Dear Friend,

It’s been an eventful few weeks in the 20th District, and I wanted to provide you with an update on what’s been happening as well as some resources available to you.

Below you can find resources on housing and business assistance and educational programs as well as a recap of recent events, upcoming events, and an introduction to the newest member of our team!

As always, feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have about issues facing our community. I encourage you to reach out to us at (773) 278-2020 or on my website.


State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas | 20th District


Back to Business grant

As part of Governor JB Pritzker’s overall economic recovery strategy, the $250 million Back to Business (B2B) grant program aims to deploy small businesses recovery grants for those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Application opens Aug. 18. Visit the DCEO website for more information.

ICIRR cash assistance

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee, along with the Department of Human Services, has extended the Immigrant Family Support Project offering cash assistance to immigrants through Dec. 2022. Get more information here.          

Welcoming Centers and Rental Assistance

The Latino Policy Forum and partner organizations are distributing rental and utility assistance for immigrant families. Assistance is available for the past 12 months of rental and/or utility bills. More information can be found here

Project Rainbow

This new Cook County initiative seeks to address learning loss magnified by COVID-19 by curating and creating free early childhood and family oriented educational programming and through the development of Cook County’s first-ever mobile app. More on Project Rainbow here.

Raise Your Hand survey on CPS

Let your voice be heard on Chicago Public School’s return to in-person learning plan. Get the survey here

In the District

Back-to-School Fair

This past Saturday, I hosted a Back-to-School Fair along with Rep. Will Guzzardi and other community partners. This event offered free school supplies, COVID-19 and flu vaccinations, and dental exams along with food, vendors and fun activities for the whole family. Check out the details of the event here.


SEIU Walk a Day event

I recently participated in a “walk a day” event to highlight the child care crisis affecting the workforce, parents and children, which was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about the event on my website.


Upcoming Events

Join me, Rep. Guzzardi, and Rep. Andrade for an Environmental Town Hall hosted by the Illinois Environmental Council. We and other stakeholders will be providing the latest legislative updates regarding energy, lead in water and urban agriculture. Details below!

Other Updates

Masks in Chicago

Following updated guidance from the CDC and based on Chicago’s current local COVID-19 data, the Chicago Department of Public Health recommends that everyone over the age of 2, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in public indoor settings. Masking remains optional in outdoor settings, where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is lower.

Vaccines in Chicago

The CDC recommends everyone over the age of 12 receive a COVID-19 vaccine. You can sign up to receive the vaccine at home and receive a $25 Visa gift card here. You can also use the City of Chicago’s Vaccine Finder here or call their COVID-19 hotline for assistance at 312-746-4835.

Meet the newest addition to our district team!

Edoardo Oritz is originally from Puerto Rico but currently resides in the Logan Square neighborhood. He's a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, and the University of Chicago where he studied Public Policy and Economics. He has previously worked as a policy analyst/researcher at the city level and in the non-profit and private sectors. He's just joining after a year working for a policy research and technical assistance firm that focuses on federal social and economic policy.

Edoardo is focused on helping us research legislation that will make a positive impact and center the lived experiences of individuals and communities that have been historically marginalized, especially those who live and work in the 20th district. He will also aid in researching and communicating the important policy work that happens at the Senate level. He's also looking forward to meeting with district constituents and stakeholders to help turn ideas into bills into laws.

When not at work, Edoardo likes to play basketball and go bike riding. His mom's desire for a "parranda" partners led him to learn guitar at the age of 10 - a hobby he keeps today.

Welcome, Edoardo!

Category: Newsletters

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Office Information

Springfield Office:
M120 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8191
District Office:
3140 W. Montrose
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 278-2020