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Dear friend,

Committees are fully underway and legislation is moving down in Springfield, and I’ve been working hard with stakeholders on legislation to support our students. Read on to learn more about my legislation as well as upcoming events and more.

Additionally, last week the governor announced plans to lift state’s mask mandate on Feb. 28. While the mandate will be lifted, wearing a mask in indoor or crowded settings is still recommended, and getting vaccinated is our best chance at combatting this pandemic.

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

Legislative Updates

Pacione-Zayas Too Young to Test measure passes committee

Young children are still in the throes of intellectual and emotional development, making standardized tests developmentally inappropriate. That’s why I’m spearheading a measure to prohibit standardized testing for Pre-K through 2nd grade. Read more about it here.

Pacione-Zayas advances measures to support students, address teacher shortage

I’m championing two measures to give high school students more options for careers following graduation. One measure will require high school counselors to provide students with information on Career and Technical Education and the trades, and the other lowers the eligibility age for elementary school paraprofessionals from 19 to 18. Read more here.

Pacione-Zayas: Budget proposal invests in children, violence prevention


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. Read my full statement on the governor’s proposed budget here.

In the news:

Addressing public safety

Last Saturday, I attended a “Peace, Love and Play” march to speak up against violence in our community, specifically the recent shooting near Volta Elementary School that left a teenage girl injured.

When we are talk about addressing violence and public safety, it is about addressing the holistic, root cause issues and coming up with solutions because wisdom is in the community.

Read more here, and join my virtual town hall on Feb. 28 for more information on violence prevention in our community.


Resources, job opportunities and more

Birth to Five Illinois is hiring 39 full time Regional Action Council Managers across the state

Each Regional Action Council Manager will be responsible for establishing and growing a Birth to Five Action Council to support expanding access to affordable, accessible, high-quality Early Childhood Education and Care services that meet the needs of families, especially those furthest from opportunity. Learn more and apply here.

In-person citizenship workshop: Saturday, Feb. 19

The Northside Collaborative of the New Americans Initiative (which includes Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment, and Erie Neighborhood House), invites you to their in-person citizenship workshop on Saturday Feb. 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at NEIU El Centro, 3390 N. Avondale Ave.

CPS 2022-2023 school year calendar survey

Chicago Public Schools would like your input on the academic calendar for SY22-23. CPS has developed two proposed academic calendars for SY22-23 that incorporate feedback received from several stakeholders about the current design parameters. Read about the proposed plans and take the survey here.

R3 grant applications open until March 1

R3 grants create possibilities for communities that have been harmed by violence, excessive incarceration, and economic disinvestment. Apply now at  

Upcoming Events

District office pop-up COVID-19 vaccine and booster clinics

My office is hosting multiple vaccine clinics throughout February and March. All clinics will be on Tuesdays from 12-5 p.m.

Children’s N95 and KN95 mask drive

My office is collecting child-sized N95 and K95 masks to distribute to students and families in our district. Masks can be purchased online or wherever sold in stores and donated at 3140 W. Montrose on Tuesdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Virtual Town Hall: Feb. 28

My next Virtual Town Hall will be on Feb. 28 from 6-7 p.m. Along with a legislative update, I will be reporting out on the 20th District Violence Prevention Collaborative to address violence in our communities. Join in on my Facebook page:  

Category: Newsletters

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Office Information

Springfield Office:

Stratton Office Building
Section F, Room H
Springfield, IL 62706


District Office:
3140 W. Montrose
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 278-2020