RPAC: Your Best Investment in Real Estate
Since 1969, the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) has promoted the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates across the United States. The purpose of RPAC is clear: REALTORS® raise and spend money to elect candidates who understand and support their interests. The money to accomplish this comes from voluntary contributions made by REALTORS®. These are not members’ dues; this is money given freely by REALTORS® in recognition of how important campaign fundraising is to the political process. RPAC doesn’t buy votes. RPAC enables REALTORS® to support candidates that support the issues that are important to their profession and livelihood.
Being a member of the National Association of REALTORS® is a distinguished honor. As NAR members, you are automatically a member of the REALTOR® Party—the only advocacy group in America that fights exclusively for homeownership, real estate investment, strong communities and the free enterprise system. The REALTOR® Party speaks with one voice to advance candidates and public policies that uphold private property rights, real property ownership, strong communities and a vibrant business environment.
Since the REALTOR® Party was launched in 2012, REALTOR® Party Resources have been put to work more than 13, 000 times by more than 1,000 REALTOR® Associations. In recent years, local level activities have increased; REALTORS® have gained political clout through legislative victories in every corner of the country; and state and local REALTOR® Associations have expanded their community and political presence…all because of the actions of the REALTOR® Party.
While the thought of political advocacy and community engagement on a large scale maybe daunting, here are five easy ways to get started.
Register to Vote
With all the local, state and federal legislative efforts, ballot initiatives and major elections, REALTORS® around the country need to get involved. Today, approximately 82% of REALTORS® are registered to vote and our goal is to have as many of our members registered and at their polling place on Election Day as possible. Register today, especially if you’ve recently relocated, by visiting www.realtoractioncenter.com/registertovote.
Respond to Calls for Action and Sign up for the REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts
REALTORS® are busy people, and the REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts—NAR’s official texting platform—are the simple, easy way for REALTORS® to stay connected from their cell phone or tablet outside of their email inboxes. It is also the way we make sure our voice is heard from Capitol Hill to the state capitol and in city hall when a call for action is launched. Calls for action send messages from you to your national, state and local legislatures about issues that are important to our business. When a legislative call for action is launched, REALTOR® Party Mobile Alert subscribers get a short text message with ways to take action.
Sign up today by simply texting the word REALTOR to 30644. In addition to receiving text messages to participate in calls for action, you’ll receive a link to help you locate your polling location and election and primary voting day reminders to make sure we get out the vote.
Visit the REALTOR® Action Center at www.realtoractioncenter.com
Looking for ways to vote, act and invest in the REALTOR® Party? Want to see how REALTORS® and REALTOR® Associations are successfully using REALTOR® Party programs, grants and tools? The REALTOR® Action Center is a one-stop shop for your REALTOR® Party needs, whether you want to apply for grants, learn more about RPAC or participate in a national call for action. The website offers valuable resources and tools to strengthen their advocacy and community outreach programs, building political clout at every level of government and strong communities nationwide.
Follow the REALTOR® Party and Share Your REALTOR® Party Stories Online
Follow the REALTOR® Party on Facebook (REALTOR® Action Center) and Twitter (@REALTORAction) for the latest information on issues that matter to you. Join the conversation by tagging us in your posts and use the hashtags #REALTORParty AND your two-letter state abbreviation (i.e., #REALTORParty #IL for Illinois) when posting your stories, photos and videos online.
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Each photo, video, post and tweet tells a story—a story of improving and building strong communities, advancing and promoting public policies and candidates that benefit real estate and championing a vibrant business environment. We want to hear from you and acknowledge your success by sharing your photos and videos with the REALTOR® Family and in our publications.
Read the REALTOR® Party News
The REALTOR® Party News is a monthly newsletter emailed to every member of the National Association of REALTORS® on the second Thursday of the month. This newsletter provides important advocacy updates and resources, opportunities for REALTORS® to get involved in the REALTOR® Party and highlights the success of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Associations working across America.
You are the REALTOR® Party. Your advocacy efforts—Voting, Acting and Investing in the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC)—not only make the REALTOR® Party, but our cities, communities and our country stronger and more effective.
A recent report from the California Housing Development Office indicates that while the state population is growing significantly, its production of affordable housing units in the last decade has fallen way short of the demand. The statistics didn’t surprise Mel Wilson, a seasoned Los Angeles broker who’s been concerned about the shortage of housing for middle class workers for years.
“I've been doing this a long time, and the increasingly steep competition for medium-range properties is a reality we just can’t ignore: our agents are making offers on behalf of middle-income clients on four, five, six different houses, to no avail.” Not only is it a frustrating experience for would-be homeowners, he notes, but many of them are having to live well over an hour away from their place of work, which puts a great strain on the health and well-being of workers, their families and the environment. The issue snowballs, he adds, when businesses move out of state because they can’t find the workers they need where they are located.
At an NAR conference a few years ago, Wilson, who also serves as Government Affairs Director of the 9,500-member Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® (SRAR), voiced his concerns about middle class housing access to Holly Moskerintz, NAR’s Community Programs Outreach Manager. She told him about two REALTOR® Party programs designed to help his local association explore solutions to the problems the region was experiencing; through these, SRAR was able to offer an Employer-Assisted Housing course, and sponsor a Workforce Housing Forum called "Housing Our Workers," in early February 2017.
The back-to-back events were part of an overall plan to educate REALTORS® and the public, and to motivate them toward a plan of action, says Wilson. The four-hour Employer Assisted Housing course attracted nearly 50 REALTORS®, who learned out how to form a team and contact employers to discuss how they can offer home buying guidance and financial assistance to their employees. The Housing Our Workers Forum, held the following day, was funded in part by a Housing Opportunity Grant, and was co-sponsored by the Valley Economic Alliance and BizFed Institute.
This day-long event was free and open to the public, drawing more than 200 participants from the community. Its packed program included hardship testimonials from workers who travel great distances from home to work in Los Angeles; remarks by Scott Syphax of Nehemiah Corporation of America, a California-based social enterprise and real estate development firm; and a keynote speech by Ben Metcalf, Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development. The heavy lifting took place in six breakout groups focused on Labor Partners, Social Benefits, Government Partners, Neighborhood Advocates, Public-Private Partnerships and Traditional & Creative Financing. Each of the forty panelists in these sessions was asked to respond to three questions: How did we get here? How can my agency contribute to an increase in housing options? and How can I be personally responsible for helping the cause? The results of each breakout group were tabulated and presented to the whole assembly via PowerPoint following the morning and afternoon sessions.
The Housing Our Workers forum garnered significant press coverage in the massive southern California market, raising awareness of the workforce housing shortage—and the REALTORS®' efforts to address it. The principal goal of the forum was met, as well, reports Wilson: “We brought representatives of all stakeholder groups to the table, to hear each other’s side and engage in civil discourse regarding the need for more middle class housing in Los Angeles.” Now that they’ve identified commonalities, he says, they can build on them. Looking ahead, as they work to overcome differences, learn to compromise, and continue to listen to each other and share ideas, SRAR will be there, meeting the affordable housing challenges in its region.
To learn more about how REALTORS® are working to create more housing for the Los Angeles workforce, contact Mel Wilson, Government Affairs Director the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS®, at (818) 534-2400 ext. 2424.