Senator Mike Simmons Springfield- In an effort to remove a barrier to full inclusion for immigrant communities in Illinois, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) is championing a measure that removes the use of “alien” in any Illinois statute when referring to people who have mixed statuses and referring to commerce outside of Illinois and the country.

“As a proud son of a first-generation immigrant from Ethiopia, I am happy to support building community by assisting in removing barriers to access much needed resources,” Simmons said. “I want Illinois to send a clear message that we welcome immigrants and that we are working to eliminate the historic barriers that many of these communities have faced.”

Senate Bill 3865 would remove the use of "alien" in any Illinois statute when referring to people who have mixed statuses and referring to commerce outside of Illinois and the country.  Eliminating references to “alien” in Illinois law would remove a regressive and outdated legal term and symbolize the full inclusion of immigrant communities in Illinois. Similar legislation has recently passed in California and Colorado.

Continued use of the term “alien” as a legal term sends a negative message that recent immigrants, including many who have begun the naturalization process, are not welcome and not valued as full members of their communities.

“I believe that these efforts will facilitate a pathway to build trust between the government and immigrant communities,” Simmons said. “No one is illegal and no one doesn't deserve to be here.”

Simmons filed the measure in time to celebrate the Lunar New Year with the Vietnamese American Association and other ethnic groups. It awaits a committee hearing. 

 

Category: Press Releases

SimmonslakeviewfoodpantryChicago- Following his MLK Day visit to Lakeview Pantry, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) encourages residents to take a stand against food insecurity in their communities by supporting local food pantries.

“Many of our families and neighbors in the 7th district have fallen on hard times, especially these last few years,” Simmons said. “I want to remove the social stigma that prevents us from confronting the issue of food insecurity head on.”

One out of four people in Uptown, and up to half of residents in West Ridge and Rogers Park, struggle with food insecurity. Neighbors of Rogers Park, West Ridge, Uptown, Edgewater, and Lakeview are coming together with the support of Simmons to establish mutual aid. There are over 15 mutual aid organizations within the district offering resources to those who are in need of essentials. Of those 15, five specifically serve those who face food insecurity.

“Access to food is a basic right, not a privilege,” Simmons said. “If you or someone you know needs help finding out where to go to gain access to food, we will connect you with an organization ready to help.  Our office is a non-judgement zone and a safe space for all those in need.”

To learn more about food insecurity, click here. To get in contact with one of the pantries in the district, click here.

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO – State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) celebrates his record of in-district events and community engagement throughout the 7th District during the past year.

“When I first was sworn into the office earlier in this year, I made a commitment to center the experiences of the people of the 7th District in my work as State Senator,” said Simmons. “I want the public policy and legislation that our office carries to come directly from the people of the 7th District, and that type of outreach is really positioning us to do just that going into 2022.”

In 2021, Simmons attended 60 block parties, 270 community events, and also attended 372 general meetings, in-person or over Zoom, with constituents, community groups, and stakeholders. Simmons has also hosted four town halls, and hosted an additional three in partnership with community organizations. Beginning in January 2022, Simmons will be rolling out a series of monthly town halls that will focus on specific issue areas as well as a “Senators of Tomorrow” initiative, which will allow young people to shadow Senator Simmons and his district staff to gain experience and allow them to share their ideas on public policy.

In 2022, Simmons will be introducing more than 20 pieces of legislation that were inspired by one on one meetings with people in the 7th District, his People’s Legislative Councils,  and from meetings with advocacy organizations that are based in the 7th District.

“I want to thank our 7th District residents for everything that you have done in 2021,” said Simmons. “I encourage residents to write letters and to call my district office, because an engaged public is so important in order to keep democracy vital and to keep us accountable in the State Senate.”

For additional resources, residents can check out the 7th District newsletter at https://www.senatormikesimmons.com/ and reach out to the district office with questions or concerns at 773-769-1717.  

Category: Press Releases

simmons hb370CHICAGO – Starting Jan. 1, schools will be prohibited from discriminating against natural hairstyles traditionally associated with race and ethnicity- including locs, braids, twists and afros - thanks to a law championed  by State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago). 

“No child should ever be singled out for sporting a hairstyle that authentically expresses their heritage and culture,” Simmons said. “These policies only serve to humiliate students of color who choose to dress themselves and wear their hair in a style that honors and respects their heritage and ancestry.”

The Jett Hawkins Act prevents school boards, local school councils, charter schools and non-private schools from creating hairstyle-based dress code requirements. Simmons, who wears his hair in freeform locs, championed the law in support of Jett Hawkins, a 4-year old boy who was sent home from school earlier this year for having braids that violated his school’s dress code.

“Kids like Jett deserve to express themselves however they see fit and  they shouldn’t have to be restricted by old fashioned and often racist dress codes,” Simmons said. “We need to empower Black children to have the confidence to express themselves naturally, and give them and their families more agency over their personal choices. We still have more work to do, but I’m pleased that beginning in 2022, Black youth in Illinois will be able to wear their hair naturally in all schools.”

Public Act 102-0360, which was signed into law by Gov. JB  Pritzker on Aug. 13,  will take effect Jan. 1, 2022. 

Category: Press Releases

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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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