Electric cooperatives have an important story to tell, which is exactly what they did in Cleveland and Philadelphia.
Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., (left) discussed energy and other issues with NRECA’s Kirk Johnson. (Photo By: NRECA)
“Our goal has been simple—to make more officials, regardless of their political stripes, aware of the consumer-owned, not-for-profit cooperative business model and the issues we face,” said Kirk Johnson, NRECA senior vice president of government relations.
“We have a lot riding on how Washington and states develop rules, regulations and legislation that impacts our members. Being engaged politically is among the most important things we do on behalf of the family or business at the end of the line,” said Johnson, who attended the Democratic National Convention.
Both there and at the Republican National Convention the week before, NRECA Board members, executives and staffers engaged lawmakers and other officials—including some who could have roles in the next administration.
“I had great conversations with leaders and elected officials ranging from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, to Senators Tom Udall and Mark Warner, to Representatives Tony Cardenas and Gerry Connolly, to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper,” said Johnson.
He noted that if Hillary Clinton wins, Hickenlooper is a potential energy or interior secretary, while Vilsack could become chief of staff.
View photo galleries of the Democratic and Republican conventions 
Johnson said one of the highlights at the DNC came when Curtis Wynn, NRECA secretary-treasurer, spoke at the Global Oval event  about NRECA International’s work.
“I saw a lot of the audience sit up and take notice as Curtis described how we have brought power to 140 million people worldwide,” said Johnson.
As the White House race moves on, Johnson said more leaders are now aware of NRECA and its more than 900 member co-ops.
“We were in Philly and Cleveland to make sure that the next administration and the next Congress know electric co-ops are in the quality of life business, not just the electric business, and have the best interests of our communities and our country at heart,” Johnson said. “The good news is people listened to us.”
Originally posted by www.ect.coop