Are you an Advocate?
In the January article, I discussed finding your voice and ensuring that you took an active stance rather than a passive one when charting your course. When I spoke with the PSC committee in January, we also discussed what our core values are and what our mission statement should look like. How are you doing on those New Year’s Resolutions? If you are already looking forward to starting over in 2020, then you may need to think about what we have been discussing. If we do not set goals and follow up on those goals often, then we will get lost in the chaos and end up where others take us.
Another very important way that we use our voice as an Association is through Advocacy. We speak for our members often, representing their concerns or interests. Each spring, we gather together as an Apartment Association, in order to Advocate on your behalf. Every other year, the Texas Legislature is in session. We take that opportunity to speak as an Association to our Legislators. This is where your voice is crucial. Senators and Representatives want to hear from their constituents. If you live, work, or own property in one of their districts, your voice is powerful. The Apartment Association of Tarrant County and The Texas Apartment Association are always working on legislation and initiatives on our behalf. We need you and your voice to help carry our message to the decision makers in our State government.
What is our message for the State of Texas, you ask? Well, Late Fees is the hot topic on the table. I won’t go into all of the details here, but can you imagine how your business would run if your ability to charge a late fee was restricted? We have been working on drafting legislation on Late Fees since the last legislative session and are ready to present it. Kelly Hancock, State Senator from North Richland Hills is sponsoring the bill and we will need to speak to everyone in Austin about its significance to you, your company, and our entire industry.
The Texas Apartment Association tried something new this year! They offered 11 scholarships to first-time attendees of The Day at the Capitol. We will have several people attending this year that will be instrumental in conveying our message. The imitative was met with so much success, that we should see it return next year as well. Whether this is your first time or if you are a seasoned veteran attendee, when you have the opportunity to meet with these leaders and share your truth, it is powerful. Don’t be intimidated if you don’t know what to say. We brief all of our attendees and will ask you to follow the lead of the veterans until you are ready to participate and/or lead the meetings.
For the National Apartment Association, we also participate at The Advocate Conference. This conference is held in Washington, D.C. each March and again, we all come together as an Association to represent you on behalf of our Region. We belong to Region VI, which is made up of Texas, New Mexico, and Arkansas. Similar to the State Legislators, they want to hear from people that live or work in their district.
Even if you cannot physically attend these events (though we want to encourage you to try), speaking up and using your voice will let us know what we need to be focused on as an Association. You are our eyes and ears in this industry and something that may seem little could turn into something monumental. We want to hear from you!
Shoulders Back, Heart Open – and use your VOICE!