Activate Your Activism

by Karen Dumond | Apr 24, 2014
I am not one to preach about political advocacy, especially to you. Don’t get me wrong, I vote and I definitely care about the rights of our citizens and the freedoms we enjoy in this country, but participate? I’m not the best at that, but I’m writing to tell you that I may be edging my way toward “activism.” And the reason why is YOU.
The fever is infectious, working with REALTORS® every day. Your passion for private property rights and the protections deserved by self-employed business professionals is exemplary. I truly think it comes naturally to most of you, and I can honestly say I come across very few REALTORS® who are not engaged in politics.

You are fully engaged in local politics, including town councils and committees, and keep a close eye on potential regulations and ordinances that may impact your industry. This involvement is huge. Your town may pass an initiative that can impede business practices, which may then quickly spread to other towns, and even the state
legislature. This “boots on the ground” effort is the foundation of REALTOR® advocacy nationwide. You should be proud.

Many of you are involved constituents with state representatives and senators. You attend fundraisers, stay in tune with bills filed that may impact the industry, and you practice grassroots lobbying to keep property rights and the real estate industry top-of-mind with legislators. This is evident through Calls For Action that you participate
in, and the tremendous involvement in REALTOR® Day on Beacon Hill. Your devotion to the issues and the industry is instrumental in warding off property taxes, flood insurance hikes, and in helping pass legislation for scrap metal dealers, just to name a few. Once again, you should be proud.

So, how am I edging myself toward the level you exemplify? I’m fighting alongside your Charitable Foundation on the License Plate bill which will lower the number of applications needed to produce the plate. Getting this license plate produced and sold will help the Foundation greatly. The 2013 Chairman, Paul Yorkis, and 2014 Chairman, Diane DeCiccio, testified on behalf of the bill recently and I went with them. This was the first time I attended a hearing and it was also a first for another Charitable Trust member. We were both captivated and agreed the process was worth participating in again. I’m hopeful the testimony given that day will produce a favorable vote, but either way I now see how important it is for all of us to practice advocacy for what we believe in. Now I’m proud.