swearing in

CHICAGO — On Monday night, Natalie Toro was sworn in as the state senator of the 20th District. Senator Toro released the following statement after the ceremony:

“I am honored to serve my community as state senator and represent the neighbors I have known my entire life. I bring to this role more than a decade of experience in another area of public service — education. As a kindergarten teacher at Goethe Elementary School, I have had the privilege of supporting our young people as they grow into the best versions of themselves. I have also had to witness my students struggle with food or housing insecurity, fears for their safety from gun violence, and disparate education outcomes compared to their peers because of disinvestment and unequal resource allocations between schools. I wanted to serve as state senator to fight for policy changes that will address these systemic forces of oppression so that our children can achieve their highest potential and just be kids without these additional factors impacting their ability to learn or grow.

“As a teacher, I also know firsthand the struggles that educators have accessing resources that help their students learn. I look forward to developing a policy platform focused on investing in early childhood education, as well as addressing housing insecurity, supporting immigrants and migrants to our state, and developing a holistic approach to public safety. I am also passionate about improving accessibility to health care, fighting for progressive taxation to hold wealthy corporations accountable, and advocating for the basic human rights of people of color, women, and LGBTQIA+ people, whose rights have been under attack. These areas will be my main focus when I go to Springfield, but I will also hold roundtable discussions, youth councils and town halls to learn more about issues impacting our community and ensure these concerns are uplifted and brought to the state capitol.

“I am humbled to take this office to advance these policy issues, especially because this Senate seat has been held by trailblazers like Iris Martinez and Cristina Pacione-Zayas. As a Puerto Rican woman, I am grateful for their work representing the Latine community and uplifting issues that specifically impact our community. My immigrant family’s generational legacy of public service and mutual aid, as well as my working-class upbringing in the 20th District, has instilled in me a strong sense of responsibility and a passion for working in solidarity with my community to create change and giving back. I hope to continue their legacy by centering and uplifting my community when making policy decisions in Springfield.”