Liz Jones

Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 2006

Liz reports on immigration and emerging communities for KUOW. Her work covers issues within our region’s growing immigrant and refugee populations, as well as stories connected to minority groups with a longer history in the area.

She comes to KUOW after several years at an online news startup, which was later bought by Oxygen Media in New York.  Her last position there was health editor for the network’s website.

Liz has also lived in Spain and Peru and speaks Spanish. She is a graduate of the University of Washington, with a degree in communications.

Liz’s work for KUOW has taken her to Mexico and India. Both those reporting trips produced award-winning documentaries. In 2009, Liz received a regional Murrow award for a documentary about indigenous Mexicans who migrate to the Seattle area. In 2014, she won a national Gracie award and RTNDA’s Kaleidoscope Award for a series that focused on immigration-related links between India and the Puget Sound region.

Her work has also been heard on national shows including NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now, PRI's The World, Latino USA, Marketplace, The Takeaway and BBC News Service.  

Ways to Connect

Kim-Long Nguyen displays the national flag of Vietnam prior to the war.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Vietnam’s national flag is an icon of communism. And many Vietnamese-Americans say it does not represent them.

Seattle’s Vietnamese community has long wanted official status for the country’s old flag. That day could be near. On Wednesday afternoon, a Seattle City Council committee will take up a resolution to recognize this heritage flag.

If it passes, the full council will likely vote on it June 22.

Workers sort through strawberry roots on a planter pulled behind a tractor at Sakuma Brothers Farm in Burlington, Wash.,
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

BURLINGTON, Wash. – On a recent morning at Sakuma Brothers Farm, eight Latino workers sat on a bench seat behind a tractor, planting strawberry roots that will bear fruit in a few years. Dust masks and goggles covered their faces.

There’s a good chance these field workers have joined, or work side by side, with a group calling for a union contract here.

A file picture from Oct. 17, 2008, shows the "B" cell and bunk unit of the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Guaranteed payments to contractors at federal detention centers have helped to create a quota system for immigration enforcement, according to a report released Thursday by advocates for detainees.

Anna King/Northwest News Network

Immigration officials have busted an Eastern Washington farm for major violations. Now, the farm is set to pay the largest fine ever in the state for illegally hiring workers.

First-graders Daniel, left, and Josiah, are first-grade language buddies at White Center Heights Elementary in West Seattle. Their classroom instruction is in Spanish and English.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Americans get a bad rap for speaking only English.

But increasingly, public schools are immersing students in a second language, usually Spanish or Chinese. The Highline school district, south of Seattle, has even set an ambitious goal for the class of 2026 to graduate fully bilingual and biliterate.

Seattle's proposed ban would apply to people lighting up tobacco products. Washington state law prohibits marijuana smoking in public places.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle officials want to ban smoking in all public parks, but some opponents say the crackdown would unfairly target homeless people.

A park advisory board will take up the issue for a possible vote Thursday night.

As KUOW's Liz Jones reports, public opinion is mixed.

Outside the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

The immigration detention center in Tacoma has been hit this week by new allegations of abuse by guards.

An incident in mid-April set off this recent flurry of complaints against the Northwest Detention Center. Several detainees say they witnessed guards allegedly assault an elderly man from Honduras.

Hector Alonso, 38, says he came to the U.S. to help support his parents and seven siblings. He was 18 when he left home.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Undocumented immigrants around the country had hoped to celebrate Tuesday. It’s the day a new federal policy was set to kick in, offering new benefits to many parents of children born in the U.S.

But that plan is currently tied up in court.

KUOW's Liz Jones stopped in at a rally held to mark the day in Seattle.

Police officers pause next to a sign outside a restaurant as they observe a May Day anti-capitalism march on Friday in Seattle. Seattle councilmember Bruce Harrell criticized police for how they responded to protesters.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Seattle City Council members grilled police officials on Wednesday about their use of force during recent May Day protests. Bruce Harrell, who heads the council’s public safety committee, called some police actions “idiotic" and "not the smartest...or wisest way to go".

He questioned if officers chose the right approach to deescalate the protests on Friday. He said he saw marchers just marching – and then police officers on on bikes ramming them from behind.

People walk in the May Day labor march in Seattle on Friday.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A protest organized by anarchists erupted in violence Friday evening on Capitol Hill following a separate peaceful May Day march to downtown Seattle, police said.

Seattle police said on Twitter that 16 people were arrested and three officers were injured in clashes during a protest on Capitol Hill that was billed on anarchist sites as an anti-capitalist march.

Police said pepper spray was used after the crowd failed to heed an order to disperse at Broadway and Howell Street and protesters threw rocks. (See photos in Storify below.)

Nepalese communities across the U.S. are mourning the loss in their home country from last weekend's earthquake. Officials in Nepal now estimate the number of people killed in the disaster stands at more than 4,000.

In the Seattle area, prayer bells ring out at a Hindu temple. Hundreds of heads bow. A boy in a turquoise sweater peeks through his folded hands. A husband and wife comfort each other, their eyes red from crying.

The Tukwila School District boasts one of the most diverse student bodies in the state. But the NAACP of Seattle-King County says the district isn't doing enough to hire teachers of color.

The civil rights organization said it planned to confront the district’s board members Tuesday night about what it called “racist hiring practices.”

District Superintendent Nancy Coogan said the NAACP’s accusations are unfair.

Akshar Koirala, 7, of Renton, prays with the Nepali community in Bothell following the 7.8-magnitude earthquake.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Bells rang out at a temple in Bothell on Sunday, where more than a hundred came to pray, light candles and share updates about the massive earthquake in Nepal.

An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 Nepalese people live in the Seattle area, and many are turning to each other for support. Officials have confirmed that more than 5,000 people died in the 7.8-magnitude earthquake.

A symbolic funeral for Earth Day.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

The idea for Earth Day was first announced at a conference in Seattle 45 years ago.

It’s still going strong, with Earth Day events sometimes spanning all of April. KUOW Reporter Liz Jones stopped by two different events in Seattle on Tuesday and has this audio postcard. She started at a symbolic funeral downtown, then head over to a spiritual summit at Seattle University.

Omar Abdulalim and Shuad Farole send money every month to Farole's aunt in Somalia. She uses the money to pay for food, housing and school fees for 12 children.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

It just got tougher for Somali-American immigrants in Seattle send money to family back home. KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

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