Dear Neighbor, 

My name is Mike Simmons, and I am honored to serve you as your new state senator for the 7th Illinois Senate District following Senator Heather Steans’ resignation. I’m writing to tell you a little about myself and my own lifelong connections to the 7th District.

I was born and raised in Lincoln Square in historic scattered-site public housing. My family was one of the first Black families to move into that neighborhood in 1981, helping integrate the neighborhood. My mom was a small business owner, running Salon Pastiche in Rogers Park for 25 years. My father emigrated from Ethiopia during the Red Terror and resettled in Edgewater in 1978. I live in Uptown with my partner Michael and our black lab mix Sasha. I have deep ties to each neighborhood in the 7th District, and look forward to meeting many of you in our many retail districts, block club meetings, town halls, schools, and other community events.

I want to invite you to reach out to my office to express your views on legislative matters before the Illinois General Assembly. I also promise you that I will be an accessible, progressive public official who will always approach questions of policy with our most vulnerable district residents in mind.

First, I want to thank Senator Steans for an extraordinary record of progressive accomplishments for our district. I also want to thank her for working with me to ensure a smooth transition so that constituent casework and projects continue to be handled. She has worked tirelessly to help me hit the ground running as your new state senator.

My swearing-in marks some important firsts for our state and our district. I’m proud to be the first openly gay state senator, to be the first person of color to represent such a diverse part of the city of Chicago, and to be the first Ethiopian-American to hold office in Springfield. I may not look like anybody who has served in this seat before, but I look like thousands of residents of the 7th District. All of these parts of my identity have taught me just how urgently we need government to be responsive, representative, compassionate, and equitable.

As deputy director of youth programs at the Obama Foundation, and as a director of policy in previous roles in federal, county, and city government around food insecurity, housing, and LGBTQIA+ issues, I’ve seen firsthand the barriers that we face in achieving that kind of government. As COVID-19 and a brutal Chicago winter loom over us all, I am aware of the historic scope of the work we need to be doing right now. I am committed to starting immediately. To that end, my district office will be located at 5533 N. Broadway where I look forward to working with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, state Representative Kelly Cassidy, Commissioner Bridget Gainer, and Alderman Harry Osterman to meet your needs. 

To do so, I’ll need your input as well. As we continue observing safety protocols during the pandemic, my office’s physical location will operate in a limited capacity, but you can always contact me by using the form at or by calling my office at 773-769-1717.  Please feel free to contact me and tell me how I can represent you in Springfield.


Mike Simmons
State Senator, 7th Illinois Senate District

Senator Simmons' District Office
5533 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 769-1717

Category: Newsletters

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Office Info

District Office
1040 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 769-1717 (Phone)
(773) 945-9979 (Text)

Springfield Office:
Senator 7th District
Stratton Building
Section F, Office G
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8492

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