RHAWA's Advocacy Center: Connect with local & state representatives
On January 13, RHAWA’s government affairs team began again the critical venture of advocating on behalf of private housing providers at the Washington State legislature. As recent election cycles have seen broad progressive majorities come to control most legislative bodies throughout the state, the process of presenting the crucial needs of housing providers has become more frustrating with each passing year. While it is easy to understand the significant burden that exists for our members who often must take time off from work in order to travel to Olympia for direct advocacy with lawmakers, RHAWA continually espouses the need for individual members participation in the public debate on housing policy.
One way to become more involved is to join RHAWA’s legislative and political action committees and participate in the shaping of RHAWA’s policy positions alongside the government affairs staff. Finding candidates who understand the need to support private rental housing, in the face of vocal and aggressive opponents, is a challenge that must be attacked on a daily basis. The fact is that in the current political climate in our state, candidates who balance concerns for social welfare with the need for a healthier economic system are disincentivized from running for public office. If property owners wait until primary season to choose between the available candidates, they are left with little recourse to support the industry. While RHAWA government affairs team works every day to educate and influence lawmakers’ understanding of housing policy, it is only through networking with other organizations, and cultivating viable and enthusiastic candidacies that we will create better public-private partnership to support the increasing costs of living in our region.
While active participation in RHAWA committees and events is always a good idea for interested members, RHAWA has made a significant investment in new tools to help make communicating with government easier for everybody. RHAWA recently launched our online Advocacy Center, which is specialized software that will allow for RHAWA members to quickly and efficiently connect with their local and state representatives, and better advocate for our industry. Members can simply sign up for the program, through email prompts, or by visiting the RHAWA website. Those who sign up have complete control to choose the methods of notification that work best for their busy lives, including immediate reactive emails, texts to mobile phones, or even notification through a handy phone app. With one click, RHAWA members who sign up will be taken to a webpage that lays out RHAWA’s position on each policy under consideration and provides a customized message to the lawmakers associated with any member’s district. All the work of finding who and where to send comments on a policy proposal is eliminated.