I was fortunate to represent you in Washington D.C. at the
NAR Legislative Meetings and Expo last month. It is a busy and long week of
committee meetings, general sessions, trade expo and Hill visits. The Hill
visits give REALTORS® the opportunity to talk to congress about housing issues.
When visiting our legislators, we are very focused on a
handful of issues, as we have a limited amount of time with our senators and
representatives. The National Association of REALTORS® is the largest trade
association in the country. Not to mention we represent the housing industry,
which is a major driving factor on our nation’s economy, making up roughly 20
percent of Gross Domestic Product. That being said, we have the attention of
our legislators. We are led by FPC’s (Federal Political Coordinators) and GADs
(Governmental Affairs Directors). Our FPCs are volunteers and our GADs are
employees of KCRAR. These dedicated and knowledgeable men and women help to
influence policy makers at the federal, state and local levels.
Among the handful of issues discussed was flood insurance.
As you know, congress continues to enact short term legislation rather than
address the issue with a more long-term solution. NAR estimates up to 40,000 closings are
disrupted each month that the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) cannot
issue flood insurance policies. In a meeting with freshman Representative
Sharice Davids of Kansas, I watched and listened to Andrew Mall, the FPC
assigned to Representative Davids. He led our group in a discussion of the need
for a long-term solution to flood insurance. He expertly articulated the issue,
and more importantly provided a personal example of the impact on real people.
Those personal examples are important as they humanize the issue and provide
talking points that work their way on to the floor as the debate rages on. And
you can hear his story as well as some of the other highlights of the meetings
on the episode of the Kansas City RealTalk podcast that came out earlier this week, on which
Andrew was a guest.
I share the example of how well Andrew Mall handled our meeting to
demonstrate what occurred in all meetings. I know that similar exchanges
occurred with each meeting, and I want to thank the dedicated FPCs and GADs. Until
you are involved in a leadership position, or on a committee where you are
exposed to the talented men and women representing you to our legislators, you
have no idea how much they do to sustain our industry and maintain our careers
in real estate.
Below is a list of our FPCs and GADs. The next time you see one
of these dedicated professionals, thank them! They make a difference in our
lives and the lives of all homeowners!
Federal Political Coordinators
Gary Derks – Congressman Sam
Andrew Mall – Congresswoman Sharice Davids
Dan O’Neill – Congressman
Governmental Affairs Directors
Jeff Carson –
Director of Kansas REALTOR® Advocacy
Derek Ramsey –
Vice President for Missouri REALTOR® Advocacy