Democracy in Electricity: Connexus Elections on March 20th
Do you get your electricity from Connexus Energy? If you do you have an important voice in the future of our energy system. Connexus Energy is an electric cooperative, which means that your utility is democratically owned and governed by its customers. Electric cooperatives, which cover over 56% of the U.S.’s landmass, were created as a part of the New Deal in the 1930’s to bring electricity to rural communities.
However, since their creation co-ops have lost touch with their democratic roots. Today 55% of member owners don’t realize they have a vote in their co-op and average voter turnouts in co-op elections are below 10%.
Connexus Energy is Minnesota’s largest electric cooperative and the second largest in the country. Connexus has 133,000 member-owners. It serves the north metro area and stretches from the Wisconsin border to St. Cloud. By design, It’s members own and democratically govern Connexus Energy.
With the right leadership in place, Connexus could set the example for all of the other 43 rural electric cooperatives in Minnesota to follow - leading on clean energy, innovation, and building a carbon-free Minnesota.
Connexus Energy is poised to elect three progressive candidates in this year's annual election.
The candidates, who are supported by the member-owner advocacy group, Connecting Us, are running on a platform of cooperative democracy (democratic member control), clean energy and grid innovation, and good governance, transparency, and accountability.
Voter turnout in Connexus elections is shamefully low. Less than 7% of Connexus’ member-owners turn out to vote. The co-op has done little to educate members on what it means to be a member-owner and how to get involved.
The Goal of the Connecting Us Campaign is to increase total voter turnout this year by 3000 votes, educate members about its slate of candidates, and WIN.
Can you help us change the face of leadership at Connexus Energy?
Ballots will be mailed on March 20th. Members can vote for three different candidates by mail, online, or by going to the Annual Meeting on April 10.