SEIU Walk a Day CPZCHICAGO – State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) participated in a “walk a day” event to highlight the child care crisis affecting the workforce, parents and children exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. During the event, Pacione-Zayas shadowed day care provider Lucia Rubio to learn about the scope of work performed daily by child care providers.

“This event has affirmed my concerns about the struggles our child care providers go through on a day-to-day basis, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Pacione-Zayas, a longtime advocate for early childhood policy. “This year, the legislature took up measures to help our early childhood workforce, but we also need to turn our focus toward the federal government to help our state and the nation provide the vital resources needed to help the early childhood workforce, parents, and most importantly, children recover and thrive.”

During the “walk a day” event, Pacione-Zayas learned that Rubio was only a few classes short of achieving her bachelor’s degree focusing on early childhood education but does not have the economic resources to complete it. A law sponsored by Pacione-Zayas that was recently signed by Governor JB Pritzker, Public Act 102-0174, creates the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity to streamline higher education pathways for providers like Rubio to meet her educational goals and foster economic stability.

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Category: Press Releases

CPZ HB 26

SPRINGFIELD – To ensure that all students are able to access online web services for school, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D- Chicago) passed a measure that will require school boards to comply with the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines when contracting with third-party online learning vendors.

“Nearly 18% of Illinois students are reported to have a disability, developmental delay, or use an Individualized Education Plan,” said Pacione-Zayas, who served on the Senate Education committee. “The accessibility guidelines will help districts provide all students, especially ones with diverse needs, the accommodations they need with accessing educational materials online.”

The W3C guidelines are the global standard for determining website accessibility encompassing all disabilities, including auditory, cognitive, physical, and speech accommodations. Currently, most school districts and companies that provide online educational platforms already use these guidelines.

By requiring school districts to use these guidelines with third party providers, more schools can become ADA-compliant and equitably serve all students.

"No student should have to struggle to learn because the materials they are provided are inaccessible," said Rep. Theresa Mah, who introduced the legislation in the House. "Students should not be left behind because of a disability, and this legislation will ensure that all students are able to have the education they deserve."

House Bill 26 was signed into law on Friday. It goes into effect August 1, 2022. The signing of HB 26 coincides with the week of the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

 

Category: News

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Dear Friend,

Summer is in full swing, which means there is a lot going on around our community. Read on to learn more about events, job opportunities, and the latest on guidance for the return to in-person learning.

For the most up-to-date information on what’s going on in our community, follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

As always, feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have about issues facing our community. I encourage you to reach out to us at (773) 278-2020 or on my website.

Sincerely,

State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas | 20th District

Update on CPS back-to-school guidance

Chicago Public Schools recently announced that students, teachers and staff will be required to wear masks indoors regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status. As the rates of the highly-contagious Delta variant rise in Chicago and across the nation, CPS made the decision to require masks indoors to protect those who are not able to get vaccinated due to age or medical issues. More information on the 2021-2022 school year will become available on the CPS website here.

CPS vaccination sites and events

Students, parents and community members can get vaccinated in a variety of ways, including at school-based sites, community events, or by scheduling an appointment with a vaccine provider. See a full list of event dates and locations and sign up to get vaccinated on the CPS website here.

CPS Annual Regional Analysis: Achieving Well-Resourced Schools for Every Student

Join Chicago Public Schools’ for a series of community conversations on the Annual Regional Analysis: Achieving Well-Resourced schools for Every Student. Participants will deepen their understanding of a quality student experience, the district's approach to this work, and begin the process of working with us to co-create solutions. There will be both English and Spanish events. Learn more and register here.

Legislative updates

On Wednesday, Governor JB Pritzker signed a bill I sponsored, HB 2878, creating a new Early Childhood Education Consortium to improve access to degrees, certificates, and other licensure for early childhood educators. Read more about this important legislation that will help provided Illinois children with the best possible education here.

Last week, the governor signed HB 3308, expanding telehealth in Illinois. I am especially proud that the legislation will include an expansion of early intervention services which are used to diagnose conditions or other factors that put infants and toddlers at risk for developmental delays. Read more about the new law here.

Chicago expands Protect Chicago at Home program

The City of Chicago recently double the capacity for the program allowing Chicagoans to make an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccination at home. Additionally, the city is offering $25 Visa gift cards for anyone who gets vaccinated at home.

To make an appointment for in-home vaccination, call (312) 746-4835 or register by region using the links below, or at www.chicago.gov/athome.

Local job openings

  • Metropolitan Family Services is hiring! See what jobs are open here.
  • Here to Stay Community Land Trust is looking for its first full time staff person. Here to Stay is an organization established in 2019 by four long-time organizations serving Logan Square, Avondale, Hermosa and Humboldt Park. More information on the position and how to apply can be found here.
  • ASI Home Care offers careers and job-training. More information available on the ASI website here.
  • The Northwest Side Housing Center is seeking a Director of Community Organizing, Teen REACH Coordinator, and an Americorps VISTA. More information on the positions available here.
  • The Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus is hiring for a full-time Associate Legal Counsel and a contract Assistant Legal Counsel. Please contact my office for more information.

Upcoming Events

See the flyer below for just a few upcoming events in our community!

New Masking Guidance Update for Chicago 

Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of Illinois, as of July 30, 2021, the Chicago Department of Public Health recommends that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in public indoor settings. Read more here.

PRAA Legislative Community Report Forum

I was honored to speak at the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance with my colleague State Senator Omar Aquino on the latest updates from this spring’s legislative session. See some photos from the event below!

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Fayette County Farm Bureau "Adopt-a-Legislator" program

This week, representatives from the Fayette County Farm Bureau visited to tour various locations in the 20th District. Visits included the Pedro Albizu H.S. Green House and the Global Garden Refugee Training Farm. 


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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