October 2019 Update
City of Raleigh and Town of Cary Elections
The City of Raleigh and Town of Cary municipal elections are in, and their impact are going to be felt for quite a while to come. In Cary, most every incumbent kept their seats, except for Ken George who was unseated by political newcomer Ya Liu. More transformative for the town, both their parks/greenways bond and their transportation bonds passed. Together they’ll pump about $225 million into the town. If you want to know more about them, you can find information here.
In Raleigh it was out with the old and in with the new, as five new council members will be seated in early December. Of the incumbents, only Nicole Stewart, Corey Branch, and David Cox will be returning; new to the council are Jonathan Melton, Patrick Buffkin, Saige Martin, David Knight.
For Mayor, former council member Mary Ann Baldwin avoided a runoff against Charles Francis, who ran unsuccessfully for the same seat two years ago.
REALTORS® had a large part to play in this years’ elections. RRAR financially contributed to ten candidates with RPAC dollars, winning nine of the races. Additionally, RPAC was the 6th largest contributor in Raleigh’s municipal races, demonstrating the importance REALTORS® place on good governance.
RRAR is the 6th largest contributor to the City of Raleigh candidates in 2019
According to our calculations, RRAR was the 6th largest contributor to City of Raleigh candidates in 2019 (so far). With a total contribution to date of $21,000, RPAC was the largest Political Action Committee involved in the Raleigh election, with the NC Home Builders coming in second at $16,000 in contributions, and the Triangle Apartment Association giving $15,000 in contributions.
Who out-gave RPAC? Some big names you’ll probably recognize. Current Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane, local developer John Kane, and pollster Dean Debnam all gave significant amounts of money to candidates.
RRAR giving at such significant levels does a couple things. First, it elevates how much respect the REALTORS® get in the political and government arena. If RRAR has that much to spend, it means we pull more weight than other interest groups. Secondly individual members giving that much to their PAC demonstrates how dedicated REALTORS® are to their local governments. That level of personal involvement means that REALTORS® understand how important this is, and are taken more seriously as a result.
Congratulations to all the investors in RPAC for making such a bold statement to the community, YOU are what makes RRAR such a leader in our area!
September 2019 Update
Sign ordinances, what you need to know
Everywhere you go you see them...the mattress sale, going out of business, and of course campaign signs. What prevents these advertisements from taking over every square inch of our roads? In many areas, municipal employees will remove these signs that do not conform to local ordinances. But what if one of your "for sale" or "open house" signs is taken?
Though REALTOR®signs are part of your professional business and don't liter intersections, many municipalities have begun to enforce stricter rules on these yard signs. For example; many municipalities regulate how large a "for sale" sign can be, when you can place "open house" signs, or even how many directional signs you can place for an open house. If you do not comply with these rules, you may find that your sign has been removed by the town and you must pay a fine in order to retrieve it. Your time is valuable and chasing down your yard sign is a hassle. The good news is there is a way to prevent this from happening to you.
RRAR has put together an easy to use resource where you can find information on the regulations where you are listing a property. Click here, and scroll down to "Local Sign Ordinance Links," where you can find detailed information on what is or is not allowed in local communities. If you need more assistance or can't find what you are looking for contact RRAR's Government Affairs Team, they will be happy to assist you.
Did you know early voting has started in North Carolina
If you live in Raleigh or Cary early voting began September 18th running through October 4th, with election day on October 8th. If you live outside these two cities early voting runs October 16th through November 1st, with election day on November 5th.
Want to find out if you’re registered to vote, or where to vote? Click here and follow the on screen instructions to find out! Not registered to vote in your municipality? You’ve missed the deadline to mail or email a registration form, but you can register and vote at the same time at any early voting location.
Want to know who to vote for? Be on the lookout for an official communication from RRAR with candidate responses to our online questionnaire, and the slate of supported candidates across Wake and Harnett County. You can also, reach out to RRAR’s government affairs team who would be more than happy to let you know who the Association supported in your area!
Taking an Active Role in Government
Did you know that RRAR supports candidates running for office? As the real estate industry is so directly impacted by our government, RRAR and its members take an active role in ensuring the best candidates for office represent our communities.
Candidates who choose to engage with us begin by filling out an online questionnaire to inform RRAR about their campaign and policy positions. These questionnaires are sent to RRAR members to inform their vote, and help our committees determine who to support for office. After the online survey is completed, RRAR members conduct in-person interviews with candidates. This is done to get a full understanding on which candidates are running and what their campaign platforms revolve around. Each interviewee has a numerical ranking on the questions they are asked, along with general traits like strength of their campaign and interview. These help us objectively compare candidates running against each other.
After in-person interviews, association staff compile the data from the interview scorecards, and present that information (along with staff recommendations) to several RRAR committees for discussion and recommendations to the RRAR Board of Directors. At the end, the Board votes on a slate of candidates they think best represent our industry and the needs of our clients. Our Board will also determine how much Political Action Committee (PAC) funding they want to support candidates with.
RRAR takes candidate support quite seriously and takes a deliberate approach to ensure that as much data is collected and many voices are heard prior to final decisions being made. Our work on the backend assures that we are selecting candidates who are qualified and fully represent RRAR's mission.
Did You Know? The NC Affordable Housing Conference
If you haven’t heard yet, the NC Affordable Housing Conference is just a few weeks away. Held in the Raleigh Convention Center, this two-day event is an excellent opportunity to hear from industry experts about the hard work that goes on across our state to ensure that everyone has a place to call home. A lot of the breakout sessions are fairly technical (the latest changes in Low Income Housing Tax Credits anyone?), but many cover breaking innovations in housing such as examining long term health outcome predictions based on housing types. Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS® sends staff and committee leadership to attend, if you’d like to learn more about the conference feel free to reach out to RRAR Government Affairs team.
July 2019 Update
Brace Yourselves: Elections Are Coming
The 2019 campaign season is officially underway! July 5th began the campaign filing period where candidates have to file official paperwork declaring their run for office. The deadline is July 19th, so we can expect not only candidates who already announced their campaigns, but some unexpected candidates as well. As an example: Raleigh already has six people running for mayor, and there’s plenty of time left for people to make a surprise announcement.
What does this mean for our association? While RRAR does not endorse candidates for office, we do support candidates with funds raised through our REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC). Who we support and how much depends on the candidates’ responses to an online survey, an in-person interview with members of our Government Affairs and RPAC Committees, and alignment with RRAR’s policy positions. RRAR staff are already extending interview invitations to candidates who have filed, and will be working through the campaign filing period to ensure candidates know we’re watching their races closely.
As a reminder, local elections happen on different dates depending on where you live. Raleigh, Cary, Dunn, and Erwin hold their elections on October 8, everyone else in Wake and Harnett Counties have their elections on November 5th. To make things more complicated for you: If an October election does not produce a decisive winner, you may have to vote again in November in a runoff election.
There’s a lot going on with campaigns, if you’ve got questions, concerns, or recommendations, reach out to RRAR’s Government Affairs Staff and let us know what’s on your mind!
May 2019 Update
Balancing Rapid Growth Seminar
Government Affairs Committee welcomes guest speakers Mayor Pro Tem Blake Massengill, Commissioner Larry Smith of Fuquay-Varina, and Council Member Audra Killingsworth of Apex as we discuss how they balance rapid growth, development, and smart expansion in their communities. For more information, or to register, click here.
REALTORS® Gather in Washington D.C.
REALTORS® from across the nation are assembling in our nation's capital this week to promote homeowner and private property right, while advocating for the real estate industry. Read the full national release on all the week's activities.
April 2019 Update
First N.C. State Budget Released
The North Carolina House of Representatives released its budget, setting the stage for a debate over how to spend billions of dollars over the next two years. You can access the NC House budget proposal in its entirety - click here.
North Carolina in Top 5 For Money Lost To Online Scams
North Carolina is among the top states for money lost to online crimes, according to data released this month. The scams cost North Carolina residents $137 million, making the state the fifth highest for losses, the FBI says in its 2018 Internet Crimes Report. The prior year, North Carolina ranked 17th, according to the agency.
March 2019 Update
REALTORS® Heading to Washington D.C.
Join REALTORS® from across North Carolina and the nation to visit Capitol Hill and speak directly with lawmakers about what's affecting our industry and standing up tall for private property rights! Learn more about the events and register here.
Raleigh Mayoral Race Heating Up
With long time Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane announcing she will not seek another term, several candidates have already thrown their hat into the ring. The three who have announced so far are all heavy hitters, and with filing ending in mid-July, we could see numerous more announcements in the coming months.
February 2019 Update
Wake County Transportation Input
Wake County is looking for input on how the future of transit systems may look in the Raleigh Region, and they want to hear from REALTORS®. Check out their future plans and share your opinions!
EVENT: Unpacking the Renewal of Downtowns
Join the RRAR Government Affairs Committee for lunch and hear from the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, Cary Economic Development Department about what's brought back our downtown areas, and what their future holds. How are peoples' life choices shaped by vibrant city centers, and how do their needs in turn shape the cities in which they live? Learn how REALTORS® can adapt on February 20th - Register Now!
CALL FOR ACTION: Insurance Rate Increase
Tell the Department of Insurance not to raise homeowner insurance rates by 17.4%! The NC Rate Bureau has asked for a 17.4% increase in homeowner insurance rates for 2019, after they already raised rates by 4.8% last year. Take a minute to have your voice heard and let the Department of Insurance know that this rate is too high a burden on the state's homeowners!
January 2019 Update
Federal Government Shutdown & REALTORS®
How is the partial federal government shut down affecting the real estate industry? How are REALTORS® feeling its effects? Find out here.
Zillow Launches Service in Raleigh
It's official: Zillow has launched its homebuying service in Raleigh. Zillow will begin making cash offers on properties with the aim to resell them at a profit... another sign of Raleigh's strong housing market.