Dear Neighbor,

I hope you and your family are having a wonderful summer. August is National Black Business Month! Please take time out this month and every month to patronize our wonderful local Black-owned businesses. I also wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the events I had the pleasure of attending the past couple of weeks. Aside from attending community events this month, I received the honor of being inducted into the 10th class of Edgar Fellows. 

There is also information below regarding the monkeypox virus (MPV), eligibility requirements for a vaccine, and where to receive a vaccine this weekend.

Please continue to have a wonderful and safe summer. As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 if we can help you with anything.


Mike Simmons

State Senator | 7th District

MPV Information

On Aug. 1, 2022, Gov. Pritzker declared the MPV outbreak in Illinois a public health emergency. On Aug. 4, 2022 the Biden administration declared MPV a public health emergency.

According to the Center for Disease Control MPV is spread through close, personal, (often) skin-to-skin contact, including contact with respiratory secretions, or contact with rashes or objects that have been in contact with rashes. This includes intimate contact, hugging, massages, or prolonged face-to-face contact.

On August 16th, the Chicago Department of Public health updated their vaccine eligibility requirements, which can be viewed here.

This Saturday August 20th, the Center on Halsted is partnering with CDPH to host a MPV vaccine clinic from 9am to 2pm. There are 500 vaccine appointments available. You can request an appointment here.

Community Events

Annual Newgard Yard Sale

The Annual Newgard Yard Sale is this weekend! I will be out and about this Saturday looking around at all the sales, so come out and support your neighbors!

Glenwood Arts Fest is this weekend!

My office and I will be at the Glenwood Arts Fest this Saturday and Sunday! Come on down to Morse Ave. near the Morse CTA stop starting at 11am both days to see my booth, right next to Alderwoman Maria Hadden and Rep. Kelly Cassidy. My booth number is 121, located across from Morse Fresh Market on the south side of the street. Stop by and say hello! Click here for more information on the festival. It is completely free!

For National Black Business Month, please consider visiting one of the many Black-owned businesses located in our district. From wonderful restaurants to arts and crafts shops, we are fortunate to have many Black-owned businesses in our district! Click here for a list of Black-owned businesses in Illinois!

Senator Simmons named Edgar Fellow

Earlier this month I was selected out of 190 nominees to participate in the prestigious Edgar Fellowship program and was named an Edgar Fellow. I am honored to be part of a civic organization that prioritizes bipartisan collaboration in its efforts to invigorate Illinois and its residents. We met for one week in Urbana last week and participated in an intensive executive training program. During the program we heard from policy experts on topics ranging from the economy and inflation, Medicaid, climate change, public safety, education, and more. I'm thrilled to bring new ideas and energy into the upcoming legislative session.

Image: Senator Simmons poses with fellow members of the 10th class of Edgar Fellows.

Community Updates

Ban Assault Weapons Now!

I joined the 47th Ward Yard Council and Moms Demand Action this week in Lincoln Square to demand a statewide ban on assault weapons. I am incredibly proud to represent so many passionate and active community members who care about passing sensible gun laws.

Image: Senator Simmons speaking to anti-gun violence activists about his support of an assault weapons ban.

Image: Senator Simmons speaking with Moms Demand Action activists.

Summer Block Parties!

I have been out and about all summer meeting constituents at our neighborhood block parties! I always enjoy meeting residents, and hearing what's on their minds, discussing legislative updates, and finding ways to help people. Are you planning a block party? Let me know over email where it is, when it is, and who is organizing it by messaging This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and I will try to stop by!

Image: Senator Simmons enjoys lemonade and chats with young folks during a block party in Edgewater!

Image: Senator Simmons with constituents during a block party in Arcadia Terrace.

Image: Senator Simmons poses with constituents while attending a block party in West Andersonville.

Rogers Park Chalk & Talk!

I had such a great time the first weekend of August at my first Chalk and Talk in Rogers Park! It was so much fun being able to spend the day chatting with constituents about their diverse backgrounds and seeing everyone's creative drawings. My team and I also gave out 50+ backpacks to get kids ready for the upcoming school year.

Image: Senator Simmons poses with a young constituent while enjoying the Rogers Park Chalk & Talk!

48th Ward & Eugene Field Back to School Celebrations!

I rolled my way through the 48th Ward’s Back to School Celebration, and I also handed out backpacks at Eugene Field Elementary in Rogers Park for their back to school event! At both events we gave away over 325 backpacks filled with school supplies!

Image: Senator Simmons having fun with constituents.

Image: Senator Simmons chatting with constituents in Edgewater!

Images: Senator Simmons handing out backpacks at Eugene Field Elementary Rogers Park.

Dim Sum Run!

I enjoyed welcoming racers to the Chinese Mutual Aid Association's Dim Sum & Then Some 5k/10k earlier this month. The Chinese Mutual Aid Association is a wonderful organization in our district that provides many services such as housing assistance, health care assistance, job skills training, and job placement. Thank you to the Chinese Mutual Aid Association for hosting such a fun run and for all you do in the community for immigrants, refugees and their families. Learn more about the CMAA here.

Image: Senator Simmons cheers on runners at the Dim Sum 5k/10k!

Senator Simmons Visited the Christopher House Uptown Cultural Fashion Show and Food Exchange!

Image: Senator Simmons poses with constituents in Uptown!

Christopher House Uptown's Cultural Fashion Show and the Cultural Exchange was an absolute blast and success! All the kids wore traditional garments that reflected their ethnic heritages from all over the world including East and West Africa, the Middle East, and Central America. As the very first born in America on my dad's side, I believe it is vital for that first generation to see and honor their culture and heritage and to have chances to celebrate that with pride.