The REALTOR® Party is a powerful alliance of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Associations working to advance public policies and candidates that build strong communities, protect property interests and promote a vibrant business environment. In this overview of our Advocacy Program, we will touch on the functionality of our Government Affairs Committee, REALTOR® Political Action Committee, Board of Directors, and Candidate Interview Process/REALTOR® Champion identification.
Government Affairs Committee
The Government Affairs Committee at Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS® is focused on member education for legislative, regulatory and political matters. Reaching out to private businesses, political organizations, and government officials/municipal staff to make recommendations on pressing issues facing the community is key for this committee. Each election, members of the GAC and Board of Directors invite political candidates for municipal, county, and state office to interview and share their views on important issues with our membership. Through in-person interviews and candidate surveys, committee members recommend REALTOR© friendly candidates to the REALTORS® PAC Committee for funding. Members of the Government Affairs Committee are required to participate in candidate interviews.
REALTORS® Political Action Committee
Since 1969, the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) has promoted the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates across the United States. The purpose of RPAC is clear: voluntary contributions made by REALTORS® are used to help elect candidates who understand and support their interests. These are not members’ dues; this is money given freely by REALTORS® in recognition of the importance of the political process. The REALTORS® Political Action Committee and other political fundraising are the keys to protecting and promoting the real estate industry. Members of RPAC are required to participate in candidate funding decisions.
Candidate Screening & REALTOR® Champions
1. Candidates running for local office are invited to interview with the Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS®. This process begins as RRAR Advocacy Staff sends out digital survey to candidates who file for local office such as mayor, county commission, or city/town council as well as the North Carolina General Assembly (Senate & House) for districts that cover Wake & Harnett Counties. The digital survey is made up of housing and community related questions that are scripted and voted on by the REALTORS® who make up the Government Affairs Committee.
2. Once the digital survey responses from candidates are back, Chair and Vice Chair of the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) will consider the races and decide which candidates to invite in for an interview. These interviews are conducted by at-large members of GAC over a week span, with in-person questions that are also scripted by that governing body. Candidates are then assessed via scorecard, with responses aggregated for the Committee as a whole. At the follow GAC monthly meeting, members will vote on which (if any) candidates to support in each of those elections.
- For local elections, those recommended candidates are then passed along to our REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC), also made up of volunteer REALTOR® leaders. The RPAC Committee then assigned possible amounts of monetary support for those candidates in question and sends the final recommendations to the RRAR Board of Directors for ultimate approval.
- For statewide elections, such as North Carolina State Senate or North Carolina State House of Representatives, candidate recommendations go from RRAR's GAC directly to our state Association, NC REALTORS® for possible funding, which is decided on by state trustees (REALTOR® Member leaders from across the state).
3. Ultimate approval is signed off by the Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors. Members are presented with both the candidate scorecards from GAC as well as the funding recommendations from RPAC. In all, this three step process that involves nearly 100 REALTOR® leaders allows for ultimate transparency and the ability to pinpoint REALTOR® Champions running for public office.
Throughout the process, REALTOR® members keep many factors in mind, including but not limited to:
- Integrity: Does the candidate hold themselves to the professional manner and code of conduct REALTORS® do?
- Priorities: How well does the candidate understand the issues important to our industry?
- Workability: Is our Association able to work with this candidate, even when our opinions do not match up?
- Electability: RRAR leadership understands the importance of a viable campaign plan and future goals, does it match up with our industry?