(NASHVILLE, TENN.) — The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) today awarded the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives (IAEC) with its Paul Revere Award. NRECA recognized the statewide association for its ability to mobilize its cooperative consumer-members on behalf of the electric cooperative industry.
Iowa’s electric cooperatives have a long history of grassroots successes, but they stepped up their game during the previous presidential election. Given the Iowa caucus system and all of the events that presidential candidates attend, they galvanized their grassroots advocates to attend event after event, wearing bright green “Rural Power” shirts. Beyond that, they engaged with the candidates, asking about plans for keeping electricity affordable and reliable. The candidates quickly recognized the co-op advocates, who occasionally earned a mention in the candidates’ prepared remarks.
“Everyone knows Iowa’s system of presidential caucuses and its importance. Creatively building on that, the folks at IAEC activated their grassroots network and made a solid impression on the candidates,” said Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of NRECA. “This innovative thinking not only energized the advocates but put electric co-ops into the conversation at many events on a national stage. The effort was truly impressive and we cannot wait to see what they have planned for 2016.”
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.
More than 8,500 representatives from cooperative electric utilities across the nation are attending the NRECA Annual Meeting March 2-5, during which they will set NRECA’s legislative and organizational agenda for 2014. In addition to considering and acting upon policy resolutions, delegates receive reports from NRECA officials, hear addresses by key public figures and business experts, and attend educational forums on major issues affecting electric cooperatives and their consumer-owners.