The true champions, the true fighters

Every spring, POWER-PAC IL leaders hold a special advocacy day called Moms on a Mission. Parents statewide unite and organize, and using The COFI Way, they share their personal stories with legislators and work to build genuine relationships of trust and respect with elected officials. It’s a critical event that has led to the passing of many key legislative initiatives supporting families over the years.

Traditionally, the event has taken place in person at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, but in 2021 and 2022, it was held virtually due to COVID. Former Illinois State Senator* Cristina Pacione-Zayas, an important COFI ally, made remarks during the opening rally in 2022. On the heels of a press conference the previous day, the Senator had spoken alongside East St. Louis parent leader Gloria Hicks to promote funding Children’s Savings Accounts, expanding the Earned Income Credit, and increasing wages for early care and education professionals. She encouraged the parents in attendance to continue pushing their legislators to invest in children and families, and above all, she acknowledged and cheered for parents’ advocacy and work. Watch below:


“It’s always an honor to be in community with you, all because you all are really the true champions, the true fighters. That gives me the fuel that I need to be able to push while I’m here in Springfield. For me yesterday, it was really important because it was great to have the support of not only my colleagues, but also Ms. (Gloria) Hicks from East St Louis… Ms. Hicks was next to me fighting and speaking to the press on the importance of investing in our communities.”

*Note: Cristina Pacione-Zayas is currently the First Deputy Chief of Staff for Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson.