Why Politics Matter to Cooperatives and How You Can Help

Posted on Nov 28 2021 in Features
Indiana Statehouse

For most people, their electricity provider is just the company that keeps the lights on. But an electric cooperative’s relationship with its consumer-owners is different. Since the 1930s when Indiana’s electric cooperatives were formed, they’ve thrived because of the political engagement between their consumer-owners and local, state and federal governments. 

Indiana’s electric cooperatives advocate for rural Hoosiers like you on the state and federal levels so they can continue providing safe, reliable and affordable energy — and maintain the quality of life in rural communities. But electric cooperatives need your help in the process, too. Indiana’s electric cooperatives thrive when their consumer-owners stay politically engaged and advocate for policies that help cooperatives best serve their consumers.

How can you do this? It all starts with grassroots activism. In the context of the electric cooperative program, “grassroots” is a powerful word. In fact, the historical success of the electric cooperatives can be credited to grassroots activism.

The electric cooperative definition of “grassroots” is “electric cooperative activists — directors, managers, employees and consumer-owners — who take an active role in the political process to protect their cooperative from harmful legislation and regulation, as well as to promote the value of cooperative ownership to their legislators.” 

Grassroots involvement means communicating with your local, state and federal legislators on issues affecting electric cooperatives.

Grassroots — the unified efforts and voices of the nation’s electric co-op supporters — has proven to be the foundation of the industry’s 85 years of success in serving electric co-ops, their owners and their communities.