For years, cooperatives have been held in high esteem in the halls of government. Making up the largest utility network in our country, electric cooperative members have a voice—a loud one. As constituents, cooperative members’ votes can be a catalyst for change, which is just one reason why your co-op cares what you think. My dad, Sandy Howie, always told me, “One of the greatest strengths of any organization is the ability to change and evolve.” Working in government relations for more than 20 years has proven this to be true.
Adapting in response to our members is our goal at YEC because you matter most. I am proud to work for an organization that recognizes the need to listen and make deserving changes to improve. I’m also pleased to say that our local delegation feels the same. Party lines no longer matter when it comes to the wellbeing and prosperity of our communities because you matter to them, too. As a constituent, I appreciate the voice our area has in Columbia with the Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of Representatives and the House Majority Leader, both coming from our area. In my government relations job, I can attest that all 13 members of our delegation are responsive, engaged and work as team players for our local members. Although the titles we bring to the table are impressive, their experience, humility, willingness to serve and trustworthiness is what makes our members’ needs heard. They are all normal people, like you and me, and are dedicated to serving you. At YEC, we are thankful for their commitment, hard work and authenticity.
My dad also encouraged me to trust someone until I am given a reason to rescind that trust. Most people approach that confidence in the opposite way, especially with politicians. In my experience, Big Sandy was right. I trust our members who have voted on these capable individuals to write the laws that will carry our state into the future. I trust those representatives and senators to do what is best for our members. I trust our leadership and board of directors to bring forth the voice of our members to direct change.
It’s simple, really, because we’re all in this together and recognize helping others matters most. We maintain an open line of communication, forming genuine, trustworthy relationships. They know they can count on us and we can count on them when we need it most. Trust us. We’re working for you, we’re looking out for you and when your co-op talks, your elected officials listen.