The National Association of Realtors (NAR) commemorates the 50th anniversary of its Realtors Political Action Committee this year. Since 1969, RPAC has promoted the election of pro-Realtor candidates across the United States. RPAC uses voluntary Realtor contributions to help elect candidates who understand and support the interests of the real estate industry.
On January 26, 1969, a President’s Report to NAR’s executive committee announced the creation of the Real Estate Political Education Committee. Later that year, REPEC had already attracted 300 investors with contributions totaling $28,000. Today, over 400,000 people have invested $9 million in RPAC at the federal level, and over $36 million at all three levels of the association.
There are currently 1,061 Realtors in the RPAC Hall of Fame from all 50 states, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. The Hall of Fame recognizes dedicated members who have made a significant commitment to RPAC over the years by investing an aggregate lifetime amount of at least $25,000.
RPAC uses its resources to develop public policies that make it easier to own homes and build communities through commercial investment. Current national Realtor priorities include working with Congress and the administration to craft long-term reform of the nation’s infrastructure; tracking additional changes to the tax code to ensure reforms are understood by and beneficial to members; and educating lawmakers about the importance of protecting the availability of 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage financing.
NAR’s most recent action has been monitoring and offering guidance to changes being proposed to federal GSE’s. Government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) mortgages are mortgages that are insured by the federal government to facilitate home purchasing and encourage financial institutions to lend money to those seeking to buy homes. The two main providers of GSE mortgages in the United States are Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
In Santa Fe, RPAC monies contributed by members are used to help elect candidates who are receptive to issues of concern to the real estate industry. Funds have also been used to host candidate forums and provide legislative updates. Annually, the association president elects members to serve on its candidate selection and contribution committee, which uses guidelines to interview candidates and make decisions on its level of support in local elections.
RPAC is considered to be one of the most bipartisan major PACs in the country. Realtors continue to work closely with elected officials to strengthen Americans’ ability to buy, invest, own and sell property, creating healthier and more diverse communities in every corner of this country. RPAC’s participation rate of 35 percent nearly triples national trade association PAC participation averages.
The National Association of Realtors is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
Rubel “Paco” Arguello is a Santa Fe native and chief executive of the Santa Fe Association of Realtors