CHICAGO –To explain how the SAFE-T Act works to make the criminal legal system more equitable, State Senator Cristina H. Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) and State Senator Omar Aquino (D—Chicago) are holding a virtual town hall on Monday, Oct. 3.

“Before this law, the criminal legal system disproportionately favored folks with more money—which is not ’justice’ at all,” Pacione-Zayas said. “The SAFE-T Act will make sure offenders of serious crimes are not able to walk free just because they can afford bail, keeping our communities safer and creating more accountability for serious crimes.”

The SAFE-T Act Town Hall will be held Monday, October 3 from 6-7:30 p.m. over Zoom. To pre-register for the virtual town hall, click here.

Under current law, people who commit serious crimes, such as murder, rape, sex offenses or gun crimes, can use cash to pay for their release, while people charged with minor offenses who cannot afford cash bail have to sit in jail awaiting trial. This unfairly allows people with more financial resources to evade the consequences of their actions, while keeping people with less financial resources from going to work and caring for their families by holding them in jail.

To address these issues, the SAFE-T Act gives the judge the power to determine if a person charged with a crime will be held or released. When the Act goes into effect, judges will be able to hold someone they deem as “too dangerous” regardless of their ability to pay for bail. This change will make sure those accused of serious crimes are kept out of the community, no matter how much money they have, and people who are charged with minor offenses can be released if they do not pose a risk to others.

Additionally, this law takes the first steps to rectify the disproportionate negative impact of the current criminal legal system on people with low income. Under a cash bail system, people living in poverty who are charged with nonviolent crimes are held in jail before being convicted of the crime they were charged with. This means that people who are arrested and found innocent after a trial have to miss work, school, or other obligations that can negatively impact their financial status. Many may end up losing their jobs or living situations because of the money lost in this time period. Dissolving the cash bail system will give people who are accused of committing a nonviolent crime the opportunity to continue to earn money and support their family between the time of their arrest and their trial date, preventing folks from slipping further into poverty if they were unable to afford bail.    

"People deemed to be a danger to others or themselves will remain in jail if a judge decides so," Senator Aquino said. "The SAFE-T Act is not a tool for impunity, but it's a venue to stop the historical unfairness of keeping poor people in jail for not being able to "buy out" their freedom as wealthy people do in the current system. Senator Pacione-Zayas and I will happily explain this and any other concerns to our constituents in our virtual town hall meeting." 

Category: Press Releases

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

Para leer en español, haz click aqui.

Dear friend,

On September 18, the entire island of Puerto Rico has lost power when Hurricane Fiona hit, bringing violent winds, heavy rain, catastrophic flooding and landslides to the island. LUMA Energy, the main source of power on Puerto Rico, has stated it will take days to get the power back up to all residents. This is deeply concerning, 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 basic needs of Puerto Ricans, such as access to power or supplies, have historically been overlooked and ignored, leading to unnecessarily long periods of recovery, resulting in economic stagnation and widespread health and safety concerns for residents. I am working with the Puerto Rican Agenda of Chicago to provide immediate assistance to folks on the island, as well as advocate for long-term infrastructure changes. Read more for opportunities to provide relief to Puerto Ricans.  

Additionally, in the past month, many folks have reached out to my office asking for more information about their tax rebates, and with questions about the SAFE-T act after graphics with disinformation were spread on social media. I am happy to address these questions for you all. Read on to find out if you qualify for up to $600 in tax rebates, to learn what the SAFE-T act will actually do, my upcoming town hall, and the importance of making the criminal legal system hold wealthy criminals accountable, and more.

As always, feel free reach out to my office for assistance by calling 773-278-2020, sending a text message to 773-207-7838, or sending us a note at


State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas | 20th District

Puerto Rico Relief Efforts – Puerto Rican Agenda of Chicago

The Puerto Rican Agenda stands ready to re-energize the 3Rs for Puerto Rico: Rescue, Relief, Rebuild campaign to provide the same form of collective solidarity to our friends and family who have been impacted by Hurricane Fiona. Donate to the campaign by making an online contribution HERE.

For more information on the Agenda’s work and goals, click here:

Tax Rebate Information

Chances are you are one of the millions of Illinoisans set to receive direct financial relief as part of the Illinois Family Relief Plan I was proud to support during the spring legislative session.

Good news: Rebates are expected to hit bank accounts starting the week of Sept. 12.

If you filed 2021 Illinois taxes, you may be eligible to receive up to $700! Individual filers who make less than $200,000 will receive a $50 income tax rebate, and couples who make less than $400,000 will receive $100. Filers are also eligible for $100 per dependent, with a maximum of three. 

Additionally, if you paid property taxes in 2021 on your primary residence in 2020 – and you make less than $250,000 individually or $500,000 jointing – you are eligible for up to $300. Your rebate will be equal to the property tax you were qualified to claim on your 2021 taxes.

If you filed taxes you will automatically receive your rebate – otherwise you have until Oct. 17 to do so.

For more information on how the funds will be dispersed or to see if you qualify visit

To check the status of your rebate, click here and select “Where’s My Rebate?” You will need to have your IL-PIN number to check the status. To find your IL-PIN number, click here and select “IL-PIN Inquiry.”

SAFE-T Act Update

There is a lot of disinformation going around about the SAFE-T act right now. To set the record straight, this law is designed to make sure people with a lot of money can’t buy their way out of jail after committing serious crimes like rape or murder, and give folks who committed minor offenses and do not pose a risk to others the opportunity to be released, regardless of their access to money.

If you have more questions about the SAFE-T Act, consider attending my upcoming town hall on the bill. The town hall will be held virtually on Monday, October 3rd from 6-7:30 p.m. To pre-register, click here:

Job Opportunities in and around the 20th District

Check out my webpage featuring a list of job opportunities in Chicago and the 20th District. There, you can find links to jobs with the State of Illinois, Chicago Public Schools, local organizations and more.

What I’ve Been Up To

Check out my latest district activities and media interviews explaining how we are supporting community safety and the residents of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona! Click here for more information:

Upcoming Events

Category: Newsletters

Estimado amigo,

El 18 de septiembre toda la isla de Puerto Rico se quedó sin energía eléctrica con la llegada del huracán Fiona que trajo vientos violentos, lluvias torrenciales, inundaciones catastróficas y deslaves. LUMA Energy, el proveedor más importante de energía de Puerto Rico, ha dicho que tomará días restaurar el servicio a todos los residentes. Esto es muy preocupante pues mucha gente no tendrá acceso a comida, agua, necesidades sanitarias básicas, o poder comunicarse con su familia o su lugar de trabajo.

Las necesidades básicas de los puertorriqueños, como el acceso a insumos y energía, ha sido ignorado históricamente, provocando periodos muy largos e innecesarios para la recuperación, que han dado como resultado parálisis económica, problemas de salud y de inseguridad para los residentes. Estoy trabajando con the Puerto Rican Agenda of Chicago para poder ofrecer asistencia inmediata a la gente de la isla, así como para impulsar cambios de infraestructura de largo plazo. Lea para enterarse sobre oportunidades para ofrecer ayuda a los puertorriqueños.

Adicionalmente, el mes pasado, muchas personas se dirigieron a mi oficina preguntando sobre la devolución de impuestos, y con preguntas acerca de la ley SAFE-T Act., luego de que gráficos con desinformación fueron distribuidos en las redes sociales. Con gusto contesto a sus preguntas. Lea para saber si usted califica para recibir la devolución de impuestos de hasta $600, para más información sobre en qué consiste la ley SAFE-T Act., mi próxima junta comunitaria, y la relevancia del por qué el sistema de justicia debe ejercer rendición de cuentas sobre los delincuentes y más.

Como siempre, siéntase en libertad de comunicarse con mi oficina si necesita ayuda llamando al 773-278-2020, enviando un mensaje de texto al 773-207-7838, o mandando una nota a través de



Senadora Estatal Cristina Pacione-Zayas | Distrito 20




Esfuerzos de ayuda para Puerto Rico – Puerto Rican Agenda of Chicago

La Puerto Rican Agenda se reporta lista para colaborar en lo siguiente en Puerto Rico: Rescate, y en una campaña de reconstrucción para ofrecer la misma forma de solidaridad colectiva a nuestros amigos y familiares impactados por el huracán Fiona. Haga una contribución a esta campaña en línea aquí.

Para más información sobre la Agenda, su trabajo y objetivos, dé clic aquí.   

Información sobre la devolución de impuestos

Es muy probable que usted esté entre los millones de residentes de Illinois que recibirán alivio financiero como parte del Plan de Alivio Familiar de Illinois, que tuve el orgullo de patrocinar durante la sesión legislativa de primavera.

Buenas noticias: Las devoluciones comenzarán a llegar a las cuentas bancarias a partir del 12 de septiembre.

Si usted presentó su declaración de impuestos de 2021, podría ser elegible a recibir hasta $700. Quienes presentan la declaración de forma individual y ganan menos de $200,000 recibirán $50 de devolución de impuestos, y las parejas que ganan menos de $400,000 recibirán $100. También podrán recibir $100 por cada dependiente con un máximo de tres.

Además, si usted pagó impuestos a la propiedad en 2021 sobre su residencia primaria en 2020 -y gana menos de $250,000 individualmente, o $500,000 de forma conjunta, usted es elegible a recibir hasta $300.

Si presentó su declaración de impuestos recibirá automáticamente la devolución -o tendrá hasta el 17 de octubre para obtenerla.

Para más información sobre cómo serán distribuidos los fondos o para ver si usted califica dé clic aquí.

Para revisar el estatus de su devolución dé clic aquí y seleccione ¿Dónde está mi devolución? Deberá tener a la mano su número IL-PIN para ver su estatus. Para saber más sobre su número IL-PIN, dé clic aquí y seleccione “IL-PIN Inquiry”.

Actualización sobre la ley SAFE-T Act.

Hay mucha desinformación sobre la ley SAFE-T Act. Para dejar las cosas claras, esta ley tiene como objetivo que la gente que tiene dinero no pueda “comprar” su salida de la cárcel luego de cometer delitos serios como violación o asesinato, y para otorgar a las personas que cometieron infracciones menores y que no representan un riesgo para otros la oportunidad de ser liberados, independientemente de si tienen dinero o no.

Si tiene más preguntas sobre la ley SAFE-T Act., considere asistir a mi próxima junta comunitaria sobre esta legislación. La junta será virtual el lunes 3 de octubre de 6-7 p.m. Para pre registrarse, dé clic aquí.

Oportunidades de trabajo en el Distrito 20 y más allá

Revise mi página de internet donde se destacan oportunidades de empleo en Chicago y en el Distrito 20. Ahí, usted encontrará enlaces a empleos con el Estado de Illinois, las Escuelas Públicas de Chicago, organizaciones locales y más.

¿Qué he estado haciendo?

Revise mis actividades recientes en el distrito y entrevistas en los medios donde explico cómo estamos apoyando la seguridad en nuestras comunidades y a los residentes de Puerto Rico tras el paso del huracán Fiona. Dé clic aquí para más información.

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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