Senator Ira I. Silverstein was first elected to the Illinois Senate in 1998. Throughout his tenure representing the 8th Legislative District, he has been an advocate for good government and a strong voice for making communities safer and protecting consumer rights. Senator Silverstein was singled out in recent years by a Chicago Tribune editorial as being a "quiet but hard working" legislator and one of the "few members who actually reads all proposed legislation." It is this reputation that helped Senator Silverstein to be named Majority Caucus Whip in 2009.
As former Chairman of the Senate Executive Committee, Senator Silverstein has overseen the passage of various government reform measures through the Illinois Senate. In 2009, Senator Silverstein helped to pass the first campaign contribution limits in Illinois history, as well as legislation providing more government transparency by strengthening the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. He also supported the creation of officers to review the process of awarding state contracts in an effort to drastically curb the effects of "pay-to-play" politics in Illinois.
Senator Silverstein has also been a leading voice for public safety, passing legislation protecting children from known sexual predators and from "cyber-bullies" who use the internet to harass others. In addition, he has been a tireless promoter of consumer rights. Through his effort, the Anti-Phishing Act protecting citizens from internet identity theft became law 2008. He furthermore passed legislation prohibiting utility companies from terminating gas or electric service for nonpayment on any day before a holiday or weekend during extreme heat.
Senator Silverstein is currently serving his fourth term as the State Senator for Illinois' 8th Legislative District. He is married to Debra Silverstein, a C.P.A., and they are the proud parents of four children.