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Capitol Conference 2022 strengthens Illinois REALTORS® advocacy efforts


As the final session of the 2022 Capitol Conference was drawing to a close, Illinois REALTORS® CEO Jeff Baker had one request for attendees.

“As long as you are a REALTOR®, make advocacy a priority,” Baker said. “If we do that, the consequences will be positive for each of us, the industry and the state.”

In a presentation that focused on the unintended consequences of poor public policies, Baker gave examples of positive actions that resulted in negative consequences. To prevent laws from having negative impacts on private property owners and the real estate industry, legislators need to listen to the expertise Illinois REALTORS® can provide. And that’s why the association’s advocacy is so important to local and state economies.

Baker urged members to learn about the importance of RPAC to support candidates who share our values. Legislators need to know how real estate professionals feel about issues that will affect their communities, and that is one reason why members need to faithfully respond to requests for Calls for Action.

Community leaders and ordinary citizens need to understand why REALTORS® are so attuned to issues that affect private property rights or add unnecessary costs or fees to real estate transactions. They need to understand — like REALTORS® do — that the American Dream of homeownership can provide “psychological and emotional security,” can provide generational wealth, can add to neighborhood stability, better schools, safer streets and better economic opportunities. To make that happen, he said, REALTORS® in every community need to support the idea of making advocacy a priority.

Other Tuesday afternoon activities at Capitol Conference included:

  • Three REALTORS® received 2022 Political Involvement Awards (Matt Silver of Chicago, Mark Massey of Edwardsville, Steve Myers of Springfield).
  • Four members were inducted into the RPAC Hall of Fame (Kathy Frankenberger, Carrie Little, Mike Scobey, Sarah L. Ware) and six Hall of Fame members reached new lifetime investment tiers (Doug Hartmann, Sr., Christopher Tenggren, John P. Vranas, Doug Carpenter, Lynn Madison, Piero Orsi).
  • Senior Vice President Governmental Affairs Greg St. Aubin, Senior Advisor Governmental Affairs Betsy Mitchell and Manager of State Government Affairs Jim Clayton discussed the status of several bills being considered by the General Assembly.
  • Illinois REALTORS® President-elect Michael Gobber and Treasurer Matt Silver explained how the March 21 Let’s Talk Real Estate events were just the start of similar events to be scheduled in the near future.
  • Senior Director of Local Government & External Affairs Gideon Blustein led panel discussions about: REALTOR® Party/Independent expenditures, Grassroots Activities, RPAC Fundraising and Public Policy.

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