CPZ BudgetAddressQuote 1

SPRINGFIELD – Following Gov. JB Pritzker’s annual State of the State and budget address, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) released a statement reacting to the governor’s proposed Fiscal Year 2023 budget:

“After an unprecedented two years, we are still working to make sure Illinois families have access to the resources they need to not only survive, but also thrive as we work toward recovery.

“Caring for our children and young people is a fundamental priority because they serve as a barometer for community well-being. If the children are well, the parents and adult caregivers are well, and the environment is safe and clean, then it indicates that society is well. This is even more true now with the impact of compounding stressors imposed by the pandemic that only revealed existing deep disparities in school districts throughout the state. By investing over $350 million in the Evidence-Based Funding Formula, $54 million in the Early Childhood Block Grant, supporting proposals to reverse the teacher shortage, and facilitating access to mental and behavioral health, the proposed budget makes an effort to right the course by holistically supporting our young children, students, teachers and families.

“However, I look forward to deeper discussion with colleagues and the Governor’s office to ensure families with limited access to financial resources are able to benefit from an expanded Earned Income Credit, new Child Tax Credit, rental and mortgage relief, and seed deposits for Child Savings Accounts. When we equip families with tools for financial stability, it fuels local economies and sets them on a course for improved life outcomes.

“Lastly, Chicago has seen a gut-wrenching increase in reported violence; however, it was not unforeseeable due to past funding disparities with affordable housing, violence prevention, public education, economic development, and social services. Collective advocacy for increased and equitable investments will continue to be important for communities historically marginalized by past failed policy. From investing in community-based organizations through the Reimagine Public Safety Act to helping law enforcement agencies purchase body cameras and launch an emergency co-responder model for mental health crises, multiple measures in the proposed budget will help protect and support individuals in our communities.

“As I hear from residents of the 20th district in the coming months, I look forward to making sure the priorities of our community are heard.”

Category: Press Releases

Vaccine5CHICAGO – With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) has been proactive in ensuring residents of the district she represents have access to vaccines, booster shots and flu shots right before and after the holidays.

“My goal has always been to spread awareness about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is more important than ever amidst this recent spike in cases,” Pacione-Zayas said. “Throughout December and the first couple weeks of January, my office has sponsored, hosted or promoted five vaccine clinics with even more to come.”

Sen. Pacione-Zayas has also been active in promoting educational materials regarding the vaccines to help combat vaccine hesitancy, as well as providing residents with resources to access vaccines in Chicago in between the various vaccination events.

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Category: Press Releases

View a PDF of the statement here.

CHICAGO, January 7, 2022 – Some members of the Chicago delegation of the Illinois General Assembly, some of which are parents and former CPS students, support a safe return to school. Our constituents have expressed concerns and anxiety regarding the return to in-person learning following the large uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

We have consistently engaged in conversations with Chicago Public Schools throughout the pandemic and continue to offer the following recommendations as Chicago Public Schools cancel classes this week following a vote from the Chicago Teachers Union to opt for remote work amid the surge:

  • Expand capacity to stand-up vaccine clinics with extended hours in more schools beyond the four static sites;
  • Adopt an adaptive pause to launch remote learning and develop mutually agreed upon safety metrics;
  • Leverage community partners to increase participation of CPS families who opt-in to regular COVID-19 testing; or make weekly COVID-19 testing required like 34 other school districts across the state; and
  • Ensure sufficient distribution of N95 or KN95 masks for students, staff and educators.

We recognize that the issues go beyond classrooms because students live in the context of their communities and families. Many students come from households who may have intergenerational members, family members with chronic health conditions or who are vaccine-hesitant, and family members who are frontline workers.

We come together to try to leverage state help and resources in the hope of speeding up the safe return to in-person learning in Chicago Public Schools. We have reached out to the governor’s office, Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois State Board of Education and other state agencies to clarify return to school policies in Illinois and bring additional testing, faster results and increased supplies for students and their families.

Many of us have been distributing masks and educational materials throughout our communities since the beginning of the pandemic. When the vaccine became widely available, we have been hosting vaccine and booster clinics regularly. We are determined to work together to find solutions as the state works toward recovery.

We support a safe return to in-person learning that protects everyone’s health so we can give our students the education they deserve and ensure educators and staff are in safe work conditions. We are committed to work in creative ways through State government to leverage resources and services to minimize adverse impact with our students and school communities.

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Category: Press Releases

Cleavland School CHICAGO – To meet students, educators and parents where they are, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) visited 17 local schools to discuss the return to in-person learning and other topics affecting schools.

“Had it not been for the pandemic, I would have visited all 36 schools in the 20th district. Being able to visit schools these last few months and hear directly from students, teachers and administrators about the successes, shortcomings, and needs of their schools informs my legislative agenda,” Pacione-Zayas, a longtime champion of education policy, said. “After a year in the Senate, the importance of listening and engaging with the people who will have to live with our votes and policy decisions could not be more critical.”

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Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:

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