Grassroots activism is also about building relationships. Relationships with legislators and their staff are instrumental when dealing with the legislative process. However, having a good relationship with your member-owners in your own community is critical to your cooperative’s overall success.
In the context of the electric co-op program, "Grassroots" is a powerful word. In fact, the historical success of the electric co-ops can be largely credited to that single word.
Grassroots has an electric co-op definition, one that reflects its importance in the industry. "Grassroots" refers to electric cooperative activists--directors, managers, employees and member-owners--who take an active role in the political process to protect their co-op from harmful legislation and regulation, as well as to promote the value of co-op ownership to their legislators.
Grassroots involvement can mean communicating with local, state and federal legislators on issues affecting electric cooperatives. It also can mean efforts by co-op supporters through the Action Committee for Rural Electrification® (ACRE®) to help candidates who want to protect electric co-ops and their mission.
Electric co-ops have cultivated a reputation on Capitol Hill as a “grassroots” organization. Legislators know that electric co-op member-owners actively get involved by writing, calling and emailing their legislators to have their voice heard in the political process. Grassroots advocates speaking with the same voice makes a difference on Capitol Hill.
Grassroots—the unified efforts and voices of the nation’s electric co-op supporters—has proven to be the foundation of the industry’s 75 years of success in serving electric co-ops, their owners and their communities.
Grassroots Skill Building
In order to be an effective grassroots activist, one needs to be informed of the issues and familiar with the legislative process. Our Grassroots Workshops are designed to increase your understanding of key issues and how to best participate in the legislative process. Earn Board Leadership Credits (BLC) and learn about the issues important to electric co-ops. To learn more about our current offerings please visit
Director Certificate Programs page.
For more information, please contact Patrick Ahearn, Director Political Affairs,