On July 2, 1776, members of the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence from Great Britain and King George III. Two days later, through the reading and adoption of the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, Independence Day was born.
Each year on the Fourth of July, we celebrate our nation’s heritage and reflect on the power of democracy. A strong democracy is built on participation, cooperation and the belief that every vote counts. The principles that guide our nation also direct electric cooperatives including us here at Salt River Electric. As a matter of fact, cooperatives are founded on seven guiding principles that make us different than other business models. These principles help unite us with common goals, just as the Declaration of Independence did for the colonies 246 years ago. Among them is the declaration that cooperatives are autonomous and independent. Sure, that sounds good, but what exactly does that mean? Well, when you sign up for service from Salt River, you also became a member and an owner of this cooperative. Our cooperative is independently controlled by those it serves, and not by investors or shareholders who seek profit.
Another cooperative principle states that we are a democratic organization. Every member of Salt River Electric has the right to vote for their district’s director, who is charged with representing members’ thoughts on the cooperative’s board. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a member or how much energy you consume; you have an equal vote in board elections. Like you, these board members live in our service area, are owners and members themselves, and receive their electricity from Salt River. This connection between our directors, our communities and our cooperative helps them make decisions that are in the best interests of all members.
This Independence Day, I hope you’ll join me in celebrating our cooperative difference and the democratic process that makes both our country and our cooperative strong