Senator Pacione-ZayasSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate passed a plan by State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) to allow for the designation of cultural districts in Illinois, something she said would help to affirm the identity of communities in Illinois and preserve their distinct legacies.

"We want our communities to proudly reflect the identity, contributions and history of the people who have helped build them,” Pacione-Zayas said Friday after the measure passed the Senate. “This gives them a chance to pursue community-driven economic opportunity initiatives that ensure our neighborhoods preserve their unique cultures and continue to build legacies."

An initiative of the Puerto Rican Agenda, the legislation would allow the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to establish the necessary criteria and guidelines for designating such cultural districts.

“We want to provide communities the opportunity to affirm their cultures as a means to ignite economic recovery post-pandemic,” Pacione-Zayas. “I’m thrilled the Senate has affirmed the importance of preserving community identity, and I urge the House to swiftly pass this legislation.”

Senate Bill 1833 passed the Senate unanimously Friday. It awaits consideration before the Illinois House.