Simmons TransFlagCHICAGO – As the first openly LGBTQ+ member of the Illinois Senate, and the third openly gay, Black state senator in the nation, State Senator Mike Simmons raises awareness of the issues his transgender siblings face within the community and honors their experiences during Transgender Awareness Week.

“Transgender Awareness Week is about celebrating, uplifting, and honoring our trans community, while also rejecting hateful rhetoric through education and creating awareness about who transgender people are,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “Through sharing stories, and advancing advocacy around issues of prejudice, discrimination, and violence, we push inclusivity forward and combat transphobia in Illinois.”

As an ally and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Simmons is committed to ensuring that members of the LGBTQ+ community feel seen, heard and respected, and are positively represented throughout the state and across the country. He has spoken out against attacks against the LGBTQ+ community on the local and national level, secured passage of and co-led numerous bills protecting LGBTQ+ communities, and has been known to aggressively push back against transphobic comments used in floor debate on the Senate floor.

Legislation championed by Simmons includes House Bill 1591 to protect marriage equality, Senate Bill 2133 to create more access to gender-affirming care in Illinois, Senate Bill 689 to preserve LGBTQ+ stories barring book banning, and House Bill 1596 to increase inclusivity of gendered language in pre-existing state laws and initiatives.

“Trans rights are human rights,” said Simmons. “I don’t take my responsibility as the first openly and only LGBTQ+ person in the Senate lightly, and will use this privilege as an elected leader to continue to be a voice for our trans community.”


View Simmon's full remarks in honor and recongnition of Transgender Awareness Week below.


Category: Press Releases

032223CM0333CHICAGO – In response to legislation filed in honor of Karina Gonzalez, a survivor of domestic violence who was fatally shot along with her daughter, State Senator Mike Simmons released the following statement urging support of Senate Bill 2633 to protect domestic violence survivors from guns:

“I am committed to working with my colleagues to see Karina’s Bill through the legislative process. Karina’s Bill will clarify and add language to the Illinois Domestic Violence Act and Firearm Restraining Order Act to allow for firearm removal earlier in the process of domestic violence orders of protection. This bill will prevent further violence, save lives and empower law enforcement to grant more protection to survivors of domestic violence. Illinois lawmakers have the responsibility to take action to prevent tragic situations like Karina’s from occurring.

“This spring, I championed House Bill 3414 to protect survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking following actions they committed in self-defense, and I remain a strong advocate for survivors of domestic violence and sensible gun laws. Karina's Bill will strengthen our laws to ensure law enforcement immediately removes firearms from the home in dangerous domestic violence situations.

“I want to thank the countless constituents of the 7th District who have called and written to my office calling for support of Karina’s Bill. Access to guns is often the difference between life and death for survivors of domestic violence, and Karina’s Bill is a sensible solution that will save lives. We must work collaboratively to move this legislation forward.”

Category: Press Releases

democracyCHICAGO – State Senator Mike Simmons recently attended former President Barack Obama’s democracy forum to discuss the many challenges facing democracy offering creative solutions to build stronger democratic cultures.

“If we want to strengthen democracy, we also have to think about the economy,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “We need to talk about what inclusive capitalism means and how that looks in building healthy and sustainable communities that make up for past and ongoing economic injustices.”

At the forum, Simmons joined hundreds of global changemakers, tech leaders, business titans and a few surprise guests exploring solutions to expand and strengthen democracy across the state and on a global scale.

As an advocate and champion for social justice, Simmons recognizes the connection between structural racism and Illinois’ financial systems. He has fought for economic reform through increased wages for homecare workers, policy tools to reduce poverty and provide economic stimulus, and increased access to childcare to support strong, local economies. Additionally, Simmons supported the Illinois Equal Pay Act and the Illinois Community Reinvestment Act, paving the way for economic reform in economically disadvantaged communities.

“This forum renewed my sense of hope because it invited us all to reimagine our economic futures in light of very real challenges to our democracy,” said Simmons. “For democracy to exist and be in reach for every individual, we have to retool it so that everyone can participate on their own terms while reckoning and redeeming decades of economic wrongs.”


Category: Press Releases

State Senator Mike Simmons attends ribbon cutting ceremony at Ravenswood Metra Station.

Caption: State Senator Mike Simmons attends ribbon cutting ceremony at Ravenswood Metra Station. 

CHICAGO – After a long awaited major reconstruction, State Senator Mike Simmons attends the opening dedication of the new inbound side of Ravenswood Station on the Union Pacific North Line on Tuesday, bringing the reconstruction project to completion.

"I am thrilled to see the new Ravenswood Metra Station officially open today right here in the Lincoln Square/Ravenswood community where I grew up and have many fond memories,” said Simmons (D-Chicago), who serves on the Senate Transportation Committee. “The new facilities — including warming shelters, longer platforms and ramps — are the kind of investments we need in our transportation facilities to increase ridership and restore the health of our regional transit.”

The new platform was the final part of the Ravenswood Metra Station project, a project part of an even larger $167 million plan to replace aging bridges along the UP North Line on the North Side of Chicago. The station was rebuilt in stages in order to keep two tracks open for service during construction. Funded with a combination of federal, state and local capital sources, the station is now fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, has new shelters on both platforms, longer platforms and is designed to improve loading times, which will result in more timely and efficient train service.

“I am happy to see the investments we have been calling for to increase ridership in our transit systems come to fulfillment. From the ADA compliance to the additional platform space, this is a major win for transit equity, ” said Simmons. “Thank you Metra, Alderman Matt Martin and all the stakeholders who worked so hard to get us to this point."


Watch State Senator Mike Simmons' full remarks in the video below.



Category: Press Releases

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