A Look At the Year Ahead with Public Policy Coordinating Committee Chair Staci Slattery

In November, we caught up with the Public Policy Coordinating Committee Chair Staci Slattery, North Clybourn Group, Inc., to discuss what we can expect in the year ahead in government affairs. She shares several simple ways you can get involved and more.

QUESTION: What are some of the biggest legislative issues that the association will be focusing on in 2024?

SLATTERY: The Bring Chicago Home Transfer Tax Resolution, which just passed City Council and will now be a ballot question in the March 2024 primary election, has been and will continue to be a focus for the rest of the year. We are working hard to educate our members and voters about the impacts of the transfer tax increase on buyers, sellers, the struggling commercial sector and renters. This is a move that has rippling implications across many lines for Chicagoans. We are also keeping an eye on other areas of concern related to housing supply and affordability, efficiencies with zoning/approvals, Connected Communities and ADUs.

QUESTION: In your opinion, which of these legislative issues will have the biggest impact on our industry and why?

SLATTERY: Bring Chicago Home is likely to have the most profound immediate impact. Besides the financial implications for the commercial market, I also worry that, if it passes, we will be taking monies that are currently collected through transfer tax and isolating those funds solely for efforts related to addressing the homeless issue. This can create shortfalls in other areas that will require the government to take replacement funds from somewhere else within the budget.

QUESTION: How does the association work on members’ behalf to advance legislation?

SLATTERY: The association works on members’ behalf primarily through the lobbying efforts of our Governmental Affairs Directors (GADs), the work of the Public Policy Coordinating Committee and educational efforts of events like Coffee with Your GAD.

QUESTION: Can you explain what the Public Policy Coordinating Committee is, and the work they do?

SLATTERY: The Public Policy Coordinating Committee is a body of Chicago REALTORS® members which recommends prioritization and direction for public policy initiatives that the association works on; we also provide counsel to the Board of Directors on selected residential and commercial public policy issues. We facilitate and host Coffee with Your GAD, a virtual event series hosted on the first Tuesday of every month, where members can get updates and ask questions from our government affairs team. We identify experts like city officials and alderpersons who guest speak at the Coffee With Your GAD events.

QUESTION: What made you get involved with public policy through the association?

SLATTERY: Coffee with Your GAD was really my introduction to the excellent public policy work the association was doing. I have always been very politically curious and engaged. We had a Government Affairs Director speak at our office which introduced me to the association’s advocacy work. From there, I started attending Coffee with Your GAD regularly. I love policy and politics, so it felt very natural to be engaged in issues that are so important to our profession and our city.

QUESTION: Why should other REALTORS® get involved in our public policy efforts?

SLATTERY: REALTORS® have such a unique relationship with this city. We are experts on our 77 neighborhoods and see firsthand how public policy and decisions affect the citizens of Chicago. We are, by nature, collaborators and doers. We build consensus for a living and our voices matter. As the voice of real estate in Chicago, we need to be heard, seen and represented.

QUESTION: In what ways can members get involved in our public policy efforts?

SLATTERY: Contribute to RPAC, attend a Coffee with Your GADs, respond to calls for action and join us for direct action days and public forums are all great ways to support our legislative advocacy and stay on top of current issues. This year, we plan on further engaging with government officials by hosting membership days at City Hall to make our voices heard.

The Chicago Association of REALTORS® Foundation offers a scholarship to aid members interested in attending lobby days at our state or national Capitols. If you’re eligible, apply for the Matt Silver Advocacy Endeavor Scholarship. And, in springtime, the association opens up applications for our committees and work groups, so if you’re interested in getting involved with the Public Policy Coordinating committee, make sure to apply.

QUESTION: What advice would you give to members who want to spark more advocacy interest/involvement among their peers?

SLATTERY: Lead by example and share what you know. Invite your team members to the next Coffee With Your GAD event!

QUESTION: What do you hope for the Public Policy Coordinating Committee to accomplish this year?

SLATTERY: We would love to increase the number of attendees at Coffee with Your GAD event as well as the responses to calls for action, when they arise. We want to see and hear from more of you. We are a diverse and vibrant group with so much to share. You can contact us by contacting our Government Affairs Director Adriann Murawski at amurawski@chicagorealtor.com.