Legislative Representation – OAR’s Public Policy Group staff is involved in lobbying at the Ohio State House on a day-to-day basis, focusing on bills that affect the real estate industry, as well as private property issues. In addition, staff maintains close contact with Ohio’s Congressmen and Senators, so that they are well-informed on federal issues that affect REALTORS and property owners.
Political Affairs & Grassroots Initiatives – The Association maintains an active department to assist REALTORS in dealing with the political process and encouraging their active participation in that process or the grassroots lobbying activities and programs. Members and boards are urged to become involved in the political process either through the support of a candidate or issue, and providing the know-how for these individual members to assist candidates of their choice or work for issues they support or oppose. The Association frequently works with Local Boards through the NAR Opportunity Race Program to organize efforts for a particular candidate.
Issues Mobilization Fund – The Issues Mobilization Fund was created as a means of promoting the free enterprise system and protecting private property rights by educating REALTORS and the general public about national, state and local issues which affect them. The fund is administered by the Issues Mobilization Committee, which has the authority to provide financial resources in support of the REALTOR position on ballot measures, state and federal legislation and local ordinances and regulations. The Committee also may assist Local Boards and OAR in forming and participating in coalitions with other groups who are supportive and committed to the REALTOR position on a particular issue.
Issues Research and Analysis – The Public Policy Group also spends considerable time researching and analyzing emerging or current issues of concern to the real estate professional. With the increasing desire on the part of some in government to limit the property owner’s use of land, land use issues receive a great deal of attention. The emerging call for environmental protection has also caused OAR to develop a strong research effort on issues including wetlands use and preservation, environmental hazards and coastal management. (See White Papers in the Legal section of this site.) The research arm of the Group also includes the subjects of real estate taxation, real estate economics and housing needs. In addition, special task forces are created from time-to-time to study specific issues.
Local Issues – Through the Local Government Forum, members are afforded the opportunity to exchange information on local legislative issues of importance. The Forum meets at the Tri-Annual Meetings of the Association. OAR Public Policy staff also provides any assistance needed to Local Boards with local legislative issues.
REALTORS Political Action Committee (RPAC) – Financial assistance is contributed to the campaigns of individuals running for state, local and national office after a thorough review of the candidate’s background and position on issues of particular concern to property owners and the real estate professional. Input is received from Local Boards and individual members before contributions are made. All funding decisions for State House or Senate candidates are made by the RPAC Trustees. Local Boards may request money for local candidates out of their Local Board Entitlement. Most boards receive a portion of the money they raise for RPAC back for use in local campaigns. The RPAC Trustees also make recommendations to NAR on contribution for federal candidates.
State Contact Network – A bulletin (or Call-to-Action) is sent to members when their support is needed on a key legislative issue. Select members will be asked to call or write their Legislator to communicate the Association’s position. On occasion, the issue is so broad that the entire membership is urged to voice their opinion to the Legislature.
Spring/Legislative Conference – The Spring/Legislative Conference was initiated to provide an opportunity for key board leaders to come to Columbus and become a participant in the legislative process and the Association’s involvement in important legislative issues. Through information meetings, written documentation, individual meetings with area Legislators and visits to the State House, the REALTOR leadership in Ohio has become much more familiar with the role of the Ohio Association of REALTORS in protecting the interest of REALTORS and property owners in Ohio.