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Government Affairs


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AANC Education and Legislative Day participants pause for a photo before meeting with their elected officials.


AFTERTHOUGHTS – TAA Government Affairs Journal


Veni, vidi, vici Have you noticed that in every action movie the hero


always gives a rousing speech to his or her assembled warriors just before the decisive battle? For example, who can forget William Wallace’s


speech in “Braveheart” (except those of you who haven’t seen it…shame on you!)? Painted like a deranged Ken- tucky basketball fan, he shouts: “We all end up dead, it’s just a question of how and


why. Every man dies, not every man really lives. I am William Wallace! And I see a whole army of my country- men, here in defiance of tyranny. You’ve come to fight as free men… and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?... would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM!” Perhaps an Australian speaking with a bad Scottish accent isn’t your thing. If that’s the case, then consider Captain America’s speech in the first “Avengers.” In the middle of destroying NYC, he takes the time to say: “These are dark and desperate times. I know that some of you are afraid. It’s alright. It’s perfectly natural. But I want you to know that I am not. I am not afraid to die this day because what we do here is necessary. It may seem impossible, our enemies may appear to be endless, but that doesn’t matter. Because there is no one else. Look at me. I believe in an idea, an idea that a single individual who has the right heart and the right mind that is consumed with a single purpose, that one man can win a war. Give that one man a group of soldiers with the same conviction, and you can change the world.” Maybe you aren’t into the whole ‘comic book movie’


10 the ApartMentor | July/August


thing…it’s just a passing fad, you say; you prefer more realism and drama. Then I submit Snow White’s speech in “Snow White and the Huntsman.” (Unfortunately for the scene, however, Kristen Stewart has all the emotional ap- peal of a beet; I think I’ve seen baked potatoes display a wider range of feelings.): “All these years, all I’ve known is darkness. But I have never seen a brighter light than when my eyes just opened. And I know that light burns in all of you! Those embers must turn to flame. Iron into sword. I will become your weapon! Forged by the fierce fire that I know is in your hearts! For I have seen what she sees. I know what she knows. I can kill her. And I’d rather die today than live another day of this death! Who will ride with me? Who will be my brother?” In its own way, the education portion of the recent AANC Education and Legislative Conference was the pre-battle speech to prepare the attendees to engage their elected officials in lobbying. On May 21-22, the Apartment Association of North Carolina (AANC) hosted its annual Education and Legislative Day Conference. Held at the Raleigh Marriott City Center, attendees had the opportunity to experience 28 hours of information, fellowship and the chance to interact with their elected officials at this year’s NEW AND IMPROVED format. The conference began at 10 am on Wednesday, May


21 and was launched by the keynote speaker, Dr. James Johnson of UNC’s Kenan Flagler Business School. Speaking on “Demographic Trends that Will Trans- form North Carolina,” Dr. Johnson thoroughly educated and entertained the crowd. While there were many take- away ideas, two that stood out to me were the coming Gray Tsunami, or the rapid increase of retirement-aged population, and the speed at which cities are growing in NC.


Members of the TAA need to be prepared for both


of these factors. As Bob Dylan sang, “The Times, They Are A-Changin’.”


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