At our Mid-Winter Board of Directors meeting February 4, 2010, the California Association of REALTORS overwhelmingly voted on a motion out of the Political Affairs Committee to Begin assessing every REALTOR the amount of $49 effective in 2011 for the purpose of funding our political activities.
At the urging of the Government Affairs Director sub-forum, CAR adopted the concept during our October 2009 meetings, directing legal staff to determine the most efficient way to implement the policy.
The determination, published as an Issues Briefing Paper prior to Januarys meeting, recommended a ‘political assessment opt-over approach’, which was ultimately the direction voted on by the BOD. The opt-over provision allows the member to determine whether the investment amount shall be directed toward the REALTOR Action Fund or ‘opted-over’ to an alternative account.
With over $19 million spent during the past year, NAR ranks as one of the top ten lobbying organization in the country and the #1 grassroots trade association lobby in Washington. Having achieved so much on behalf of our members and for our customers private property rights, we cannot abandon that position now. We’ve invested too much time and money to make it happen, we can’t simply walk away from the opportunity we’ve created for ourselves.
Since 2000 the CAR political action committees (PAC’s) have grown and shrunk based on membership numbers and the real estate market. In the 2001-2002 election cycles, the PAC’s were funded by $3.8 million of voluntary political contributions. By 2006-2007, the PAC’s funding had increased to $10.1. Million In the past three years those receipts have fallen to just$2.5 million for 2009.
As our organization faces increasing challenges at the local, state and federal level, that amount is simply not enough to keep us as a serious player in the political arena.
Please reply with any comments, questions or concerns. We’d love to hear from you.