“We need to push for an economy that roots out structural racism.”

Mike Simmons HeadshotState Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) applauded the signing of a major economic reforms package Tuesday, the culmination of years of work on the part of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and advocates to address structural racism in Illinois’ financial systems.

Among the reforms, Simmons said legislation capping payday loan rates at 36% and empowering employees to bring human rights complaints against their employers in particular are welcome changes that will help working people in the 7th Illinois Senate District.

“We need to push for an economy that roots out structural racism,” Simmons said. “These reforms should be a start to creating a path to an economy removed of some of the worst and most obvious forms of abuse.”

The wide-ranging economic reform package also included measures expanding the Illinois Equal Pay Act to hold employers of companies with more than 100 employees more accountable for how they pay their workers, as well as incentives to banks for providing lending and banking services to economically disadvantaged communities through the Illinois Community Reinvestment Act.

Category: Press Releases

Mike Simmons HeadshotYesterday, Gov. Pritzker signed a comprehensive criminal justice and police reform package of bills that dramatically overhauls the carceral systems in Illinois. Many of these changes are long overdue, and I am gratified to see the work of so many advocates finally come to fruition.

Some key components of this wide-ranging legislation:

The new law does away with racist mandatory minimum sentencing laws that for over a generation have laid waste to Black communities.

Illinois will end the use of cash bail, a systemic practice that unfairly punishes people who don’t have money.

The law requires police to be equipped with body cameras by 2025. There must be no more excuses about broken body cams, or cams that were not turned on when a situation ends in another killing or unnecessary maiming of another one of our brothers and sisters.

And importantly, the law promotes the use of co-responder models (instead of police) for people experiencing crises, and enhances data collection on mental health crisis response.

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, of which I am proud to be a member, led this monumental effort. Dozens of community leaders and stakeholders spoke up and turned out as part of the Black Lives Agenda created in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many others. This legislative victory would not have been possible without their voices raised together, and years of community organizing.

I’m proud to join the Illinois General Assembly at this time, and ready to double down on this work. We must push policy further in the direction of justice for Black lives across the board and root out systemic racism.

This is the work. #BlackLivesMatter

 

simmons sig

Mike Simmons
State Senator, 7th Illinois Senate District

Category: News

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to the governor’s budget address today:

“It’s clear that the governor has made an earnest effort to hold the line for working people by closing corporate tax loopholes and increasing funding to programs that help ensure people can remain in their homes. This proposal gets us off on the right foot, but it’s just the beginning of the budget-making process in Illinois. That process must not lose sight of the needs of our families, our sick, our vulnerable, and our friends and neighbors who are stepping up to do everything they can to help during this pandemic.”

Category: Press Releases

Obama Foundation director will be first openly LGBTQIA+ Black Senator in Springfield

Mike Simmons HeadshotCHICAGO — Mike Simmons became the first openly gay member of the Illinois Senate, and the first person of color to serve as state Senator from Illinois’ 7th District after being sworn in earlier this week.

“This breaks down a ceiling that is important for the most diverse state Senate district in Illinois,” Simmons said. “And as our new state Senator, I will work tirelessly to amplify the voices and urgent needs of the most vulnerable residents of my district: Our immigrants, those struggling with access to housing, seniors, people in between jobs, single mothers, returning citizens, LGBTQIA+ people, young people, and so many others who have been hit hardest by the pandemic.”

Simmons, the son of a Black American mother and Ethiopian-American immigrant father and the first Ethiopian-American to serve in the Illinois General Assembly, succeeds former state Senator Heather Steans. Simmons said his appointment is an historic event for Illinois and the 7th Senate District, which will, for the first time, be represented by a person of color. Simmons serves as director of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, an initiative of the Obama Foundation.

Simmons was sworn in Saturday at Andersonville’s Swedish American Museum. The 7th Illinois Senate District includes parts of Chicago’s Lincoln Square, Uptown, Andersonville, Edgewater, Arcadia Terrace, West Ridge and Rogers Park neighborhoods.

 

Category: News

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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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