Senator Ram Villivalam

Sen. Ram VillivalamState Senator Ram Villivalam is the first Asian-American elected to the Illinois Senate and the first elected South Asian-American member of the Illinois General Assembly ever.

Villivalam was born and raised on the Northwest side of Chicago, part of the district he now represents. His parents immigrated to the United States from India in the 1970s. Professionals in their home country, they took minimum wage jobs to make ends meet while they raised a family, went back to school, and eventually worked as public servants for 25 years.

Despite their struggle, Senator Villivalam’s parents emphasized the importance of education. A product of Chicago Public Schools, Villivalam graduated from George Washington University with a degree in political science.

For the past three years, Villivalam has worked for SEIU Healthcare, advocating for home care for seniors and people with disabilities, child care for working families and Medicaid for those in need. Prior to that, Villivalam set up job fairs and helped citizens enroll in the Affordable Care Act.

Tax fairness is a priority for Villivalam. “We collect too much tax from middle-class workers and not enough from the wealthy who can afford to be taxed a higher amount,” he said. “Illinois’ minimum wage should be increased to $15 dollars so poverty and income disparity can be reduced.”

Villivalam believes Illinois needs more diversity in leadership from folks who lead on the challenging issues Illinoisans face and accurately represent their communities. He believes in progressive, proactive, and effective leadership.

Villivalam is currently the president of the Indo-American Democratic Organization.

Senator Villivalam and his wife, Elizabeth, reside in the Mayfair community of Chicago.

Sen. Ram Villivalam

Sen. Ram Villivalam

8th District

Years served: 2019–Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations I; Appropriations II; Education; Human Services; Labor; Transportation (Chairperson); Subcommittee on Capital (TR); Supplier Diversity, Special Com. On (Chairperson); Pension Investments Special Com. On.

Associated Representatives:
John C. D'Amico
Yehiel M. Kalish