Sen. Tony Munoz

CHICAGO – After more than two decades serving the 1st Senate District, Assistant Majority Leader Antonio “Tony” Munoz (D-Chicago) retired from the Senate Friday.

“I was taught at a young age that hard work and determination is the key to success,” Munoz said. “I have applied this to everything I have accomplished, especially as a state senator.”

Munoz first joined the Senate in 1999, serving as assistant majority leader since 2009. Over the years, he sponsored nearly 2000 bills, with more than 800 signed into law. In addition, he chaired the Licensed Activities, Transportation, Executive Appointments and Veterans Affairs Committees.

Prior to becoming a state lawmaker, he served in the United States Army with the 82nd Airborne Division and a former Chicago police officer. During his time in office, he worked tirelessly to give veterans opportunities when they return to civilian life and having sufficient resources for their mental and physical health.

He also worked to keep children in school and off the streets by fighting for funding for after-school programs and passed a law making it a crime for street gangs to recruit on school grounds and making it illegal for a sex offender to live within 500 feet of a school, park, daycare, or child facility.

Sponsoring and supporting several measures to protect police officers, one memorable measure he led was the Law Enforcement Officer Bulletproof Vest Act. The act set standards for bulletproof vests worn by officers to ensure protection and safety.

He prided himself in being a strong advocate for law enforcement officials and their families. During the 101st General Assembly, he expanded the use of Police Memorial grant dollars to include scholarships for spouses of fallen police officers. The Illinois Police Officers Memorial in Springfield bears the names of officers who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their communities, including his partner, Don Marquez.

As a proud Latino, he co-founded the Latino Caucus, which consists of members in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The caucus is dedicated to bettering the lives of Latinos by working to develop and pass legislation that has a positive impact on the lives of the over two million Latinos living in Illinois.

For the people living in the 1st Senate District, Munoz always advocated for his constituents’ needs. Over the years, Munoz hosted annual holiday drives, handing out turkeys and children’s toys. He also organized numerous fishing derbies, health and back-to-school fairs, took seniors to the White Sox stadium and led dozens of other community events.

Despite his many successes, Munoz considers his best achievement to be his family. He and his wife Patricia raised three children and have welcomed five grandchildren. Munoz’s plans include supporting the causes he is passionate about and spending more time with his family.

“It has been an honor serving as state senator to the 1st District,” Munoz said. “I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout this journey and the residents who put their trust in me for more than two decades.”