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CHICAGO – To celebrate the Lunar New Year, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) is inviting community members to join him at the 2023 Argyle Lunar New Year Parade.  

Celebrate the year of the rabbit on Saturday, Jan. 28 from 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. at the corner of West Argyle Street and North Winthrop Avenue, hosted by Uptown United, 48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman, and over 20+ local community groups.

The event has happened for more than forty years and the day will feature cultural institutions, dancers and performers, family friendly activities and a parade that will begin at 1 p.m. on the corner of West Argyle Street and North Winthrop Avenue.

“I am honored to participate in the Argyle Lunar New Year Parade again, and usher in a year of hope and prosperity with our diverse AAPI community,” said Simmons. “Coming together as a community is a gift that I don’t take for granted, and I hope everyone will join me.”

The parade will kick-off at Argyle and Winthrop. The parade route will head west on Argyle, north on Broadway, east on Winona, and south on Sheridan and then back to Argyle. Due to CTA construction, the parade will not head into Ainslie, as it has in years prior.

For more information, visit exploreuptown.org/lunar

Category: Press Releases

simmons 3SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mike Simmons Chief-Cosponsored legislation that allows employees to take up to 40 hours of paid leave.

“Life is unpredictable, from a car accident to a child home with a fever to caring for an elderly parent, things happen that will take priority over work,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “It is important all employees in Illinois, especially working single-parents and those with families, have the time they need to handle what is happening at home without worrying about missing a paycheck.”

Senate Bill 208 creates the Paid Leave for Workers Act, which provides employees in Illinois with a minimum of 40 hours of paid leave which can be used for any reason within a 12-month period. Senator Simmons was proud to be a Chief-Cosponsor of the legislation.

The measure corresponds with another proposal Senator Simmons sponsored in the 102nd General Assembly, the Single Parents’ Bill of Rights. That bill would allow employees who are single parents to claim up to 40 hours of unpaid time off of work to care for their child’s needs. With the passage of SB 208, all employees, including single parents, will now have 40 hours of paid time off.   

“Parenting is one of the toughest jobs you can have. Nearly one out of three households in my district are headed by single parents,” Simmons said. “In my People’s Legislative Council initiative, single moms from our district told me that they often struggle to get time away from work to attend their kid’s parent teacher conferences, attend sporting events, or get a sick child to the doctor. It’s my duty to fight for legislation that will aid single parents in the balancing act of raising their children, showing up for work, and taking care of themselves as hardworking parents who are so underappreciated. The Paid Leave for Workers Act will help them achieve that balance.”

SB 208 passed out of the Senate on Tuesday and now heads to the Governor’s desk for consideration. 

Category: Press Releases

Simmons ImageSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mike Simmons has been sworn into the 103rd General Assembly. Simmons’ inauguration marks the start of his second full term in the Senate. Senator Simmons is a lifelong resident of the 7th Illinois Senate District, the first Black person to serve the 7th District, the first openly gay member of the Illinois Senate, the first Ethiopian-American to serve in either chamber, and the third openly gay, black state senator in the nation. In his first term, he secured passage of 16 pieces of legislation and helped shape dozens more including banning hair discrimination in Illinois schools, improving access to mental health for diverse youth, providing economic relief for struggling parents, requiring lead abatement in buildings, and expanding protections and healthcare for LGBTQ+ people in Illinois to name a few. 

“It’s a towering honor to continue serving the people of the 7th district in the 103rd General Assembly. The district, which includes the far north side Chicago, is one of the most diverse in the nation with well over 100 languages spoken and ethnicities represented from every corner of the world. I look forward to centering the voices, lived experiences, and needs of these diverse communities and every single one of my constituents in my office. In my first term we put the people of the 7th district at the center of all my legislative work — single moms, longtime residents, youth, LGBTQ+ people, returning citizens, the disabled, survivors of gun violence, seniors, and so many others who have been unheard for too long.” 

“In my new term I will continue to focus on introducing and passing far-reaching policy that makes a difference for everyday people, delivering excellent and proactive constituent services, and making sure 7th district residents feel seen, heard, understood, and helped by my office. I will also continue to fight for legislation that provides affordable housing to those who need it, expands access to health care, expands the rights of our LGBTQ+ communities, improves our transportation systems, protects our diverse immigrant communities, protects reproductive rights, supports our schools, addresses gun violence, and so much more.”

Simmons was first sworn in to the Senate in 2021, after previously serving as Founder and CEO of Blue Sky Strategies & Co., a firm that develops anti-racist public policy. He also previously served as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Chicago and was Deputy Director of the My Brother's Keeper Alliance, a national Obama Foundation initiative. Prior to that he served on the legislative staff of US Senator Dick Durbin. 

Simmons looks forward to working hard, leading on progressive issues, collaborating with his colleagues, and being an outspoken voice for the people of his district in the 103rd General Assembly. 

Category: Press Releases

SimmonsSPRINGFIELD – A measure supported by State Senator Simmons that advances protection to abortion and gender-affirming care passed the Senate on Tuesday, January 10. 

“The Supreme Court’s overturning of a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion has denied millions the right to choose, as well as transgender and non-binary people’s right to health care,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “While Illinois has worked hard to enshrine abortion and gender-affirming rights, many other states are working to strip those rights away. This legislation will ensure Illinois is a safe place, where the reproductive rights and health care of millions of people – women of all backgrounds, transgender people, and nonbinary people - retain the right to make a decision about their own body.” 

While Illinois has some of the most extensive reproductive health laws about abortion and gender-affirming care in the country, more work had to be done to further enshrine protections in Illinois as many neighboring states have acted to diminish the rights of women, transgender youth, and the LGBTQ+ community broadly. With House Bill 4664, Illinois health care providers will not be able to be penalized for providing care, including abortion care and gender-affirming care that has been outlawed in another state but remains legal in Illinois, and people in Illinois won’t be punished for seeking reproductive health care or gender-affirming care that is lawful here. “There is a movement right now targeting trans youth, LGBTQ+ people, and women’s reproductive rights in our country. We must stay vigilant and pass strong, far-reaching legislation that protects women’s reproductive rights and protects access to gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary people, and trans youth” said Simmons. 

The bill also protects the right to choose by establishing a counterclaim for individuals who have a judgment entered against them in another state for reproductive health care that is legal in Illinois, protecting in vitro fertilization, and permitting birthing centers to provide clinical reproductive care.

“We are taking prudent steps to ensure the right for individuals to make their own decisions about their bodies and health care,” Simmons said. “We have more work to do. I will continue to fight for those who are seeking abortions and gender-affirming care so they receive the necessary and often lifesaving health care that they need quickly and affordably. I will continue to be a staunch advocate and fight around the clock to ensure Illinois has the resources to provide reproductive health care for the countless medical refugees who will no doubt need to come to our state to receive it. We must make it clear that we will not allow the Supreme Court to undo hard-won generational rights.”

HB 4664 passed the Senate on January 10.

Category: Press Releases

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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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