Dear Neighbor,

Illinois is making progress in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine averaging nearly 80,000 doses per day—and almost 3 million doses have been administered to date. With the recent approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, supplied are expected to increase in the coming weeks.

As you navigate the vaccination process for yourself or a loved one, I want you to be aware that there is now a new option: The United Center will now serve as one of the nation’s first Federal Pilot Community Vaccination Centers.

The United Center will receive 6,000 vaccine doses per day from the federal government, in addition to the supplies already obtained by the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois. The vaccine will be offered at no cost, and insurance is not required, nor will it be requested. Documentation regarding immigration status is also not required.

All Illinoisans eligible under the state’s Phase 1B+—including those with underlying conditions and disabilities—may now schedule appointments.

Here’s how to make an appointment at the United Center, located at 1901 W. Madison St. in Chicago:

  • To register online, visit You will be asked to provide your date of birth when booking an appointment to confirm vaccine eligibility.
  • To register by phone, call (312) 746-4835. A multilingual call center will be available to help make appointments Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The vaccine site will operate seven days a week for eight weeks under the federal government’s vaccination pilot program.

Remember: Free, state-run COVID-19 testing remains operational in Auburn Gresham.

Let's continue to protect our family, friends and neighbors by practicing social distancing, washing our hands, wearing masks and getting tested for COVID-19 when we have reason to believe we may have been exposed. As a reminder, free, convenient COVID-19 testing is available in Chicago's Auburn Gresham neighborhood to anyone who wants it.

Community-Based Testing Site
7938 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60620
8 a.m. - 4 p.m. every day except Tuesdays

  • No insurance necessary
  • No referral needed
  • No appointment needed
  • No symptoms required
  • Available for all ages

If you are eligible to get vaccinated, I urge you to register for an appointment. If you are still waiting to qualify, please be patient. You can sign up to receive updates, scheduling information and a notification when you’re eligible at

Thank you for your efforts over the past year to keep your friends, loved ones and community healthy. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office with questions and concerns at 773-769-1717 or


Mike Simmons
State Senator, 7th Illinois Senate District

Category: Newsletters

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

Newsletter Archive

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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