But I got your attention, didn’t I?
Today the 2021 Texas Legislative session began. This morning I attended our (virtual) SW Dallas MLS meeting. Our speaker, Brandon Aderete, Texas REALTORS Director of Political Affairs discussed what the legislative session would look like this year in comparison to past years. While my tagline was meant to get your attention, and while there have been a ton of funny memes and GIFs floating around the internet about last week’s unfortunate events in Washington D.C., security measures will be taken very seriously at the state Capitol this week and through May 31st.
Two years ago I had the opportunity not once, but twice, to visit the Capitol during the Legislative session. One of those visits was as a Texas REALTOR, on “REALTORS Storm the Capitol Day”. I assure you, we did not “storm” anything, at least not in the same sense as those who stormed, or attacked, the U.S. Capitol last week. One day during every legislative session, thousands of REALTORS from the great State of Texas visit the Capitol and speak with their representatives about issues that relate to real estate, in a very calm, non threatening manner. Then we all go across the street to the Texas REALTORS headquarters office for a nice BBQ lunch, tour the building and network with one another. FUN!
On the Texas REALTORS website, it states, “Texas REALTORS® is committed to advocating for a strong real estate industry, advancing a culture of continued learning, and staying ahead of issues concerning members and their clients.”
Our MLS Associations have Government Affairs Committees made up of licensed Texas real estate professionals who volunteer their time tirelessly to serve the community by advocating for property owners rights. One way this is done is by interviewing and vetting candidates, whether they be city council, mayor, school board, or state representatives. The interview process is a panel of volunteers who ask the candidates questions about their position on issues relating to real estate in one way or another. Here are some examples of Texas REALTORS Policy Position Topics: Appraisal Caps, Central Appraisal Districts, Eminent Domain Authority, Hospital Development, Property Taxes, Sales Price Disclosure, Sales Tax on Real Estate Transactions, Transportation and Water Infrastructure and HOA’s.
Because of COVID, Texas REALTORS will not be able to attend the session this year in the same way we have in previous years. Just like everything else this past year, it will just look different. Because of the recent events of last week, they will be rebranding the event. There’s always one or several dozen bad apples, some dressed like they came right out of Braveheart, that ruin the fun for everyone.
If you ever get the opportunity to visit the Capitol during a legislative session, do it. It’s busy and bustling and interesting and exciting. It all seems so much bigger than me, but at the same time when we were able to step into a representatives office and speak to them directly about our positions, it seemed very personal, like one person with a voice can actually make a difference.
Stay safe out there y’all. We are living in a crazy world. And hug a REALTOR, or a fist bump, or elbow tap, or whatever you’re doing in a COVID world.