Recap of Washington, D.C. Legislative Visits

Hundreds of Texas REALTORS® were in Washington, D.C., May 15-20 to advocate for real estate consumers during the 2017 REALTOR® Legislative Meetings. Here are a few highlights from the week.

The voice for real estate at the U.S. Capitol
Texas REALTORS® met with all 36 members of the Texas Congressional delegation (or their staff members) to discuss pro-real estate policies, such as tax reform, reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program, and protecting sustainable homeownership. They also attended meetings with U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz in the Hart Senator Office Building.

Recognizing Texas REALTOR® leaders
During the five-day conference, several Texas REALTORS® were recognized for their outstanding advocacy successes:

  • TAR 1997 President John Nichols, of Houston, was honored with the National Association of REALTORS® Meritorious Service Award for his decades of service as Federal Political Coordinator for Congressman John Culberson.
  • NAR’s Board of Directors appointed 2017 TAR Secretary/Treasurer Tray Bates as 2018 REALTOR® Party Fundraising Liaison.
  • NAR’s Board of Directors appointed 2015 TAR Chairman Scott Kesner as 2018 Regional Vice President for Region 10 (Texas and Louisiana).

NAR Board of Directors takes action
The board voted to continue its support of Upstream, the technology developed to give brokers and agents a better way to manage their listing data and direct its distribution to MLSs, vendors, and third-party listing aggregators.

The board also supported a proposal to restructure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB); legislation requiring that parties who claim violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to notify the person or organization responsible for the alleged violation and give them an opportunity to remedy it before filing a lawsuit; the exclusion of reverse mortgages when HUD calculates the minimum capital reserve required for the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF); and several other items.

REALTOR® Party advocates in Texas
Texas had a strong presence during the REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC) Awards Ceremony recognizing individuals, local associations, and state associations that achieved excellence in the 2016 fundraising year:

18 Texas REALTORS® were inducted into the 2016 REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) Hall of Fame:

  • $125,000 level: Mary Frances Burleson, MetroTex
    $100,000 level: Mike Brodie, Collin County
  • $50,000 level: Bill Evans, Austin; Mike Huff, Houston; Eloise Eriksson Martin, MetroTex; Avis Wukasch, Williamson County
  • $25,000 level: Diana Ayers, Houston; Christi Borden, Houston; Brenda Cole, MetroTex; Marilyn Frederick, MetroTex; Amy Hughes, Amarillo; Veronica Mullenix, Houston; John Nichols, Houston; Jim Smith, Austin; Rick Thomason, Amarillo; Jeffrey Updike, MetroTex; Mark Woodruff, Houston; Robert Wright, Austin
  • The Texas Association of REALTORS® received the Triple Crown Award and was recognized for overall fundraising in the large-state category for 2016.
  • The Houston Association of REALTORS® was recognized for overall fundraising among mega-size local associations after raising more than $1 million in 2016.

REALTORS® visit with federal lawmakers on real estate consumer priorities
Members of the Houston Association of REALTORS® met with 10 Members of the U. S. House of Representatives at Tortilla Coast-Capitol Hill or in their offices.  Please see the photos to recognize your Member of Congress and the REALTORS® who take an active interest in our congressional visits.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee ( Congressional District 18) is the center of attention following her comments and introduction by her Federal Political Coordinator Gerald Womack. Congresswoman Lee serves on the Budget, Homeland Security, and Judiciary Committees.
Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (Congressional District 10) is surrounded by Realtors® from the Austin Board of Realtors® and the Houston Association of Realtors® in the hallway outside his office in the Rayburn Building. Federal Political Coordinator Sheri Brummett of Austin led the discussion of Realtor® issues with Chairman McCaul.


Texas’ Congressional District 2 U. S. Representative Ted Poe (top center) was introduced by his Federal Political Coordinator DeLora Wilkinson. He serves on the Foreign Affairs and Judiciary Committees. He is pictured with his constituents,

A generous thank you to Ward Arendt who took many of the photos of our meetings.

Stay up-to-date with HAR’s Governmental Affairs staff and communications as we prepare for the August congressional recess and the November 7, 2017 elections.

Your participation in HAR’s respected political process is so very much valued and appreciated.  We couldn’t do our jobs without you!  Thank you all for your support!


Dana Kervin

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