A proven leader and an experienced public servant
Rep. Nikki Budzinski is a proven leader and an experienced public servant who serves in Congress to build on her life’s work of improving the lives of workers. Born in Peoria, Illinois, Rep. Budzinski is the granddaughter of a union painter and a public school teacher. She attended the University of Illinois Champaign and was inspired to pursue a career in public service after interning with former Congressman Dick Gephardt, former Sen. Paul Simon, and Planned Parenthood. She has worked to protect firefighters’ rights with the IAFF and has fought for grocery workers and meatpackers with the UFCW. As Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s senior advisor on labor issues, she successfully led the charge to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by bringing workers, small businesses, and elected officials to the negotiating table. Most recently, she served as chief of staff for President Biden’s Office of Management and Budget, and helped implement the American Rescue Plan and helped get the Made in America Office off the ground. She is proud to serve on the House Agriculture Committee and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
A champion for Illinois working families
Rep. Budzinski is dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for all. “I’m a Trade Unionist who came to Congress because too many Americans work hard every single day and still find themselves struggling to make ends meet,” she said in her first speech on the House floor, “and I’m here to work across the aisle on common sense solutions for working families in the Heartland.” Rep. Budzinski is fighting for affordable college and job training, affordable child care, and to help create the good-paying middle-class jobs that make it possible for Downstate Illinois families and communities to thrive. “I believe that health care is a right, not a privilege,“ she has said, and she is committed to expanding access to care and putting people first. Rep. Budzinski is a staunch defender of reproductive freedom, fighting back against abortion bans. “I’ll always stand up for a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions without interference from the government,” she has said.
A must-win reelection fight
As a first time candidate, Rep. Budzinski ran for Illinois’ newly redrawn 13th Congressional District in 2022 and won. She worked hard to flip what had been a longtime Republican stronghold, and now she must defend this seat in a high-stakes fight as the GOP does everything in their power to tighten their grip on their new and narrow House majority. It’s time to show Rep. Budzinski the full support of the EMILYs List community once again and help keep this champion for Downstate Illinois women and families in Congress.