U.S. Rep. Nikki Budzinski (D-IL) talked with, listened to and shared information among community members and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Center (ESLC) staff members during her visit Thursday, April 6 at the ESLC.
“On Thursday, I was honored to team up with the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) to host a free workshop for residents of Illinois’ 13th District on how to lower their energy costs,” said Budzinski. “This workshop was a great opportunity for members of the community to learn about and access assistance programs. The Citizens Utility Board couldn’t have been more insightful in helping answer questions from folks about their bills, finding ways to bring down costs and setting up payment plans to handle expenses.”
“Every dollar back in the pockets of our community members allows families to help make ends meet,” the congresswoman continued. “With energy rates skyrocketing across Illinois, my goal in Congress is to make sure I can provide as many resources as possible to assist families.”
“We looked at several people’s bills to try and find ways for them to save money,” said Ivonne Rychwa, CUB outreach director.
“We also handed out information on the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program, Ameren Illinois’ Energy Efficiency Programs and more” said Scott Allen of CUB.
Budzinski also met with SIUE Chancellor James T. Minor, Ph.D., and ESLC Executive Director Timothy Staples, EdD.
“This visit was a great opportunity to deepen our relationship with the SIUE community,” she shared. “The Citizens Utility Board is just one example of all the amazing organizations that SIUE is bringing to the community. I’m looking forward to working with the SIUE staff and leadership to uplift these events and share more helpful resources with the constituents in the future.”
“Chancellor Minor and I had the opportunity to share with Congresswoman Budzinski details about the various educational and community-based programs and services SIUE provides for East St. Louis and the surrounding communities,” explained Staples. “Budzinski was particularly interested in the services provided by the Head Start/Early Head Start Program. Chancellor Minor conveyed how it is possible for a student to start in the SIUE Head Start/Early Head Start Program and engage in an educational journey, from pre-school all the way to college and our various professional schools.”
“I’m always excited to visit SIUE!” said Budzinski. “For so many families and individuals, the work that SIUE does in the community really makes a difference, and I’m proud to be their elected representative in Congress.”
The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) East St. Louis Center has supported youth, adults and families in the Metro East community for more than 70 years. The Center is located on the Wyvetter H. Younge Higher Education Campus, which is part of the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB).