What the REALTORS Political Action Committee (RPAC) is doing impacts anyone in the real estate business. The Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS (SPAAR) hosted a candidate meet ‘n greet with nine individuals running for office in local elections. The event allowed members to hear firsthand about the candidates’ viewpoints on homeownership and industry issues as well as be able to ask key questions to learn more. Of the nine, eight were voted into office.
RPAC exists exclusively to raise money for candidates who support REALTOR issues. RPAC is a grassroots organization. It is not a charity, but rather an investment in the real estate business.
“Our elected officials make huge decisions that absolutely make a difference to how we, as REALTORS, do business. Not all REALTORS understand the importance of staying in front of these officials to answer questions and give feedback on the impact their decisions will have or have had,” said Brandy Grell, chair of SPAAR’s Government Affairs Committee, and two-time SPAAR representative to Washington DC to meet with legislators. “While politics may not be everyone’s passion or ability, it’s one of the reasons why RPAC and those who serve it are so crucial. Our frontline vocalization makes a difference!”
Here in Minnesota, REALTORS have faced legislators who want to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction, eliminate the property tax deduction, tax real estate services, increase recording fees and weigh down REALTORS with more red tape.
“It’s important to get in front of politicians because they aren’t the experts in our industry and they look to us for accurate information,” said Robbie Grossman, a SPAAR member involved on the Government Affairs Committee. “Legislators provide information for the creation of bills, sometimes even without having the knowledge base to do so, so it’s important to educate them on issues pertinent to us and our clients. RPAC allows that to happen.”
RPAC dollars support candidates who are REALTOR allies regardless of their party affiliation. RPAC is also the largest political action committee in the state to be recognized as nonpartisan. Of a member’s RPAC contribution, 70 percent is used to support state and local candidates, while 30 percent is used to support federal candidates.
“I used to uncheck the box to contribute to RPAC when membership dues came around because I worried my money would go to a candidate whose views on social issues didn’t align with mine. My perspective changed when I attended Minnesota Housing Day at the State Capitol. I’ve seen firsthand the importance of RPAC’s advocacy to government officials about our industry. I’ve witnessed true bipartisan outreach. RPAC gives all state and federal representatives the opportunity to better understand real estate and homeownership issues while also providing a roadmap for sound housing policies,” added Grossman, who in May attended the mid-year conference in Washington DC on behalf of SPAAR where members take an active role in advancing the real estate industry. “I encourage fellow REALTORS to check the RPAC contribution box at renewal time because it is a strategic investment in the future of our industry.” Jennifer Kovacich