debora Juarez has brought forth a proclamation acknowledging Monday, Oct. 10, as Indigenous People’s Day.

In 2014, the Council unanimously passed a resolution to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day. Last year, the Council passed legislation making it an official city holiday, meaning many city offices will be closed in observance. 

Stay tuned for our South End Guide to Indigenous events in observance of Indigenous People’s Day, which will be published towards the end of this week! One such event is the all-day celebration, which begins with a Celebratory March downtown, a Time Immemorial component at Seattle City Hall, and Evening Celebration and Dinner at Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center.

(Artwork: Louie Gong.)

El Centro de la Raza is preparing to celebrate their 50th anniversary. (Photo: Jaidev Vella)

Saturday, Oct. 8, Is El Centro de la Raza Day

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda sponsored a proclamation honoring the accomplishments and impact of El Centro de la Raza and proclaiming Oct. 8, 2022, “El Centro de la Raza Day.”

“Throughout the last 50 years, El Centro de la Raza has been recognized nationally and internationally for its work in community organizing, civil rights, human services, building multi-racial unity, early childhood development, and youth leadership development,” writes Mosqueda via her press release. “El Centro has continued its mission from its original founders — the Gang of Four: Roberto Maestas, Larry Gossett, Bob Santos, and Bernie Whitebear — and built upon the original vision through the leadership of Estela Ortega, who has grown El Centro’s services in response to urgent community needs in providing affordable childcare, comprehensive and affordable housing, community gathering and cultural space.”

El Centro de la Raza will celebrate their 50-year anniversary this Saturday with their Building the Beloved Community Gala, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The event is in-person at Washington Convention Center and streaming virtually. Learn more, RSVP, or participate in their auction on their website.


Byrd Barr Place is now operating with increased programming capacity after their recent building renovation in the Central District. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)

Byrd Barr Place Opens Energy Assistance Programs to Support Low-Income Households This Winter

According to reporting in the Emerald last month, “Byrd Barr Place has served the Central District community since the 1960s. The organization’s recent renovation of the historical building Firehouse No. 23 at 722 18th Ave. is allowing them to return to the space with increased programming capacity, which includes food and energy and housing assistance as well as financial tools to more than 1,100 households every week.”

From Oct. 1, 2022, to Aug. 31, 2023, Byrd Barr Place will offer energy assistance programs to help low-income households pay energy bills, refill oil tanks, and repair or replace furnaces to keep warm throughout the winter.

Byrd Barr Place administers both the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Puget Sound Energy Home Energy Lifeline Program (PSE HELP). Households can qualify for one or both programs.

To be eligible, households must be in Seattle; use electricity, natural gas, wood, propane or oil in their home, or pay for heat as part of rent; and meet income guidelines. For a single-person household, the maximum average monthly income requirement is $1,699 for LIHEAP and $5,563 for PSE HELP. For a four-person household, it is $3,469 for LIHEAP and $7,942 for PSE HELP. 

Households that qualify for LIHEAP may also get support to pay a past-due balance on their energy or water utility bill; purchase an air conditioner for staying cool in summer months; or receive financial aid to cover past-due rent if facing eviction. Learn more and apply at ByrdBarrPlace.org/Energy.


(Artwork: Louie Gong.)

AAA Washington and Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust Offer Free Battery Testing, Replacement, Recycling

October is National Car Car Month. In celebration, AAA Washington is pairing up with Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust to host a free “Batteries to Branches” community event where AAA technicians wills test, replace, and recycle car batteries.

For every battery that is replaced or dropped off for recycling throughout the month of October, AAA Washington will donate $5 per battery toward trees planted by the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust.

Recurrent will also be present to demonstrate a new mobile EV charging unit and invite electric car drivers to assess their battery health.

“Batteries to Branches” takes place on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. PST, at AAA Washington’s Southcenter Cruise & Travel retail location (17250 Southcenter Parkway, Suite 112, Tukwila, WA 98188).


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