Our advocacy efforts must continue – at all levels of government
Even though we could not conduct our annual in-person lobby day this year, we still delivered our message to the top political party leaders in both chambers during the 102nd Illinois General Assembly.
Simply: we need a statewide housing policy that incentivizes maintaining existing and constructing new housing of all kinds. And now!
Thank you to the local associations for partnering with Illinois REALTORS® for what became Advocacy Month. From April 5 through May 3, we met with the four most powerful leaders of the Illinois General Assembly in what we called “not just another Zoom meeting.”
Each session started with our CEO Jeff Baker greeting and educating each leader on the importance of the real estate industry to the state’s economy and the economic impact housing has on their district.
Real Estate Economic Impact
Total impact of 190,453 closed sales from Mar. 2020 – Mar. 2021
Number of REALTORS® statewide
After each of those briefings, the legislative leader walked down a television show-like walkway into our large meeting room, which had been transformed into a virtual Zoom/television studio complete with six, 70-inch TV monitors, eight broadcast cameras and studio lighting everywhere.
The broadcast showed legislative leaders in awe of the smiling faces of almost 700 members – most in their home districts – on those large screens. Each leader then was interviewed by our Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs Greg St. Aubin on the critical importance of housing and our state’s need for more of it at all levels.
Before, during and after these virtual meetings, our legislative team saved our housing providers and renters from being subjected to an ill-fated statewide rent control policy and other potentially harmful legislation for homeowners. But more needs to be done.
We need your help to secure policies that incentivize maintaining the existing housing inventory and construction of new housing of all types.
We also want more equality and fairness in housing. We kicked off our advocacy month with NAR’s Bryan Greene to discuss national fair housing policy and many of you participated in our efforts to secure local fair housing resolutions.
During these virtual sessions, the legislators acknowledged the real estate industry is essential to the state’s economy. And each one stated that our advocacy efforts are important.
Please continue to stay in touch with your local leaders and be involved in your communities. When you hear of potentially detrimental legislation, contact the Illinois REALTORS® Governmental Affairs team and/or the GAD for your area to minimize or resolve the issue. And, when we issue Calls for Action or for you to be a witness, make those calls and sign those petitions.
The legislature has a multitude of issues to address. We must ensure that atop that list is a statewide housing policy that is beneficial to your clients, your community and your business.