It’s August, and in the Nation’s Capital, that means it’s time for Congress to take its traditional “summer recess.” The concept of recess is foreign to us as REALTORS®. We rarely take a break — not from our businesses and not from our advocacy work. Summer recess represents an important opportunity for REALTORS® to learn about important issues and directly engage with Members of Congress.
If REALTORS® share a single belief, it’s in the value and virtue of real estate ownership. Our Code of Ethics starts, “Under all is the land.” But just as the land is below us, the sky is above us. The sky’s the limit for our association’s greatness. It’s when we take ownership of our association that things start to happen. Ownership is not just an action; it’s an attitude, a guiding principle.
This year, we’ve encouraged you to Own It. That means not just “going with the flow” or leaving our future to others, but rather actively engaging and taking action. We saw this in the more than 129,000 REALTORS®, or 15% of our members, who participated in the National Flood Insurance Call for Action.
Flood Insurance was only the beginning. Each of us should start by looking around and identifying needs or areas for improvement in their own backyard. Perhaps it’s helping to turn an under-used public space into a vibrant one; electing a REALTOR® Champion to public office; or educating your colleagues and clients on an important ballot initiative or how RPAC protects their businesses. Understand why homeowners with short sales in 2018 and beyond are vulnerable to paying tax on forgiven mortgage debt if Congress does not yet extended the mortgage debt forgiveness exclusion. Learn what the introduction of the 21st Century Internet Act means to our industry. Read about other important issues in the August Legislative Update.
Elected officials look to us as the experts on issues that impact the real estate industry and private property rights. And remember, we aren’t just business persons. We are community activists who truly care about the neighborhoods in which we live and do business.
Thank you for all you do.