Five ways to get involved in legislative action

Illinois REALTOR® Magazine | April 2013

Five Ways to Get Involved

in REALTOR® Legislative Action

By Julie Sullivan  | Assistant Director, Legislative and Political Affairs

 

image of policy word in dictionaryEach two-year session of the Illinois General Assembly there are literally THOUSANDS of legislative proposals introduced and debated in Springfield. Hundreds of those have a direct impact on your profession and the rights of private property owners. While IAR lobbyists are in Springfield reading and analyzing critical bills, representing you in testimony before committees of the House and the Senate and educating legislators about these proposals, it is the combination of YOUR involvement and contact with state legislators that make the Illinois Association of REALTORS® one of the most powerful trade associations in Illinois.

Here are five ways that you can get involved:

1. Use Your Expertise to Educate Elected Officials

In a typical session IAR lobbyists may identify four to six bills for a “Call for Action” to REALTORS® across the state and perhaps a few more bills that we will call upon REALTORS® that have legislators on specific committees.  Proposals that are critical, either for passage or defeat, are picked.  The judicious use of a “Call for Action” underscores its importance. Your legislator needs to hear from YOU, because they value your opinion as a constituent and an expert as to how a legislative proposal would affect the real estate industry and the rights of private property owners.

When IAR issues a “Call for Action” on a particular issue you will receive an email alert. This email will give you key information to explain the legislative proposal and our position on the issue.  A sample email response is also provided which you can send to your legislator IN ONE CLICK. This “Call for Action” will also be accessible online at www.IARActionCenter.org.

2. Stay Informed on the Issues

Each Friday that the General Assembly is in session there is a State Capitol Report that highlights key issues of the week. This report is emailed to members of key IAR committees and you’ll also find a link to the latest report in the Illinois REALTOR® Weekly Connection and on the IAR website. The IAR lobby team also provides information on the website so you can track the various issues and the status of those bills.

3. Be a Part of the State Legislative Contact Network

We also have an established State Legislative Contact (SLC) network which is made up of a designated key contact and team for each member of the General Assembly. The key contact works with his/her “team” of 5-10 additional REALTORS® to make personal phone calls or schedule office visits on key issues. Meetings in the district or in Springfield on our lobby day are coordinated by the key contact. Several local REALTOR® Associations host legislative receptions which provide the opportunity to interact with local elected officials. As Christopher Tenggren of the REALTOR® Association of the Fox Valley (RAFV) noted, “The State Legislative Contact program, demonstrates a new level of political connectivity and strength for our association. We are able to provide a dedicated conduit for the state and local association REALTOR® party messaging in a concise manner.”

You will also find these key contacts involved in fundraisers and other political activity for candidates.  Should you be contacted by one of our State Legislative Contacts to join the team PLEASE volunteer!

4. Participate in Our Annual Lobby Day at the Illinois State Capitol

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 marks the date of the annual IAR Capitol Conference—REALTOR® Lobby Day in Springfield! We continue to grow in the number of REALTORS® attending this exciting day at the Capitol. Hundreds of REALTORS® from throughout the state are briefed on the issues and meet with their elected officials. This show of force and commitment to the issues affecting private property owners resonates with elected officials. 

5. Contribute to the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC)

Last, but certainly not least, be a contributor to RPAC!  There is no doubt that RPAC is your best insurance policy and is the key to making IAR the Voice for Real Estate in Illinois.  RPAC is our muscle! Electing pro-REALTOR® and pro-private property rights candidates ensures that legislative actions benefit YOU and the state of Illinois.  RPAC donations are voluntary, and you can make your donation today at www.RPACnow.com or participate in a local or state RPAC fundraising event! 

Disclosure: Contributions are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.  The Illinois REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) collects contributions from members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) for political activities.  A portion of each contribution will be used for state political activities; at least 30% will be used for federal campaign purposes.  The federal portion will be charged against an individual’s federal contribution limits under 2 USC 441a.  Contributions are VOLUNTARY and refusal to contribute does not affect membership rights.  A member may contribute more or less than the suggested amount.  A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website www.elections.il.gov or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.

 

Breakout Text: 

April 2013

April 2013 cover

“The State Legislative Contact program, demonstrates a new level of political connectivity and strength for our association. We are able to provide a dedicated conduit for the state and local association REALTOR® party messaging in a concise manner.” - REALTOR® Christopher Tenggren


Illinois General Assembly

For video/audio from the House or Senate - both committee and floor action; full text of bills and amendments; schedules and contact information: www.ilga.gov

April-May Session dates:

April 8-9 (House only); 10-12; 15 (House only); 16-19; 23-25 (Senate only); 30

May 1-3; 6 (Senate only); 7-10; 14-17; 18 (Senate only); 19-24; 25-26 (House only); 27-31

Scheduled Adjournment Date of 2013 spring session: May 31, 2013