OPALCO supports housing measure | Letters

The OPALCO Board of Directors unanimously supports the YES FOR HOMES measure on this November’s ballot. The lack of affordable housing effects OPALCO’s ability to hire and retain a qualified workforce to keep our islands’ power system up and running. We’ve seen candidates for open positions drop out and employees leave due to the scarcity and high cost of housing in the San Juans.

OPALCO employs 50 islanders and pays a good living wage. Even so, the current housing market presents a barrier to the next generation of co-op staff we will depend on to keep the lights on. We want our co-op employees to stay for their whole careers if they want to; be able to raise a family and have a good quality of life. Housing is the foundation of this quality of life and we must act, as a community, to solve this crisis.

In OPALCO’s recent survey of low-income households, 1,500 of our co-op members identified housing as their highest cost issue and greatest barrier to financial stability. Caring for our community is a commitment we make as a co-op business and we pledge to do all we can to help solve this problem for our membership. Voting YES FOR HOMES in November is a good start.

Vote YES FOR HOMESto support the people who keep the lights on – and to support all those who make our communities bright by building their businesses and lives in this beautiful place we call home.

Foster Hildreth

General Manager, Orcas Power & Light Cooperative