SPRINGFIELD – More than 200 students from the downstate Illinois traveled to Springfield on Wednesday, April 2nd, for the Illinois Electric and Telephone Cooperatives Youth Day.
With rural areas losing population, fewer legislators are serving downstate. The need for citizens to take active roles in making sure their legislators are aware of rural issues is of critical importance.
“Elected officials enjoy the opportunity to meet with students and learn first-hand their concerns. Many issues debated in the General Assembly personally affect their lives,” said Duane Noland, President and CEO of the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives (AIEC).
Sen. Andy Manar, Rep. Adam Brown and Rep. Wayne Rosenthal met with 15 students representing Shelby Electric Cooperative (SEC) during the Illinois Electric and Telephone Cooperatives Youth Day on Wednesday, April 2 in Springfield. All the students on the trip had an opportunity to visit the State Capitol, view state government in action and question their legislators on key issues. They also were invited into the office of Secretary of State Jesse White. During breakfast, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon addressed students and chaperones and challenged them to take an interest in the political process and encouraged them to talk to their state senators and representatives about issues that interest them. While in Springfield, the students also visited the Illinois State Museum, Old State Capitol and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.
Following the full day of activities Morgan Partlow and Ryan Stenger were selected to represent SEC during the Youth to Washington Tour this June 13th through 20th. Alternates chosen were Jessica Watson and Allison Maretti.
The day was sponsored by the AIEC and is designed to introduce young rural leaders to state government. There were 24 co-ops from across the state represented at the event.
Shelby Electric Cooperative is a member of Touchstone Energy — an alliance of 750 local, consumer-owned electric utilities around the country. Shelby Electric is committed to providing superior service based on four core principles: integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community. The co-op serves more than 9,971 meters over 2,187 miles of line in parts of Christian, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Macon, Montgomery, Moultrie, Sangamon and Shelby counties. For more information visit www.shelbyelectric.coop. Like the cooperative on Facebook, facebook.com/YourCoop or search Shelby Electric Cooperative.