It is important to stay up to date with legislative changes that may affect the operations and success of your co-op. Let’s explore a few resources and tips to ensure you are ready to inform your members of important legislative updates.
1. Stay Engaged and Create a Network
Co-ops thrive off the support of their members and a network of other co-ops or co-op supporting organizations. Getting involved with similar co-ops in your region can allow for meaningful insights, updates, and conversations about the state of co-ops around you. It is also important to connect to a larger network of support such as the National Cooperative Business Association or the International Cooperative Alliance. It may also be useful to connect with a co-operative organization representing your particular interest area such as the World Council of Credit Unions, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, or the National Co-op Grocers. National co-op organizations can also be a resource for staying informed about upcoming or recent policy changes that may affect your co-op. Subscribe to their newsletters or government updates and maintain advocacy relationships within your network.
Cooperatives can be affected by various types of legislation and policy: from tax policy to economic policy and from rural development to international development. Cooperative leaders and members should know what type of legislation to keep an eye on for the success of their cooperatives. Stay updated with legislative priorities through connecting with national organizations such as NCBA CLUSA. If you are interested in tracking specific pieces of federal legislation and watching their progress once they are introduced to Congress, you can use GovTrack.us. And don’t forget about your own state! Check your state’s legislative website to stay informed on state legislation.
3. Know your Leaders
Be an advocate on behalf of your co-op. Use your network to meet with state representatives, district leaders, state senators, congress, governmental departments, industry leaders, and other organizations to make your co-op’s voice heard. Be an advocate, whether at your town hall or in the halls of the U.S. Capitol. The success of your co-op relies on you.