Stay engaged by making your voice heard

Chris Meyers
General Manager
Oklahoma Association of
Electric Cooperatives

 

In a few weeks, we will welcome a new year and new faces to our federal, state and local government offices. Last month, Oklahoma had a record in voter turnout for a non-presidential election. According to the Oklahoma State Election Board, voter turnout was at nearly 56 percent, the highest since 1982. Eight counties had greater than 60 percent turnout; they were: Major, Roger Mills, Alfalfa, Kingfisher, Noble, Wagoner, Harper and Dewey counties. While turnout on average was 14.26 percent higher across all counties compared to the 2014 general election, there were 13 counties that experienced less than 50 percent voter turnout. 

Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives serve consumer-members in each of Oklahoma’s 77 counties. We believe in the importance of voter engagement and participation. Both from a federal and state perspective, it is critical that lawmakers work to promote quality of life in rural communities. Equally important is the fact that rural voters need to make their voices heard. No matter their party affiliation, electric cooperatives urge rural residents to be active voters and engaged citizens. To this end, America’s electric cooperatives established a non-partisan project, Co-ops Vote. This voting initiative was designed to inform co-op members about key issues facing electric co-ops and encourage them to vote and support their co-ops and local communities when they go to the polls.  

In last month’s general election, voters in Canadian, Cleveland, Oklahoma, Rogers and Tulsa counties made up nearly 52 percent of the entire statewide vote. While we are pleased to see a high turnout in these more densely populated urban areas, we also understand that each of the 77 counties—from the most urban to the most rural—would benefit from having the highest voter engagement in every election. 

Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives will continue to interact with elected officials and urge them to work on behalf of rural communities. Regardless of party affiliation, we welcome our new leaders and will engage with them to continue our mission of delivering safe, affordable and reliable electricity to our members. As we approach a new year, I encourage you to stay engaged. Learn more at www.vote.coop

 

Christmas: a season of giving

Larry Hicks
President
Oklahoma Association of
Electric Cooperatives

 

The true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of God’s greatest gift to mankind: the birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus provided us with the example of how to live and how to treat others. His death on the cross, shedding His blood for the atonement of our sins, was the greatest gift ever given. This is the foundation that inspires people to give of themselves to help others.

Jesus gave us a commandment in the book of John 13:34: that you “love one another; as I have loved you.” The Colossians 3:12-17 Bible passage lists the Christian virtues and verse 14 states that love is the bond that binds all virtues together in harmony and unity. 

  Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives are united in the same purpose of helping and serving our communities in many different ways. Co-op employees throughout the state work together under good management to provide a great service to our members. This service, at times, can be taken for granted until the power goes off and we experience a temporary loss of electricity.                                                                

Co-op employees are our neighbors; they reside in our communities and help in our schools, churches and local boards. Some co-op employees even take their skills and trade to help others in foreign countries. They leave the luxuries of their homes to bring the gift of electricity to others for the first time. We’re grateful for their service and also for their families who support them on this mission. You can learn more about this special service opportunity on Page 10 of this edition.