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Exercise Your Right to Vote

Chris Meyers
General Manager
Oklahoma Association of
Electric Cooperatives

In the wise words of a founding father and third U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson: “We do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”  

The words are simple but hold much truth. If we don’t vote, we not only miss the opportunity to support a candidate who shares our specific views and concerns, but we also allow others to chart a course that impacts our future. Because voting is a crucial right of every citizen, Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives encourage all of their members to take the time to vote, no matter the election. 

While high-profile presidential elections understandably draw more attention, local elections are just as important. Local elections have a direct impact on your community and on your quality of life. Like the national level, local elections represent who we are as a community, and more importantly, where we want to go. 

This also applies to elections for your local electric cooperative board. Co-ops are democratic, meaning they operate under the principle that the consumers of a co-op are its member-owners and they have a voice in the affairs of the co-op. Just as elected officials are accountable to those they represent, co-ops’ board members are accountable to the co-op membership. While day-to-day decisions are made by employees, bigger decisions are made by the board, whose mission is to look out for sound governance of the co-op and to serve and act on behalf of the members. Therefore, co-ops thrive with strong member engagement. 

A strong voter turnout shows investment in the community and ensures that a diverse number of views are represented. The whole community benefits when more people participate in the process, because greater numbers reflect a consensus on the direction of the future and the will of the people.

By voting in national, state and local elections, you are serving as a role model to those around you. The act of voting demonstrates your support for the community and helps officials chart a course for the future. Your electric cooperative encourages you to do your part: be an engaged citizen and an active player within your community. Research candidates, learn about issues that are on the ballot and get out and vote. OKL Article End

 

A Perspective of Gratitude

Brent Bacon
President
Oklahoma Association of
Electric Cooperatives

Is your cup half empty or half full? The majority of us have heard this question before, and we know the answer depends on our perspective. The month of November comes every year with the reassurance that we are to give thanks. Truthfully, we have reasons to give thanks every month of the year, and every day of that year for that matter.  

As history tells us, the journey that led to the establishment of Thanksgiving was not free of trouble. On the contrary, it was surrounded by adversity, but even with the troubles those who survived the calamities had grateful hearts.  

For a quick recap, in September of 1620, a small ship known as the Mayflower, left England carrying 102 passengers who were coming to the “New World” to seek a better life. The journey to their destination was treacherous as they faced turbulent waters, hazardous crossings, contagious diseases and brutal cold temperatures. Those who survived the long journey settled in Massachusetts as the Pilgrims; they began working to establish a village at Plymouth, but only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers lived to see their first spring in New England. In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, the governor organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of Native American friends; the feast lasted for three days. For more than two centuries later, thanksgiving was celebrated by individual colonies and states. Then in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.  

When we stop to think about the events that led to the creation of Thanksgiving, we can see that no matter the year, no matter the circumstances, and no matter the location, there will always be a reason to give thanks.  

This year has been hard for most families, communities, for our country and for the world. Everyone has been impacted in one way or another, including the people who work for your electric cooperative and the members they serve. In the midst of such a challenging year, you can be assured that your local co-op works daily to be a catalyst for good and to make a positive difference in your quality of life. This Thanksgiving, and every day, we encourage you to think of your cup being half full. May you be reminded of the many blessings you have to be grateful for. Your electric cooperative is grateful for you. OKL Article End