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

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.

An injured person is taken from the scene of the Aurora Bridge bus crash on Sept. 24, 2015
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

UPDATE, 3;10 p.m.: A duck amphibious tour vehicle swerved into a charter bus carrying international students on the Aurora Bridge Thursday. At least four people died and dozens were injured, emergency officials said.

At least 44 people were taken to hospitals.

China President Xi Jinping.
Flickr Photo/Global Panorama (Michel Temer) (CC BY SA 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1Oq11MA

The Chinese President Xi Jinping will be in Seattle Tuesday. It’s the first stop on his U.S. itinerary. KUOW’s Liz Jones visited Seattle’s Chinatown neighborhood to see what they think of this high-profile visitor.

Irene Velazquez, Araceli Hernandez and Angela Escoz prepare for a 100-mile pilgrimage to greet Pope Francis.
Liz Jones/KUOW

There’s a name Angela Escoz of Seattle refuses to utter: Donald Trump.

"It’s incredible the control this guy has over people and the media and the barbaric things he says every day against immigrants,” Escoz said. She’s an immigrant from Peru.

Portland teen Angela Wilcox poses with presidential candidate Rand Paul at a rally in Seattle.
Liz Jones/KUOW

Presidential hopeful Rand Paul continued his Western tour with campaign stops in Seattle and Spokane Wednesday.

At Seattle’s Town Hall, hundreds chanted “President Paul” as he took the stage. Afterward, many waited in a long line to get a photo with the candidate.

Smokejumpers from the McCall base in Idaho prepare to drop into the Payette National Forest, Idaho, on July 2, 2014.
U.S. Forest Service Photo/Kari Greer

Wildland firefighters come in all forms: There are seasonal workers, Army reservists – and prisoners who fight fires for a few dollars a day.

And then there are the smokejumpers who parachute into the heart of fire country.

Flames and smoke rise on a hillside above Twisp River Road near Twisp, Wash., Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

“Everything is tapped out.”

Those were the not-so-reassuring words of Peter Goldmark, Washington state lands commissioner. He spoke Thursday with KUOW’s Ross Reynolds, the day after three firefighters were killed in a wildfire near Twisp.

The Washington Attorney General's office has taken action against Orona & Associates in Everett, the business advertised here.  A consent decree assessed $8,000 in civil penalties and $1,500 in costs and fees.
courtesy Northwest Immigrant Rights Project

A crackdown on scammers offering fraudulent immigration services found hundreds of victims, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Wednesday in announcing action against four businesses.

Ferguson said fraudulent “consultants” known “notarios públicos” as are preying on new, vulnerable immigrants.

Neighbors, police and pastors gather at a vigil for Torrence Spillers.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Get outside. Talk to your neighbors.

That’s the advice of Minister Gregory Banks of First A.M.E. Church.

He was talking about the recent spate of shootings in central and south Seattle. Shooting incidents in the city have increased 33 percent over last year.

A drive-by shooting has claimed the life of another young, black man in Seattle’s Central Area.

Police said the 24-year-old man was walking his dog when he was hit with multiple gunshots around 7:30 p.m. Thursday near the corner of 26th Avenue East and East Columbia Street.

Seattle police have arrested a suspect in a recent gang-related shooting in the New Holly neighborhood.

The arrest is connected to a drive-by shooting two weeks ago that left 20-year old Zakariya Issa dead on the street.

Marchers walk through Seattle's Central Area on the 2015 anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

People marching in a Black Lives Matter protest in Seattle on Sunday said they were upset by how a largely white crowd reacted to the disruption of Bernie Sanders’ rally the day before.

The scene in the New Holly neighborhood after a drive-by shooting killed Zakariya Issa on Friday, July 31.
Courtesy of Salaxley TV

People in Seattle’s New Holly neighborhood say the killings of two young Somali men have shaken their faith in the police and they want more to be done to protect them.

Capitol Hill rainbow crosswalk at 10th Ave & East Pike Street.
Flickr Photo/Gordon Werner (CC BY SA 2.0)

More rainbow crosswalks are coming to the hub of the Seattle gay community on Capitol Hill. That’s just one item in the mayor’s action plan to improve safety for LGBTQ people in the city. 

Joseph McEnroe was found guilty in the 2007 murders of his ex-girlfriend's family -- four adults and two children.
AP Pool Photo/Ellen Banner

A woman charged in the murder of her family in Carnation, Washington, will not face the death penalty, the King County prosecutor said Wednesday.

Flowers are piled outside the International District Emergency Center on Thursday in tribute to Donald Chin, who was shot to death earlier in the day.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Some called Donald Chin the face of Seattle's Chinatown. Others called him its protector.

Chin, 59, was fatally shot early Thursday morning in the neighborhood that was the focus of his life's work.

King County leaders say the civilian agency that monitors the Sheriff’s Office needs more authority to do its job. A public hearing Monday will look at a proposal for reforms. KUOW’s Liz Jones explains.

Theo Polizos, right, prepares bougatsa at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Seattle.
Seattle Globalist Photo/Venice Buhain

As Theo Polizos and about a half dozen other women at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church on Capitol Hill prepared dozens of trays of bougatsa last week for the parish’s upcoming Greek Festival, their families in Greece were not far from their minds.

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