Simmons with Governor in Evanston rCHICAGO – State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) welcomed Governor JB Pritzker to the 7th district last week where they toured Good to Go, a restaurant in Evanston specializing in Jamaican cuisine.

“It was an honor showing Governor Pritzker one of the best restaurants in my community,” Simmons said. “We are proud to have one of the most diverse communities in Illinois and in the nation, where people from all around the world can prosper and share their rich culture through food and conversation. I am especially proud and appreciative that Governor Pritzker takes the time to visit and show genuine appreciation for all that these small businesses add to our community.”

Good to Go is owned by Tony and Lenice Levy. Lenice Levy recently received the businessperson of the year award from the Evanston Chamber of Commerce in February.

“As the first Black senator for the 7th District, I am especially proud of how many Black-owned small businesses we have across the district, and am especially proud that many are owned by Black women. I will continue to use my platform to lift up these small businesses and the remarkable entrepreneurs who run them.”

Category: Press Releases

Simmons Elderly rSPRINGFIELD - In an effort to support seniors and provide them with greater access to the resources they rely on, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) initiated a measure that will create the Senior Housing Residents' Advisory Council.

“Our seniors have been through a lot the past couple of years,” said Simmons. We owe them a dignified and comfortable living, and this measure will bring together seniors from across Illinois to lift up some of these common systemic issues that they deal with so we can find improvements in how we deliver services to seniors, how we outreach to seniors, and how we make our state more livable for the seniors who have done so much for us.”

Senate Bill 702 would create the Senior Housing Residents' Advisory Council to evaluate available resources, services, and state outreach for seniors and review the impact of COVID-19 on senior living arrangements. The council will meet quarterly and comprised of a bi-partisan appointees including two seniors who reside in affordable senior housing developments, and two seniors who reside in assisted living facilities.

The measure originated from a people’s legislative council that Simmons held with a group of seniors in 2021.

“This bill will send a message to our seniors that they are loved and their mental and emotional health matter,” said Simmons. “I feel it is critical that my legislative work this spring addresses their concerns about how to keep them safe while also address vital issues in their community like isolation and access to essential services.”

Senate Bill 702 passed the Senate and moves to the House for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

Simmons Assyrian Press conferenceSPRINGFIELD - To protect the community from the often deadly impact of lead, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) is leading a measure to strengthen lead mitigation procedures.

“Virtually every community across the state is affected by lead in our water supply,” said Simmons. “This bill provides a systemic response to a problem that is systemic in nature, is decades in the making, and often does the most injury to Black and Brown communities.”

House Bill 4369 would require the Illinois Department of Public Health to follow up on lead mitigation notices by carrying out inspections to ensure the work has been completed. The current law merely permits an inspection, while this legislation will require and enforce lead mitigation efforts.

Lead is a heavy metal and suspected carcinogen that was frequently used in paint, plumbing materials, and many other items before the 1980s. Today, it is mostly found in aging water pipes, contaminated soil, and peeling paint found on windows, baseboards, trim, and doors. No amount of lead exposure is considered safe for children or adults.

“Removing lead from all housing and facilities where people, including children, are present is pressing work that is urgently overdue,” Simmons said. “This bill will give the law teeth so mitigation efforts are seen to completion.”

House Bill 4369 passed the Senate Health Committee and awaits further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

Simmons Youth CommitteeSPRINGFIELD - In an effort to empower students and provide them with greater access to the resources they need, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) initiated and passed a measure, Senate Bill 4028, that will require Illinois elementary and high schools discuss how and where to find access to mental health treatment.

“Our children have been through constant stress the last two years,” said Simmons. “Their sacrifices from the pandemic have exacerbated the growing mental health crisis among our state’s youth.”

The measure also will create a Student Mental Health Council that will include 6 youth from across Illinois, and 3 community-based mental health providers, including one that will be LGBTQ-led, one led by a person of color, and one woman-led, bringing underrepresented communities to the table to evaluate gaps in existing mental health services and to recommend systemic improvements so our youth feel empowered and supported by mental health providers.

The Student Mental Health Council will also identify gaps in mental health services and treatment for youth and identify ways to destigmatize getting help when needed. The council would meet quarterly and be comprised of community-based organizations that are doing mental health focused work for youth.

The measure originated from a people’s legislative council that Simmons held with a group of community members in 2021.

“This bill will send a message to our youth that they are loved and their mental and emotional health matters,” said Simmons.

Senate Bill4028 passed the Senate and moves to the House for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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