Dear neighbor,

I hope that you, your family, and your friends are having a happy, healthy, and peaceful holiday season! As we continue to shop throughout December, remember to do your holiday shopping at small businesses and be kind to yourself and our neighbors. I wanted to share some exciting updates from the district and resources to support you in these times. Keep reading for more information.

Pediatric Vaccine Clinic Rescheduled!

On January 7 at the Broadway Armory at 3 pm, my office, State Rep Kelly Cassidy, and Alderman Harry Osterman are hosting a pediatric COVID-19 vaccine event with Genoa Healthcare. All children ages 5-11 can get a vaccine. I’m excited to wrap up #ChildrenCarryOn with a clinic in the district!

Remote Holiday hours

My office at 5533 N Broadway will be closed from Dec. 20 through Jan. 2.  If you need to reach us for immediate assistance, please feel free to email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call our office line at 773-769-1717. We wish you the best and will see you in person again in 2022.

Sen. Simmons' Community Updates:

A new food co-op in Rogers Park!

A food co-op is coming to the Rogers Park/West Ridge/Evanston area. Helping to make this dream a reality is something that many of us have been waiting for. Wild Onion Market is a community-owned, democratically run, full-service grocery store that will offer a values-based alternative to the traditional grocery store model — a place to shop for locally farmed and produced food. Wild Onion Market will keep dollars in our community, employ locally, and prioritize sustainability in food production and packaging. Learn more about the project, subscribe to email updates, and become an owner at wildonionmarket.com.

A new water billing assistance program, the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program, provides $42 million in shut-off avoidance for residents unable to pay their water and sewer bills. The new water billing assistance program builds on $327 million in emergency assistance launched earlier this year for low-income families facing difficulty with paying their utility bill and other essential household bills. Residents in need of financial support can visit www.helpillinoisfamilies.com for more information on how to apply for water and other assistance this season.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is available. The utilities covered by the plan include heat, gas, and electric. You may call (877) 411-9276 to learn where you can apply.

NOW OPEN! The Illinois Rental Payment Program is open to assist renters & landlords impacted by COVID-19. Apply at illinoishousinghelp.org. If you applied in the past and didn’t receive the maximum of $25,000, you can still reapply. Please call my office with any questions. We are here for you. Check out my post HERE.

Sen. Simmons in the news

Sen. Simmons Out in the District

I would like to thank our panelists and all those who came to our virtual transportation town hall this past Wednesday, including Olatunji Oboi Reed, President and CEO of Equiticity, Madison Lisle from Warehouse Workers for Justice, Brian Urbaszewski from the Respiratory Health Association, Daniel Robles from the Illinois Environmental Council, Susan Mudd from the Environmental Law and Policy Center, and Kyle Whitehead from the Active Transportation Alliance. We had a thorough discussion on equity in future transportation policy and the electrification of public transit.

Did you miss the town hall? You can watch the full Facebook live video at https://fb.watch/9PwQQLSY_A/

I want you all to meet one of the future State Senators of Illinois, Oliver. Oliver and his mom live in Uptown. I was excited to welcome him to our district office. Oliver talked to me about the issues that are most important to him, such as transportation, equality, and public safety. I will be regularly hosting youth in the office to learn more about the state and incorporate their thoughts into our legislative work and community projects!

My staff attended the 14th annual Shop Jarvis Square market. We loved finding some of the best handmade gifts in Chicago right here in Rogers Park.

Friday morning we celebrated students and parents receiving their vaccines and boosters at Gale, Jordan and McCutcheon elementary schools. Everyone there was a superhero coming out bravely after receiving their vaccines, especially the healthcare workers helping administer them. I'm so proud of everyone that came out on Friday! I also want to give a special thank you to the artist of the stickers that we have been giving out to students, Georgie. Thank you for your work and for cheering on other kids as they got their vaccines! #ChildrenCarryOn

Congratulations to the students who received their second vaccine at Gale and Jordan! Way to go superheroes!

 Sen. Simmons Supports Shopping Local this Holiday Season

NorthCenter: Shop local and support small vendors! I picked up some last-minute gifts from the NorthCenter Holly Jolly Holiday Market! You can find the best gifts for your loved ones at our local retailers in District.

Lincoln Square: Last weekend, I visited the Weinhnachtsmarkt at the DANK HAUS and picked up some homemade Lincoln Square candles and cookies from Hillary's Cookies!

Edgewater: I visited the Holiday POP-UP Market organized by the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce and visited several of the small vendors such as Indelible Bliss Candle & Soap Co. They have some of the best products to pamper your friends and families.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 if we can help you with anything.

Sincerely,

Mike Simmons

State Senator | 7th District

Category: Newsletters

Dear neighbor,

I wanted to let you know about the upcoming round of rental assistance from the Illinois Housing Development Authority that opened today! Please keep reading for additional details and for additional resources and events to benefit you and your family.

Consistent with Illinois’ goal to reduce evictions, the Illinois Housing Development Authority opened a new round of rental assistance Monday, Dec.6. If you applied for rental assistance in previous cycles, you are still eligible to apply!

Pre-Eligibility Check 

  • You are either a renter in Illinois or a landlord with a tenant who lives in Illinois.
  • Your household (or your tenant’s household) experienced financial hardship during or due, directly or indirectly, to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Your household (or your tenants’ household) is behind on rent and/or is at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.
  • Your (or your tenant’s) household income is at or below the limit for your county.

Click here to find the income limits for your county.

For future Illinois Rental Payment Program and mortgage assistance program information and updates, please visit illinoishousinghelp.org.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Citizens Utility Board are reminding residents to apply for $200 million remaining in utility assistance under Gov. JB Pritzker’s Help Illinois Families initiative – an expansion of the Low-Income Household Energy Assistance Program under the American Rescue Plan. 

Upcoming Events

Reminder to check out my Clean Transportation town hall on Wednesday Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. REGISTER HERE. We will be having a discussion centering equity in future transportation policy. Hope to see you there!

Lakeview residents, I am joining County Assessor Fritz Kaegi and other North Side elected officials for a virtual workshop on property tax appeals on Thursday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m. RSVP HERE.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 if we can help you with anything.

Sincerely,

State Senator | 7th District

Category: Newsletters

Dear neighbor,

I wanted to reach out to you to let you know about two important upcoming events that my staff and I will be hosting to benefit you and your family. Please keep reading for additional details!
 

I am hosting a planned pediatric vaccine event with Hayt Elementary on Dec. 7! Join us from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. for COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5-11. Walk-ins are welcome!

I am hosting a transportation town hall with the Illinois Environmental Council, Equicity, Warehouse Workers for Justice, the Respiratory Health Association, the Environmental Law and Policy Council and the Active Transportation Alliance that will be a conversation centering equity in future transportation policy and the electrification of public transit! Join us on Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. for a free, informational town hall alongside community advocates and partners. To register, click http://bit.ly/CleanTransportation.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 if we can help you with anything.

Sincerely,

Mike Simmons
State Senator | 7th District

Category: Newsletters

Dear neighbor,

 

I wanted to say another huge thank you to everyone who donated for the Afghan Refugee Welcome Kit drive! We donated over five pallets of supplies ranging from pots and pans, to clothing, toiletries, and some small furniture items. I am the proud son of an Ethiopian refugee and when my family arrived here, we received a helping hand from community members. I was overjoyed to see our community showing the same warm welcome to the refugees who are relocating to the 7th District. I want to also give a major thank you to State Representative Kelly Cassidy for all of her office’s work to recruit volunteers for the event and collect supplies! She has been an incredible partner in Springfield and a powerhouse for advocacy in our community.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who came this past Sunday morning to transport all of the items into a moving truck. Once again, our community has shown up!

Wrap up of Successful Welcoming Kit drive for Afghan Refugees

 

 

I am deeply grateful to Rep. Kelly Cassidy, Alderwoman Maria Hadden, Alderman Harry Osterman, and all the other elected officials who helped to pull this off. I am also thankful to World Relief Chicago and to all of the community members from across the district who stepped up and gathered supplies to support our newest neighbors.

This Saturday is Trans Day of Remembrance
#BlackTransLivesMatter #SuicidePrevention #HB2542
On Trans Day of Remembrance, we confront the violence rampant in Chicago and across the country. Political, religious, and institutional contempt for trans people threatens the physical and emotional safety of trans lives everywhere. Rates of trans suicide and homicide are at record highs. In response to this violence, we will raise up the talent, beauty, and power of our trans communities and invite our allies to engage in concrete action steps to love, support, and protect trans lives. I stand with Chicago Therapy Collective in solidarity this Transgender Day of Resilience.

Chicago Therapy Collective is also hosting a Facebook Live Premiere so that we can all witness their passionate performance of Wildfires (Sault, 2020) featuring all trans, non-binary, and gender-expansive BIPOC Artists. The performance reflects the epidemic of transphobia and its intersections with racism and criminal injustice that takes so many trans Lives every year.

I am also a proud sponsor of HB 2542- the Name Change Modernization Law
Currently, the Illinois name change laws are some of the most strict in the country and are deeply harmful to people who are gender-expansive, trans people, and survivors of human trafficking. The current law bans people from legally changing their name if they have a felony conviction until 10 years after their sentence has ended. HB 2542, sponsored by Representative Kelly Cassidy, would knock-down this ban and allow trans folks, gender-expansive people, and survivors a path to change their name and be who they are. This bill is supported by organizations such as Equality Illinois, Task Force Prevention and Community Services, Transformative Justice Law Project, Chicago House and Social Service Agency, and the ACLU of Illinois. I am a proud sponsor of the bill and stand as an LGBTQIA+ advocate alongside the Chicago Therapy Collective.

Friday was Chicago Public Schools’ Vaccine Awareness Day

I loved handing out stickers with 7th District parent Rachel Gansner and others to all our wonderful and resilient students at Goudy Elementary School who received their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday! Her son designed these gorgeous stickers!

#ChildrenCarryOn Campaign
 Last Friday, my office launched the #ChildrenCarryOn Campaign to highlight the true resilience of the children of the 7th District. These children have made some of the biggest sacrifices with the least reward these last 18 months. We should celebrate them and lift up their courage in getting vaccinated. To kick off the campaign, I visited Gale Elementary, Kilmer Elementary, and Goudy Elementary and handed out stickers with a local parent to kids who got the vaccine.

I wanted to share with you other ways to book an appointment near you.
Chicago Public School regional vaccination clinics and mobile school-based events and clinic information can be found below:

Sen. Simmons in the news

Next Week!

Tele-Town Hall for COVID-19 Resources:


My office is hosting a tele-town hall with state officials across the North side of Chicago! We have gathered leaders from service organizations throughout the district and beyond to help people coming out of the pandemic. You can call in at 312-626-6799 with passcode 686019 or use this zoom link:
Plase click this link to join the webinar: https://zoom.us/j/99262127289?pwd=bTUyVTNqdjZBajBkQy9XWW5zcUxEQT09
Passcode: 686019

Rep Kelly Cassidy’s office, Ald. Hadden, Ald. Osterman, and my office are running a coat drive to be donated to social service agencies in the district. You can donate your coat at 5533 N Broadway until Dec. 10th!

Community Updates:

Resources for Veterans
Belated Happy Veterans Day to all of those who served, currently serve, and their families. Today, we must recognize the need for mental health access for our veterans of color, women, and LGBTQIA community. Rates of homelessness and mental illness are still high among our veteran community. My office wanted to share the resources in the district for our service members. Please feel free to reach out to our district office to find out other benefits for current and veteran service members.

Resources for Veterans of Color
The U.S. Veterans Administration has established a center for veterans of color. You can check it out here at https://www.va.gov/centerforminorityveterans/.

Resources in the 7th District

National Diabetes Month

Swedish Covenant Health
On the first Tuesday of every month at 4 p.m., join a diabetes care and education specialist for an engaging presentation on how to stay one step ahead of your diabetes through healthy lifestyle habits, careful nutrition, exercise, glucose monitoring and medication. No physician referral is required. Register for this event>>

Insulin
If you are struggling to pay for insulin and diabetes medication, the American Diabetes Association has a list of resources that you can use.

Out in the Community

Uptown Chamber of Commerce-Casino Night!
 


I joined Uptown United and the Uptown Chamber of Commerce for their casino night! I had a great time meeting business owners, teachers, non-profit leaders and residents of the Uptown neighborhood! I want to give a special congratulations to Sarah Wilson on being the new Executive Director.

Edgewater Environmental Coalition- Pumpkin Smash!


I spent a wonderful afternoon with the Edgewater Environmental Coalition and the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce gathering pumpkins so that they can be composted. Thank you to everyone who brought their pumpkins!

Youth People’s Legislative Council- Uplift High School


I held my 2nd Youth People's Legislative Council at Uplift STEAM High School, which provides a curriculum focused on social justice. We talked about violence in Uptown, mental health access, and ideas on how we can create more affordable housing in the neighborhood. These young people are my policy advisors!

Reopening of 15 businesses in Rogers Park


I joined Alderwoman Maria Hadden, the Rogers Park Business Alliance and small business owners in cutting the ribbons to celebrate the reopening of 15 businesses in Rogers Park! As the son of a longtime Rogers Park salon owner, I took great joy in celebrating these diverse business owners!


 

Planting Grasses with the Edgewater Environmental Coalition - Osterman Beach!

On Sunday, I joined the Edgewater Environmental Coalition and volunteers to plant almost 2000 marram grass bare root plants on Osterman beach. We also spread grass seeds donated to us from the Loyola Beach Dunes Natural Area. Planting these grasses helps prevent shoreline erosion and support a healthier habitat for animals, insects, and residents. Thank you for inviting me!

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 if we can help you with anything.

Sincerely,

Mike Simmons

State Senator | 7th District

 
Category: Newsletters

Summer Book Club

Covid-19 Resources

Office Info

District Office
5533 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 769-1717

Springfield Office:
Senator 7th District
M115 Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8492

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