Dear Neighbors,

The last couple of weeks have gone by fast. I’ve kept up the good fight to outlaw book banning in school curriculum. First, I went on CAN-TV last week and participated in an in-depth panel discussion on book banning with a writer-poet, several American Library Association staff and the Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library. You can watch the segment below.

Additionally, I attended a roundtable with the Illinois Library Association’s North Suburban and Chicago Libraries to discuss overall legislation important to libraries across Illinois. I was honored to join and represent our district, and share remarks about my efforts to outlaw curriculum book bans across Illinois along with my legislative anti-book banning work last spring. I also attended an elementary school this week where I discussed book banning with 5th graders! They gave me some new book titles to add to my queue this holiday break!

Lastly, I won an award from the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois yesterday for my legislative work in defending and protecting human and civil rights – specifically regarding my new law requiring child welfare agencies to use preferred pronouns of youth in their agencies.

I also organized and hosted a first of its kind job fair for returning residents at Truman College last week. It was a high point in my time in the Senate to see this come together so seamlessly thanks to the hard work of my district office staff. Check out the photos and recap of this awesome and inspiring district event below. We will be offering ongoing support for returning residents and those who are looking for jobs.

I’ve been out and about in the district attending two Hanukkah Menorah lightings, a small business town-hall hosted last week by Representative Hoan Huynh, a Midwest Legislators Roundtable on Biofuels, a meeting at my district office with CEO, Tracy Scott, of the Chicago Housing Authority and several constituent meetings. I love representing all of our neighbors in the 7th District and want to say thank you again for your confidence in me and my staff.

Read on for legislative updates, photo recaps from community meetings and events, and awesome resources for constituents toward the end!

Mike Simmons

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State Senator | 7th District

 Simmons Receives ACLU of Illinois Legislator Award

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Caption: Senator Mike Simmons and Senator Lakesia Collins receive the ACLU Illinois Legislator Award recognizing their overall commitment to defending human rights and protecting civil liberties alongside ACLU Director of Systems Reform Policy, Nora Collins-Mandeville.

I was proud to receive the ACLU of Illinois Legislator Award alongside Senator Lakesia Collins and several of my colleagues who have championed legislation that defends human rights and protects our civil liberties. I was recognized for my work in securing passage of House Bill 1596, which requires inclusive language in pre-existing state laws requiring child welfare agencies to honor, respect and use the preferred pronouns of children within their care and systems. This is a necessary and long overdue step in protecting the dignity and wellbeing of young people who have already been failed countless times by broken systems for decades. Thank you ACLU for this honor! I look forward to continuing the fight for human rights for all.

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