pacione zayasSPRINGFIELD – Cristina Pacione-Zayas was sworn in to her first full term as state senator for the 20th Illinois Senate District Wednesday, taking the oath of office just weeks after her appointment to succeed former Senator Iris Martinez. After an all-day, all-night legislative session voting on major reforms that stretched well into the early morning hours Wednesday, Pacione-Zayas was undaunted by the tasks ahead of her in Springfield.

“I hope the ambitious and transformative agenda I’ve been honored to participate in this past week will set the tone for what’s ahead in my first full term in office,” Pacione-Zayas said. “We face historic challenges at every level in the 20th Senate District. We need to bring about transformative and systemic change so we can all thrive.”

Best known as a tireless advocate for education reform and the Puerto Rican community, Pacione-Zayas was born and raised in Logan Square and has a track record for effectively collaborating and supporting policy leading to positive outcomes for children, families and communities. Her previous service spans Chicago Public Schools, community-based and advocacy organizations, and the Illinois State Board of Education, along with serving on transition teams for Gov. JB Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot. She holds a Ph.D. in educational policy studies from UIUC and currently serves as a consultant for Erikson Institute, a graduate school focused on child development.

Among her agenda items for her first term will be forming five policy roundtables, which she said she hopes will draw experts and community members to meet regularly for the purpose of helping her craft legislation in the areas of education, health, housing, small business and the workforce, and public safety.

“The best policy comes from cooperation between our communities and those who dedicate themselves to studying innovative solutions. I will be reaching out to the 20th District in the coming days to invite those who are interested in helping me craft legislation to apply for these roundtables,” Pacione-Zayas said.

The 20th Illinois Senate District includes parts of Chicago Wards 1, 26, 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 36, 38, 39 and 45, and Northeastern Illinois University’s El Centro campus.

Category: Press Releases

The Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus issued the following statement in support of Senate Bill 3066.

The Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus stands in solidarity and firm support of SB3066 HA-5, Rep. Ramirez’s COVID Emergency Housing legislation to make sure that people at risk of eviction and foreclosure during the pandemic can stay in and keep their homes.

Communities across our state, and specifically communities of color, have suffered unprecedented health and economic hardship during the COVID pandemic. Hundreds of thousands across the state are currently at risk of homelessness, many of them in the Latino community, and facing the highest risks of contracting COVID.

SB 3066 HA-5 will give tenants and homeowners necessary relief by:

  • creating eviction protections that include an extension of the governor’s eviction moratorium, sealing of evictions during the COVID emergency period, and protections for those attempting to make partial payments despite economic hardship
  • legislating clear guidelines for the federal Emergency Rental Assistance program that ensure the most in need, including the undocumented, will be able to access relief funds
  • stopping residential foreclosures though May 2021

We call on our colleagues in the General Assembly to join us in supporting this critical legislation during this lame duck session to prevent an eviction and foreclosure crisis that will devastate communities across our state and push families into homelessness.

Category: Press Releases

pacione zayas uniLa Senadora Estatal Cristina Pacione-Zayas se presentó a constituyentes del Distrito 20 en una entrevista con Univision en el Día de Año Nuevo. Ella discutió sus objectivos como legisladora y su historia personal como residente de Logan Square. Puede ver el video en línea en univision.com aquí.


 State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas introduced herself to constituents of the 20th District in an interview with Univision on New Year's Day. She discussed her goals as a lawmaker and her personal history as a resident of Logan Square. Watch the video online at univision.com here.

Category: News

pacione zayasChicago Sun-Times, Dec. 22, 2020 | Read the original article here. Lea en español aquí

By Rachel Hinton

Members of the Cook County Democratic Party have filled the seat vacated by former state Sen. Iris Martinez.

Cristina Pacione-Zayas, who served as the associate vice president of policy at the Erikson Institute until this week, was sworn in Monday night after being selected by Cook County Democratic Party committee members.

The term ends in 2022.

Lea este artículo en español en La Voz Chicago.

Pacione-Zayas was not immediately available for comment but told the Erikson Institute “it is an honor to serve in the Illinois State Senate and to represent the 20th district on the Northwest side of Chicago.

“I am especially thrilled about the prospect of applying child development science to policy making in the General Assembly,” Pacione-Zayas’ statement reads in part. “You can count on me to help fellow legislators ‘find the baby’ in the work, and to advance an anti-racist framework that dismantles systemic racism and economic exploitation so we can all thrive.”

Earlier this month, former Sen. Martinez said Pacione-Zayas was the candidate she wanted her fellow Cook County Democratic Party committee members to support.

“I think we’ve got ourselves a really good person who is committed to the neighborhood,” Martinez previously said.

Martinez gave up the Senate seat after becoming the first Latina elected to the clerk of the circuit courts, which puts her in charge of maintaining records for the country’s second-largest consolidated court system.

Pacione-Zayas earned a Ph.D. in educational policy studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is secretary of the board for the Illinois State Board of Education — a role she was appointed to last year by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

She is a former education director for the Latino Policy Forum and a culture of calm coordinator for Chicago Public Schools, a role she called “an amazing opportunity to really think about how schools” can serve the communities they’re in.

Category: In the News

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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