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WHEREAS, electric cooperatives were formed during the 1930s and 1940s in hundreds of communities across the United States, by rural citizens who joined together to provide themselves with electric service that their urban neighbors had enjoyed for decades, thereby making farm life more comfortable and efficient, and ultimately enabling American farmers to feed the world; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia REA Association was incorporated on July 7, 1944, by more than a dozen member-owned electric cooperatives in this Commonwealth, to empower themselves and enable them to work together more effectively in advocating for cooperative members before the General Assembly, training cooperative line workers, providing continuing education for cooperative engineers and other professionals, and communicating regularly with cooperative members through an excellent periodical, today titled Cooperative Living magazine; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia REA Association was later joined by electric cooperatives from neighboring states, ultimately becoming the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives; and
WHEREAS, this three-state association has worked tirelessly and effectively for 75 years to provide high-quality services to its 15-member electric cooperatives, adding over the years to its original portfolio such additional services as facilitating mutual aid and recovery following natural disasters; providing regulatory and legal support; and coordinating what is today one of the largest regional line worker rodeos in the nation, thereby burnishing its reputation as an excellent example of the Seven Cooperative Principles, in particular the principle advocating Cooperation Among Cooperatives; and
WHEREAS, in the process of providing these crucial services for many decades, the association has been and remains an important partner to the member systems it serves, in making possible reliable, affordable, environmentally sensitive, and safely-delivered electricity that benefits 1.4 million Virginians and a total of 1.75 million citizens in the three states;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize July 29, 2019, as the 75th ANNIVERSARY OF THE VIRGINIA, MARYLAND & DELAWARE ASSOCIATION OF ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.