Voices for Cooperative Power

Josh Kramer

I have a request for everyone who reads this month’s editorial: Please visit the Voices for Cooperative Power website, www.voicesforcooperativepower.com, and sign up today.

Why, you ask?

Like North Dakota Living provides your cooperative with a platform to inform, Voices for Cooperative Power gives you a platform to share the many ways your electric cooperative supports your community. It is a network of electric co-op members working together to influence elected officials who are making energy policy decisions that impact our co-ops and our rural way of life.

America’s energy system is going through a fundamental transformation – and much of the focus is on large utilities in urban areas. Our electric cooperatives are fundamentally different.

Today, less than 20% of our nation’s population resides in rural areas. Rural people are a minority. This means when essential policies impact rural quality of life and electric cooperatives, not only must all rural people be engaged, but we must enlist our urban counterparts to be advocates, too, for these issues impact our collective future. Now more than ever, we need to make our voices heard in conversations about energy policies that impact our cooperatives and the communities we call home.

As an organization representing electric cooperatives, it is our job at the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives to advocate on behalf of these cooperatives on issues concerning electricity and rural quality of life. We fulfill our mission by building coalitions, providing education, visiting with decisionmakers and communicating the important interests of those we represent.

Your perspectives deserve to be heard. Never assume your involvement in advocating for our rural way of life isn’t important. It matters. It makes a difference – especially when done collectively, joined with other cooperative voices from across the nation.  United behind common priority issue areas, together we can amplify the voices of electric co-op members across the country.

Speaking on issues that impact electric co-ops sends a message to decisionmakers about the needs of our communities – and their constituencies. Beyond delivering electricity, cooperatives provide jobs, stability and economic growth, while ensuring energy affordability and reliability remain foundational advantages of electric co-op membership.

Access to reliable, affordable and responsible power is the foundation for economic opportunity, and co-op members know best how to serve local communities.

Your voice can make a difference.

Visit www.voicesforcooperativepower.com, join the conversation and sign up to be one of the Voices for Cooperative Power.

Josh Kramer, editor-in-chief of North Dakota Living, is executive vice president and general manager of NDAREC. Contact him at jkramer@ndarec.com.