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Fifty-six years ago, NRECA established the Action Committee for Rural Electrification® (ACRE®) to support political candidates who recognize the vital role of electric cooperatives in their local communities. And for almost six decades, ACRE has done just that.
Today, nearly 35,000 donors contribute to our political action committee (PAC), and it continues to support political candidates who support issues important to electric co-ops.
However, to stay relevant in today’s political environment, it’s important that candidates who receive our PAC contributions understand the connection between the PAC and the electric cooperative network.
With that in mind, we recently engaged a firm to conduct research to see whether electric co-ops are getting full recognition for our collective efforts. In that research and in discussions with individuals associated with federal politics and PAC donors, we found that many of today’s political candidates don’t connect ACRE with electric co-ops.
As a result, NRECA is unveiling a new name for our PAC: America’s Electric Cooperatives PAC.
This rebranding will enable us to directly connect the activities of the PAC under the well-known and highly respected identity of electric co-ops.
It’s a logical step in our efforts to align NRECA’s advocacy resources, including the Voices for Cooperative Power grassroots network, under a common and recognizable brand that enhances our reputation. This cohesive strategy featuring the collective strength of electric co-ops is purposefully designed to elevate our impact in Washington. And we continue to see evidence that this approach is working well.
The PAC allows NRECA to financially support candidates through personal dollars raised from co-op leaders and consumer-members. We want to ensure that candidates who become policymakers will connect our PAC with electric co-ops.
We’ve shared this exciting news with leaders at our member co-ops, and the feedback we’ve received from them has been overwhelmingly positive. We began to manage America’s Electric Cooperatives PAC under that name after a broader unveiling this month at NRECA PowerXchange.
The PAC is just one tool in our advocacy toolbox. We also have a robust Voices for Cooperative Power grassroots advocacy program with thousands of electric co-op employee and consumer-member participants, and a grasstops influencer program that can tap into thousands of cooperative CEOs and directors. Those are complemented by skilled legislative and regulatory advocacy teams at NRECA.
Through these efforts, candidates and elected officials trust us at a time when trust is a scarce commodity in Washington. They know electric co-ops are invested and engaged in the communities you serve. And with this rebranding of our collective advocacy, our reputation in Washington will be enhanced for years to come.