Liz Jones | KUOW News and Information

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

A photo of Nestora Salgado from her website. The caption says it is a photo of her as the leader of the community police.
Courtesy of freenestora.org

Nestora Salgado walked out of a Mexican prison, a free woman Friday. Salgado is from Renton, a mother of three, and a U.S. citizen. But her activism against corruption led to her arrest more than two years ago. 

Police and city staff arrived in the morning of Friday, March 11, 2016 to force out the remaining 16 residents atat the former Nickelsville camp on South Dearborn Street.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle police cleared out a homeless camp known as Nickelsville Friday. It’s been temporarily located on South Dearborn Street, near the freeway, since 2014.

Ronald Hawthorne was one of the first to see police arrive and alerted other campers.

“I told them look, the police are all here. There’s a lot of them and they say we only got 30 minutes to get out,” Hawthorne said.

Tiny houses being erected at Othello Village in South Seattle.
Courtesy of Low Income Housing Institute

A new homeless encampment in South Seattle is set to open Tuesday, March 8, near the Othello light rail station. It will have room for up to a hundred people, on-site counseling and a children's play area.

It’s called Othello Village and it’s in Seattle Council District 2 – Bruce Harrell’s district.

Steve Graham was No. 136 among people waiting Monday, February 22, 2016, for a chance to apply 110 low-income apartments.  'I'm keeping my fingers, toes and everything else crossed,' he said.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Steve Graham got in line late. His number was 136.

But he was optimistic about the chance of a lifetime: a shot at brand new, low-income housing in an increasingly unaffordable city.

“Number 8! Numero ocho!” came the call Monday night at El Centro de la Raza, a nonprofit in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. Only 110 units are available.

A march protesting the Seattle police shooting of Che Taylor on Feb. 21 moves through downtown Seattle on Feb. 25, 2016.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

About 100 people rallied in downtown Seattle Thursday to protest the shooting death of an African American man.

Tony Johnson of the Chinook Tribe is fluent in Chinook Wawa. He stands at Chinook Point near the mouth of the Columbia, a key spot for the fur trade 200 years ago where strangers met and needed a common language.
KUOW Photo/Dwight Caswell

Chinook Jargon was a trade language that once ruled the Northwest. But when was it used, and how many people spoke it? Listener Michelle LeSourd of Seattle asked KUOW's Local Wonder. 

Ben Nakamura, right, with his mother at an assisted living facility in West Seattle. He keeps coming out to his mother, but that information doesn't appear to register.
KUOW Photo/Mike Kane

My friend Ben Nakamura has known he was gay since 7th grade.

He came out early on, but he put off telling his parents.

Workers at Casa Latina run a morning lottery to distribute job requests for housecleaning, painting, yard work and other odd jobs.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

It’s 7 a.m., time for the morning lottery inside Casa Latina’s worker center.

One guy shakes a blue canister then pulls out plastic ID cards for the 40 or so workers here today. Most are Latino men, but not all.

About 20 people stood vigil to mark two recent deaths at a homeless camp in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A silent vigil Wednesday in downtown Seattle marked the deaths of Jeannine Zapata and James Tran. The two were fatally shot last week at a homeless encampment known as the Jungle.  

Since the year 2000, the local group Women in Black has organized similar vigils since for homeless people who die outside or due to violence. Group leaders say they held vigils for 66 homeless people in 2015, the highest death count since the group started. 

Steve O'Connor, a former police officer, was raped by his seventh grade teacher as a student at St. Benedict’s School.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Steve O’Connor was 63 when he told his full story – to a jury in King County.

"When Dan Adamson came to my house and I’m 12 years old, he says, 'I’ve selected Steve as my special boy,'" he said.

Seattle resident Ignacio Lanuza
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A former government attorney in Seattle pleaded guilty Friday to falsifying documents in a deportation case. KUOW’s race and culture reporter Liz Jones has been following this lawsuit.

Trinidad Vidal says fears of deportation have weighed on her for 22 years.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Immigrant advocates have scheduled several workshops in the Seattle area due to concerns about immigration raids. It comes on the heels of a federal operation to deport families from Central America.

This Iranian refugee family was resettled in Kent this year. It's their first Christmas in the U.S.
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

Princess dolls, race cars and bicycles with training wheels. Those are a few of the gifts handed out to hundreds of families in Kent this week. Many were immigrants and refugees, and for some it will be their first Christmas here in the U.S.

Mario, an 18-year-old refugee from Eritrea, outside his host home in Burien. Mario and his siblings each picked out a bike of their own, thanks to a donation to World Relief.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A pot of lentils simmers in the kitchen of an upscale home in Burien. Two teen brothers and their two younger sisters keep watch.

They’re Eritrean refugees, part of a family of nine staying with Carleen Kennedy. Kennedy has opened her home to refugees since 1975.

The death of a Somali teenager who fell from a Capitol Hill apartment balcony has raised questions in the local Muslim community about exactly what happened.

Attorney Jeff Sprung plans to run for Wash. state auditor
Courtesy Jeff Sprung Campaign

Another candidate has joined next year’s race for Washington state auditor: a Seattle attorney who’s never run for public office.

Syrian refugees Yazan Al-Salkini, 19, center, and brother Nabil, 14, left, hand out water to the homeless in downtown Seattle.
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

The debate about resettling Syrian refugees has some people asking, “Why don’t we use that money on homeless veterans instead?”

We asked homeless veterans in downtown Seattle what they thought.

The Alhamdan family -- two parents and six children -- arrived recently in Seattle from Syria. They are joining a tiny community of 25 recent Syrian refugees.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

The debate about Syrian refugees continues to gain force. And more Northwest politicians are taking sides, as KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

Liz Jones/KUOW

Washington state will continue to welcome Syrian refugees. That’s the word from Governor Jay Inslee. At least 19 other U.S. governors have called to block refugees from Syria in response to the Paris attacks.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

American Airlines flight number 1239 touched down at Sea-Tac Airport, and a family of Syrian refugees walked down the jet way and into a new life.

They’re one of the first families to arrive in the Seattle area since the U.S. agreed to take in more Syrian refugees. The civil war in Syria has displaced more than 4 million people.  

José Luis Avila, of Renton, is fighting for the release of his wife Nestora Salgado from Mexico.
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

Human rights activist Nestora Salgado raised her family in Renton. She’s a U.S. citizen and a human rights activist.

But most people know her now as a political prisoner. She’s been held in a Mexican prison for more than two years, with limited outside contact.

City Councilmember Kshama Sawant speaks at her election night party at Melrose Market in Seattle on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

As election results flashed on the screen Tuesday night, a party of Kshama Sawant supporters erupted.

It showed the Seattle City Council incumbent leading challenger Pamela Banks by 5 percentage points.

People with limited English ability tend to live near pollution-causing freeways and industrial areas. And Latinos outnumber any other group.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Neighborhoods where non-English speaking Latinos live tend to have the most toxic air quality, according to new research out of Washington State University.

Workers who harvest clams at a Bellingham-based company say their employer underpaid them for years. They have filed a lawsuit for wage theft.

In this Sept. 10, 2014 file photo, detained immigrant children line up in the cafeteria at the Karnes County Residential Center in Texas. About 70 children from the border have been placed with foster families in Washington state.
AP Photo/Eric Gay

Expansion plans are underway for an immigration program linked to Microsoft, but it's something that has nothing to do with computers or technology.

It’s a non-profit called KIND, or Kids In Need of Defense, and it provides free attorneys to immigrant children who face deportation.

Two workers injured in the explosion at a hydroelectric dam in central Washington remain in critical condition Friday afternoon with burns covering more than 20 percent of their bodies.

A barefoot boy stands on a cement wall after his family's arrival on a dinghy from the Turkish coasts to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos. About half a million refugees have crossed the Mediterranean this year, although few will end up in Seattle.
AP Photo/Santi Palacios

Here's the short answer to how many more Syrians are expected to resettle in Washington state: Not many. At least not in the next couple years.

“Definitely not 3,000 Syrians coming to Seattle," says Bob Johnson. Johnson heads the Seattle office of the International Rescue Committee. It's one of the largest resettlement agencies in the country. 

People who struggle with English will have an easier time getting help if they’re injured on the job in Washington state.

That’s because of a federal agreement to settle a complaint targeting Washington’s system for workers’ compensation.

Machinery spraying pesticide on rows of Christmas trees at tree farm near Wautoma, Wis., in 2011.
Flickr photo/Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Stronger rules for pesticides sprayed on farms and in forests, greenhouses and nurseries can cut health risks for workers, the federal government said in rolling out new safety standards this week. 

That news doesn’t come too soon for farmworkers like Martin Rios.

A woman is taken to an ambulance on the Aurora Bridge after the crash Thursday.
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

They came to Seattle from around the world: Austria, China, Indonesia and Japan. 

They died on the Aurora Bridge on Thursday.

They were mourned at North Seattle College on Friday, where some students said they were frightened by the collision between a large tourist vehicle known as “the Duck” and a bus.

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