Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality…Commitment is the stuff character is made of; the power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism.
~ Abraham Lincoln
Every month we highlight a few of the many REALTOR® Party success stories across the nation. These and others are cataloged on the Success Stories section of the REALTOR® Action Center.
North Dakota Association Stands Up for Local Control in Property Tax Battle -- and Wins!
The 1,500-member North Dakota Association of REALTORS® (NDAR,) joined a coalition of more than 80 groups to oppose a measure that would have abolished the state’s century-old property tax. Why? Because getting rid of the tax would have empowered the state legislature to replace the lost income by creating new revenue sources, over which the voting public would have virtually no say. Their “‘Keep It Local, North Dakota” campaign used their own Issues Mobilization funds along with a grant from NAR to pay for polling and campaign advertising. In the end, they won with 77 percent of the voters striking the measure down.
Read more about NDAR’s successful campaign to keep property tax control local
St. Louis Association Makes Great Strides Toward Walk-able Communities
The St. Louis Association of REALTORS® (SLAR) used an NAR Smart Growth Grant to help produce a two-part program on walk-able communities -- one that it hopes may serve as a national model. Tapping the expertise of a national “walk-ability expert,” the 7,000-plus member association hosted two events stressing the clear connection between walk-ability and property values. Walk/Live St. Louis 2012 featured walking audits and visits to mass transit stations, and included mayors, other elected officials, and municipal staff. The program showcased REALTORS® as a collaborative organization committed to making communities more walk-able, bike-able – and safe.”
Read more about the St. Louis Associations walk-ability project
Virgin Islands Association Takes on Historic Preservation With Issues Mobilization Grant
When storms like Hurricanes Hugo  and Marilyn  battered the U.S. Virgin Islands, the damage to property proved too much for owners of many of the islands’ historic homes. The resulting abandonment of these properties caused a blight that affects the quality of life, economic vitality, and property values of the once lovely historic rings of houses that distinguish the islands’ downtown areas. The 292-member Virgin Islands Territorial Association of REALTORS® [VITAR] used an Issues Mobilization Grant to conduct a campaign to get legislation passed that will not only preserve these endangered properties, but rehabilitate them to their highest and best use.
Read more about VITAR’s historic preservation campaign
Oklahoma Association Goes Beyond PAC Contributions to Help Elect Two REALTOR® Champions
The 8,325-member Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® (OAR) has long had one of the state’s strongest Political Action Committees. But this spring, having received the maximum allowed PAC contributions from OAR, two of its strongest advocates – one in the State House and one in the State Senate -- were still faced with tough primaries. They needed an extra boost. OAR used an Independent Expenditures Grant from NAR for polling and mailers to bring about success. Representative Marion Cooksey won her race outright in the primary; Senator Clark Jolley will face an Independent in the fall general election, and is expected to win easily.
Read more about the Oklahoma Association’s successful campaigns
Pennsylvania Association Creates Online Tool to Help REALTORS® Capitalize on Diversity
Thanks to a $5,000 NAR Diversity Grant, members of the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® (PAR) are benefiting from an innovative website feature that helps them to maximize their ethnic and cultural sensitivities. “The Diversity Explorer” was developed for the 29,000-member association in anticipation of the release of the 2010 U.S. Census data. Through interactive charts of targeted markets, members get a quick check of their areas’ changing demographics. REALTORS® can use statistics about immigrant cultures in their own back yards to reach out to these populations, helping them to better understand issues of homeownership there.
Read more about PAR’s diversity education project
San Diego Association Helps Three REALTOR®-Champions Win Most Votes in Jungle Primary
It’s a jungle out there in San Diego; in fact, in all of California, where the ‘Jungle Primary System’ applies. All candidates are in the primary, and 50 percent plus one vote wins the race outright. If no one gets over 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates go to a run-off in the general November election. The 12,000-member San Diego Association of REALTORS® (SDAR) endorsed three candidates, and with NAR Independent Expenditure funding, created targeted direct mailings for each one. Each of the three REALTOR® candidates garnered the most votes: one won a seat on the San Diego City Council; one goes to a run-off for a City Council seat; and the third will compete in a run-off for the office of San Diego County Supervisor.
Read more about the San Diego Association’s success in their “Jungle Primary”
Illinois Association Advances Smart Growth Newsletter With Game Changer Grant
The Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) is using its Game Changer Grant to help support a new bi-annual smart growth newsletter -- On Common Ground in Illinois. Loosely modeled on NAR’s On Common Ground smart growth magazine, the IAR publication specifically addresses issues of interest to Illinois residents. By distributing the newsletter to officials in more than 1,300 Illinois municipalities, IAR hopes to be viewed as the trusted source of information on important real estate issues like impact fees, foreclosure data, and market information, helping to advance the REALTOR® position and private property rights at the local level.
Read more about the Illinois Association’s smart growth newsletter
REALTORS® Having an Impact at the Political Conventions
Members of NAR's Leadership Team along with REALTORS® serving as convention delegates participated in both political conventions this month.
Hear from NAR President-elect Gary Thomas on the role of REALTORS® at the Republican convention in a blog post.
View the REALTOR® Party Tracker
View short video on REALTORS® serving as convention delegates
Hear from NAR First Vice President Steve Brown and the role of REALTORS® at the Democratic convention in a blog post.
With just a few clicks on your computer, find out how REALTOR® Associations across the country are using NAR’s REALTOR® Party Association Resources for their own advocacy and community outreach projects. The REALTOR® Party Tracker is a comprehensive online tool showing REALTOR® Party activity by region, by state, by association and by program.
Check out the REALTOR® Party Tracker
Learn About Resources
Check out the REALTOR® Party Association Resource Guide
Wondering how your state or local REALTOR® association can kick up your community outreach and/or advocacy efforts ? Check out the REALTOR® Party Association Resource Guide. You could be a success story waiting to happen.
View and download the resource guide
Share Your Success Stories
Contact Bill Malkasian, NAR Vice President of Political Strategic Planning, for more info
If you have an example of how your association put My REALTOR® Party resources to work to implement a successful advocacy or community outreach program, tell us about it. Email your stories to: email@example.com
This newsletter replaces the NAR Weekly Report for this week and every second week of the month. The REALTOR Party News will publish next on October 11. If you missed a previous edition check out the REALTOR® Party News Archive.
September 13, 2012
As REALTORS®, you know all about commitment. You commit to helping your clients succeed in their real estate transactions every day. Many of you also commit to serving your communities through volunteer and advocacy work. You commit and you deliver.
Last month, NAR delivered on a commitment to thank someone special. Aaron Couch was the disc jockey who helped to make our REALTOR® Rally in D.C. last May a tremendous success. We wanted to do something extra to show him our appreciation. Many of you who participated in the rally repeatedly asked if we’d followed through on this idea. We did!
Working with Lowe’s, one of our corporate partners, we presented Mr. Couch and his family with a Lowe’s Gift Card (see photo below). It felt mighty good to present that card to him and his children. The smiles tell the story.
Thanks for all you do in your communities and in your business to make people’s lives better. You are inspiring!
Dale Stinton and Tom Salomone
Tom Salomone, 2012 Director of REALTOR® Party Activities (left) along with Bob Goldberg (far right) presents Aaron Couch with a gift card from Lowe’s for his exemplary work in support of the Rally to Protect the American Dream this past May.