Legislative Insider-July/August 2012

RPAC and the Realtor® Party

By Elizabeth Barnhardt
Government Affairs Director

The association spends a lot of time building relationships with elected officials to educate them on our issues, convey our professional experiences and knowledge, and put a face on the more than 6,000 small-business people in the Charlotte area and their importance to the economy. Since May, Realtors® have visited their congressional members in Washington, D.C., rallied at the National Mall, taken a bus to the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh and met personally with candidates for political offices. We spend this time with our elected officials so that we can give our perspective on how one vote may change your business, the ability of our clients to purchase a home or our families.

The Realtor® Political Action Committee has existed since 1969 to give Realtors® a voice with our elected officials. This is one of the ways we build relationships — by supporting the candidates who not only support our business, but also our community and our families. The Government Affairs Committee has a thorough vetting process, where they meet with the candidates and evaluate written questionnaires in an effort to protect the Realtor® investment in RPAC.

Why give
The value of RPAC is strength in numbers. Six thousand $20 contributions (or $120,000) to RPAC goes a lot further and speaks to the strength of our industry more than just one contribution. By pooling resources together and using the information collected by the Government Affairs Committee, the association is able to make a difference in campaigns and elections.

How to give
There is a pledge form online. If you give more than $20 before July 3, you will be entered into the RPAC Technology Raffle for a chance to win one of several technology prizes.

Studies of campaigns and elections have shown if you give, you are more likely to vote. If you make a financial contribution to a candidate, give to RPAC or volunteer for a campaign, you are more personally invested. Give to RPAC, get involved with a candidate or cause you are passionate about (next Government Affairs Committee meetings are July 11 and Aug. 1), and more importantly, get out and vote.

More info to come
So how do you find out more about the candidates and elected officials? In 2012, we hope to improve this process. In coordination with the Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition (REBIC), more information will be available to you, your family and colleagues on who RPAC supports, where candidate stand on the issues, and why they are running for office. We hope to provide you with a quick reference guide as well as more in-depth analysis.

The three steps I urge every Realtor® to take this election season are: give to RPAC, learn about the candidates and get out and vote!