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GADFly Newsletter – May 2020

In This Issue…


Dates & Deadlines

May 29 Webinar: What Will It Look Like? Tips to Help You Reopen Your Association
Please join us Friday, May 29 at 12:00 ET for the next in the AEI Year-Round Webinar Sessions, “What Will It Look Like? Tips to Help You Reopen Your Association.” As the country slowly begins to reopen, what should you consider in your association reopening plan to ensure the well-being of your staff and your members? Join us to confirm that your reopening checklist is complete and you’re ready to slowly and safely resume working in your office environment. Register here.
Facilitator: John Sebree, RCE, CEO, Missouri REALTORS®; Panelists: Katie Johnson, General Counsel and Chief Member Experience Officer, NAR; Donna Garcia, RCE, SPHR, Director, Compensation, Benefits, and Strategic Association Management, NAR; Steve Francks, RCE, CEO, Washington REALTORS®; Lauren Hansen, CEO, IRES MLS, Loveland, CO

June 1 Deadline: Take the State Issues Tracker Survey
NAR needs your feedback by June 1 on our advocacy resources. Take the quick survey online.

June 2 Webinar: Housing Need in Rural America
As part of the Rural Outreach Initiative program, Community Outreach will conduct a webinar on Tuesday, June 2, 2:00 PM ET about the challenges and opportunities of housing in rural areas with a focus on affordability, lack of funding to build new units; zoning that restricts housing supply; limited access to credit; a dearth of rental options; and now impact of COVID-19.  Expert speakers include staff from the Housing Assistance Council, NAR SMEs and two local Realtor® Associations. For more information and to register for the webinar, contact Holly Moskerintz at 202-383-1157.

June 10 Webinar: RPAC Fundraising Resources You Can Use Now!
Did you know NAR has resources available to help raise funds and educate your members about RPAC without relying on traditional in-person events? The Fundraising Partnership Grant Program and Online Fundraising Program are available to help! Join Peter Kelly, Director of RPAC Technology and Online Fundraising, and Liz Best-Bradford, RPAC Fundraising Representative, on June 10 at 3:00 PM ET to review resources you can take advantage of now, best practices, and new ideas for the current environment. Register now! For more information, contact Liz Demorest at 202-383-1061.

Advocacy Resources & News

2020 GAD Institute Virtual: GAD Nation
SAVE THE DATE: Virtual Institute is coming to you (FREE) with two weeks of exciting sessions, speakers, and content! Week 1 starts July 14, and will run Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (July 14-16). Week 2 launches July 21 and will also run Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (21-23). Each segment will run 2-3 hours and will alternate between a lecture followed by Q&A or a panel discussion with subject matter experts. Registration will open soon.

Issues Mobilization Program Notice
As states begin to reopen, state and local public policy activity is sure to follow.  The Issues Mobilization Program continues to operate and is available to help you prepare for upcoming legislative activity and ballot measures.   For any assistance you anticipate in the second half of 2020, now is a good time to connect with us.  The earlier you reach out, the better able we are to provide the assistance that you need.  For more information, contact Joe Maheady at 202-383-1006 or John Winston at 202-383-1235.

Federal Coronavirus Resource List
Use this quick reference guide to easily find NAR’s Coronavirus content on nar.realtor.

Remote Online Notarization
With the surge in emergency executive orders surrounding remote online notarization (RON) during COVID-19, NAR, in coordination with Notarize, ALTA, and the MBA, has developed a model order. NAR is tracking RON orders and keeps an updated list of orders related to COVID-19 on the REALTOR Party website.  If you have questions, contact Amy Bos, NAR Technology Policy Representative.

New Protect Your Investment Brochure NOW AVAILABLE in Spanish!
REALTORS® and associations have access to a new resource to share with homeowners who are struggling to meet their loan obligations due to COVID-19. The Protect Your Investment brochure, which encourages homeowners to work with REALTORS® and housing counselors and offers guidance on options provided by lenders, is now available in Spanish. Associations and REALTORS® may add their logo to the cover for a customized look. For more information, contact Wendy Penn at 202-383-7504.

Read the Latest on Common Ground: Retooling Communities in the Age of COVID-19
The latest On Common Ground covers the impacts of COVID on both our personal space and our shared public space, including ways localities are helping people to keep their housing, changes to public and private spaces, and strategies for small businesses to keep the doors open. An online version is available via the OCG APP (Apple) (Google Play) and online via. More than 35,000 copies were distributed to state and local associations and elected officials. Are you on the list? If not, contact Catherine Mesick or contact Hugh Morris at 202-383-1278.

Need a speaker for your virtual or in-person association meeting? The 2020 REALTOR Party Travel Team is Open for business!
Travel Team members are available to give a quick 5- to 10-minute overview on topics such as GOTV (Get Out the Vote), Voter Registration, Legislative Updates, Community Outreach programs, and other REALTOR® Party programs and services. To schedule, please complete the REALTOR® Party Request Form. If you have questions, please contact Vanessa Lopez at 202-383-7509.

Taking the Lead on COVID-19 Transition and Recovery with Community Outreach Grants
Leverage REALTOR® Party Community Outreach grants to help your association address changes to help reestablish communities in response to COVD-19.

  • If your community is considering changing the public infrastructure to be more accessible to accommodate social distancing, a Placemaking Grant can help build walking trails and bike lanes or a Smart Growth Grant can support creation of policies to expand access to public space for recreation and transportation.
  • Are your members interested in housing resources to help clients in need? Conduct a virtual event to raise awareness about critical resources for those struggling to meet their loan obligations using a Housing Opportunity grant.

Schedule a 30-minute one-on-one virtual session with Community Outreach staff if you are interested in brainstorming ideas. Access these On Common Ground: Reinventing How Communities Work and Urban Roundtable: Evolving Communities in the Age of COVID-19 and event recording for additional inspiration. For more information, contact Christine Windle at 202-383-1135.

RPAC Update

2020 President’s Circle Deadline
Round 3 of President’s Circle launched on May 11. We highly encourage President’s Circle members to make their first $500 investment toward President’s Circle by May 31.  However, if you have members who cannot complete their first $500 investment given the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact NAR RPAC Staff.

Maintaining RPAC Goals and Awards
At this time the RPAC Trustees Fundraising Committee and NAR RPAC volunteer leaders agreed to maintain the existing 2020 RPAC goals for NAR awards. They will continue to evaluate the situation through the remainder of the year. Track your Triple Crown status and President’s Cup status online. For additional information, contact Lauren Colicelli at 202-383-1080.

Reminder: Online Fundraising Resources Available
Need help updating your RPAC fundraising strategy for 2020? The Online Fundraising Program provides resources and solutions for creating and executing online campaigns, phone banks, investment forms and more. Contact Peter Kelly at 202-383-7599 for more information.

NAR’S Economic Outlook

5 Housing Market Trends as of April 2020
NAR’s April 2020 Realtors® Confidence Index (RCI) Survey shows the effect of coronavirus social distancing measures on the housing market. Here are five trends based on the data.
April 2020 Foot Traffic Report
Home viewings data from SentriLock®, LLC, a lockbox company, indicates a continued downward trend in home buyer traffic in April 2020 with respect to the prior month and one year ago in the wake of coronavirus social distancing measures, stay-at-home orders and the unprecedented rise in unemployment.
Tracking Jobless Claims by State: Week Ending May 16
Most of the companies hiring additional employees to meet increased demand are included in the following industries: health care, food and grocery stores, delivery, and telecommunications.
Unemployment Continues to Show Signs of Slowing
Millions of small businesses were able to benefit from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and rehire their furloughed employees.
2020 Sustainability Snapshot
NAR reported on the growth of sustainability efforts in the real estate industry. This post highlights REALTOR® feedback on sustainable issues.

For more information on NAR’s Economic Outlook, contact Meredith Dunn at 202-383-1207.

Message from the GAD Chair
Julia Parenteau
GAD Chair
Texas REALTORS®

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One of my favorite books is Einstein’s Dreams (by Alan Lightman), which describes the different ways time can move relative to one’s perception. The weeks (months) since we all Went Home™ have gone so quickly… but the minutes and hours have often been agonizingly slow.

We have moved from crisis mode to management mode, and that might be one of the reasons things feel slower, giving us a little time to look back and contemplate how we got here. Maybe you have a bit of a routine down now and while it’s not like the Before Times, hopefully it feels more settled than before.

I have said it before, but it merits saying again: look how much you have accomplished and learned! You might be feelin’ a bit Sisyphus right now, but you’re lookin’ pretty Hercules.

Speaking of Herculean effort, can we pause for a minute and give props to our Pennsylvania family? Way to go the distance, y’all. Congratulations on all your hard work finally paying off.

And if we are talking about things getting done: your Advisory Group has jumped, with enthusiasm and without hesitation, into the task of revamping the GAD Institute into programming that makes sense for our current environment. They are working swiftly to develop interesting and engaging sessions that will be of value to you now and throughout your career. I am so grateful for their competence and openness. And I’m really excited about the Institute they’re creating for GAD Nation.

And none of that could be done without the support of NAR staff, especially Christina, Jim, and Gerry, who have so graciously absorbed everything I’ve thrown at them with more patience than I might deserve. We are lucky to have them holding space for us.

It feels strange to lift our heads up and eye the future when we remain so uncertain what the coming days will bring. But it is just about summer: the days are brighter, and the weather is warmer. However, it might be accomplished, it is time to look ahead. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do next.

 

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REALTOR Party News – April 2020

Vince Malta

Fighting for the Future of Real Estate

Our first-ever virtual REALTORS® Legislative Meetings are coming to a close with more than 26,000 registered attendees. Thank you for participation and feedback throughout these uncertain times. Replays of sessions are available online. All of us have been touched by this pandemic. Throughout it all, your Leadership Team and the NAR staff have been working tirelessly to support you the entire way. The role each of you play, and the role NAR will continue to play on your behalf, is more important now than ever.
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By the Numbers

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Weeks per year NAR brings its advocacy might with member of Congress on behalf of REALTORS®. With every industry working overtime during the COVID-19 pandemic, REALTORS® were fortunate to have an advocacy team in Washington with strong relationships in Congress, the regulatory agencies, and the White House.
LEARN MORE

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Easy steps it takes to customize the Protect Your Investment (log-in required) brochure. This brochure encourages homeowners who are struggling to meet their loan obligations to work with REALTORS® and housing counselors. It also offers guidance on options provided by lenders.
LEARN MORE

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Weeks you may qualify for unemployment benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) programs if you’ve suffered a loss of income, either completely or partially, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. View NAR’s maps to find out the status of your state.
LEARN MORE

The REALTOR® Party At Work

Highlighted here are a few of the many REALTOR® Party success stories across the nation. These and others are cataloged in the Success Stories section on REALTORParty.realtor.

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Is Real Estate America’s Rock During the Coronavirus Crisis?

It’s been a rough few months for the economy, and we could all use a little good news. For America’s 81 million homeowners, here is some: While retirement accounts and the stock market may have cratered, home values are hanging tough. And with a proper recovery and the right policies, there is a great chance that home values will remain fairly stable even as home sales temporarily fall while Americans shelter-in-place.
LEARN MORE

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Utah REALTORS® School Lawmakers on Best Practices for Education Funding

With support from an Issues Mobilization Grant, the Utah Association of REALTORS® convinced state lawmakers that impact fees imposed on new development were not a rational source of funding for local schools – and would actually exacerbate the affordable housing crisis.  Sustainable growth, the REALTORS® argue, will come from smart regional planning.
READ MORE

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Schuylkill REALTORS® Rehab Park, Launch REALTORS® Political Career

The REALTORS® of the Schuylkill County Board leverage a Placemaking Grant to bring a local playground swinging back to life. Helen Miernicki, the REALTOR® who spearheaded the project, having learned the workings of the Borough Council, and is currently serving a second City Council term as an indispensable public servant – and the only woman on the local governing body.
READ MORE

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Idaho REALTORS® Secure Legislation Tipping the Balance in Favor of First-time Homebuyers

The Idaho Association of REALTOR® brought its savvy advocacy to bear on a pair of bills helping first-time homebuyers get a leg up in an increasingly expensive market: a dedicated tax-free savings account program, and the elimination of the filing deadline for applying for a homeowner’s tax exemption. Both have been signed into law.
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Resources & Opportunities

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On Common Ground: Reinventing How Communities Work in the Age of COVID-19

REALTORS® stand ready to play a pivotal role in helping communities rebuild and recover as states and localities work towards getting to a new normal after the COVID-19 pandemic. In this special issue of On Common Ground, take a deeper dive into the evolution of homeownership post-pandemic; what nonprofits and local governments are doing to help preserve homeownership; and how local governments are re-tooling public spaces to accommodate social distancing.
LEARN MORE

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REALTOR® Resiliency Report

This weekly communication describes the many ways NAR is working to guide and support REALTORS® and the real estate industry during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Every week, you’ll find up-to-date, relevant information on how to ensure your health and safety, the virus’ impact on the economy and your business, its impact on NAR activities, and what NAR is doing to help.
LEARN MORE

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#REALTORSCount: Participating in the 2020 CensusStay up to Date with NAR’s Coronavirus Resources & Information

NAR is providing guidance to help REALTORS® respond to COVID-19 – commonly referred to as coronavirus – and its impact on the real estate industry and real estate transactions. Any updates from NAR and its response to the coronavirus emergency will be collected on nar.realtor/coronavirus.
LEARN MORE

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Take Advantage of the Right Tools, Right Now

In this uncertain time, NAR is re-activating the Right Tools, Right Now program to make a sweeping selection of resources available for free or at reduced cost. Find offerings on finance, technology, skills building toolkits and more to help your business.
LEARN MORE

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Join the REALTOR® Party Online

Are you posting, liking, tweeting or pinning? So is the REALTOR® Party.  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram to get the latest news, information and resources.

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Realtors® Congratulate Montgomery on Official Confirmation as HUD Deputy Secretary

NAR congratulates Mr. Montgomery on this long-awaited confirmation, and we look forward to continuing the work toward our shared goal of expanding homeownership opportunities for creditworthy Americans in every community.

 

Read more.

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Is Real Estate America’s Rock During the Coronavirus Crisis?

By Shannon McGahn

It’s been a rough few months for the economy, and we could all use a little good news. For America’s 81 million homeowners, here is some: While retirement accounts and the stock market may have cratered, home values are hanging tough. And with a proper recovery and the right policies, there is a great chance that home values will remain fairly stable even as home sales temporarily fall while Americans shelter-in-place.

Read more

Utah REALTORS® School Lawmakers on Best Practices for Education Funding

As a leading force in finding solutions to Utah’s affordable housing crisis, the Utah Association of REALTORS® has a clear understanding of the swift and complex growth along the Wasatch Front, the north-south-running urban chain where roughly 80% of the state’s population is concentrated. So, when the education lobby proposed that Utah remove its prohibition on school impact fees for new development, the REALTORS® set about correcting the underlying faulty logic behind the attempt with an informative campaign supported by an Issues Mobilization Grant.

The REALTORS® believe that, as now structured, property taxes on new development account for any new students moving into the newly developed neighborhoods. “Impact fees would not account for students moving into and out of existing homes, so it’s not a sound way to fund education growth,” explains Cate Klundt, Utah REALTORS®’ Government Affairs Director.  She also notes that there had been significant turnover in both the Utah House and Senate since the last time impact fees had been considered for education funding, so it was high time for the REALTORS® to share their expertise and information with the legislature.  The campaign launch was the centerpiece of the 2020 REALTOR® Day at the Capitol, which was highly attended by lawmakers as well as more than 50 elected municipal officials from up and down the Wasatch Front, by special invitation of the REALTORS®.

With the global pandemic dominating the news cycle, however, the campaign itself didn’t get the public-facing play they had hoped for; however, the video that the association produced is fairly timeless, so Klundt believes it will still have a life when the housing market gets back to ‘normal.’

Fortunately, she explains, the state REALTOR® association has a very good relationship with much of the state legislature, and was able to convince lawmakers to defuse the bill in session.  “It’s actually very much the pattern in Utah,” she says: “Bills rarely come down to a floor vote.  Much more likely, they’ll be subjected to lots of back-and-forth and compromise and collaboration. It’s effective, but not necessarily exciting politics!” As a result of this close work with individual legislators, many now have an appreciation for smart regional planning that doesn’t over-burden one city with residential development, another with more business and commerce, and still others with an abundance of commuting traffic, notes Klundt, adding, “It makes sense for Utah’s municipalities along the Wasatch Front to be interdependent.”

Looking ahead, Klundt believes that sound regional planning is what will lead to sustainable cities having the ability maintain their infrastructure and accommodate growth. “As municipalities come together to share transportation and education costs, it will be in their best interests, as a result of natural efficiencies, and because the state is really good at awarding funding to districts with strong regional plans.” It’s no coincidence that the REALTORS® have been pushing for such incentives for years. In fact, in the 2020 legislative session, the state also awarded $10 million to an affordable housing fund – something the REALTORS® had promoted in 2019.

To learn more about how Utah’s REALTORS® are working to find long-term solutions to support education and increase affordable housing with the help of the REALTOR® Party, contact Government Affairs Director Cate Klundt, at 702-767-3994.

 

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Fighting for the Future of Real Estate

Our first-ever virtual REALTORS® Legislative Meetings are coming to a close with more than 26,000 registered attendees! I want to thank you for participation and feedback throughout these uncertain times. On behalf of the NAR Leadership Team when I say we’re grateful for being with all of you, even if it was virtually.

Across the country, millions of people are fighting for their health. They’re fighting for their livelihoods. And, in the case of so many of you, they’re fighting for the stability and the future of the communities they call home. All of us have been touched by this pandemic.

Throughout this crisis, your Leadership Team and the NAR staff have been working tirelessly – even through office closures and city lockdowns – to support you the entire way. The role that each of you plays, and the role that NAR will continue to play on your behalf, is more important now than ever.

Rest assured that NAR’s Advocacy Team continues to work hard on Capitol Hill, and with state and local associations, to ensure that economic stimulus packages provide relief to REALTORS® and their families. Our advocacy activities are unrivaled, and we’ve had substantial successes at a time when there is fierce competition among groups to be heard.

We’ve seen this in the CARES Act, which contained numerous benefits for REALTORS that NAR fought hard for during the past several weeks. It included:

  • Unemployment eligibility for the self-employed and independent contractors, who are not usually covered under traditional state unemployment benefit programs.
  • An employee retention tax credit, estimated to provide $50 billion to companies that retain existing employees.
  • A delay in business payroll tax payments.
  • Unprecedented aid — nearly $350 billion—in loans for small businesses that can be used for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, and payroll costs.

In addition, when funding for the Paycheck Protection and Economic Injury Disaster Loans programs ran out last month, NAR’s advocacy team continued to push Congress to take quick action to appropriate more funds for the both.

As the nation works its way out of this pandemic, and we prepare for a major election year for all three levels of government – our advocacy work and our unified voice is more important than ever. Be sure you are registered to vote and that your registration information is up to date. We encourage you to contact your state board of elections for the latest updates on election days and voting processes.

NAR will continue to be on the frontlines with you, every step of the way, protecting and defending what home means and ensuring that the entrepreneurial spirit that defines our industry thrives in this new landscape.

Our industry has faced tough times before. Yet, each time, NAR and REALTORS® have worked together to rebuild and continue our work to protect the American Dream.

We have no doubt we will prevail again. In the meantime, stay tuned to nar.realtor/coronavirus for the latest information and updates on the impact to our industry, our businesses, and our clients.

2020 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings Videos

Missed a session during the 2020 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings? Don’t worry. Watch session replays today!

Additional replay videos to be posted as they become available on 2020.legislative.realtor.

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Idaho REALTORS® Secure Legislation Tipping the Balance in Favor of First-time Homebuyers

In Idaho, where housing costs have been soaring, the state REALTOR® association was determined to bring first-time homebuyers the advantages of dedicated tax-free savings accounts.

The effort began in partnership with Governor Brad Little during his gubernatorial campaign, and signed into law in 2020 — the day before the state entered its coronavirus stay-at-home order.

Says Max Pond, Government Affairs Director of the Idaho Association of REALTORS®, “The credit goes to Governor Brad Little and his staff, the IR Legislative Committee and the IR Public Policy & Trustee Committee. It was their dedication to making homeownership more accessible to first-time buyers that really got this effort across the finish line.” The focus, he notes, transcends personal real estate matters: creating housing opportunities for young buyers strengthens local labor markets, and the state economy overall.

The association is also grateful to the REALTOR® Party, he says, for early polling that gave the association clarity on the public perception of the issue, and for economic research that established an important baseline as they began to develop messaging in support of the proposed legislation.

Governor Little, who’s been an advocate of first-time homebuyer savings accounts since his campaign, urged the state legislature to pass the legislation developed by the Idaho REALTORS® in his first State of the State address, in 2019. In 2020, the association engaged directly with lawmakers on the issue, making use of a new advocacy program it based of the Federal Political Coordinator Program. With targeted phone calls and emails to individual lawmakers in key districts, the REALTORS® made their case for the legislation.

In addition to the bill establishing a first-time home buyer savings account program in the state of Idaho, a second bill was also passed, eliminating the filing deadline for applying for a homeowner’s tax exemption. The latter was all about the timing of a house purchase, explains Pond: “If you were buying a home and were unable to take the tax relief until the following year, that could price you right out of the market. Many young folks weren’t able to qualify for a loan – a couple hundred dollars makes a big difference.” The first-time home buyer savings account program was passed with an emergency clause that put it into immediate effect, so that prospective buyers could establish a dedicated tax-free account, up to $15,000 per year for singles and $30,000 for married couples, at any credit union or state depository. The REALTORS®, says Pond, will be promoting and monitoring the program to make sure it’s a success.

In addition to these victories for real estate, Pond reports that the state Real Estate Commission proposed three additional bills to modernize the regulatory code in Idaho that also passed in the most recent session, all of which emerged from IR Broker Summits in recent years. “All of this legislation will make the industry move at the speed of business for brokers, agents, and consumers in Idaho,” he says. “It was a successful year for our members and the association is proud of that!”

To learn more about how Idaho REALTORS® have been making the purchase of a first home more accessible in their state, contact Government Affairs Director Max Pond at 208-230-6703.

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Schuylkill REALTORS® Rehab Park, Launch REALTORS® Political Career

Often, a project that makes use of a REALTOR® Party Placemaking Grant will have a transformative effect on the local community, realizing the vision of a local association and harnessing the skills, resources, elbow grease, and enthusiasm of local residents. The impact that the renovation of Lincoln Park had on the town of Frackville, in the heart of Pennsylvania’s coal country, was even greater: it inspired a REALTOR® volunteer to become involved in local politics, and she now wields power on numerous important committees on the Borough Council.

Chuck Liedike, Field Operations Manager for the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS®, explains that Helen Miernicki, a member of the Schuylkill County Board of REALTORS® whom he describes as “very much a go-getter, always looking for ways to help the community,” spearheaded the effort to revive the local playground in downtown Frackville. For her part, Miernicki tells it far more modestly: “I was a nervous wreck, having to speak for the first time at a Council meeting! I had to learn Borough Council protocol, and acquire the Borough’s books of safety for parks equipment, and lists of approved vendors. It was a very steep learning curve – applying for the Placemaking Grant was the easy part!”

Mastering the curve, Miernicki charged forward, and was amazed by the response to her call for volunteers. “You wouldn’t believe the guys with power tools and generators who came out of the woodwork — even from outside the county — so excited to help. I had an appraiser who drove in from 45 minutes away tell me, ‘I told my wife I’d use this someday!’” The volunteer crew rehabilitated the swing set and sliding board, brought in new tables and benches, and installed a set of wheelchair-accessible bongo-drums and a checker/chess table, all made possible by the grant. Miernicki’s grandson earned community service hours building a little free library, and the borough replaced the old fencing (that a car had run through) and provided fresh landscaping. The community was so excited and grateful, she says, that a local pizza place kept the volunteers fed, and the ambulance brigade was standing by at the ready.

For Miernicki, this introduction to the inner workings of the Borough Council was just the beginning. As the project wrapped up, a Council member resigned and Miernicki threw her hat in the ring:  she was voted in by the rest of the Council to serve out the two-year term, then ran for re-election, easily winning a four-year term. She’s making the most of her position, chairing the Economic Development Committee, and serving on others, including Sanitation & Recycling, Law & Order, Community of Governments, Recreation, and Power & Light – on this last committee, she recently saved the Borough $15,000 a year by reading the fine print on electricity options for Borough buildings. She’s won grants from the state, has made contacts in the state government, and is working on rehabilitating another Frackville park, for veterans, near the American Legion. In this all-important Census year, she’s making sure that residents of Frackville step forward and get counted. And it’s worth noting that this local legislative powerhouse is not just a newcomer to politics, she’s also the only woman on the seven-member Council. “It started with wanting Lincoln Park to be a place where kids could come and play safely again,” she says of her unexpected career, “but it just snowballed. You just don’t realize how much there is to be done, and how important it all is to the life of the town. But if anyone can get a handle on these kinds of issues, it’s a REALTOR®.”

Liedike can’t overstate the value of the REALTOR® Party’s Community Outreach grants: “I spend my days out in the field, in neighborhoods, and I’m a huge fan of all these grants. “They allow REALTORS® to become proactive community partners who are recognized in a positive light. Down the road, when an issue pops up that REALTORS® want to weigh in on, whether it’s Smart Growth or diversity or affordable housing, they’re much more likely to be given a seat at the table.” When these projects inspire a REALTOR® member to enter local politics, he adds with a smile — even better.

To learn more about how local associations are creating and reviving outdoor spaces that enrich their neighborhoods, contact Chuck Liedike, Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® Field Operations Manager, at 717-561-1303. To learn more about how REALTORS® get inspired to make an even bigger impact on their communities by running for public office, contact Helen Miernicki.

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Community Outreach Virtual Grant Coaching Sessions

REALTOR® associations are invited to schedule virtual one-on-one sessions with Community Outreach Staff to brainstorm ways to use grants to address affordable housing challenges, community planning and development issues, revitalization opportunities and fair housing education.
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