simmons hb370CHICAGO – Starting Jan. 1, schools will be prohibited from discriminating against natural hairstyles traditionally associated with race and ethnicity- including locs, braids, twists and afros - thanks to a law championed  by State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago). 

“No child should ever be singled out for sporting a hairstyle that authentically expresses their heritage and culture,” Simmons said. “These policies only serve to humiliate students of color who choose to dress themselves and wear their hair in a style that honors and respects their heritage and ancestry.”

The Jett Hawkins Act prevents school boards, local school councils, charter schools and non-private schools from creating hairstyle-based dress code requirements. Simmons, who wears his hair in freeform locs, championed the law in support of Jett Hawkins, a 4-year old boy who was sent home from school earlier this year for having braids that violated his school’s dress code.

“Kids like Jett deserve to express themselves however they see fit and  they shouldn’t have to be restricted by old fashioned and often racist dress codes,” Simmons said. “We need to empower Black children to have the confidence to express themselves naturally, and give them and their families more agency over their personal choices. We still have more work to do, but I’m pleased that beginning in 2022, Black youth in Illinois will be able to wear their hair naturally in all schools.”

Public Act 102-0360, which was signed into law by Gov. JB  Pritzker on Aug. 13,  will take effect Jan. 1, 2022. 

Category: Press Releases

simmonsharrisCHICAGO – State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) honors State Rep. Greg Harris, calling him a legislative powerhouse in the General Assembly, a terrific friend and mentor, and a point of pride for so many in neighborhoods of the 13th House District, and the LGBTQ+ community across the state of Illinois.

“Leader Harris has shown up and done the work for our communities, often without fanfare, and has made history on many occasions both in his legislative work and in blazing a trail as House Majority Leader”, Simmons said. “He has always been a personal inspiration for me, and while I am sad that he will soon retire, I appreciate the keen example he has set for the next generation. Leader Harris has given back so much and I look forward to working with him over the next legislative session to deliver for our constituents back home. His legacy will certainly continue to shape my own career in public service. Thank you, Leader Harris! I am proud to call you my Representative.”

Category: Press Releases

simmons healthcollabCHICAGO –  State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) calls on Downers Grove District 99 to protect LGBTQ+ youth in their community from hate and censorship by immediately rejecting calls to censor a queer positive book, GENDER QUEER, in the high school library.

“We have seen this play out across the country where right wing extremists have targeted this book for portraying LGBTQ+ youth in a positive light,” said Simmons. “We know firsthand that censorship efforts like this make queer youth feel more alone, and The Centers for Diesease control have reported that LGBTQ youth are more than three times as likely to seriously consider suicide than their peers who identify as straight.” 

Senator Simmons, the first openly LGBTQ senator in the Illinois General Assembly, is committed to ensuring that all schools in Illinois are places of safety, support, and learning for all youth. 


Category: Press Releases

Simmons and CassidyCHICAGO – Following a successful month-long welcome kit drive with World Relief Chicago, State Senator Mike Simmons (D- Chicago) delivered the kits to World Relief Chicago’s DuPage location Sunday for distribution to Afghan refugees in West Ridge and Rogers Park.

“I am deeply grateful to the elected officials on the far North Side, World Relief Chicago and to all of the community members who have gathered to support our newest neighbors,” Simmons said. “As the son of a refugee, I am even more grateful for the warm welcome that our community has given to our newest neighbors.”

The kits, which included standard cooking items, household cleaning supplies, and bedroom and bathroom items, were delivered by Simmons to the World Relief Chicago’s DuPage location for distribution to Afghan refugees in West Ridge and Rogers Park. The generous donations will help refugees transition to life in their new homes.

The drive was conducted over the course of October, in partnership with several other far North Side elected officials and World Relief Chicago. To take further action to support Afghan refugees visit

For additional resources, residents can check out the weekly 7th District newsletter at and reach out to the district office with questions or concerns at 773-769-1717. 

Category: Press Releases

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