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Dear Friend,

With summer winding down and school now in full swing, I want to give you some resources that will help us transition into the coming months and give relief to our local businesses.

Below, find information on broadband assistance, the Back to Business relief program, and more, along with some upcoming community events.

I also want to remind you that while things are slowly opening back up, the pandemic is still something to be taken seriously. I encourage everyone to continue to wear a mask, and if you can, get vaccinated. It’ll be the best shot at ending this pandemic for good!


State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas| 20th District


Help for Illinois Families: Relief for households across the state

Building on the state’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program, eligible Illinoisans can get assistance to cover utility bills, rent, temporary shelter, food, and other household necessities through the Help Illinois Families initiative. Learn more and apply at

Internet service discounts available for families with limited economic resources

More than 1.1 million Illinoisans lack access to at-home internet services, which can be a barrier to education and employment. To help close the digital divide, the federal Emergency Broadband Benefit program offers a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible low-income households, plus a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet. Apply now at or call 833-511-0311.

Grants available for organizations preparing Illinoisans for the workplace

The Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program offers grants to community organizations that are modernizing and diversifying apprenticeship opportunities in Illinois. Nonprofits, including colleges and universities, can apply for grant funding to provide pre-apprenticeship skills training that helps underrepresented populations successfully transition into full construction and building apprenticeships. Apply for the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program by Oct. 4.

Back to Business relief program still open for Illinois small businesses

The $250 million B2B program is now open, offering eligible small businesses one-time grants of up to $150,000 to cover operation costs, staff payroll and other expenses. To qualify, a business must have made $20 million or less in revenue in 2019 and be able to demonstrate a reduction in revenue in 2020. Don’t wait—find a community outreach partner for application support and apply today at

Some students and families in Chicago eligible for $500 grant

The Chicago Families Forward Fund will provide eligible families a helping hand as we work to recover from COVID-19. Under this program, students in temporary living situations (STLS) eligible for STLS services for the 2021-22 school year are given a one-time $500 microgrant. Check if you are eligible and register at by Oct. 1 or pick up a paper registration form at your child’s school.

Flu season is approaching—get your annual flu shot today

Millions of people get seasonal flu every year, and most times, the flu is mild—however, it can be very serious and even life-threatening. To protect yourself and others from influenza, the CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get an annual flu shot. Check with your health care provider, local health department and area pharmacies to find a vaccination clinic near you, or use the City of Chicago’s online Find a Flu Shot tool.

Job of the Week

Home Visiting Program Manager with the Department of Human Services

The Division of Early Childhood is seeking to hire an energetic and detail-oriented manager full time to oversee the statewide operations of the DHS Home Visiting Program in Cook County. Explore the job description and qualifications and submit your application here.

In the district

Successful recycling event in the Logan Square/Avondale community

Various local leaders and I recently hosted a free Recycling Day, which included a prescription drug take-back, document shredding and electronics recycling. Learn more about it here.

Celebrating National Hispanic Nurses Day

September 22 was Hispanic Nurses Day! Bilingual and bicultural nurses are more critical now than ever, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and provide culturally competent care for Latinx and Spanish-speaking communities. This Latinx History Month, take a moment to recognize and thank a hardworking Latinx nurse in your life.

Logan Square Farmer’s Market has lots to offer

I love attending the Logan Square Farmer’s Market to see all the products our local vendors have to offer! Check out some pictures below!


Kicking off Latinx History Month with local officials

Checking out Frida Kahlo’s beloved works with colleagues and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton


Stay tuned on our Facebook and Twitter for our new #WellnessWednesday movement to get resources, tips and facts about mental health wellness every week.

Upcoming Events


Meet the staff

Judith (Judy) Rios: Judy is a first-generation Mexican American native to Chicago’s South Side. Judy is a graduate of Northeastern Illinois University, where she studied psychology and social work, and has previously worked with the Albany Park Community Center, where she taught and tutored citizenship classes and general education development for adults transitioning to living in the U.S. More recently, Judy has interned at the Cook County Office of the Public Guardian, where she assisted with interviewing youth in foster care and assessed their safety and well-being while also conducting research on state responses to the growing opioid epidemic, targeting infant and maternal health outcomes.

Judy’s former experience includes working in specialized care for immigrant youth, where she assisted in the ongoing treatment of unaccompanied youth who suffered from severe trauma and illness. Presently, Judy continues to work with the unaccompanied youth population but has shifted her attention to reunification efforts, policy and practices along with employee rights and equality within nonprofit sectors. Judy also has experience advocating for workers’ rights in cross-sectional agencies as the secretary and interim vice-chair of the National Organization of Legal Service Workers Local 2320 Union. Through this work, Judy shares that she’s been able identify work/life balance stressors and works towards establishing meaningful personal and professional relationships to benefit both individual and agency.

Judy is now pursuing her master’s degree in social work with a concentration in child, family law and policy from Erikson Institute and joins us as a constituent resource intern to assist with services to constituents, policy research and council management. Judy hopes to comfort and attentively listen to constituents’ concerns and develop long lasting interpersonal connections and relationships during her time at the 20th Illinois Senate District office. In her extended free time, Judy loves to travel and is working on her goal of visiting all the U.S. National Parks.

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