Heather Pierce | Deputy Director of Government Affairs
We are smack in the middle of the most contentious legislative session for landlords that the state has seen in nearly 40 years. Dozens of “renter protections” bills aimed at making it extremely time consuming and expensive for landlords to properly address problem tenancies are being debated and voted on, and RHAWA needs the help of its membership to educate legislators on the value of rental housing and how rental investors and landlords benefit the community.
If the thought of politics makes your stomach turn, or you’re not sure where to start, RHAWA is here to make the process as smooth and simple to understand as we can. It doesn’t take much more than 5 minutes of your time to engage with your elected official and share your story. People in office are there to represent you and your voice is critical to the legislative process.
Contact Your Councilmembers and Legislators and Build Relationships with Them
Really, that’s it. There doesn’t have to be a hot button issue or RHAWA call to action to set the table for becoming a resource to your elected officials. In fact, building up a relationship when nothing is going on is the best way to earn their trust and to let them know that you can be a valuable resource when something does come up.
The best ways to engage are by emailing or calling. Some offices offer public hours for people to drop by and say hi. Share your background, where you live, and what your interests are. Better yet, ask them what their interests are and see if there’s something you can offer your support or vote of confidence to. A great resource to find contact information for all elected officials is www.mrsc.org – check the Resources section to view city and town profiles.
Respond to RHAWA Call to Action Alerts
We don’t take these messages to members lightly, and when we send a call to action email to our membership it’s because there is a very real issue in play that could drastically impact your ability to own and operate your rental investment properties.
Your response and outreach to elected officials can have a very real impact on the legislative process. I can attest that there are some elected offices that go as far as counting emails from each side of an issue to determine how to vote. Why? Because you’re their constituent and they want to support what their constituents are telling them to.
Join an RHAWA Committee
RHAWA committees are the best place to learn about legislative matters early in the process, and to gain a better understanding of how the process plays out. Participating also gives you a direct opportunity to influence how RHAWA approaches different policy measures. Committees are not a huge time commitment, either. The typical committee meeting lasts only 1.5 hours, and is no more frequent than once per month (and often only every other month).
Contribute to our PAC
This message wouldn’t be complete without an honest ask of our membership. Your PAC donation dollars are the most effective way that RHAWA can protect the interests of our industry.
If none of the above options are of interest or fit within your schedule, I would ask that you commit to supporting the industry, your fellow members, and your private property rights and interests by making a donation to the RHAWA PAC today.