Success Journal: What's in a Name?
This year the traditional REALTOR® legislative meetings are being held, as usual, in May in Washington, D.C. But we now have a new name to recognize this conference by: the REALTOR® Party Convention. The name change points to the momentum that has been building through RPAC and the impact that we REALTORS®, as a body of more than a million members, have through our lobby on the Hill.
We are a nonpartisan body of the electorate supporting politicians who work hard every day on legislation that protects the American dream of home ownership. According to the REALTOR® Party Action Center, "During the last federal election cycle alone, RPAC contributed more than $12 million to pro-REALTOR® candidates to Congress, making it the number one trade association political action committee in the nation."
Our members are strong participants in the RPAC mission. As of March 31, almost 47 percent of our members have invested in RPAC. Two hundred and seventy nine members are major investors (Platinum, Golden, Crystal and Sterling R's), and 202 are members of the President’s Circle, which represents more than 25 percent of the entire President’s Circle program.
As professionals, we need to understand the importance that RPAC plays in protecting not only home ownership but also our careers. Recent accomplishments include reauthorization of the Flood Insurance Program for another five years, extension of mortgage cancellation relief and reinstatement of VA loan limits. The legislative priorities they are working on include Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae reform, appraisal/mortgage reform and affordable property insurance for natural disasters, to name a few.
Women’s Council California State President Heather Ozur states, "As a leader in Women's Council and the real estate community, your involvement in RPAC enables you, both as a leader and a REALTOR®, to support the candidates that understand and also support the issues that are important to your real estate profession and livelihood."
The fact that it is nonpartisan is why I have been a strong supporter of the RPAC. I believe that even more of our members should make the commitment to be part of the efforts that RPAC is making on behalf of our clients and our businesses.
Longtime member and leader Pat Ohmberger from Lincoln, NE, says "I have enjoyed being a REALTOR® for over 22 years. I decided that I could not support every candidate or have time to lobby every lawmaker or have the knowledge to read every bill to determine if it is good or bad for our business. So I have invested in RPAC to support, lobby and read to protect this wonderful thing we call the American Dream. My Voice is being heard!"
I truly believe that we have the responsibility to participate in the vehicles that support and protect our profession – and I ask that if you have not contributed to RPAC, that you consider doing so this year. If you are a contributor, please consider strengthening your commitment at a higher level. Let's allow our influence to be measurable.
Jo Kenney, ABR, CRS, GRI, PMN, SRES
Keller Williams Realty Metro Atlanta
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