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    GET INVOLVED

    The Ohio Association of REALTORS is compiling a database of REALTORS interested in serving state government on one of its many boards, commissions and oversight agencies. OAR is frequently contacted by officials requesting names to consider when they are trying to fill vacancies for an array of positions.

    The organization has a storied history of service--from the Ohio Real Estate Commission to the Appraiser Board to countless other less high-profile agencies--and this effort to create and maintain a database will allow the organization to submit names expeditiously and with confidence that a qualified individual will serve in the best interest of the state.

    All interested REALTORS are required to complete an online application, which highlights the areas of specialty and qualifications of the member. The interactive form will be kept on file with the OAR Public Policy Group.

    OAR'S PUBLIC POLICY GROUP

    The primary responsibility of the Public Policy Group is to preserve, protect and improve upon the working environment within which our members operate. The Group also strives to protect the constitutional property rights of Ohio's five million property owners. Some of the key services provided by this group are:

    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.

    Publications - A key component of OAR's legislative program is the ability to keep membership informed of pending developments in the Ohio General Assembly and Congress. The dissemination of accurate, up-to-date information is critical to success of a grassroots lobbying effort. When the legislature is in session, each issue of the OHIO REALTOR contains articles on issues facing the REALTORS of Ohio. (Note: access to the OHIO REALTOR can be found under "News" in the top navigation bar.)

    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. The "Cal"l reviews the issue and asks each member 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.

    Annual Legislative Report - The Legislative Report is published annually and disseminated during the Association's Convention in the fall. The Report reviews bills being monitored by the Association during the current General Session. Included in each review is an assessment of the bill's impact upon the real estate industry, the bill's status and the Association's position on the bill. Also included in the Report are the voting records of Legislators and a directory for House and Senate members, as well as updates on all legislative programming.

    Legislative Conference - The 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.