Senator Robert Peters 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. He saw first hand the impact and devastation of the racist war on drugs. 

As he grew up, he admired the work his father did as a civil rights and criminal defense attorney, challenging wrongdoing by the police. This combined with the effect of the criminalization of addiction, inspired his work on criminal justice reform rooted in the safety, freedom, and wellness of all people. 

A defining moment for Peters was the Great Recession, as he struggled to find work after earning his B.A. in Social Sciences from Kansas State and lost his parents within a year and a half of each other.

As a state senator, Peters has championed the end of cash bail in Illinois after years of organizing around it before becoming a Senator. He just passed legislation that expanded worker protections for Black and Latino workers in temporary employment. He has championed investments in tourism, small business development and education, and will continue to push Illinois forward as a leader in criminal justice reform and true public safety for all. He chairs the Labor Committee in the Senate and is Chair of the Senate Black Caucus. He is focused on environmental justice, racial justice, economic freedom, and public safety for all.