The July issue of REC’s Cooperative Living magazine has arrived in REC members’ mailboxes, and with it, on the outside cover, is the proxy form that is used each year to vote for REC’s board of directors. This year’s election involves board seats for REC regions 2, 3, and 8.
An important reminder about board elections: All REC members, regardless of where they live, are permitted to vote for candidates in all regions. So don’t throw away your proxy form. And please don’t send in a signed but blank proxy, because that blank proxy will allow the REC board to cast your vote for you. If we’re going to reform REC, we need to put voting control back where it belongs–in the hands of REC members.
The incumbent board members in Regions 2 and 3 are running unopposed. REC members, therefore, have the choice of voting for the incumbent or voting to abstain. The two of us will be voting to abstain. Two weeks ago, REC’s board refused to engage in dialogue about our modest, simple reforms. Moreover, the board recently sought to block REC members from having a chance to vote on these reforms.
In Region 8 the incumbent board member (who’s been on the board for 37 years) has two challengers. As happens every year, REC again provided so little information about the candidates that it’s impossible to know candidates’ views on important issues facing the co-op.
You can read more about this in our detailed memo describing democracy and transparency problems at REC. As the memo explains, other electric co-ops provide much more information about board candidates, to allow co-op members to participate meaningfully in democratic elections by casting informed votes.
We’re reaching out to all three candidates to give them an opportunity to give us their views on our proposed reforms and other issues at REC. We’ll pass this information along as soon as we receive it. Let’s see what they have to say. This is the kind of service our co-op ought to be providing for us. Since it won’t, we will.
Mailed-in proxy forms must be received by REC by August 10th. So we’re going to wait and vote after we hear from the three candidates, and we urge you to do so as well.
One more thing. Regardless of whom you choose to vote for, or whether you choose to abstain rather than vote for a candidate, you can protest REC’s un-transparent and anti-democratic policies by doing what we’re planning to do–write the words “democracy” and “transparency” on your signed proxy form before mailing it. (Be sure to write them in a way that doesn’t obscure important parts of the form. There’s ample white space next to where your name is printed on the proxy card just under the words “Return to be Entered to Win One of Six Prizes.”)
This will send a message to REC’s board that co-op members are tired of an election process that keeps members in the dark about board candidates’ positions on important issues.
If you have any questions or want to discuss how REC’s board manipulates the board election process to control the outcome, please write to us at email@example.com.