Sen. Pacione-Zayas and Rep. Ramirez celebrate preserving cultural legacies in Illinois

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

State Senator Pacione-Zayas (D- Chicago) and House Assistant Majority Leader Delia Ramirez (D- Chicago) along with other community leaders celebrated a new law that allows the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to designate cultural districts throughout the state. “I am proud to have worked on this new law, and I am excited to see how communities come together to preserve their identities,” Pacione-Zayas said. “The law affirms and uplifts all the unique cultures in our state as we work toward economic recovery from the pandemic.”

An initiative of the Puerto Rican Agenda, the new law allows DCEO to establish the necessary criteria and guidelines for designating cultural districts. Five such districts can be designated per year, up to a total of 15. Last week’s event at the National Museum for Puerto Rican Arts and Culture was held to celebrate the new law. “As we move into economic recovery from the pandemic, it is imperative that we recognize and invest in the rich cultural heritage of Illinois’ diverse communities,” said House Assistant Majority Leader Delia Ramirez, who sponsored the measure in the House. Communities looking for state recognition under this law must meet certain criteria including:

• A demonstrated risk of losing cultural identity due to gentrification, displacement, or the impact of COVID-19;

• A history of economic disinvestment;

• Strong support from community organizations and local and regional government officials.

The new law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

Photo Caption: Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas attends celebration of new cultural district law with Leader Delia Ramirez, Gov. JB Pritzker, and other community leaders.

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