Legislative advocacy means taking an active role in ensuring that the interests of our cooperative and the members we serve are represented in legislation and regulation. Through our collective efforts, cooperatives nationwide have championed the electric cooperative business model and helped keep the lights on for over 39 million member-owners.
Legislative advocacy begins with you, the member-owner. We call your participation in your cooperative’s annual meeting and director elections “grassroots” activism—because you are advocating for change at the local level, at the “root” of the organization.
Through grassroots activism, your cooperative has been able to ensure reliable electric service at competitive costs, protect the environment and the health and safety of electricity consumers, advance diversity and equity in the electric utility industry, promote competition in the wholesale electricity marketplace to benefit consumers and safeguard the ability of communities to provide needed infrastructure services.
There are two equally important parts of grassroots advocacy – education and communication. This “Legislative Update” section of PSREC.coop provides educational information on important issues affecting you, the member-owner, and your cooperative, both at state and national levels.
Communication is the other key component of advocacy. Calling or sending your member of Congress an e-mail or letter on an important issue affecting your cooperative is a great way to keep your legislators informed.
One of our partners, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, has set up a website where you can do this easily: www.ourenergy.coop.
Here are a few helpful tips to remember when calling your representatives:
- Make sure to state you are a constituent and where you live.
- Make sure your main points are conveyed simply and clearly.
- Be a resource: give them background about how this issue will affect you locally. This is what you are an expert on!
- Ask for their support on this issue and offer to follow up with them if they have questions.
PSREC monitors and is affected by legislation on emissions reductions, resource adequacy, energy efficiency, renewable energy and power source disclosures.