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Government Affairs

together, reconnect, learn what’s going on in Congress and then spend a day visiting their congressmen and women advocating for the multifamily industry.

Each conference has a theme, and this year’s theme was “Invest in Your Political Capitol.” The theme reminds us that as citizens of a republic, we are all stakeholders in the decisions made by our elected leaders. Furthermore, as members of the multifamily housing industry, if we don’t advocate for our industry, who will?

There were many great activities and classes that were available. Some of my favorites that I at- tended were the State and Local Government Af- fairs Roundtable, the Government Affairs Keynote Luncheon and the Lobby Day on Capitol Hill.

The State and Local Government Affairs Round- table was a chance to sit down with my coun- terparts from across the country and share what was going on in our respective jurisdictions. The topics were provided by NAA and the discussions were time limited, so think of it as speed dating for the political set.

PERSON 1: What color best describes your personality?

PERSON 2: Red, because of all the tape I have to cut through.

PERSON 1: What do you do for fun? PERSON 2: I take long walks on the beach,

I try new recipes from around the world, I read and I lobby against higher taxes and fees by local municipalities who believe that the best way to raise revenues is to impose taxes on the multifamily housing industry.

The roundtable was truly beneficial as I was able to learn how to deal with some of the issues we face here in the Triangle. However, after completing the roundtable and listening to my colleagues, I was left with the following three “takeaways:” 1. I’m glad I don’t live in Los Angeles, 2. I’m glad I don’t live in New Jersey and 3. I’m glad I don’t live in Chicago.

My second favorite was the Government Affairs Keynote Luncheon. This was partially because it involved a meal but primarily because the key- note speaker was former Senator Alan Simpson.

Sen. Simpson could be politely described as a curmudgeon, which is a description he delights in. As case in point, he started his talk by quoting President Andrew Johnson: “Washington, D.C. is 12 square miles bordered by reality.”

Always his own man, he spoke the truth as he saw it and worked with whoever he could to get the job done: he didn’t about care your political party, your race, your origin or any other commonly dividing factor. His speech was one of humor and poignant advice on what needs to be done to fix the broken aspects of our country and how the multifamily housing industry should be go about getting their legislative agendas accomplished.

The next day, most of the delegates converged on Capitol Hill to follow through with Senator Simpson’s advice and speak to our elected leaders on behalf of our industry. TAA had a full day of meetings: our delegation was able to meet with Sen. Hagan (with AANC), Con- gressman Holding and staff representatives of Congressman Price and Sen. Burr. We had met with Congresswoman Ellmers’ staff on Tuesday afternoon.

The three main issues we discussed were: immi- gration reform, housing finance reform and fair housing – disparate impact liability.

All the elected officials and their staff were cordial and open to what we had to say. Many asked good questions about our industry and policy goals, and several of them have followed up with me since the conference. It was and is a pleasure to share with them how the decisions made in Congress directly impacts TAA members.

The NAA Capitol Conference is a good chance to learn more about our industry, to connect with like-minded individuals from across the country and to speak to our elected leaders about the needs of the multifamily housing industry.

Next year, will you consider joining TAA for the NAA Capitol Conference? You will learn a lot and have great time.

Like all previous years, it will be in D.C. again, and that’s no accident.

Need Space?

Call Today!

TAA’s Meeting & Event Space is designed to provide an ideal atmosphere conveniently located in the heart of the Triangle. We offer well-designed conference rooms and a training center; complimentary presentation technology and wi-fi; and no catering restrictions.

Call 919-782-1165 or email for more information.

10 the ApartMentor | May/June

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