The profound importance and powerful impact of advocacy work in our industry has become increasingly clear over the last several years. The REALTORS® Legislative Meetings allow us to build on that momentum and continue the critical policy conversations among REALTORS®, lawmakers, and industry leaders. Attendees typically include members who are involved in the governance of the association, committee volunteers, scholarship recipients, and some MAR staff. This year, Minneapolis was extremely well-represented, with over 40 MAR members in attendance!
This year’s meetings in Washington DC centered many conversations on the topic of expanding homeownership across the country. Many speakers stressed the importance of growing our supply of housing inventory, which has been lagging behind market demand for over a decade.
The most prominent message from the week, however, was the urgent need to reduce racial disparities in homeownership. We saw this in action particularly in the NAR Board of Directors meeting on the last day of the convention, where your NAR Directors voted overwhelmingly to support the strengthening of Fair Housing policies within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Another measure with overwhelming support urges associations to lobby their state authorities to require fair housing training for both new licensees and continuing education for current real estate agents.
“Talking to agents from other associations who are active in their local associations was a great opportunity to expand my understanding of the industry,” said Jen Piller Quade, who attended the legislative meetings for the first time. “I was impressed by the caliber of leadership REALTORS® have at the national level.” From detailed understanding of our own real estate industry, to how Congress and the Federal Government regulate it, to emerging issues like the war in Ukraine, there is no shortage of understanding at this conference.
In addition to an extensive governance and business meeting schedule, the conference included trips to the U.S. Capitol, House, and Senate Office Buildings. REALTORS® brought five legislative asks in three categories to the attention of lawmakers and their staff. The focus was on policy solutions that would add to housing supply, expand fair housing enforcement, and sharing data and research reports produced by NAR on housing. A special thanks to the Federal Political Coordinators (“FPCs”) who are the key contacts for Members of Congress.
- Fran Davis, Coldwell Banker Burnett, FPC for U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith
- Pat Paulson, Exit Realty Metro, FPC for U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN-5th)
- Kath Hammerseng, Edina Realty, FPC for U.S. Representative Dean Phillips (D-MN-3rd)
- Patty Zuzek, Field Stone Realty, FPC for U.S. Representative Angie Craig (D-MN-2nd)
The following scholarship winners also attended the NAR meetings on MAR’s behalf, with some participating in the U.S. Capitol Hill visits as well.
Ann Brockhouse, Future Leader Scholarship
- Bill Adams
- Jona Flores
- Jen Piller Quade
Jean Leake, Emerging Markets Scholarship
- Adade Amenounve
- Jackie Berry
- Anthony Dew
- Zaq Farah
We were so excited to see so many REALTOR® members back together, especially so many from our association. Denise Mazone, MAR President, shared her top 3 key takeaways:
- It’s important to let your voice be heard at the Capitol.
- Networking with other REALTORS® across the country is so insightful.
- The sessions are informative and relevant to the success of our business!