Dear Neighbor,

I’m writing to you to talk about some important developments in child care here in Illinois. As I said when I spoke earlier this month about the child tax credit I’m proposing, we can’t forget the effect COVID-19 has had on working parents. A big part of that has been the harm done to child care facilities. We need to build back these providers if we’re to truly recover from the devastation of this pandemic.

That’s why the news this week that Illinois will use $1.6 billion in federal relief to target early childhood services for recovery is so welcome. Of that, $140 million will be allocated for grants to child care providers. These funds can be used to pay rent or maintain staff, supplies and training.

As part of this plan, Gov. Pritzker has also announced the creation of a new office within the Illinois Dept. of Human Services called the Division of Early Childhood, scheduled to begin work in July.

I am gratified to see Illinois is prioritizing the child care sector as we allocate federal relief. Working families need child care to be safe, affordable and available, now more than ever. We can’t get there without targeted relief efforts like these.

Start your application for early learning today

On that same topic, the time has come to start thinking about your child's options for early learning. Applications open today, and you can begin the process online here. You can find providers in your area right now by entering your address here and seeing what’s available. You can also call 312-229-1690 with questions about preschool programs for your 3- or 4-year-old.

If you have any questions or concerns about child care, my legislation, or what’s going on in Springfield or the 7th Senate District, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.


Mike Simmons
State Senator, 7th Illinois Senate District

Category: Newsletters

Dear Neighbor, 

While vaccination efforts ramp up across the state, not everyone has equal access to a shot. In March I requested COVID-19 data for the 7th District from the Department of Public Health. Upon review it was clear that ZIP codes 60626 and 60659 had the highest COVID-19 infection rates and least access to the vaccine in the district. Those ZIP codes cover Rogers Park and West Ridge, home to many immigrants, non-primary English speakers, and those living without reliable access to quality health care here in the 7th Senate District. 

To address this systemic inequity,  I organized and hosted two COVID-19 vaccine clinics last Friday, which delivered shots directly to 200 residents of Rogers Park and West Ridge. I want to thank the Howard Brown Health Center, the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago, and ONE Northside for partnering with me on this event, and to all the health care workers and volunteers who helped plan and execute both vaccine clinics in the 7th district. 


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Category: Newsletters

Dear Neighbor,

Now that we’ve entered Phase 1C of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, a new mass vaccination site will open next week near our community at Wrigley Field on April 5. This site will be equipped to serve eligible 7th District residents.

The mass vaccination site will be held at the American Airlines Conference Center at Gallagher Way at 1101 W. Waveland Avenue, next to Wrigley Field, and will be operated by Advocate Aurora Health. It will have capacity to administer approximately 2,000 doses a day. The site is by appointment only; there is no on-site registration.

Registration for vaccination appointments will be available starting next week on

Appointments will start being posted on ZocDoc later this week. Additional appointments will be added daily. All Chicagoans eligible in Phases 1A, 1B, or 1C will be able to schedule appointments. Additional details about telephone options to book appointments at both sites will also be announced prior to opening.

Appointments will be restricted to Chicago residents, and people will need to bring proof of residency to their appointment. A driver’s license, Illinois ID card or REAL ID, City Key Card, library card, postmarked letter, utility bill, voter registration confirmation, Consular ID (Matricula Consular), and many other forms of identification will all be accepted. A complete list of eligible documents is available at The vaccine will be offered at no cost, and insurance is not required. Documentation regarding immigration status is also not required.

Here’s some information that can help you determine if you or members of your family are eligible. Remember that you can find a list of mass vaccination sites in Chicago here and that every one of us who receives a COVID-19 vaccine makes everybody a little bit safer.

Who is eligible to receive a vaccine under Chicago’s Phase 1C?

All types of essential workers and Chicagoans age 16-64 who have underlying medical conditions qualify under Phase 1C.

What underlying medical conditions qualify someone for Phase 1C?

People with the following conditions are eligible for vaccination at locations open to Chicago residents under Phase 1C:

  • Cancer (current diagnosis)
  • Cardiac, cardiovascular, and cerebrovascular disorders (including heart disease, coronary artery disease, and hypertension or high blood pressure)
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Chronic respiratory disorders (including cystic fibrosis, moderate to severe asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/emphysema [COPD])
  • Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
  • Disability: physical, developmental, visual, hearing, or mental
  • Neurologic conditions (including dementia)
  • Down Syndrome
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) including from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
  • Liver disease (including hepatitis)
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity, which is defined as having a Body Mass Index greater than or equal to 30 kg/m2
  • Schizophrenia spectrum disorders
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Thalassemia

Which workers are essential workers under Phase 1C?

You qualify as an essential worker if you are employed in:

  • Clergy and religious organizations
  • Energy
  • Finance
  • Food and beverage service
  • Higher education
  • Information technology and communications
  • Legal
  • Media
  • Other community- or government-based operations and essential functions
  • Personal care services and hygiene
  • Public health
  • Public safety
  • Retail
  • Shelter and housing
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Water and wastewater

You can find more detailed information here, including a more specific breakdown of essential workers.

Vaccines are safe and effective. I know many people in the 7th Senate District have comforted and looked out for their neighbors and fellow Chicagoans during this year of hardship. Thank you for doing that for our community. Right now, getting vaccinated is one of the best ways we can help each other. 

If you need any help from my office regarding vaccination or anything else, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can contact me through my website here or call my office at (773) 769-1717.


Mike Simmons
State Senator, 7th Illinois Senate District

Category: Newsletters

Dear neighbor,

It’s time to begin the once-in-a-decade task of redrawing congressional and state legislative district lines.  

In an effort to gather public input to help us create a plan that reflects the diversity of the state, the Illinois Senate is hosting public hearings — and you’re welcome to watch and provide testimony.

This week on April 2, the Chicago North Redistricting Subcommittee will host a meeting at 3 p.m.

You may join us online at Once there, look under the Senate heading and click on Audio/Video. You should see links to activate audio and video streams of the subcommittee. These links will become live shortly before the subcommittee begins.

If you would like to testify or submit written testimony to the Illinois State Senate Redistricting Committee or any of its subcommittees contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information and a full list of hearings, visit

I hope you will take advantage of having your voice heard.


Mike Simmons
State Senator, 7th Illinois Senate District

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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