Winter 2015 – Local Government Update

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During their final meetings of the year, ACAR’s Legislative Committee, as well as RPAC Trustees, reviewed progress made on goals established by each of the committees one year ago.

Taking advantage of the many free tools provided by the National Association of Realtors® was a top priority for the Legislative Committee. The committee members worked to encourage increased participation in the Broker Involvement Program, Calls for Action, Voter Registration and the local watchdog program throughout the year.

Because of the work completed by the committee in 2014, Chairwoman Sandy LoCascio, Vice Chair Maureen Wlodarczyk and Government Affairs Director Jamie McMillen identified a need for ACAR to have an official policy on residential rental policies. A task force was convened to review various legal analyses of local ordinances, as well as rental policy positions of other major metropolitan Realtor associations. A policy was drafted and adopted by the Board of Directors in the third quarter.

Legislative Committee by the numbers:

  • $24,534.88 – Programs or funds applied for and received from NAR’s Realtor® Party.
  • 88% – The number of ACAR members registered to vote. This is 8% better than the national average of Realtors®. Those not registered were contacted by ACAR President Sally Johnson electronically and also received a special mailer encouraging him or her to register.
  • 14.08% – Average response rate for Calls for Action issued by NAR this year. The most recent CFA regarding G-Fees closed with 16.51% participation.
  • 1,586 – Number of times Northeast Ohio Legislators were contacted by ACAR.
  • 33 – Communities monitored for positive or negative real estate legislation by local watchdogs, or Local Political Coordinators.
  • 25 – The number of ACAR member brokers enrolled in the free Broker Involvement Program.
  • 5 – The number of mayors that proclaimed April 2015 as Fair Housing Month, at the request of ACAR.
  • 4 – Local meet and greet opportunities with various elected officials were hosted throughout the region.
  • 1 – Comprehensive study launched to support lobby efforts. ACAR launched a data analysis project to review the true impact of Point of Sale Inspection policies on home ownership in Cuyahoga County. The research has been completed and the findings will be incorporated into a website being designed now by Amped Creativ. This will be an ongoing project with Phase 2 in 2016, which will include an educational campaign for our members and area legislators.
  • 1 – Form updated to limit liability on real estate licensees and brokers. Thanks to an ACAR member sharing information with us, the Legislative Committee initiated communication with the Akron Water Department to recommend changes to its Real Estate Licensee Temporary Service Contract. The previous document was riddled with issues making the agent and broker liable for any issues/damage (including loss of their personal service), and was using ACAR’s name without permission. Changes have been made to the document and it should be used.

For the Realtors® Political Action Committee, or RPAC, a local investment goal of $25 per ACAR member was established. Throughout the year, ACAR members were invited to fundraisers and educational information was shared in our e-newsletter.

RPAC by the numbers:

  • $116,574.20 – Total Dollars Raised
  • 37.2% – Participation Rate
  • 41 –  Major Investors (ACAR members that invest $1000 or more in RPAC)
  • 101 – Number of candidates invited to participate in election support interviews
  • 52 – The number of candidates interviewed and/or reviewed
  • 26 – Hours of interviews and deliberations for the candidate support process
  • $44,000 – Contributed to local candidates, issue campaigns, and county parties
  • 3 – Policies added to strengthen the RPAC process employed by ACAR

For more information, or to join the Legislative Committee, please contact ACAR’s Government Affairs Director, Jamie McMillen.

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