Every May Realtors® from every corner of the Country descend upon Washington, D.C. for the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Annual Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo. The meetings provide Realtors® an opportunity to advocate on behalf of their fellow members to their Senators and Members of Congress. RAPB+GFLR had a strong presence of over 50 members in attendance throughout the week-long conference.
With the 116th United States Congress boasting over 110 new Representatives and Senators, 2019 NAR President John Smaby’s message to Realtors® from Seattle to Miami was to make sure your Members of Congress know “Who We R”. That message was not just for the elected official, but for the people who conduct the day-to-day policy drafting and research. It’s long been said that the most important people in a Representative or Senator’s office are the aides. With the average age of a new Congressional staffer at just 27 years old, many of these aides have never been through the process of purchasing a home and don’t understand the full value that Realtors® bring to a real estate transaction.
RAPB+GFLR Realtors®, armed with research and first hand stories of their importance in a transaction, stormed Capitol Hill to meet with Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL18), Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL21), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz (D-FL23) along with aides from the offices of Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL23) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL22).
The most pressing issue discussed was NAR’s desire for a long-term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that includes meaningful reforms to the program. With the program set to lapse on May 31, 3019 Realtors® visit to Capitol Hill could not have come at a better time. Other issues of importance discussed were the request for expedited rule-making related to Qualified Opportunity Zones and Association Health Plans, a comprehensive infrastructure plan that reflect a broad community vision, ensuring access to credit through Fannie & Freddie, and a push for H.R. 5 (The Equality Act) that would add fair housing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
In a true show of force, while Realtors® were in Washington, D.C. the House of Representatives passed a stand-alone bill that would ensure the NFIP would not lapse on May 31 and the House passed H.R. 5, The Equality Act.
The week was capped off with 5 RAPB+GFLR members being inducted into the RPAC Hall of Fame on Wednesday night. Jesse Acevedo, Chuck Bonfiglio, John Kern, Ron Lennen and Patty Renna solidified their name in RPAC history by contributing at least $25,000 over their lifetime to RPAC. RAPB+GFLR congratulates all Hall of Fame inductees on their amazing achievement.