Summer 2022: President’s Perspective

In May, many of our volunteer leaders attended the National Association of REALTORS® Legislative Meetings in National Harbor, Md., just outside Washington, D.C. May is also advocacy month, and that’s a large part of what these meetings are about.

I had the great honor to be invited by Federal Political Coordinator (FPC) and Past President Nancy Suvarnamani to meet personally with Senator Tammy Duckworth in her office. This was an incredible opportunity to have a face-to-face conversation and to be in the room where it happens in regards to issues affecting our industry. Sharing our experiences and those of our clients with elected officials is so highly impactful and one of the ways we can help shape legislation.

In the meeting with Senator Duckworth, we talked about improving access to homeownership, increasing housing inventory and encouraging adaptive reuse of commercial properties, which are issues that directly impact us and our clients. There are bills on the Senate and House floors that we consider priorities, including the Housing Supply and Affordability Act, the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act, the Greater Revitalization of Shopping Centers Act, the Revitalizing Downtowns Act and the Housing Fairness Act.

Why is it important to play a role in these advocacy efforts? Because we strive to ensure all Americans have the opportunity to achieve homeownership. Isn’t that what you do, every day? By attending this event, we’re able to take it up a notch by becoming involved on the local, state and national levels, and it’s something we can all do. Many of the Chicago REALTORS® who went to Washington, D.C. were there for the first time. It was, in fact, my first in-person legislative meetings trip.

I’d love for you to have your own memorable firsts. There are many ways to get started. If you’re interested in joining us next year, the Foundation has reimbursement scholarships to cover a portion of your trip through the Matt Silver Advocacy Endeavor Scholarship. Our Coffee with Your GADs event takes place every month, which is a great way for you to get insight into the legislative issues affecting the Chicago real estate market. We need everyone’s united voices to make a difference, so we hope you’ll join us.

2022 President Antje Gehrken

Check out our Foundation scholarship and deadlines, as well as our upcoming Coffee with Your GADs events.