Pacione Zayas OpenHouse 100722CHICAGO –State Senator Cristina H. Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) is excited to open the doors to her District Office to members of her community for an open house on Oct. 7.

“The foundation of my work as a public servant is connecting with members of my community, and making sure their needs are represented in government,” Pacione-Zayas said. “I am ecstatic to meet with my constituents and hear about their concerns, as well as providing any assistance we can regarding issues with state agencies.”

Senator Pacione-Zayas’ open house will be held from 3-6 p.m at her district office, located at 3140 W. Montrose Ave.

The open house will provide members of the community with the opportunity to speak with the Senator about important government issues. Staff members will be available to help residents with issues they are having connecting with state agencies, or receiving state benefits such as unemployment. They will also have the chance to tour where the Senator and her staff get to work for their district, as well as make connections with other folks in the community who are passionate about government issues.

The event is co-sponsored by the Spanish Coalition for Housing, which is providing assistance with Universal Basic Income applications. This new program under the Cook County Pilot program may grant $500 monthly payments for two years to qualifying applicants. Senator Pacione-Zayas encourages her constituents to apply, and to attend the open house if they have questions.

“Spanish Coalition for Housing (SCH) values our collaboration with Senator Pacione-Zayas,” Joseph Lopez, SCH Executive Director said. “Our team is prepared to assist individuals and families throughout the district to learn about and apply to Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot Program.”


Category: Press Releases

puertoricanagendachicagophotoCHICAGO – State Senator Cristina H. Pacione-Zayas and State Senator Omar Aquino joined leaders this morning to demand a swift and meaningful response from the federal government to Hurricane Fiona and to call attention to the structural inequities that leave Puerto Rico vulnerable to catastrophic destruction in the aftermath of disasters fueled by climate change.

“The health and safety of Puerto Ricans cannot continue to be ignored by those with power to assign significant resources,” said Senator Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “Five years after our pleas were ignored following Hurricane Maria, we cannot standby idly for the federal government to mobilize and act with urgency while our community is in crisis. Instead, we take action today to provide immediate relief to households in Puerto Rico, and to publicly demand that the government take concrete steps to for long-term recovery on the island to rebuild a more resilient Puerto Rico using sustainable energy sources.

On September 18, the entire island of Puerto Rico lost power when Hurricane Fiona hit, bringing violent winds, heavy rain, catastrophic flooding and landslides to the island. In many areas, rainfall and flooding greatly exceeded that of Hurricane Maria, causing many to lose everything. LUMA Energy, the main source of power on Puerto Rico, stated it will take days to get the power back up to all residents but unfortunately they have not provided consistent service since the beginning of their contract. This is deeply troubling for members of the Puerto Rican diaspora, as many folks on the island will not have access to food, water, basic sanitation needs, and their ability to connect to family or work for as long as they are without power.

The foundational needs of Puerto Ricans, such as power, clean water, or supplies, have historically been overlooked, leading to unnecessarily long periods of recovery. Whether preparing for, responding to, or disbursing funds to rebuild after a hurricane, the federal government has historically prolonged its initiatives to provide relief that is desperately needed and, in many cases, resulted in the loss of human life and widespread health and safety concerns for residents.

Hurricane Fiona has come at the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, which added to the existing physical and economic devastation on the island. Despite immediate aid from the Puerto Rican Agenda, thousands of people in Puerto Rico have not yet recovered from Maria, living in damaged homes or under blue tarps. Remembering the difficulties they faced five years ago, many folks in Puerto Rico are fearful not only of their safety during the storm, but for the recovery period that will likely be drawn out unless there is a more efficient and prioritized federal response. 

“Myself and so many in my community are devastated as we see the damage and injuries facing Puerto Ricans,” said Aquino (D-Chicago). “Today, we are calling on government leaders to take a firm stand in support of Puerto Ricans, and to work with local community leaders on the next steps towards recovery and infrastructure repair.”

Today we stand with The Puerto Rican Agenda of Chicago in demanding an effective and prioritized response from the federal government that will not only provide immediate relief for residents, but also address the lingering structural, governmental obstacles that undermine Puerto Rico’s ability to recover and rebound from the adverse impact of climate change. For more information on their goals, click here.

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO – On Wednesday night, a group of immigrants from Venezuela arrived in Chicago after they were “shipped out” on buses by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Regarding this matter, State Senator Cristina H. Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) welcomes the newcomers, highlights local resources, and disavows Abbott’s decision to use human lives as political currency for personal gain.

“I am proud that my state, Illinois, and my city, Chicago, continue to be the most welcoming places in the nation to our immigrant siblings. We welcome the newcomers as we work to deploy resources to support them in both the immediate and long term.

“My community already took action. Chicago is the soul of our nation, a place built by the strength and contributions of people from all corners of the globe. A temporary shelter was staffed through the night by trusted partners including Rincon Family Services, Family Focus, and Onward Neighborhood House who support immigrants year-round through state funded Welcoming Centers. Many other local partners are mobilizing to ensure we can offer resources they need to settle and thrive in our community.

“Also, I condemn Abbott’s lack of humanity with his approach to immigration. Our actions and/or the lack thereof reflect upon one’s character. The Governor of Texas has clearly failed this test.

“Instead of using refugees as political pawns, our city and state choose to respond to our challenges with compassion and humanity, not cruelty. I commit to working with my colleagues to create opportunities for the new residents of Illinois ensuring prosperity is accessible to all people.”

Category: Press Releases

05302021CM0250SPRINGFIELD – As an advocate for more affordable higher education, State Senator Cristina H. Pacione-Zayas is excited that federal student loans are expected to be forgiven for people facing the most economic hardship.

“With rising tuition prices, many students from low and middle income families have no other choice but to borrow if they want to pursue a degree, and are receiving less federal support relative to the cost of education,” said Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “Together, this makes it difficult to make monthly loan payments while also paying their regular bills. I am grateful that President Biden’s plan attempts to mitigate this burden on our hardworking students.”

Last week, President Biden announced his plan to address student debt, which includes cutting monthly payments in half for undergraduate loans, modifying the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to provide credit to borrowers who have worked at a nonprofit, military, or in federal, state, tribal, or local government, and protecting future students by reducing the cost of college.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education will provide up to $20,000 in loan relief to borrowers with loans held by the department whose individual income is less than $125,000 and who received a Pell Grant.  Nearly every Pell Grant recipient came from a family that made less than $60,000 a year, and Pell Grant recipients typically experience more challenges repaying their debt than other borrowers. Borrowers who meet those income standards but did not receive a Pell Grant in college can receive up to $10,000 in loan relief.

Pacione-Zayas is hopeful that this plan will be transformative for those struggling with student debt, acknowledging this is an issue so many are facing as the cost of higher education continues to rise.

“As someone who is still paying back student loans, I know firsthand the challenges of balancing supporting a family and saving for the future when you have student debt,” Pacione-Zayas said. ““It is a struggle so many of us face. I am thrilled that some relief is on the way, especially for folks with limited access to economic resources.”

For more information and to sign up to be notified for when relief is available, click here.

Category: Press Releases

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Office Information

Springfield Office:

Stratton Office Building
Section F, Room H
Springfield, IL 62706


District Office:
3140 W. Montrose
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 278-2020