Every year REALTOR® members from all over the United States come to Washington, DC to meet with their legislators to discuss the challenges we face as REALTORS® around the topic of homeownership. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit with your legislators, Legislative meetings are a great way to learn about the power of a large group investing a few days to lobby at the Captial at Washington, DC. Not really sure where the term, “lobbyist” comes from? click here.
Even if you don’t feel you have the ability to engage with your legislator, watching and being in their offices provide great leverage for our states on the decisions made at a national level. Learning and watching the process of being a lobbyist, even for a day, with our representatives shows that we value our industry.
As an Illinois REALTOR®, I was able to tag along with our Illinois FPC’s, federal political coordinators, and watch how they discussed issues that affect their constituents. These visits were pre-scheduled meetings with their State Congressman and Senators. Two of our local FPC’s, also licensed REALTOR® members, Nykea Pippion-McGriff and Cedrick Hunter, were well prepared on local issues for their communities. They effectively discussed the issues of Short-sales, the homeowner tax credit deduction, and interest deduction. They talked about the importance of making the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act a permanent Act for those that truly qualify for a hardship. Many know that taking away credits that are associated with home ownership can devalue the benefits of homeownership. Congressman Mike Quigley, Congressman Bobby Rush, and Congressman Danny Davis were extremely gracious with their time, they listened intently and offered their opinions on the concerns that were shared in the meetings.
We are more than just agents. We are REALTORS® that sell real estate, invest in real estate, educate our buyers and sellers and FIGHT for the rights of our clients. If you are not involved in your local communities or states, I challenge you, get in touch with your local Government Affairs director. Then find out how you can help maintain the value of homeownership. Get involved. Let’s fight for the rights of home ownership together.