Paul Herrera IVAR's Government Affairs Director
The REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) gives REALTORS® a powerful voice to help develop, advance and implement federal legislative objectives that affect the real estate business and the ownership and operation of real estate. RPAC supports pro-REALTOR®candidates running for public office. It does not matter if the candidate is part of the Republican or Democratic Party as long as they are part of the REALTOR® Party.
WHY POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT?
Since 1969 RPAC has been promoting the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates across the United States. During the last federal election cycle alone, RPAC contributed over $12 million to pro-REALTOR® candidates to Congress, making it the number one trade association political action committee in the nation.
Why has RPAC been successful? In America the exercise of good government has its foundation in the participation of its citizens in politics. By definition of the work you do, REALTORS® are contributors to the American dream- home ownership. REALTORS® make it possible for people to bring value to their communities, their lives, to schools and to the future. Increasingly REALTORS® are facing forces from many directions that threaten their ability to help bring about the American dream for more people. Increasing health care premiums, the economy, property tax burdens, rent controls, impact fees and the taking of private property for the public domain are only a quick handful of issues that somewhere, everyday REALTORS® confront.
IF NOT YOU, WHO?
That is why it is vitally important that REALTORS® be politically active: to take on the responsibility of protecting the values and rights we hold dear. If not REALTORS®, then who? No one knows a community better than a REALTOR®. It would be difficult to believe that a local no-growth group would represent your real estate business interests, or that those employed by the local government know best how much and where to spend the tax dollar better than you do. REALTORS® are the experts on their communities. REALTORS® know the lay of the land, the families, the best schools, the neighborhoods, and the leaders. With REALTORS® in virtually every community in the nation, you are in a strong position to be on the front line as either a proponent or a defender.
Failure to be involved politically can and likely will result in someone else filling the vacuum left by you. That may sound okay at first; because we are sure someone else will do the job and see things as we do. That is until one discovers that the voices being heard may be contrary to wise business planning and a threat to property owners and their rights. If you as a REALTOR® do not speak out, get involved, and help shape your community, someone else will. It is a good bet that they won't be supportive of your position.
On the national level, we give our money to those in Congress who both understand and support REALTOR® issues. We look to build the future by putting RPAC dollars in places that will help advance the interests of Real Estate professionals. RPAC is the only political group in the country organized for REALTORS®, run by REALTORS® and exists solely to further issues important to REALTORS®.