Another election season is behind us and once again the majority of voters agreed with the Houston Association of REALTORS®’ (HAR) candidate recommendations. HAR had a 91.8% success rate. HAR members who live in the Houston Independent School District (HISD) were encouraged to vote AGAINST Proposition 1 and they listened, with 62.65% voting AGAINST, 37.35% FOR and 23.77% not participating. This result will now eliminate the $162 million dollar recapture payment to the State of Texas. The next move is yet to be seen, but rest assured the HAR Governmental Affairs Team will be there representing the interests of REALTORS® and the property owners they serve.
Members who live in the Houston Independent School District will have one more opportunity to let their voices be heard in the December 10 run-off election between the top two vote-getters, Anne Sung and John Luman, for Trustee, District VII, to replace Harvin C. Moore.
To our elected officials and candidates who ran for office this tumultuous election cycle, the HAR Governmental Affairs Team says, “Thank you for your willingness to serve in public office and represent your constituents.” We recognize that it takes a lot of courage, energy, and belief in oneself to campaign for office to represent thousands of people within a legislative district.
This election cycle brings some familiar and some new faces to the Texas Legislature. New faces in the Texas House of Representatives include: Ernest Bailes, Briscoe Cain, Jarvis Johnson, Dr. Tom Oliverson, Kevin Roberts, Valoree Swanson, and Shawn Thierry. Representative Borris Miles won election to serve in the Texas Senate, filling the vacant seat of Senator Rodney Ellis who was elected to the Precinct One Harris County Commissioner seat following Commissioner El Franco Lee’s passing in January, 2016. Former State Representative Mary Ann Perez reclaimed House District 144, a seat she lost to Gilbert Peña in the 2014 election.
We look forward to the upcoming holiday season and our annual appreciation brunch with our wonderful volunteers who serve on HAR’s Governmental Affairs Advisory Group, Political Affairs Advisory Group, and Political Affairs Advisory Leadership groups. Our 2016 volunteer leaders include Troy Cothran, John Nichols, Deborah Spangler, Ray Wade, Tina Wilcher and Ed Wolff. Their willingness to make the commitment to meet throughout the year to interview, recommend, and help to elect the HAR recommended candidates is a monumental task. They are our eyes and ears, and we could not do it without their participation and leadership.
Preparations are underway for the 85th Legislative Session which begins Tuesday, January 10, 2017. Be sure to mark your calendars for REALTOR® Lobby Day in Austin on Tuesday, April 4. This biennial event gives our members an opportunity to visit with their state legislators one-on-one on REALTOR® issues. Be on the lookout for more information in the near future. Visit www.hiddenpropertytax.com, the Texas Association of REALTORS®’ website to stay up to date on REALTOR® issues.