Episode #6: Executive director of Casa Latina Marcos Martinez stops by the studio for a chat on the history of Latino activism and the forces and influences that shaped his life and career, especially the impactful life and tragic death of Ruben Salazar. Marcos and Ian discuss how social justice, immigration, independent journalism and the labor movement in the United States has led Marcos to the present, and what it might mean for Seattle, a city trying to be a Sanctuary City in an ever-growing national climate of concern and fear. Ian’s dog Kanye gets in on the action and hijinks ensue.
Casa Latina was founded in 1994, shortly after unprecedented numbers of Latino workers began arriving in Seattle. Since then, the organization has grown from doing street outreach out of borrowed spaces to organizing job dispatch out of a trailer in a parking lot, to now providing a suite of impactful programs including day labor dispatch, ESL classes, job skills & safety trainings, and community organizing for almost 750 worker-members — out of a three-building campus in Seattle’s Central District.
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Before serving as executive director for Casa Latina, Marcos Martinez helped manage Entre Hermanos, a community-based nonprofit whose mission is to promote the health and well-being of the Latino LGBTQ community, where he served as Executive Director since 2007. Before moving to Seattle, Marcos spent 20 years leading news and programming at NPR radio affiliate KUNM in Albuquerque, NM. Throughout his career, Marcos has devoted himself to social justice for Latinos and other immigrant, low-income, and disenfranchised communities.