Simmons 5 21CHICAGO – State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) announced Friday that $2.5 million in construction projects in the 7th Illinois Senate District will improve roads and make accessibility improvements as part of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s multi-year construction plan.

“These projects represent some much-needed improvements to major arterial streets in the 7th District,” Simmons said. “These improvements will upgrade our roads, make sure the streets and sidewalks are accessible for pedestrians and people living with disabilities, and generate good jobs at the same time.”

The projects will improve 1.8 miles of U.S. 14 between U.S. 41 and Ridge Avenue, and a mile of U.S. 41 from Ashland to Lake Shore Drive. The funding is part of the $20 billion Rebuild Illinois construction plan’s 2022 slate of construction. 

A further $2 million has been slated for later years, intended for pedestrian improvements to Ridge Boulevard from Howard Street to south of Pratt Boulevard.

For more details about the projects in the 7th District, click here.

Category: Press Releases

In his first 100 days, Senator Simmons has sponsored or cosponsored more than 100 pieces of legislation, resolved over 100 constituent casework requests, and answered more than 500 letters, phone calls, and email messages from 7th district constituents  

Mike Simmons HeadshotSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) marked his 100th day serving and representing the 7th District of Illinois on May 18, 2021. Simmons has sponsored or cosponsored 100 pieces of legislation and passed three of his introduced bills, including SB 817, SB 2133, and SB 828.

Beginning his career during the peak legislative period, Simmons connects with the district daily. He has met with 253 community organizations and prioritized over 700 constituent requests via email, mail, and phone. In April, he hosted two vaccine clinics delivering 200 vaccines to residents. Senator Simmons prepared a 100 days briefing video for his constituents.

Senator Simmons prioritizes equity and systemic change while in Springfield.

“There is still so much work to do to ensure that diversity, accountability, and progressive policy are not the exceptions, but the rule, in Springfield,” Simmons said.

He is co-sponsoring significant reforms such as the Clean Energy Jobs Act, Repeal Parental Notification of Abortion, and multiple measures protecting BIPOC communities. Simmons is a member of the Senate Progressive Caucus, Senate Black Caucus, and the Asian-American and Pacific Islander Caucus.

Simmons was sworn in to serve in the 7th Illinois Senate District, trailblazing as the first Black person to serve the 7th Senate District and the first openly gay member of the Illinois Senate.

In the next 100 days, Simmons will build focus groups, or People’s Councils, to listen to constituents and build his 2022 legislative agenda.

“In the days ahead, I hope to invite more of my constituents to have greater opportunities to be a part of that process by making their stories and their voices heard,” Simmons said.

The councils will focus on health care access, income inequality, supporting single mothers, and affordable housing.

More information on Senator Simmons’ accomplishments and plans is available here.

 

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Category: Press Releases

2021.05.12 Simmons Hair bill passes senateSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mike Simmons’ (D-Chicago) legislation to end the practice of discriminating against students’ hairstyles in schools passed the Illinois Senate Wednesday afternoon.

“We took a major step forward today in passing this bill out of the Senate and sent a message to our young people that we see them and respect them for who they are. Black youth in particular have endured decades of systemic discrimination targeting their hairstyles in schools, and it’s time to turn the page on that history. I thank my colleagues for supporting the bill,” Simmons said. 

Senate Bill 817 applies to all public, private and charter schools in the State. The bill prohibits schools from issuing policies or including any language in handbooks about hairstyles traditionally associated with race and ethnicity including braids, dreadlocks, and protective hairstyles. This makes our schools safe spaces for black youth to show up and learn authentically and be who they are. 

Simmons, who wears his hair in natural free form locs, said he’s been on the receiving end of school rules policing his personal appearance. 

“I understand what this feels like personally,” Simmons said. “I urge the House to approve this legislation and join the Senate in ensuring that the next generation doesn’t have to go through this.

Category: Press Releases

Hair 4SPRINGFIELD – Speaking alongside other advocates for Illinois children and families, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) argued the necessity of his plan to institute a $600-per-child income tax credit at the state level before the Illinois Senate Revenue Committee Wednesday.

Simmons’ legislation, Senate Bill 2132, would create a tax credit which would begin phasing out for single parents making more than $40,000 annually or jointly filing parents earning more than $60,000.

“We have to face the reality that working families in particular have struggled through this pandemic, and targeted relief is what they need to recover,” Simmons said. “Supporting businesses is important, but any economic recovery effort we make at the state level cannot leave our working families behind.”

Mitch Lifson, Vice President of Voices for Illinois Children, spoke in favor of the legislation, citing its ability to help families in poverty in Illinois, who are disproportionately families of color.

“This legislation makes a long term commitment to our children and families,” Lifson said during testimony. “Every child deserves the opportunity to grow up safe, healthy and well-educated, and this legislation will further that goal.”

Faith Arnold, Executive Vice President of SEIU Healthcare, also spoke out on how a tax credit could help families who have been struggling with child care throughout the pandemic.

“Working parents have already had to make far too many sacrifices during this pandemic, and their children with them,” Arnold said. “This child tax credit would support precisely those residents who need the most help. It's just the right thing to do.”

Janet Soto, a resident of Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, spoke about her experiences as she chose to remain home after her child care provider shut its doors due to the pandemic. While Soto said her family is getting by, many others she speaks with who were already struggling with employment and child care now are doing so in ways deeply exacerbated by the pandemic.

“My heart just breaks knowing people that were already on the edge of needing real, substantial help, have now been pushed far over that edge, and it's going to take time for economic recovery to happen,” Soto said. “They need the support this Senate bill would provide.”

Senate Bill 2132 awaits consideration before the full Senate.

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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