The longer Christopher Tenggren (of RE/MAX All Pro in St. Charles, IL) spends time immersed in the political arena for REALTORS® the more he is devoted to it.
That includes his six-plus years as one of the 177 Illinois REALTORS® State Legislative Contacts (59 for state senators and 118 for state representatives). Tenggren is the State Legislative Contact (SLC) for state Sen. Karen McConnaughay of the 33rd District, who is up for re-election this fall.
“Our state association Leadership Team, the Political Involvement Working Group and Executive Staff know I will always raise my hand to help the SLC Program,” says Tenggren, who appreciates the fact the program is modeled after the National Association of REALTORS®’ successful FPC (Federal political Coordinator) Program for federal legislators.
But the veteran broker’s respect for politics began years before his involvement with the SLC program, as he served in leadership positions for the REALTOR® Association of the Fox Valley, Illinois REALTORS® and the NAR, and has devoted many hours as a member of the Illinois REALTORS®’ RPAC Trustees, the REALTORS® Political Involvement Committee (RPIC), Public Policy & Government Affairs Committee, and both the Local & Statewide Government Independent Expenditures committees. He continued to stay active in numerous local, state and national committees while serving as an SLC, including his current service to NAR’s RPAC Fundraising Trustees as the Region 7 Trustee 2016-2019, and as the Illinois REALTORS®’ Statewide Government Independent Expenditures Committee Chair for 2018. In 2013, Tenggren was inducted to the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) Hall of Fame for surpassing $25,000 in aggregate lifetime investments. He has been an RPAC Major Investor since 2006, and has been at the Golden “R” & President’s Circle level since 2010.
What do SLCs do for REALTORS®?
Because SLCs build relationships with specific state senators and representatives, their assignments typically mirror their legislators’ terms in office. SLCs help legislators understand that REALTORS® want to protect private property rights and the real estate industry from proposals that could infringe upon them.
Tenggren and his SLC colleagues can provide expertise to elected officials when it comes to real estate. “I believe that most voters think legislators know everything about everything,” he says. “However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Legislators need expert opinions more times than not when considering the very complex bills that come before them”.
“As a result of our consistent work across the state, I’d wager that most, if not all, of the longer-tenured members of the Illinois General Assembly trust and respect us as an organization for our professional bipartisan approach and manner of doing business,” Tenggren says.
SLCs are respected, in part, because the Illinois REALTORS® Government Affairs Team, Leadership and Executive Staff provide consistent messaging on the local, state and national levels. “The REALTORS® are extremely well organized and we carefully watch for developments in all levels of government.” Tenggren uses the REALTOR® Party mantra “Vote, Act, Invest” to explain.
“Without all three legs of this chair – “Vote, Act, Invest” – we do not get a seat at the table,” he says. “We vote for, and support, REALTOR® Champions because those candidates understand and support REALTOR® issues and initiatives. We act in a bipartisan way because when we focus exclusively on protecting the consumer property rights and our industry, we preserve the American dream of homeownership. And we invest in RPAC so we can provide the resources we need to succeed.”
Tenggren became a REALTOR® in 2002 and has earned eleven (11) REALTOR® association family recognized designations and certifications: Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), At Home With Diversity (AHWD), Broker Price Opinion Resource (BPOR), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), ePRO, Green REsource Council (GREEN), Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI), Performance Management Network (PMN), Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource (SFR), Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES), and Seller Representative Specialist (SRS).
(This is the first in a series of blog posts about state legislative contacts. Watch for another soon.)