About Elgie

SEN. ELGIE R. SIMS, JR. is serving his first term as State Senator for Illinois’ 17th Senate district, which includes portions of the South Side of Chicago, Chicago's south suburbs, and Will and Kankakee counties. He previously served nearly six years as the State Representative of Illinois’ 34th House district.Sims2018

An attorney and second-generation small business owner, Elgie's commitment to hard work began at an early age while working in his family's business, where he learned that "nothing in life is given; it must be earned." Throughout college and during his time working in Springfield, he often commuted from downstate Illinois to help run his family's business on Chicago's South Side, he did the same while putting himself through law school.

Elgie continues to make a positive impact on every community he is a part of. As he was always taught: “to whom much is given, much is required.” He remains active in many civic organizations whose mission is to improve the quality of life for the communities they serve. As a community leader, he has worked to provide scholarships and books to children in need and worked to make our communities safer.

As a State Senator, Elgie continues to put families and communities first. During his time in the Illinois General Assembly, Elgie has championed legislation focused on improving the quality of our schools, strengthening the middle class by creating good jobs, bringing fiscal discipline to Springfield and passing common sense public safety initiatives with the aim of making our streets safer.

Elgie focuses on creating economic opportunities and good paying jobs. Recently, he passed a law requiring the State of Illinois to create a plan to address the crisis of high unemployment among young people. He also worked to pass a law to help revitalize the local economy by allowing low-interest loans to small, minority and women-owned businesses working on transportation projects for the State of Illinois.

Widely regarded for his legislative knowledge and ability to forge compromise, Elgie led efforts in the House for Illinois to become the first state in the nation to pass legislation to improve community and law enforcement relations. The Police and Community Relations Improvement Act has been used as model legislation on improving relations between law enforcement and the communities they protect and serve. The Act establishes and includes statewide protocols for the implementation of body cameras and training requirements for law enforcement officers.

Elgie is a firm believer in second chances and believes that once a person has paid their debt to society they should be returned to their fullest usefulness as a productive citizen. As a State Representative, he helped pass a law giving more Illinois residents with criminal histories the opportunity to turn their lives around and obtain gainful employment by allowing certain non-violent crimes to be sealed if they have not been in any additional trouble and pass a mandatory drug test.

Elgie is also one of the leading voices seeking to implement common-sense gun laws by keeping guns out of the hands of those who are a threat to themselves or others. He helped pass a law requiring universal background checks and the reporting of lost or stolen guns within 72 hours.

Elgie currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and as a member of the: Criminal Law, Appropriations I & II, Telecommunications and Information Technology Committees.  He also serves as a member of the General Assembly’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.

Born in Chicago, Sims holds a B.A. in Political Science from Illinois State University, an M.P.A. from the University of Illinois and a J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He and his wife reside in Chicago's Chatham neighborhood with their two daughters.

PROFESSIONAL

  • State Senator, 17th District
  • State Representative, 34th District
  • Of Counsel/Government Relations and Public Policy Lawyer, Foley & Lardner LLP.
  • Former Budget Director for retired Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, Jr.
  • Member, Illinois State Bar Association
  • Member, Cook County Bar Association
  • Member, Chicago Bar Association
  • Member, National Association of Bond Lawyers
  • Member, National Bar Association

COMMUNITY SERVICE

  • Member, Board of Directors, Chatham Park Place Homeowner's Association
  • Member, Chairman's Advisory Council, Big Shoulder's Fund
  • Member, Chatham-Avalon Park Community Council
  • Member, Greater Chatham Alliance
  • Member, West Chesterfield Community Association
  • Member, Park Manors Neighbors Community Council
  • Member, South Holland Business Association
  • Member, Illinois State University, Black Colleagues Association
  • Member, University of Illinois at Springfield Alumni Association
  • Member, Loyola University Chicago Alumni Association
  • Past Member, Board of Directors, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
  • Vice Chair, Midwestern Legislative Conference Economic Development Committee – The Council of State Governments

AWARDS AND HONORS

2013

  • Edgar Fellow, University of Illinois
  • Career Day Speaker, Schmid Elementary School

2014

  • “Living Legends Passing the Torch” Award, Black United Fund of Illinois
  • Legislative Champion, The Center for Developmental Advocacy and Disabilities Supports
  • Fellow, Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development, Council of State Governments – Midwest
  • Commencement Speaker, Clissold Elementary School
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Rosemoor Little League
  • Partners in Quality Award, Leading Age Illinois

2015

  • Steve and Sandi Adams Legacy Hall of Fame, Illinois State University
  • Kentucky Colonel, Commissioned by Hon. Governor Steven L. Beshear of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
  • Voice of Senior Care Award, Illinois Health Care Award
  • Regional Legislator of the Year, National Black Caucus of State Legislators
  • Trailblazer Award, Chatham Avalon Park Community Council
  • Fellow, Henry Toll Fellowship, Council of State Governments
  • Commencement Speaker, Kershaw Magnet School

2016

  • 2nd Vice-Chair, Midwestern Legislative Conference, Council of State Governments
  • Legislative Award, Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois
  • Legislative Excellence Award, Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois
  • Courageous Leadership Award, Save our Schools Coalition
  • Commencement Speaker, Thomas J. Higgins Elementary School
  • Monarch Man of the Year, Public Service, Monarch Foundation, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Xi Nu Omega Chapter

2017

  • John W. Maitland, Jr. Leadership Award, Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization
  • Legislative Service Award, Illinois Probation and Court Services Association
  • CAARE Visionary Award, Safer Foundation
  • Principal for a Day, Je-Neir Elementary School and Manteno Elementary School
  • Honorary Chair, Evers Academy for African American Males (ATEAAM)
  • Excellence in Public Service Award, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
  • Keynote Speaker, Cassius L. Rudolph Scholarship Luncheon.
  • Keynote Speaker, 29th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Banquet

EDUCATION

  • Loyola University Chicago, School of Law, Juris Doctor
  • University of Illinois - Springfield, Master of Public Administration
  • Illinois State University, Bachelor of Science

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Office Info

District Office:
8658 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
Chicago, IL 60619
P. 773.933.7715

Springfield Office:
627 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
P. 217.782.3201