Personal Advocacy – TAA Day at the Capitol & NAA Advocate

Posted By: Nicole Zaitoon Legislative Updates,

What do you call an unpleasant process, especially one that is hidden from public view, that is used to produce a widely consumed product -- a product most people dislike; and a product that has adverse effects? If you said sausage-making or legislating, either answer would be correct.

Our American and Texan ancestors had a healthy fear of government and its intrusive tendencies. As such, the United States and Texas Constitutions purposely diffuse power and prohibit efficient government action. Add our legislative bodies' cumbersome rules and procedures (designed to suppress adverse legislation), and it is no wonder that gridlock reigns in Austin and Washington.

One way to ensure that our elected representatives maintain a grasp on reality and avoid succumbing to the pitfalls surrounding them is to interact with them. AATC members have two excellent opportunities to do just that in March: 1) TAA Day at the Capitol in Austin on March 1st; and 2) NAA Advocate in Washington, D.C. on March 27th – 31st.  

The first opportunity was Texas Apartment Association's (TAA) Day at the Capitol. TAA hosted its 2023 Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, March 1st, at the Austin Club. The day began at 10:00 a.m. with an issues briefing. After the briefing, AATC attendees met with the Tarrant County legislature delegation members at the Capitol.  

The 140-day Texas Legislature session began Tuesday, January 10th, and ends Monday, May 29th. Three issues will dominate this year's session: property tax relief, improving the electric grid's reliability, and border security.

A $27 billion surplus at their disposal makes budget matters for Legislators less stressful. Republicans Greg Abbott (Governor), Dan Patrick (Lt. Governor), and Dade Phelan (Speaker) are the three most important positions in Austin. Republicans hold majorities in the Texas Senate (19-12) and Texas House (86-64).  

AATC members Craig Goldman (R – Fort Worth) and Stephanie Klick (R – Fort Worth) serve in the Texas House.  

TAA's government relations team: Chris Newton, Sandy Hoy, David Mintz, and Kyle Jackson are top-notch. TAA is committed to pursuing affirmative, industry-related legislation this session regarding the eviction process, city fees, and property taxes.  

TAA's top priority is to prevent adverse industry-related legislation from becoming law. Big thanks to AATC members Candy Maxey, Greystar, and Cayce Coon, Madera, for serving on the TAA Executive Committee and John Gillespie, WAK, and Patty Utley, Portico, for serving on the TAA Legislative Committee. TAA's Day at the Capitol will be March 1st.

Your second personal-advocacy opportunity is the National Apartment Association's (NAA) Advocate Conference on on March 27th - 31st in Washington, D.C. AATC NAA delegates Cayce Coon, Bryan Downer, James Giddens, Patty Utley, and Anthony Wonderly along with AATC staff members Kevin Pellegrino and Perry Pillow will travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with the Tarrant County congressional delegation. On your behalf, this group will aggressively advocate for changes in federal laws and regulations that impact your business, including ending CARES Act Notice to Vacate, fighting a Renters' Bill of Rights, and opposing barriers to housing affordability.

AATC friends Kay Granger (R – TX12) and Roger Williams (R – TX 25) chair two of the most powerful congressional committees: Appropriations (Granger) and Small Business (Williams). Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne (R TX24) serves on the tax-writing Ways and Means committee.

From housing affordability to tax policy and city fees to the eviction process, governments in Washington and Austin are aggressively imposing laws and regulations on our industry. March is our opportunity to stand up and advocate for our industry that provides homes for more than 500,000 Tarrant County residents.  

Nicole Zaitoon, Allied Property Management, is AATC's 2023 Government Affairs Committee Chair and a member of AATC's Board of Directors.