LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: RPAC on the Upswing

Philip Weiden | November 2019

RPAC has had a very successful year under Chair Crystal Hawkins Syska. The Realtors Political Action Committee held several training sessions throughout the year facilitated by David Severance, president of New Door Leadership, who came up with innovative strategies on how to improve our RPAC outreach and meet our RPAC goal.

Currently we have raised $178,561 which is 81% of our RPAC goal. Our participation has also increased to 2,894 contributors which is 76% of our participation goal. Our RPAC participation goal is 3,815 contributors.

Some of the events that have always been successful include RPAC Happy Hours where Realtors can contribute to RPAC and mingle with their fellow Realtors and our affiliate members. This is a fun way to give back a little and fight for home ownership rights. It is also an inexpensive way to do it, as most happy hour events are $25 or $30. A new event we held this year, which was a huge success, was an RPAC cruise around Manhattan. Realtors were able to come and enjoy an open bar, along with food and music. We also had an RPAC member’s day luncheon where we raised $10,000 for RPAC. A total of 130 people attended this event.

We also continue to go to office meetings with RPAC brochures, and speak about what RPAC has accomplished legislatively. This year at the capital we successfully fought for and succeeded in getting the legislature and governor to make the property tax cap permanent.

We also defeated a good cause eviction bill, which would enact state-wide rent control, and give tenants with leases the choice to stay and turn their lease into a month-to-month rental, rendering it virtually impossible to evict even if they do not pay their rent. It would be incredibly difficult to be a landlord in this situation and to evict a tenant by having to demonstrate a good cause in housing court. In New York City we successfully delayed, for now at least, a proposal to cap a broker fee to one month’s rent. This would limit a Realtor’s income. This would be devastating to the livelihood of every Realtor who practices in New York City. Let the New York City Council know that you oppose this.

The RPAC Committee also held an RPAC phone bank, which raised almost $1,500. We conducted RPAC e-mail and social media campaigns, and we continued to visit broker offices and speak about the importance of RPAC. Together we had a great year.

Philip Weiden
Legislative Affairs columnist Philip Weiden is the Government Affairs Director for the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.