Ira Silverstein

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Ira Silverstein
Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 8th district
Assumed office
January 1999 (1999-Jan)
Preceded by Howard W. Carroll
Personal details
Born (1960-10-10) October 10, 1960 (age 57)
Chicago, Illinois
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Debra Silverstein
Children Four
Residence Chicago, Illinois
Alma mater Loyola University (B.A.)
John Marshall Law School (J.D.)
Profession Attorney

Ira I. Silverstein (born October 10, 1960) is a Democratic member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 8th district since 1999. The 8th Senate District consists of Forest Glen, North Park and West Ridge in the City of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs of Park Ridge, Morton Grove, Niles, Lincolnwood and Skokie.[1]

Early life[edit]

Silverstein’s father was a public school teacher. Silverstein attended Boone Elementary School and Mather High School and then earned his bachelor's degree from Loyola University Chicago. He later received his law degree from the John Marshall Law School.[2]

Senate career[edit]

Silverstein is the Chairman of the Senate Executive Committee, and he serves on the Senate Judiciary and Licensed Activities committees, and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR). JCAR reviews regulations imposed by state departments on business and citizens to ensure they are in accordance with the department’s legal authority.

In 2013, Silverstein introduced the "Internet Posting Removal Act" which sought to require web site admins to "upon request, remove any posted comments posted by an anonymous poster unless the anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are accurate.[3] The bill was the subject of much derision,[4][5] and was later withdrawn.[6]

He has also introduced a modification to the Illinois Vehicle Code to make operating a motor vehicle with a wearable computing headset illegal.[7]

In 2017, he was accused of sexual harassment by victims rights advocate Denise Rotheimer, who released a series of flirtatious messages the two had exchanged.[8] He resigned his position as Senate Democratic whip after she named him publicly during legislative hearings.[9] Rotheimer claimed Silverstein made unwanted comments about her appearance and late-night phone calls she felt pressured to accept in order to advance legislation. The inspector general of the Illinois General Assembly[10] released a report in January 2018 saying he did not engage in sexual harassment but he "did behave in a manner unbecoming of a legislator in violation of the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act."[11][12]

In the March 20, 2018 Democratic primary, Silverstein was defeated by more than 20 points by Ram Villivalam in the first competitive primary he faced since taking the seat.[13][14]

Personal life[edit]

Silverstein is a practicing attorney. He maintains offices in downtown Chicago and a neighborhood office on Devon Avenue, serving small business owners and residents in matters such as elder law, estate planning and business issues.

Silverstein is married to Chicago Alderman Debra Silverstein, and they have four children.


  1. ^ "PA 97-0006 Legislative District 8" (PDF). 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2015-09-07. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Ira I. Silverstein (2013-02-13). "Internet Posting Removal Act" (PDF). State of Illinois. 
  4. ^ Andrew Sellars, Illinois Clumsily Enters the Nymwars, Citizen Media Law Project, Feb. 19, 2013
  5. ^ Mike Masnick, Illinois Politician Seeks To Outlaw Anonymous Comments (But Allow Anonymous Gun Ownership), Techdirt, Feb. 19, 2013
  6. ^ Jaikumar Vijayan, Illinois lawmaker hastily pulls bill that would have stripped online anonymity, Computerworld (Feb. 22, 2013).
  7. ^ "Illinois Senate Bill 2632". , LegiScan, (Dec. 03, 2013).
  8. ^ Zorn, Eric (November 7, 2017). "Highlights from 'The Silverstein-Rotheimer Papers'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 26, 2018. 
  9. ^ Fisher, Amber (October 31, 2017). "Sen. Silverstein Resigns from Chair amid Sexual Harassment Claims". Chicago, IL Patch. Retrieved January 26, 2018. 
  10. ^ Garcia, Monique; Geiger, Kim (November 4, 2017). "Lawmakers Appoint Former Prosecutor as Top Watchdog in Wake of Sexual Harassment Scandal". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 30, 2018. 
  11. ^ "LIGCaseNo16-008". Scribd. Retrieved 2018-01-26. 
  12. ^ Garcia, Monique; Geiger, Kim (January 26, 2018). "Watchdog: Silverstein's Conduct 'Unbecoming of a Legislator,' But Not Sexual Harassment". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 28, 2018. 
  13. ^ "Ram Villivalam Romps Incumbent State Sen. Ira Silverstein". Skokie, IL Patch. 2018-03-20. Retrieved 2018-03-21. 
  14. ^ Lourgos, Monique Garcia, Bill Lukitsch, Angie Leventis. "After sex harassment allegation, Silverstein's grip on state Senate seat slips away; Burke trails in bid to retain post in Illinois House". Retrieved 2018-03-21. 

External links[edit]