Public Affairs Updates for December

Puzzle pieces being placed with Public Affairs written on them

Welcome to the holiday season, I hope you all will have the opportunity to balance time between your business and time spent with friends and family. This is often the time of year where we take a look back at our accomplishments and challenges from the past year, and I’ve been doing the same as we prepare for 2018.

 

The year started off with a large focus on what turned into a marathon session in Olympia, where Washington REALTORS were able to push legislation that allows for market-based adjustments to buildable lands availability as well as devoting an historic amount of money to combat homelessness. Fixing the Hirst Decision remains a top priority, and will be at the top of our list as the 2018 legislative session begins in a month.

 

In the summer, our focused shifted locally where we engaged with the City of Vancouver on revising their ADU standards, worked with the City of Ridgefield on sign ordinances, and hosted a Candidate Forum for those running for the open seats on the Vancouver City Council. We endorsed four candidates after conducting interviews, and all four of them were ultimately successful in their election.

 

As summer wrapped up, our focus turned to national issues, the first being reform to the National Flood Insurance Program. NAR launched a Call To Action for those reforms, and ultimately the deadline was pushed until mid-December, so we are still quite focused on reforms to that program. The largest priority our industry had this year was the protection of the Mortgage Interest Deduction, and what it means to homeowners and our communities. The Call To Action to oppose the Republican Tax Plan in the House and then the Senate had the most participation in history, with over 200,000 REALTORS participating nationwide. In fact, we have launched a new Call To Action in order to keep our position on the forefront as Members of the House and Senate come together to reconcile the differences in their two bills, in hopes that we can still influence some change. To participate, visit realtoractioncenter.com and follow the quick prompts. Despite our disappointment with the votes in both chambers, NAR will continue to be a non-partisan champion for homeownership and your businesses.

 

As we look ahead to 2018, we have a lot in store. Providing support to our team in Olympia as we push for a fix to the Hirst Decision, working with the county on issues related to growth, and preparing for a mid-term election that involves three County Council seats, all six state House seats, and the 3rd Congressional District. We plan to continue to pursue partnerships with organizations focused on schools and parks, and will hopefully be able to offer some opportunities for our members in the coming year. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the Government Affairs Committee, led by Terry Wollam, and the RPAC Committee, led by Janice Hall, for all your hard work and diligence this year. Additional thanks as well to all of our RPAC Investors. We wouldn’t have near the impact we do without you, and will continue to fight for homeownership on the local, state, and national levels. If you would like to invest in RPAC throughout the year, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or a member of the RPAC Committee.

 

Washington REALTORS will once again be hosting Legislative Day on January 18th. This is an incredible opportunity for REALTORS all over the state to come together and speak with members of the House and Senate about our legislative priorities. Led by members of the Government Affairs Committee, our Clark County REALTORS will make the rounds to (hopefully) all nine of our legislators, surrounded by members like you as we share our values of property rights, expanding opportunities for homeownership, and ensuring that taxes are as fair and evenly spread as possible. To register, (first time attendees are FREE!) click on the link below.

 

https://www.warealtor.org/events/conferences/2018/legislative-day

 

I hope to see many of you in Olympia on January 18th, and as always, welcome any questions about our policy goals. I wish you all a wonderful end to 2017, and look forward to what 2018 has in store for us.

Rian Davis
Public Affairs Director