Community Outreach Grant Planning SessionsV
State and local associations are invited to schedule one-on-one virtual sessions with Community Outreach Staff to brainstorm ways to address affordable housing challenges, community planning and development issues, revitalization opportunities and fair housing education using a Housing Opportunity, Fair Housing, Smart Growth, Placemaking and/or Rural Outreach grant. Overview of critical steps to success for developing grant ideas and writing a compelling application provided.
The 6,000-member Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of REALTORS® (BHGLAAR) was fairly certain that five of the six candidates it was supporting for the Los Angeles City Council, would easily win this year’s election. But one of those REALTOR® Champions, Mitch O’Farrell, was up against some stiff competition. The BHGLAAR leaders turned to NAR’s Campaign Services office for help. That help came in the form of cracker-jack field teams in “Neighbors for Mitch” t-shirts that went door-to-door asking thousands of voters to put their faith in Mitch O’Farrell. In addition, NAR funded telephone calls to voting households, and BHGLAAR contributed its own funds to pay for direct mailers. O’Farrell won handily, and the BHGLAAR is already enjoying improved relationships with the city council.
With 35% of the national membership investing in RPAC in 2017, state and local REALTOR® Associations have made RPAC stronger than ever when it comes to advancing its public policy agenda. From a strong team of volunteer leaders to technology platforms that help small associations get big results, the REALTOR® Party is getting the word out that investment matters.
They say every vote counts, and in April's School Board race in Monett, MO, that was certainly the case. REALTOR® Champion Keith McCracken was seeking a seat on the local Board of Education to further serve his community. With the help of the Southwest Missouri Board of REALTORS® and a REALTOR® Party independent expenditure, he won that seat—by a single vote.
Fort Collins REALTORS® Use Independent Expenditure Campaign to Support Four City Council Candidates: Three Win
When an NAR dues increase went into effect two years ago, the Fort Collins Board of REALTORS® (FCBR) made a promise to its 750 members to bring those dollars back to the northern Colorado community, in the form of grants from the REALTOR® Party. This spring, it made good on that promise, supporting four candidates for local election, including the mayor, with an Independent Expenditure Grant from NAR. The funding paid for get-out-the-vote calls, and a combination of online advertising and social media messaging that reached the youthful voting population of the college town more effectively than traditional print media. Three of the four candidates who benefited from FCBR’s support, won: the incumbent mayor, and two of the candidates running for City Council.
January 2013 It’s always helpful to have a REALTOR® in the house…not to mention REALTOR® Champions in the state Senate and attorney general’s office! In Indiana last year, five campaigns that received support from NAR’s Campaign Services division swept to victory, assuring industry-friendly legislators just where the Indiana Association of REALTORS® (IAR) needs them. The 14,600-member association helped elect two incumbent state representatives – REALTORS®, no less, two incumbent state senators and a state attorney general who was up for re-election. NAR funding paid for radio ads for all five.
The REALTOR® Party’s Issues Mobilization Grant provides financial assistance to state and local REALTOR® Associations to support effective advocacy campaigns on public policy issues that affect REALTOR® interests. The Kansas Association of REALTORS® is just one example of how an association has used this program to successfully stave off local property tax increases.
Kentucky REALTORS® Help Elect Three Champions to the State House and Put Polling to Use in Tax Reform Battle
Twice last fall, three real-estate-friendly candidates running to keep their seats in the Kentucky State House found happy surprises in their mailboxes: direct mail pieces endorsing them, but not paid for by their own campaigns. Thanks to Independent Expenditure Grants from NAR, the 8,680-member Kentucky Association of REALTORS® (KAR) was able to help all three REALTOR® Champions win their bids for re-election. Then, in a tax-form battle, KAR utilized NAR’s polling services to help make a persuasive case for saving the mortgage interest deduction in a Rally for Home Owners at the state house.
In a case of Necessity being the mother of Invention, the Kentucky REALTORS®’ RPAC and YPN Committees turned to a high-tech gadget to develop an engaging RPAC event: using a 3-D imaging camera, they hosted a five-day virtual treasure hunt that attracted new investment and is paving the way for future fully inclusive and accessible events.
Leveraging Study of Local Homestead Tax Exemption Policies, San Antonio Board of REALTORS® Brings About Dual Tax Relief for Homeowners
The National Association of REALTORS®’ recent Housing Affordability Study inspired the San Antonio Board to commission one of its own on a local level, with help from an Issues Mobilization Grant from the REALTOR® Party. It used the resulting analysis of area Homestead Tax Exemption policies to convince city and county legislators to maximize tax relief for over-burdened homeowners.
In two especially tight November elections, working closely with neighboring local associations, the 5,000-member Seattle King County Association of REALTORS® pushed the campaigns of two REALTOR® Champions over the top. When the dust had cleared, one was elected mayor of Auburn, Washington, and the other, a commercial REALTOR® in Bellevue, was re-elected to their city council.
This past election cycle, the Bay Area Association of REALTORS® decided it was time to take a more active role in choosing their politicians. With the help of the REALTOR® Party, it developed a savvy selection committee that interviewed dozens of candidates, endorsed several, and achieved a whopping success rate.
With 26,000 members, the Miami Association of REALTORS® (MIAMI,) has the potential to wield a lot of power in the political advocacy arena, but it was having trouble getting members involved. So, in March of 2012, MIAMI came up with a game-changing plan. The association applied for and won a $25,000 Game Changer Grant to create a “Market Solutions through Political Advocacy” team. The team works to heighten member awareness of political issues; recommends local races to screen; and advocates for candidates during elections. It’s working. In the last year they’ve identified a number of local candidates to get behind and increased their Major Investor count from 10 to nearly 60.
The 8,325-member Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® (OAR) has long had one of the state’s strongest Political Action Committees. But this spring, having received the maximum allowed PAC contributions from OAR, two of its strongest advocates – one in the State House (Marion Cooksey) and one in the State Senate (Clark Jolley) - were still faced with tough primaries. They needed an extra boost. OAR used a $14,500 Independent Expenditure Grant for polling and mailers to bring about success. Representative Cooksey won her race outright in the primary; Senator Jolley will face an Independent in the fall general election, and is expected to win easily.
Oklahoma City Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® Leverages Issues Mobilization Grant to Help Struggling Town Shore Up Infrastructure
When a small, incorporated town within the Oklahoma City limits was being left behind by the surrounding competitive real estate market, the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® used an Issues Mobilization Grant from the REALTOR® Party to help secure two new bond packages to improve drainage, streets, sidewalks, and parks.
When the REALTOR® Champion running to maintain her seat on the Oklahoma County Commission faced a primary run-off, it looked like an up-hill battle: though Carrie Blumert had the advantage as incumbent, her challenger was a former state senator and statewide candidate who had held a slim lead in the primary; when neither won a majority of votes, the challenger was favored to prevail in the run-off election.
In politics, there are REALTOR®-friendly candidates, and then there are candidates who are actually REALTOR® members. This election year, the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® (PAR) protected and secured the seats of not one, but two of its own who serve in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. With two Independent Expenditure Campaigns funded by NAR, PAR helped to re-elect Sue Helm of Dauphin County and Marguerite Quinn of Bucks County, outside Philadelphia.
With three new REALTOR® Champions on the County Council, and a favorable relationship with the County Executive-elect, the REALTORS® of Prince George’s County, Md., can be assured that the issues that matter to them are in good hands. Three Independent Expenditure Campaign grants from the REALTOR® Party helped strengthen the odds.
One new program that is sure to spawn a multitude of its own Success Stories is the REALTOR® Candidate Training Academy, developed and offered by NAR’s Campaign Services Division. This intensive one-day training session provides a comprehensive overview of what it takes to run for an elected position, be it the school board, or city council, or the highest office in the land. After all, the more REALTORS® and REALTOR® Champions who are successfully groomed for election, the better the environment for REALTOR® issues at the local, state, and national level. Participants in the pilot classes in Reading-Berks, PA and Reno, NV are raving about them.
It’s a jungle out there in San Diego; in fact, in all of California, where the ‘Jungle Primary System’ applies. In the jungle system, all candidates are in the first round which, technically, is a non-partisan race, although candidates can accept endorsements. Fifty percent plus one vote wins the race outright. If no one gets over 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates go to a run-off in the general November election. The 12,000-member San Diego Association of REALTORS® (SDAR) endorsed three candidates, and with Independent Expenditure funding from NAR, it created targeted direct mailings for all three elections. On June 12, each of the three REALTOR® candidates had garnered the most votes: one won a seat on the San Diego City Council; one goes to a run-off for a City Council seat; and the third will compete in a run-off for the office of San Diego County Supervisor.
South Carolina Association Reaps Benefits of Polling in Supporting 11 REALTOR® Champions for State Legislature
The 15,000-member South Carolina Association of REALTORS® (SCR,) had a long list of REALTOR® Champions it wanted to help elect to the state legislature, but its resources were limited. So, it turned to NAR’s Campaign Services for help. In the end, they relied on polling to whittle down their list to 11 candidates, and waged energetic independent efforts in the form of direct mail, phone campaigns and newspaper ads – paid for by their state RPAC funds and NAR. Eight of their candidates won.
The small but mighty Camden Charlton Board put NAR's campaign services to good use to elect two REALTOR® Champions to St. Marys (GA) City Council. Specifically, the board used NAR-sponsored "robocalls" (automated phone calls to voters) to push two of the three candidates they supported over the top. Jim Gant (husband of a REALTOR®) and Nancy Stasinis (former board president) won by 10 and 15 votes, respectively. Both, as well as the third REALTOR® Champion who lost, stand for issues that help to make their real estate market strong and vibrant.
Last fall, with four seats on the Town Council up for grabs, the Telluride Association of REALTORS® (TAR) made the most of the opportunity to promote candidates who espoused the values of affordable housing; sustainable growth and development; and economic vitality and vibrancy. With an Independent Expenditure, TAR conducted a campaign that helped elect three REALTOR® Champions.
The REALTOR® Party celebrates Independent Expenditure (IE) Program milestone, supporting Chris McCandless, proud Utahan, member of the Salt Lake Board of REALTORS® (SLBR) and a tireless public servant. When seeking re-election to the Sandy City Council it was a no brainer for SLBR to apply for and receive the 1,000th IE to help ensure re-election to a third term in office.
In the fall of 2013, with the help of grants and services from NAR’s Campaign Services Division, the Virginia Association of REALTORS® got involved in 17 statewide elections, including the gubernatorial race -- winning all but one. The 24,000-member association put their resources behind both Democrats and Republicans – all of them candidates who support issues important to the real estate industry.
For the 1,700-member Clark County Association of REALTORS® (CCAR) in southwest Washington state, supporting John Blom for County Council was a no-brainer. As REALTOR® Champions go, there could hardly be a more obvious choice—active in NAR, RPAC, CCAR and its Government Affairs Committee. When John decided to run for office, the REALTORS® were there to support him through the REALTOR® Party’s Independent Expenditure program.