The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/LAF (FSC) seeks a qualified individual as lead organizer for a campaign to bring member democracy to rural electric cooperatives in the South, beginning in Alabama and Mississippi, and starting with the Black Warrior Electric Membership Corporation in west-central Alabama.


The campaign seeks to increase and improve membership participation and diversity in rural electric cooperatives, in accordance with the principles of cooperative governance, by:

  • Educating members about their rights as owners of a rural electric cooperative (REC);
  • understanding the operations and finances of REC’s and the relation of these issues to member’s electricity rates; the energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy programs available to RECs and their members; and ways REC’s could support sustainable development initiatives in the communities they serve;
  • Organizing members to exercise their rights as owners and to hold the management and board of their cooperatives accountable to the membership;
  • Identifying REC members and others in the community interested in taking a leadership position in the REC Democracy Campaign and supporting them in their reform efforts.

The Democracy Campaign Organizer will build support for the campaign, beginning with work among Black Warrior EMC’s membership and in the communities it serves through: grassroots organizing; use of electronic communications, social media and other media; in-person canvassing and outreach at meetings and public events. The organizer will work in other designated REC communities in Alabama and Mississippi to develop and generate a similar process.

The Democracy Campaign Organizer will work under the direction of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives and will provide strategic direction, implementation and coordination of campaign activities in conjunction with FSC staff, community stakeholders, regional and national networks and organizations.

General Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Targeted outreach to, organizing and mobilization of REC members, beginning with Black Warrior EMC members as well as grassroots outreach and organizing in the west Alabama communities served by Black Warrior EMC.
  • Mobilization efforts will include door-to-door canvassing, setting up house meetings, convening larger community meetings, print and electronic communications, web-based and social media initiatives (i.e. YouTube videos, website development, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and creation of databases to facilitate outreach and communication with members in specific service districts of Black Warrior EMC territory.
  • Developing and implementing the Campaign’s education and communications strategy for EMC members, community stakeholders, and target audiences.
  • Working with regional and national allies to develop popular education materials for members of Black Warrior EMC and the communities it serves regarding RECs, co-op governance and accountability, energy efficiency and renewable energy,
  • Planning, convening and participating in outreach events, such as community meetings, to educate members and other stakeholders about the Rural Electric Cooperative Democracy Campaign.
  • Responding to email, website inquiries and phone calls generated by the communications efforts.
  • Working from the Federation’s Rural Training and Research Center as a base and coordinating the campaign with other work and staff of the Federation and its member cooperatives to accomplish the goals and objectives of the campaign.
  • Undertaking work and assignments, as specified by the Federation that will enhance the accomplishment of the goals and objectives of the campaign.

Candidates must be committed to working for empowerment of Rural Electric Cooperative members, democratic governance and accountability at Rural Electric Cooperatives, and adoption of energy efficiency and clean energy alternatives in Alabama.

Candidates must have:

  • Excellent people skills; an ability to work with a wide variety of stakeholders, from community residents to local government officials, clergy, the business community, other key stakeholders and allied organizations, showing respect for all parties.
  • Excellent communications skills, including ability to listen, to interact with and relate to diverse groups of people, respect differences and incorporate new learning into the work.
  • Experience working in rural, low-income communities of color.
  • Ability to work independently on multiple tasks and adhere to Campaign deadlines.
  • Demonstrated ability to anticipate problems and solve them proactively.
  • Proficiency with word processing, databases, Internet, and presentation software including PowerPoint.
  • Commitment to social justice, as evidenced by previous work and involvement.

Candidates should have a basic knowledge of organizing and campaigning techniques and general knowledge of the political structure of local and county government in the rural service territory.

Knowledge of rural electric cooperatives, the electric utility industry, energy efficiency and renewable energy programs is desired but not required.

This position will be based at the Federation’s Rural Training and Research Center in Epes, Alabama.

Salary will range from $30,000 to $36,000 based on knowledge and experience.

This is a full time position, which requires at least 40 hours per week, including some work in the evenings and weekends. The Federation’s fringe benefits package includes Social Security, Unemployment, Workmen’s Compensation, Health, Life and Hospitalization insurance, and other benefits.

Please send letter and resume to:

John Zippert
Federation of Southern Cooperatives
P. O. Box 95
Epes, AL 35460
[email protected]

The deadline for applications is July 24, 2015.

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