CHICAGO – State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) is disheartened and emboldened by the news of the overturning of landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, effectively stripping reproductive rights from millions of women and pregnant people across the nation. She released the following statement:

“No amount of time could fully prepare us for the devastation of this decision from the highest court in our nation. No words can express the amount of suffering and grief this decision will cause. Abortion saves lives—and yet the court’s decision refuses to recognize the right to bodily autonomy we should all fundamentally have.

“Days like these shake the foundations of our nation to the core, and we must not shy away from saying so. If we are to keep our state and our country, we must hold fast amidst reactionary backlash to the decades of progress in reproductive rights. We must hold fast to the truth that women and pregnant people across this country have a right to their own body. They had that right yesterday and they have that right today. Illinois recognizes that. Other states may deny access to our rights, but we have enough wisdom to know they are inalienable. The Illinois Constitution that I swore an oath to support enshrines in its first Article that: “All men are by nature free and independent and have certain inherent and inalienable rights among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” I will continue to defend that.

“To deny access to our rights is to deny access to our humanity - and that is something no overreaching court can take from us. Now is the time to unite around that common inalienable humanity to recognize that, while Illinois will remain a haven for your rights, some won’t stop until they obliterate our state’s rights to defend a pregnant person’s liberty.

“When I think about the effects of this decision, I think of the people in Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma and the 23 other states that have introduced hostile legislation limiting abortion and reproductive health care. I think of a pregnant person who may not be able to receive lifesaving care due to a doctor’s fear of providing an abortion. I think of the people who know they cannot afford to raise a child in these times of inflation and a baby formula shortage, in a country with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, no requirement for paid leave following birth, and a health care system that lacks in equity and support especially for Black and Latine individuals.

“While I am so grateful to live in and represent a state that protects our reproductive rights, I know it’s a privilege. To women and other people across the country seeking an abortion, I want to say that you are welcome in Illinois. We will fight for you.  We support you, we will uplift you, and we will keep you safe.”

More information on resources and reproductive rights in Illinois can be found here

Category: Press Releases

PACIONE ZAYAS HB 5581CHICAGO – To recognize the ways Polish culture has influenced Chicago, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) spearheaded a new law to designate Milwaukee Avenue from Sangamon Street in Chicago to Greenwood Road in Niles as the Milwaukee Avenue Polish Heritage Corridor.

“Designating this area is a great way to promote Chicago Polish businesses while also recognizing their impact on the culture, food and art in our city,” Pacione-Zayas said. “This law is just one way to highlight the importance of Polish culture, and I look forward to highlighting additional ways to recognize the unique cultural diversity of Chicago.”

Under House Bill 5581, a section of Milwaukee Avenue will be recognized under the Illinois Department of Transportation as the Milwaukee Avenue Polish Heritage Corridor.

Last year, Sen. Pacione-Zayas, along with House Assistant Majority Leader Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago) passed a law to allow the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to designate cultural districts to help affirm the identity of communities in Illinois. The new law signed last week provides a stepping stone for this community to be designated in this way.

"We commend Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas and Leader Delia Ramirez for their efforts as sponsors of HB 5581 to designate and establish the Milwaukee Ave Polish Heritage Corridor,” said Bogdan Pukszta, Executive Director of the Polish American Chamber of Commerce, which resides in the district Pacione-Zayas represents. “From our Chamber's perspective the designation will help promote existing businesses along the corridor, attract new businesses to fill empty storefronts, and position Milwaukee Avenue on the map of Chicago's tourist attractions."

HB 5581 was signed by Gov. JB Pritzker on Friday. A celebration of the new law will be held Thursday, June 16 at 2 p.m. at the Polish Museum of America, 984 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. Press and other organizations are encouraged to register for the celebration here.

Category: Press Releases

YouthCouncil2CHICAGO – Expanding on efforts to create meaningful partnerships within the community, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas was excited to host a series of Youth Advisory Council meetings with teens from across the district she represents.

“Giving our young people the tools they need to advocate for themselves and their community is important to forming strong, confident leaders,” said Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “By centering the experiences and voices of teens in our community, we can ensure our policies work for everyone.”

YouthCouncil3The 20th District Youth Advisory Council met five times through May and June. Participants are high school-aged students with a passion for community-building and the legislative process.

The meetings allowed local young people discuss collective values and goals for their communities, formulate policy ideas and more.

The council built upon the work of the 20th District Policy Roundtables, which feature participants who live and work in the district coming together to inform a legislative agenda in the core areas of health, housing, education, environment, small business/workforce and violence prevention.

“I have always said that the people closest to the problems are often the ones with the best solutions,” Pacione-Zayas said. “Seeing these young people come together and share ideas was invigorating, and it gives me hope that our future is in good hands.”

Some members of the Youth Advisory Council look forward to continuing work in Sen. Pacione-Zayas’ district office through the One Summer Chicago program.

People interested in getting involved in the policymaking process are encouraged to learn more and sign up for the 20th District Policy Roundtables here.

Category: Press Releases

PACIONE ZAYAS HB 3205CHICAGO – Thanks to support from State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas, a law to protect restaurants, bars and retailers from having their brand used by third-party entities without permission was signed into law Friday.  

“Local businesses are the heart of our communities, and it’s imperative we protect them from practices carried out by third parties that may misrepresent them or lose them business,” said Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “This issue came to my attention from a constituent who was taken advantage of by a third-party delivery service, and I am proud to see this law addressing their issue directly.”

The Fair Food & Retail Delivery Act prohibits a third-party delivery service from posting or advertising a menu or other trademarked property belonging to a restaurant or retailer without express written consent from the business.

Local businesses have reported delivery services listing menus and items on their platform without making the business aware—essentially using the brands of these establishments that might not want to utilize delivery services.

“Now, our businesses will have more control over their brand and their products,” Pacione-Zayas said. “Hopefully, this law will also discourage third-party delivery services from partaking in these deceptive practices to begin with.”

The Fair Food & Delivery Act goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023.

Category: Press Releases

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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