Recent training modules for the Illinois REALTORS® State Legislative Contacts (SLC) helped emphasize the positive impact those REALTORS® can have on members of the Illinois General Assembly.
First-time SLCs learned – and more experienced SLCs were reminded – that even though legislators come to Springfield with a wealth of knowledge about some subjects, they may feel uninformed about others. So when those legislators are asked to vote on a subject they know little about, such as real estate, says Neil Malone, director of grassroots and political programs, they are grateful when professionals can help them understand the impact of their votes.
With one REALTOR® assigned to each state senator and representative – each of the 177 SLCs can make an important impact. “SLCs learn to foster relationships with elected officials so that they’re considered valuable resources when it comes to real estate,” he says.
“Our SLC program is modeled after the NAR’s Federal Political Coordinator program,” says Malone. “And ours has done so well that colleagues from other state associations have told me they want to model their program after ours.”
During the training modules, Malone reviewed legislative processes, explained SLC responsibilities and offered best practices. He talked about how to provide information to lawmakers and what pitfalls to avoid. He also spoke about the value of SLCs putting together “contact teams” of up to 10 colleagues to help with the legislative effort.
Malone reviewed the roles SLCs play during Capitol Conference/Lobby Day in Springfield, and he explained how they work together with state lobbyists, local governmental affairs directors and members of local associations. The training module also included a review how RPAC money is collected, managed and distributed, an explanation of the Broker Involvement Program and how SLCs can help Calls for Action reach successful conclusions. SLC assignments are typically reviewed after each candidate’s term in office is completed.