Great Lakes Energy (GLE) is now the fifth Michigan electric co-op to offer the ACRE Co-op Owners for Political Action® program to its members. Other co-ops that currently offer ACRE involvement are Cherryland, HomeWorks Tri-County, Thumb and Midwest Energy.

“The ACRE Co-op Owners for Political Action program is an exciting opportunity for you to raise your voice and participate in the political process,” Great Lakes CEO Steve Boeckman told members in his manager’s column in the September issue of Michigan Country Lines. “Near the end of my first year [in the ’90s] at Great Lakes Energy, I was asked to do something I’d never done before and frankly, I was taken aback,” he added, “I was asked to consider joining a political action group, but I soon learned that this PAC was different than the norm.”

Boeckman said he has contributed every year since then, and notes that GLE board members and employees who are members or have managerial responsibility also contribute. “In 2015, our employees and board members voluntarily contributed $9,950 to ACRE. In fact, 100 percent of GLE’s directors contributed to ACRE this year.”

Boeckman also explained to GLE members that by joining ACRE, they will be uniting with over 30,000 ACRE members nationwide who form a strong grassroots network dedicated to the long-term success of the electric co-op program.

“We hope that you will consider this program,” he said. “Together we will continue to fight for a viable environment for electric cooperatives and the quality of life of the people and communities that cooperatives serve.”

Besides information in Country Lines, the co-op inserted an ACRE enrollment card in the September bills sent to residential and seasonal members.

ACRE supports Congressional candidates who understand and support electric co-ops and their members. In particular, ACRE contributions to legislators have helped keep the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) in existence – which is vital to the continuation of low-interest financing for rural utilities – and strengthens legislative support for many other programs important to electric co-ops. Plus, nearly 50 percent of all these contributions come back to Michigan to be used for support of local candidates and legislators.