Illinois REALTOR® Magazine  | July 2013
By Mike Scobey | Assistant Director, Advocacy and Local Issues
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has implemented a new and exciting program to assist our state and local associations to get involved in local and state elections. The NAR State and Local Independent Expenditure Program provides each state with funds that they can use to support candidates for political office who support REALTORS® and the real estate industry.
In the April municipal elections, the Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) used this money to provide assistance to candidates who have been REALTOR® “Champions”– those who strongly support our positions on real property rights and advancing homeownership opportunities.
IAR used the funds to conduct independent, candidate-support campaigns, consisting of mail pieces and robo-calls directed to likely voters.
This activity was done independently of the candidate and his/her campaign and without any coordination with the campaign or the candidate. The decision to support these candidates (a total of 19) was made by an IAR committee. In the April 9th election, 13 of the 19 Independent Expenditure-supported candidates won their races (68 percent win rate).
This type of support (direct outreach to voters on behalf of candidates) is unprecedented in local elections. It sends the message that we support those who work for the protection of property rights and the advancement of homeownership in Illinois.
Do you want to know what the issues are in your community that could impact your business or the rights of property owners? RVOICE can help with that.
The Illinois Association of REALTORS®’ newest member benefit launched in May. Called Skylights, it will allow you to immediately find:
The Illinois Association of REALTORS® worked with its partner, SGS Inc., to develop the system. The concept won a Game Changer Award from the National Association of REALTORS® in March, recognizing the database’s ability to quickly and efficiently deliver information promoting awareness of private property rights and local advocacy.
To access Skylights, which is for IAR members only, go to www.ilskylights.com 
You’ll be prompted for your NRDS number, and then based on the information on file the service will deliver issues that hit closest to home for you. And if you are interested in what the real estate issues are in other areas, the system allows easy access to that information, too.