State Senator Robert Peters has a deep passion for public service cultivated by numerous events throughout his life that left a profound impact on him and the people he cares about.

He was born in 1985 deaf and with a massive speech impediment. His biological mother was addicted to drugs and alcohol, and his adopted mother and father were a social worker and a civil rights lawyer, respectively. He is a proud South Sider and an even prouder Chicagoan.

Peters’ struggles with health and environment in early childhood led to difficulties, but he credits teachers and administrators at his public school for checking in on him and guiding him. He gained full hearing ability by the time he was 8 and full speech capability by the time he was 12.

After Peters’ parents’ marriage dissolved when he was a teenager, he moved in with his father and became interested in public service. He admired the work his father did as a civil rights and criminal defense attorney, championing justice and even arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of individuals whose personal property was unlawfully seized by police. His father’s work, along with his biological mother’s struggles with addiction, inspired him to fight for criminal justice reform.

Like many who left college in the midst of the Great Recession, Peters struggled to find work. He started as a community and political organizer back home in Chicago, but both of his parents died within a year and a half of each other, leaving him unemployed and grieving. Difficulty paying his bills and the inability to obtain health insurance because of his pre-existing conditions only furthered his drive to work on behalf of others dealing with the same issues.

As a political organizer, Peters successfully fought to require Cook County judges to set affordable bail amounts for all defendants, leading to a substantial reduction in the Cook County Jail population since it took effect in July 2017.

As a state senator, Peters plans to continue advocating for the people in his community and district to ensure they get the investment they need. He is also committed to passing a balanced budget, continuing his focus on criminal justice reform, creating clean energy jobs and fighting for quality public education. He is passionate about his work and his community and intends to be the best public servant he can be.

In the 102nd General Assembly, Senator Peters will serve as the Chair of the Public Safety Committee. He will also serve as member of the Criminal Law, Environment and Conservation, Health, Human Rights, Labor, and Revenue Committees.

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