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Federal Political Coordinator

FPC Nomination Process for 116th Congress

As we approach the homestretch of the 115th session of Congress, please begin thinking about your state’s nominations for Federal Political Coordinators (FPCs) for the next cycle. The deadline for submitting your FPC nomination letter is November 23, 2018. Letters should be addressed to 2019 NAR President, Mr. John Smaby, on state letterhead and be signed by your 2019 State President. The RPMIC Committee is currently conducting “level of interest” calls with their FPCs to garner insight into who is interested in returning for another term. They will be reaching out to communicate the results to you in mid-September. New FPC training will be held in Washington, D.C. February 7-9, 2019.

In the meantime, it will be important to brush up on the FPC job description, responsibilities and pledge. You may also want to run a copy of the quarterly performance report showing all field report progress to date in this Congressional cycle. As you begin working with your RPMIC representative and advising your EO and State Presidents it is important to keep in mind that an ideal NAR advocate holds the following attributes:

  • A close personal relationship with the Member of Congress (this is ideal, but not necessary);
  • An interest in politics;
  • An understanding of the key issues affecting REALTORS®;
  • An energy and wherewithal to carry out the NAR specified grassroots initiatives asked of this prestigious position;
  • Existing relationships with other legislators, community and business leaders.

Further questions you should ask yourself as you consider candidates during the selection process.

  • Is the candidate knowledgeable about REALTOR® Party issues facing Congress?
  • Are they someone who can go above and beyond to build strong personal relationships with their assigned lawmakers to represent real estate?
  • Are they up for the job, in terms of energy and drive?
  • Does the FPC candidate accurately reflect and represent the demographic of the area they represent?
  • More specifically, have you considered nominating an FPC from the following multicultural groups if your district heavily leans in a certain direction?
    • National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP)
    • Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA)
    • National Association of Real Estate Brokers (Realtists)

 

 

Questions? Contact Victoria Givens at 202-383-1021.

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Capitol Hill Day Checklist

Gathering the Troops

  • Who will be attending?
  • What districts are they connected to?
  • Do they know any legislators or staff?

Preparing Your Advocates

  • Have they advocated before? How comfortable are they with it?
  • Do they understand the basic skills (know what they want, who they’re talking to, how to talk to them and how to follow-up)?
  • How will you be sure they gain those skills if needed?
  • How will you gather the information you need to know about your legislators?
  • How will you share that information with your advocates (Conference call? Meeting?)

Creating the Stories & Messages

  • Have you asked advocates for compelling local anecdotes (helping people get a dream home, for example)?
  • Have you consolidated local statistics and stories?
    • How many people have they worked with?
    • How many people do they employ?
    • How much money does the firm make (even rough numbers)
    • What charitable organizations in the district are they connected to?

On-Site Coordination

  • Have you reviewed the list of legislators and developed a specific message for each?
  • Have you coordinated your group to be sure the right people are talking at the rights times during the meetings?
  • Have you cross-matched specific advocates with specific legislators?
  • Do you understand the stories people are prepared to tell and their relevancy to specific legislators?
  • Have you prepared your group to be flexible (meetings in the hallways, for example)?

Follow-Up

  • Have you developed a follow-up plan for each office (site visits, townhalls, local meetings)?
  • Are you prepared to implement that plan?
  • Have you set aside a time to write thank you notes?
  • Have you established a system for feeding the information back to your team in DC?

 

Questions? Contact Victoria Givens at 202-383-1021.

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FPC e-Packet

Materials for Download

This year, our approach to Capitol Hill will be different. We will be presenting our “REALTOR® Story” in three buckets.

  • Who we are,
  • What our impact is, and
  • What we care about.

Talking Points (Hill Visit Materials)

Please download the Hill Visit Materials and familiarize yourself with the issues before your Hill meetings.

Joint NAR/RPR Economic Area Reports

Download the key real estate statistics and home buying activity reports by state and district for the 116th Congress. Please take a copy of this report to your meetings as Legislators find the statistics valuable.

Social Media Tools

Visit www.nar.realtor/hillvisits to download:

  • Shareable social graphics for Facebook and Twitter
  • Downloadable Facebook cover photos for you to use on your own page
  • Pre-written tweets for you to share in just two clicks

Tips and Tricks

Hill Day Prep

NAR Town Hall

Don’t forget to register for the Live Townhall Webcast on Wednesday, May 8 with NAR’s SVP of Government Affairs Shannon McGahn and Vice President of Advocacy Tracy Kasper will present information on meetings in Capitol Hill offices. Shannon and the Legislative and Political Directors will be available to answer questions from the audience.

FPC May Prep Webinar

Helpful Tips

Other Resources

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FPC Do’s & Don’ts

Questions? Contact Victoria Givens at 202-383-1021.

Download the FPC Do’s and Don’ts PDF Version.

Do’s

Before the Meeting

  • Prepare by reading up on your Member of Congress on their website.
  • Learn your Members’ committee assignments, where their specialties lie, as well as their personal interests.
  • Plan your strategy ahead of time. Decide who will lead the meeting if multiple REALTORS® are attending and what talking points each person will cover.
  • Choose talking points. Create a list of 3 to 5 important issues you want to cover and use real examples to communicate your point.
  • Organize by making sure you know where the meeting is taking place and at what time. Arrive on time, be polite and well dressed.
  • Touch base with your NAR Lobbyist before the meeting so they can provide any insight on the Member’s position on the issue.

During the Meeting

  • Be sensitive to the amount of time allotted to you. Ask up front and if you get 15-20 minutes with your MOC (or staff ) that’s great!
  • Present the need for what you’re asking the Member of Congress to do. Use data or cases you know.
  • Present your business card up front.
  • Relate situations in his/her home state or district.
  • Ask the Representative’s or Senator’s position and why.
  • Show openness to and knowledge of counterarguments and respond to them cordially.
  • Admit what you don’t know. Offer to try to find out the answer and send information back to the office.
  • Spend more time with Members who may not have embraced the NAR position on an issue. You can lessen the intensity of the opposition and perhaps change it.

End of the Meeting

  • Get the name and business card of any staff person who sits in on the meeting. This will help you should you need to follow up after the meeting.
  • Give the Member and staff any handouts you have on your talking points.
  • Thank the office for any support the Member has given on our issues.

After the Meeting

  • Write a thank you e-mail to the staff with whom you met and offer to be of any assistance on real estate issues in the future.
  • Follow through on any promises you made to the Member or staff.
  • File a Field Report.
  • Send the Member of Congress a note of support when they do or say something that is helpful to NAR. This is especially important if the Member was not initially supportive of an issue and worked with us even if it was unpopular.

Don’ts

  • Don’t fail to show up for your scheduled meeting. Call if you are running late.
  • Don’t discount Congressional staff. Many Congressional staffers look (and are) young. However, do not assume that such a staffer does not have significant responsibility and the ear of his or her Member. In many offices, the staffer you are meeting with will prepare a summary memo for the Member that carries extreme influence and power.
  • Don’t overload a Congressional visit with too many issues.
  • Don’t confront, threaten, pressure or beg.
  • Don’t be argumentative. Speak with calmness and commitment so as not to put him/her on the defensive.
  • Don’t overstate the case. Members are very busy and you are apt to lose their attention if you are too wordy.
  • Don’t expect Members of Congress to be specialists. Their schedules and workloads tend to make them generalists.
  • Don’t be put off by smokescreens or long-winded answers. Bring the Members back to the point. Maintain control of the meetings.
  • Don’t make promises you can’t deliver.
  • Don’t be afraid to take a stand on the issues.
  • Don’t shy away from meetings with legislators with known views opposite your own.
  • Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.” Offer to follow up with them after the meeting when you can obtain the correct information.
  • When meeting in Washington, D.C. don’t be offended if you are asked to meet in a hallway or tight space. Capitol Hill is a busy place with limited real estate. Where you meet does not matter, but what is said and how you conduct yourself does.

Do’s and Don’ts of Delivering an RPAC Check

Download the Do’s and Don’ts of Delivering an RPAC Check.

RPAC serves as a critical FPC resource to support pro-REALTOR® candidates in their election efforts. In the 2014 elections, RPAC was the largest association PAC in the nation, with direct contributions totaling more than $4.5 million. RPAC allocates certain funds for FPCs to use each cycle, including “In-State” funds and “Special Recognition Funds.” The following is a reminder of the importance of delivering your RPAC checks and the rules surrounding the gesture. Do not put yourself at risk or embarrass the lawmaker or his/her staff by forgetting these important guidelines.

In-State Funds

  • $1,000 for each FPC for a Congressional two-year election cycle and
  • $2,000 for each FPC for a Senate six-year election cycle.

In-State Funds are funds that can be used to attend in-district receptions or events for Members of Congress to support their re-election efforts.

Special Recognition Funds

Before each election, your state association’s RPAC trustees will meet to consider additional support for your member of Congress based upon their voting record on REALTOR® Party issues. Once the NAR trustees approve your state’s request, your state association will receive a special recognition check for you to deliver for your member’s re-election.

Do’s

  • Deliver your RPAC check in-person.
  • Meet your Member of Congress at a non-government location like a coffee shop, your office or their campaign headquarters. NEVER deliver a check at his/her office or on any other government property.
  • Deliver the RPAC check within 15 days of receiving it from NAR.
  • Contact your state association if you cannot deliver the check to the candidate, so another REALTOR® representative may be appointed to deliver it.
  • Praise the Member of Congress for his/her work in the district and for supportive actions he or she has already taken to further REALTOR® Party issues.
    • It is important to only comment on action they have taken IN THE PAST and not on any legislation currently in play.
    • Even better is to avoid discussing specific legislation at all while presenting a check.
  • Keep close track of all RPAC checks. If for some reason the check is lost, please report it to your NAR Political Representative IMMEDIATELY so that it can be cancelled and re-cut.

Don’ts

  • Never deliver an RPAC check in a government office OR on government property. It is ILLEGAL! This includes everything from federal office buildings to federal parks and preserves to all other types of federal facilities.
    • Note: Even presenting the check in the parking lot can still be considered government property and it may be unlawful. DO NOT DO IT.
  • Never make any political “ask” of your Member of Congress while presenting your RPAC check.
    • For example, DO NOT say, “please vote for this bill.” Again, it is ILLEGAL to solicit a legislative vote in exchange for a contribution.
  • Don’t wait until just before the election to deliver the check, as it is then of limited use to the candidate. If the candidate is facing a difficult election, you may have trouble scheduling a meeting. Don’t keep waiting, instead deliver the check to the campaign manager, district director or other senior advisor with the promise of a meeting with the candidate after the election.
  • Never deliver an RPAC check after the election day (Primary and General) for which the check is designated. After Election Day, it is legally too late to contribute and RPAC has missed the opportunity to demonstrate our support.
  • Don’t mail a check unless it is absolutely unavoidable. Please deliver all checks in-person if possible.
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Gift Rules

New rules adopted by the House of Representatives and Senate impose limitations on the extent to which individuals and organizations may make, and Members of Congress and their staff may accept, gifts from private sources. In addition, criminal and civil penalties now apply to violations of these gift rules. Members of Congress and their staffs are prohibited from accepting gifts unless one of the various specific exceptions to the prohibition applies, and the term “gift” is defined very broadly to include virtually all items of value, services, payment for transportation, lodging, or meals. Anytime something of value is offered to a Member of Congress and their staffs, the donor should first confirm that one of the recognized exceptions to the general gift prohibition applies.

In general gifts must have a value of less than $50, and the value of all gifts in a calendar year must be less than $100 (but excluding from such aggregate computation any gifts with a value of less than $10.) This $50 limit applies to the value of meals provided to a Member of Congress, or to the value of tickets to sporting or other entertainment events. In addition, the foregoing limits do not apply to gifts by individuals who are registered as federal lobbyists and organizations that employ registered federal lobbyists. Such persons and organizations are prohibited from giving gifts of any value (unless a separate exception to the gifts rules applies.)

These restrictions do not apply to other organizations that do not directly employ registered federal lobbyists or retain outside registered federal lobbyists. However, because NAR employs registered federal lobbyists, the more restrictive requirements are imposed on NAR. Those restrictions do not also apply to state or local associations as long as they do not employ or retain outside federal registered lobbyists.

FAQs About the New Gift Rules

Are state and local associations subject to the gift limit of “zero” even though they don’t employ federal registered lobbyists, since NAR employs them?
NO. Only if a state or local association, or a real estate firm, employs its’ own registered federal lobbyist does the prohibition on gifts of any value apply. If no federal lobbyist is employed by a state or local association, the association may pay for a meal for a Member of Congress, or staff member, subject to the limit of $50 (and $100 per year aggregate limit.) The same limit applies to an individual Realtor member who pays for a meal for a Member of Congress.

As an FPC, I send coffee and donuts to our Member of Congress’s office each year, or bring him or her various personal gifts. Is that permitted?
YES, so long as the value of the coffee and donuts or the gift(s) sent do not exceed the $50 limit.

Can a REALTOR® Association host a reception for its Congressional delegation and their staffs when members of the association are visiting Washington? Are there any restrictions or limitations on who may pay for the costs of such a reception, or reporting requirements?
YES. A state or local association may host a reception for their Member(s) of Congress and/or staff. Such an event would be permitted under one of two exceptions: as a “reception” or as a “widely attended event.” The reception exception would apply if the refreshments served do not constitute a “meal”—essentially the distinction is whether the food/beverages served are consumed standing up, or served plated and sitting down. The widely attended event exception may also apply if the expected attendance is 25 or more REALTORS® or association staff, not counting the invited Members of Congress and their staffs.

In short, though, such an event is permitted and there are no reporting requirements or funding source limitations. Moreover, NAR’s lobbyist who calls on those Congressional offices may attend the event. Members of Congress may also be accompanied at the event by a spouse or staff person.

Other important exceptions to the gift limitations described above permit the following gifts:

  1. Gifts based on bona fide, legitimate personal friendship between the donor and the Member of Congress. In determining whether or not the Member and donor have a legitimate personal friendship underlying the gift, all relevant facts and circumstances will be assessed, including the length of the personal friendship, whether it involves a social or business relationship outside the context of service as a Member of Congress, and whether there is a history of reciprocal gift giving between the two parties. If the donor is reimbursed for the cost of the gift by another party (his/her employer, or a state or local association), that fact will weigh heavily against the gift being truly personal, and an entity that employs or retains federal lobbyists (such as NAR) may never reimburse a donor for the cost of a gift whether or not a personal relationship exists between the donor and the intended recipient.
  2. Food and refreshments other than as a part of a meal, such as food consumed standing up at a reception or a light continental breakfast made available in connection with a morning meeting.
  3. Plaques, trophies or other commemorative items or items unique or common to the Member’s home state.
  4. Gifts having nominal value, such as greeting cards, baseball caps or t-shirts.
  5. Free attendance and amenities offered to others at “widely attended” events, including admission, local transportation to and from the event, refreshments provided to all in attendance, or entertainment provided to all attendees. The Member’s participation must be appropriate to and involve his official duties, such as by making a speech to attendees on active legislative policy issues. Only the sponsor of the event may bear such costs, however; a third party may not pay the admission fee or other costs incurred by the Member of attending such an event. The Member of Congress may also accept free attendance at the event for an accompanying individual, such as a staff member or spouse.
  6. Payment for travel and lodging in connection with a meeting, speaking engagement, fact finding trip or the like related to the performance of official duties, such as a “fact finding” trip. The Member of Congress must obtain prior approval, and certain other restrictions on the duration of the trip and participation of federal lobbyists in the trip also apply. A federal registered lobbyist may not pay for such travel, and may not engage in planning, organizing, requesting, or arranging the trip.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Some congressional offices have instituted their own rules that are stricter than the rules voted on by the House and Senate.

 

Questions? Contact Victoria Givens at 202-383-1021.

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Home

The REALTOR Party

Webinar: Can the Broadband Gap in Rural America be Closed?

Tune in August 7 to get an overview of the digital divide and its impact on real estate and communities.

National Homeownership Month

June is Homeownership Month and we’re celebrating the homeowner heroes of today, tomorrow, beyond! Click here to download campaign resources.

Hill Visit Materials

Hill Visit Materials from the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo

GAD Institute 2019

Registration is now closed for the 2019 GAD Institute
Tuesday, July 16, 2018-Thursday, July 18, 2018

That’s Who We Are

We're real people making a difference everywhere from neighborhoods, to our nation's capital. That's Who We R.

50th Anniversary of RPAC

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee

The Evolving Form of Housing

On Common Ground: Winter 2019

2019 REALTOR® Party Resource Guide Now Available

Resources, tools and funding information to help state and local REALTOR® Associations create, implement and sustain successful advocacy and community outreach programs.

The REALTOR® Party is a powerful alliance of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Associations working to advance public policies and candidates that build strong communities, protect property interests and promote a vibrant business environment.

Latest News

Photo & Video Highlights

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SUCCESS STORIES

Miami REALTORS® Celebrate Mega Success with Mega-Grant Program Pilot

With more than 47,000 members spanning roughly 70 different municipalities, the Miami Association of REALTORS® is the nation’s largest – a distinction that can be unwieldy and impractical when it comes to taking advantage of REALTOR® Party resources. A scaled-up program designed for “mega-boards,” piloted by the Miami REALTORS®, has proven to be a mega-success.
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Greater Los Angeles and Southland Regional Association REALTORS® Join Forces to Defeat Parcel Tax

Fresh off a win with a highly publicized teachers’ strike earlier this year, the Los Angeles Unified School District called for a 16-cent/square foot parcel tax on all residential and commercial buildings, claiming that it would support students. But the REALTORS® of the Greater Los Angeles and the Southland Regional Associations begged to differ.
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Utah REALTORS® Think Ahead to Prevent Affordable Housing Shortage

The population of Utah is expected to double – yes, double – by the year 2040, and the state is already feeling a housing crunch. With the help of Utah REALTORS® and the support of Issues Mobilization Grants, Utah has found a way to incentivize solutions to its growing shortage rather than strong-arming municipalities with mandates.
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Washington REALTORS® Campaign for Affordable Housing Legislation

REALTORS® in Washington state knew that access to affordable housing at all income levels was being hampered by lack of inventory. Using an Issues Mobilization Grant, they’ve convinced lawmakers to tackle challenges ranging from zoning to builder-liability to spur the creation of more housing stock.
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Pacific Southwest REALTORS® Helps Create Homeless Resources Website

Using a Housing Opportunity Grant, the Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® has sponsored the development of a website serving as a one-stop resource for those experiencing homelessness – or near-homelessness – in the San Diego area. The project honors the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.
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Advocacy Everywhere Helps DC Association of REALTORS® Keep Property Taxes at Bay

When the D.C. Association of REALTORS® learned on the eve of a budget vote that a City Council member was planning to introduce an “emergency amendment” taxing homes valued at more than $1 million, it dropped everything and called in the REALTOR® Party. A timely Call for Action got a strong message through to council members, and the proposal was shelved – for the time being.
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Lincoln REALTORS® Mobilize Voters to Support Roadway Improvements

Many of Lincoln, Nebraska’s streets were in disrepair, some to the point of impassability. Using polling services and an Issues Mobilization grant, local REALTORS® took a leading role in getting them fixed.
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Two Local Missouri Associations Help Communities Pass Much-Needed School Bonds

In the spring election season, Southeast Missouri REALTORS® and the Mark Twain Association of REALTORS® both used Issues Mobilization grants to improve neighborhoods by improving school facilities. Through energetic campaigns, they convinced the public to approve ballot initiatives that will fund major school improvements in the coming years.
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Mississippi REALTORS® Maximize Returns with RPAC Fundraising Grant

As RPAC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Mississippi REALTORS® raises the bar for RPAC investment. During its Winter Meetings this year, the small state association hosted a lively Drawdown and Lip Sync event supported by a REALTOR® Party grant — and collected more than $83,000 for RPAC.
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Charlotte REALTORS®Dive Deep into Regional State of Housing

Like so many U.S. urban centers, Charlotte, N.C., is facing an affordable housing crisis. To help housing stakeholders understand the full scope of the complex issue as it affects the whole region, the Charlotte Regional REALTOR® Association used a Housing Opportunity Grant to commission a State of Housing study that analyzed factors like jobs, housing supply, and affordability.
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Royal Palm Coast REALTOR® Association Keeps Redundant, Burdensome Zoning at Bay

In the last three years, more than 45 municipalities across Florida have modified their vacation rental ordinances to be more restrictive. In Cape Coral, a seasonal residence for many homeowners, REALTORS® aided by a Land Use Initiative led a successful charge to keep additional restrictions off the books.
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Bay East REALTORS® Mobilize on Short Notice to Fight Just-Cause Evictions

With an important rental housing regulation hanging in the balance, the Bay East Association of REALTORS® launched a REALTOR® Party Mobile Alert campaign using the Advocacy Everywhere program, mobilizing more than 175 recipients to contact the City Council in a span of less than 48 hours.With an important rental housing regulation hanging in the balance, the Bay East Association of REALTORS® launched a REALTOR® Party Mobile Alert campaign using the Advocacy Everywhere program, mobilizing more than 175 recipients to contact the City Council in a span of less than 48 hours.
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Selkirk REALTORS® Protect Quality of Life in Bonners Ferry

With a series of Smart Growth Action Grants, Selkirk REALTORS® supported a multi-year planning process for an integrated network of pedestrian and bicycle routes in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Complete with graphic branding and signage, the plan will enhance the local active transport scene for residents, and contribute to the region’s growing appeal to bike tourism.
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Mississippi REALTORS® Secure Broader Broadband Access

REALTORS® know better than anyone that expanded internet access is the only way to increase economic opportunity and connect communities in rural and underserved areas. Harnessing the power of Advocacy Everywhere, Mississippi REALTORS® rallied voters to support the Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act, which finally permits electric cooperatives to provide broadband services in addition to electric power.
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Columbus REALTORS® Joined Forces to Celebrate Fair Housing

Joining forces with colleagues from the local NAREB chapter and the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals, Columbus REALTORS® hosted a Cost of Poverty Experience and dramatized a mock trial to highlight issues addressed by the Fair Housing Act that are still at play in their communities.
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Successful Florida REALTORS® Campaign Leads to Property Tax Limits on Non-Homestead Properties

In the fourth and final phase of a ten-year effort, the Florida REALTORS® were able to secure a permanent 10% cap on non-homestead property tax through an Issues Mobilization campaign supported by the REALTOR® Party. Had the limit not been approved by voters, 700,000 Florida property owners stood to be hit by a projected $627 million increase in additional property taxes annually.
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Arizona REALTORS® Lead the Charge against a Tax on Services

A statewide campaign featuring a superhero named “PAT”, short for Protect Arizona Taxpayers, helped convince Arizona voters to amend the state constitution to prohibit sales taxes on services. Thanks to an Issues Mobilization Grant, the effort was able to achieve its goal in a single bound.
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REALTORS® Reverse FEMA Flood Insurance Suspension Within Days of Dubious Shutdown

Bringing its considerable resources, skill, and depth of knowledge to bear on FEMA’s surprising declaration that the National Flood Insurance Program would not be renewed in light of the federal shutdown, the policy team at the National Association of REALTORS® effected a swift reversal of the damaging decision.
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Local Maryland Association Takes Bold, Successful Step into Politics

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.
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Greater Greenville REALTORS® Promote “Missing Middle” Housing

Greenville, S.C., faces significant shortages of affordable housing, and the existing supply is diminishing rapidly. Using a Housing Opportunity Grant, the local REALTORS® co-hosted a Housing Forum to show policy makers how they could break down barriers to developing housing in the essential “missing middle” range.
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With Advocacy Everywhere, Illinois REALTORS® Rally Peoria Voters against New “Parcel Tax” on Property Owners

The city of Peoria, Ill., was attempting to bridge a budget gap by imposing a new tax on property owners. With help from the state association, the REALTORS® used Advocacy Everywhere to call voters’ attention to the threat, and encourage calls of opposition to the City Council. Overwhelmed by the volume, the Council agreed to a compromise.
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Hawai’i REALTORS® Improve Public Education without Property Tax Surcharges

The REALTORS® of Hawai’i want high quality public education throughout their state, which suffers from extremely high teacher-turnover. This fall, they led the charge against a ballot measure that would allow for the creation of a property tax surcharge on residential investment properties to fund the Department of Education. And then they redoubled their focus on affordable housing.
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Greensboro REALTORS® Tackle Additions to City Zoning Code

When a fatal apartment fire triggered a knee-jerk reaction from the City Council to amend the municipal zoning code, the Greensboro Regional Association of REALTORS® used the REALTOR® Party’s Land Use Initiative to commission a thorough analysis of the changes. The report informed significant changes to the language, and the REALTORS® continue to work with the lawmakers to refine and improve it.
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St. Louis REALTORS® Channel History, Community to Celebrate Fair Housing Anniversary

In St. Louis, Missouri, REALTORS® have a profound reminder of past prejudicial real estate practices in the Shelley House, the property at the center of the landmark Supreme Court case of Shelley vs. Kraemer, which gave way to the Fair Housing Act 20 years later. In recognition of the 50th anniversary of that breakthrough legislation, St. Louis REALTORS® engaged into local projects benefiting underserved communities with grants from the REALTOR® Party and Missouri REALTORS®.
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South Carolina REALTORS® Commission Analysis of Questionable Proposed Legislation

In South Carolina’s 2018 legislative session, three separate pieces of legislation raised red flags to the South Carolina REALTORS® as matters requiring close scrutiny. With the REALTOR® Party’s Land Use Initiative program, the REALTORS® requested an analysis of all three, and got the answers they needed to act and plan for the future.
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Sacramento and Pacific West REALTORS® Join Forces to Keep Rent Control off the Ballot

Two local associations in California launched “decline to sign” campaigns to prevent rent-control ballot initiatives from garnering the necessary signatures to qualify for the November 6 election. While one succeeded and the other did not, both agree that it was well worth the effort.
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Haywood REALTORS® Supports Smart Growth and Affordable Housing in Waynesville, NC

Bounded by the Great Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and a flood plain, sprawl isn’t necessarily an option for the Town of Waynesville, North Carolina; but using a REALTOR® Party Smart Growth Action Grant, the REALTORS® of Haywood County helped to inform its 2020 Comprehensive Land Use Plan by sponsoring a public Visioning Workshop.
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TREPAC Gets a Fun-filled Boost from Dallas-area Diversity Groups

What would you pay to dunk a director of your local REALTOR® board? How about the chance to throw pies at colleagues? Five diversity organizations across the Texas real estate industry joined together to host “Fair Play for TREPAC,” a fun-filled evening that honored the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, and raised more than $6,600 for the Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee.
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Post-Hurricane Harvey, Houston REALTORS® are focused on Flood Impact – and How to Keep it from Happening Again

One year to the day after Hurricane Harvey hit Harris County, Texas, citizens were called to the polls to vote on the region’s largest bond proposal ever: $2.5 billion for flood-control projects and flood mitigation. The measure passed with 85% support; the Houston REALTORS® helped get out the vote.
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Placemaking and Puppy Love Go Hand-in-Hand for Kenai Peninsula REALTORS®

In the city of Soldotna in Southcentral Alaska, dogs are having their day in a spacious new dog park. With the help of a Placemaking Grant and a lot of elbow grease, volunteers from the Kenai Peninsula Association worked alongside the Rotary Club and Parks and Rec Department to build a large shelter, with benches, for dogs and owners alike.
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District of Columbia REALTORS® Get Legislative Results Protecting Property Owners and Housing Providers

Thanks to the REALTOR® Party’s Advocacy Everywhere program, the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® was able to spur members to contact City Council members about two important issues affecting property owners in the Nation’s Capital. The sophisticated system of REALTOR® Party Mobile Alert texts and emails made communication swift and simple.
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Greater Nashville REALTORS® Put Placemaking Grant to Work for Pedestrian Plaza

With vision, elbow grease, and a Placemaking Grant, Greater Nashville REALTORS® partnered with a local civic design organization to transform a dismal traffic triangle into a cheerful, safer pedestrian refuge.
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Is Smart Growth the Key to Preserving Montana’s ‘Big Sky?’ Gallatin REALTORS® Funds Study to Find Answers.

A REALTOR® Party Smart Growth Action Grant enabled the Gallatin Association of REALTORS® to support an in-depth analysis of property tax value-per-acre in Bozeman, Montana. The resulting 3-D economic model clearly demonstrated the fiscal efficiency of concentrating growth in urban centers, rather than allowing sprawl, and will inform the development of the city’s Growth Plan.
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Prince George’s County Mounts Winning Campaigns for County Council Candidates — Times Three!

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.
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Southern Minnesota REALTORS® Jump-start Walkability in Mankato

Using REALTOR® Party resources, the REALTOR® Association of Southern Minnesota hosted a WalkShop event to determine how the revival of Mankato’s Old Town section could be even more vibrant and pedestrian-friendly. The half-day program included a walking tour with an expert consultant, and a whole lot of brainstorming.
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Laguna REALTORS® Help Seniors Age-in-Place

The seaside municipality of Laguna Beach is not the sort of place anyone likes to leave – least of all the growing number of seniors who are deeply attached to the community in which they’ve made their homes. Now, with a REALTOR® Party grant, the local REALTORS® are partnering with a community non-profit to get seniors the help they need to remain where they want to be.
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Sun Valley Board Help Veterans with a Housing Opportunity Grant

The pride that comes with having served in the armed forces makes it hard for many veterans to seek help securing and maintaining housing. “If anyone’s going to do something about their housing needs, it’s going to be the REALTORS®,” says the Executive Officer of Idaho’s Sun Valley Board of REALTORS®. But first, they have to find them.
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Maine Association Facilitates Smart Growth for Once-thriving Mill Town

To help the once-prosperous mill town of Sanford envision a future with walkable affordable housing and fresh economic contributors, the Maine Association of REALTORS® used a Smart Growth Action Grant to support a three-day charrette, in which all stakeholders had an opportunity to contribute ideas to a new downtown development.
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Palm Springs REALTORS® Defend Short-Term Rental Industry

When the thriving cottage industry of privately operated short-term vacation rental properties was threatened by a recent ballot initiative in Palm Springs, California, the REALTORS® secured an Issues Mobilization Grant. The success of their campaign to defeat the proposal was a victory for private property rights.
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With Better Block Event, Longleaf Pine REALTORS® Demonstrate Just How Pedestrian-Friendly Haymount Can Be

Within Fayetteville, North Carolina, the Haymount district is blessed with neat neighborhoods of cottage-style homes and proximity to downtown, but its commercial district is cursed by an environment that is distinctly unfriendly to pedestrians. Armed with a vision, a Smart Growth Action Grant, and a whole lot of duct tape, the local Longleaf Pine REALTORS® set out to change that.
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Kaua`i REALTORS® Use Grant to Engage More Brokers in Advocacy

The 584-member Kaua’i Board of REALTORS® knew that the best way to involve members in advocacy and RPAC would be to show them what exactly it does for them. At the conclusion of an informative breakfast presentation supported by a Broker Involvement Program Grant, 15 brokerages gladly signed on.
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Residential Real Estate Council Invests in RPAC at Record Levels in 2017

The Residential Real Estate Council (formerly the Council of Residential Specialists) was already a powerful fundraising body for RPAC, but in 2017, its investing was supercharged; its Major Investors and President’s Circle membership went up, too.
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Boise Regional REALTORS® Boost School District with Issues Mobilization Grant

In the fastest growing region in the fastest growing state in the nation, the public school facilities could not keep up with the booming student population. An Issues Mobilization campaign helped get a $95 million bond measure approved for new schools, school expansions, and the purchase of future school sites.
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Memphis Area Association of REALTORS® Uses Diversity Grant to Commemorate Historic 50th Anniversaries

In remembering the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in their own city 50 years ago this spring, the REALTORS® of Memphis, Tenn. marched two miles to the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel. But that was just the beginning of a strategic plan that shines a bright light on cultural diversity, fair housing, and anti-blight initiatives.
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Thanks to Alabama REALTORS®, First-time Homebuyers Can Now Save for Down Payments and Closing Costs

Armed with polling results and economic research provided by the REALTOR® Party’s Issue Mobilization Grant and legislative language based on an existing model, Alabama REALTORS® convinced the state legislature to create a First-time and Second-chance Homebuyer Savings Account program.
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Calaveras County REALTORS® Force Repeal of High-Risk Energy Conservation Loan Program

Thanks to a timely Issues Mobilization campaign, northern California’s Calaveras County Association of REALTORS® was able to reverse authorization for a loan program that the FHA no longer insures. When it comes to financing energy conservation improvements, they stand behind more responsible, less risky options.
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Louisiana REALTORS® Defeat a Proposed Tax on Services

Every couple of years, the Louisiana legislature discusses a tax on services to help close the budget deficit, and every time, the Louisiana REALTORS® fight back to protect consumers from a huge increase in costs to get in to a new home or business property. This year, they had help from the REALTOR® Party's new Advocacy Everywhere program.
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Miami REALTORS® Create Better Block in West Coconut Grove

Teams of both YPNs and "Old PNs" (as they're affectionately known in Miami) came together with the University of Miami’s School of Architecture to revive a vacant lot in West Coconut Grove with a new weekly marketplace and a vibrant landmark mural celebrating the area's Bahamian immigrant culture.
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Cape Fear REALTORS® Top the Broker Involvement Chart with 99% Coverage

“We knew that enrollment drives response rates to Calls for Action,” said Johnson. “So, we set a goal of 50% enrollment for multi-agent offices.” Flash forward, after consistent effort, last fall CFR achieved 94% enrollment of all multi-office brokers, which covers 99% of all agent members. “We thought maintaining that level of involvement would be difficult, but by adding enrollment as part of the Designated REALTOR® Application Form, it’s been easy. We’ve had 100% enrollment with new brokers.”
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Phoenix REALTORS®’ Creativity Leads to Sweeping RPAC Investments

With more than 9,200 members, the only sure-fire way for a mega-board like the Phoenix Association of REALTORS® (PAR) to get the attention of its full membership is to tie information to its dues renewal mailing. Several years ago, PAR launched a sweepstakes to encourage investment in RPAC during the December-January dues-renewal season; three years in, the event has gained such momentum that an RPAC Fundraising Grant recently earned back more than nine-times its value in RPAC investment.
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Wisconsin REALTORS® Help Lower Property Taxes, Strengthen School Budgets, and Protect Property Rights

The Wisconsin REALTORS® Association launched two successful Issues Mobilization campaigns: the first convinced the legislature to eliminate a minor property tax dating back to the Great Depression; the other supported a new law that overturned an existing one that had been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
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West Central Minnesota REALTORS® Help to House the Homeless

When the regional Continuum of Care program serving the same 18 counties as Minnesota's West Central Association of REALTORS® created a more streamlined entry system to bring assistance to those in dire need of housing, the REALTORS® used a REALTOR® Party Housing Opportunity Grant to get the word out.
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Greater Boston Board Works toward Zoning Reform

Antiquated zoning and a mire of case law stands in the way of the development of housing necessary for economic growth in the Boston region. Using the REALTOR® Party's Land Use Initiative, the Greater Boston Real Estate Board is tackling the complexities of zoning reform in City Hall and at the State House.
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Partnership Spurs Diversity for the Grosse Pointe REALTORS®

In Grosse Pointe, Michigan, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "The Other America" speech 50 years ago this March, the local REALTOR® board makes all its decisions through an internalized lens of diversification. Partnering with the public school system recently, the REALTORS® recently created a calendar illustrated with student visions of diversity; proceeds from calendar sales support diversity efforts in the schools.
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Creativity Help Associations Keep RPAC Investments at an All-time High

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.
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Houston Association Gathers and Shares Hurricane Harvey Recovery Resources with Multicultural Associations

Using a Diversity Initiative Grant, The Houston Association of REALTORS® put together a program for members, including the multicultural real estate associations in town, providing information on topics from mold remediation to tax relief to dealing with the emotional aftermath. Grocery story gift cards and a positive housing market outlook made the supportive event even cheerier.
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New Hampshire REALTORS® Envision Smart Growth for White Mountains

The White Mountains of New Hampshire are a popular tourist region, but affordable housing for would-be service industry staff is not meeting demand. The 150-member White Mountain Board of REALTORS® used a Smart Growth Action Grant to explore possible zoning changes that would permit higher density development—and more affordable housing.
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Telluride REALTORS® Elect Three REALTOR® Champions to Town Council

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.
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REALTOR® PARTY MOBILE ALERT SUBSCRIBERS 202,086

COMMUNITY OUTREACH GRANTS $1,247,133

CANDIDATES SUPPORTED FOR PUBLIC OFFICE (2017)105

RPAC MAJOR INVESTORS 8,433

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Field Reports

Thank you for your involvement as a NAR Federal Political Coordinator. Please tell us about your recent interaction with your Member of Congress by filling out the form below.

Click here to file an FPC Field Report

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Federal Political Coordinator Program

Every member of Congress is assigned a REALTOR® called a Federal Political Coordinator or FPC. FPCs are a specially selected group of 535 REALTORS® who are the voice and the face of real estate to our federal lawmakers, playing a pivotal role in REALTOR® Party Outreach.

In addition to regular contact with the assigned Member of Congress, there are several specific tasks that are required to fulfill the role of FPC.

  • Respond to all NAR Calls for Action.
  • Advocate on behalf of all REALTORS® and the REALTOR® Party.
  • Contact their assigned member of Congress at least once per quarter and submit a field report.
  • Participate in in-person or online training as required.
  • Use and deliver all RPAC investments in a timely manner.*
  • Attend each annual REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C.
  • Develop a Contact Team (see FPC Contact Team Toolkit).
  • Support Only Their Assigned Member of Congress.**
  • Sign and return the FPC Pledge Form to NAR.

Check out the FPC Resources page for more information.

Travel Stipend Reimbursement Policy

NAR offers a stipend to FPCs from each state (one FPC per Congressman or Senator) to attend the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. The stipend remains up to $1,000 per FPC, which is intended to help defray the costs incurred to travel to Washington, D.C., for these meetings.

Any FPC not otherwise reimbursed by their state or local association (for example: member of the Board of Directors or Leadership) to attend the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings is eligible to apply for the stipend. To be reimbursed FPCs, following state reimbursement rules, should file their expense report with the state immediately after the conference. States then should submit one invoice to NAR for the entire state FPC delegation (one FPC per Congressman or Senator) that attended the meetings and are requesting the stipend.

The invoice should list the name of each FPC requesting assistance, and the amount being requested for each FPC. Invoices should be submitted to NAR by July 1. Please email your invoice to govcpapay@realtors.org. Sending invoices elsewhere will cause a delay in reimbursement.

Questions? Contact Victoria Givens at 202-383-1021.

*FPCs are also encouraged to make a voluntary contribution to RPAC, as a tangible, credible sign of their commitment to NAR’s legislative objectives and their understanding of RPAC’s importance in achieving those goals.

**FPCs may not engage in activities that support or can be perceived as supporting their Member’s opponent, including but not limited to contributing to the opponent’s campaign.  Such activities may be the basis for considering terminating the FPC’s appointment.

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Illinois REALTORS® Localize and Diversify National Program

There are 435 members in the U.S. House of Representatives, and one hundred Senators, and every single one of them has a Federal Political Coordinator (FPC) appointed by the National Association of REALTORS®.  Each FPC serves as the face and voice of the real estate industry and a source of information from a given congressional home district. FPCs put a human face on the issues that affect our industry and let Members of Congress know that the choices they make in Washington affect the lives of their constituents back home.  In recent years, NAR has encouraged its FPCs to build small supportive teams to help each FPC execute their significant grassroots activities.    In Illinois, they’ve taken that idea and run with it.

Sharon Gorrell, Housing Policy Advisor of the Illinois REALTORS®, explains that for years, the association has organized all of the Illinois’ FPCs as part of a working group that meets at least once a year to engage in public policy training and information sharing. The Illinois REALTORS® also maintains a listserv and a dedicated website to keep its FPCs connected and informed.  Since its FPC program was already robust and successful, she notes, it was a given that the Illinois REALTORS® would capitalize on NAR’s directive to build teams around each Federal Political Coordinator.  “Our leadership really believes in the importance of advocacy, and that means having the best possible system in place to deliver our information to legislators.”

Illinois has 18 House Representatives and two Senators, and approximately 150 FPC team members.  The teams are carefully developed to reflect the whole congressional district and the real estate industry as completely as possible, says Gorrell.  “The combined expertise of the team allows the FPC to convey a truly comprehensive message to the representative in Washington,” she explains.  “If an FPC is a residential broker, for example, then he or she benefits from the expertise of a commercial colleague on the team, or an agent specializing in foreclosures.”  Likewise, the Illinois REALTORS® also incorporate members of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) to build ethnically diverse teams that reflect the multicultural breadth of each district.

Mike Drews, President of Illinois REALTORS®, is FPC for Congressman Randy Hultgren of Illinois’ 14th District.  “Through collective efforts of the team,” he says, “the issues are consistently in front of the member of Congress.  Our elected representatives need to know all of the different aspects of our industry and the marketplace of his or her district; that broad-based information can only be shared through a knowledgeable and diverse team of professionals.”

Ed Neaves, President Elect of the Bloomington-Normal Association of REALTORS®, is the FPC for Congressman Adam Kinzinger of the 16th District.  He echoes Drews’ advocacy of the team system:  “Many Congressional districts can cover large amounts of territory. Having a team that represents not just different specialties, but different areas of the district is paramount to delivering a well-rounded message.  Anecdotes and real life stories from a specialist really strengthen the message and increase our credibility,” he adds.  “Having a commercial member share the real impacts of losing the 1031 exchange, for example, goes much farther than just reading a talking point.”

Both Drews and Neaves are on the REALTOR® Party Member Involvement Committee (RPMIC), which oversees the FPC program.  The Federal Political Coordinator teams, notes Gorrell, also serve an important role in succession building, grooming members to step into leadership positions as FPCs, and elsewhere in the REALTOR® organization.  The team system promotes greater awareness of the importance of RPAC, too, and its grassroots nature contributes to the state’s high call-to-action response rate.

Recognizing the great value of the FPC team model, the Illinois REALTORS® has also replicated the concept at the state level, assigning a local REALTOR® to each state legislator.  And, taking a global view, Illinois REALTORS® have also just launched an innovative program called the Consulate General Liaison program which is based on the same FPC model, and connects foreign consulates in Chicago with the real estate industry in Illinois.  Through this, Illinois REALTORS® is leading the way in helping foreign nationals understand the local markets.

To learn more about how the Illinois REALTORS® are making themselves an indispensible information source for their representatives in Congress and beyond, contact Sharon Gorrell, Housing Policy Advisor of Illinois REALTORS® at sgorrell@iar.org or 630-428-1851.

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