Pillow Talk - Get on Board

Posted By: Perry Pillow Legislative Updates,

AATC members possess talents, skills, experiences, education, and relationships that benefit our organization. AATC members give their time, talents, and treasure to advocate, educate, communicate, and provide networking opportunities that ensure our association thrives. These same servant-leadership qualities easily transfer to service in government, non-profit, and religious organizations. Last month, Pillow Talk continued the personal aspect of advocacy by exploring hosting a fundraiser for a candidate/elected official. This month, we look at using your leadership skills to benefit your community:  Get on Board.

From city governments to local civic organizations, AATC members have numerous opportunities to positively impact the communities where we live, work, and play. Whether serving on your city's Zoning Commission or chairing the fall festival at your church, your neighbors and community need your unique abilities and perspective.  

Apartment industry professionals have the leadership, customer service, financial acumen, and business operations perspective that is desired and, frankly, lacking at many non-profit and government entities. Your willingness to give your time to serve local organization benefits that organization; more importantly, it demonstrates that apartment owners/operators care about the community, are part of the solution to the challenges our society encounters, and expands your personal network.

AATC's Government Affairs Committee Chair Nicole Zaitoon (Allied Property Management) serves as Secretary of the Mansfield Economic Development Corporation. Long-time AATC IRO member Don Klick is a Rotarian. AATC President-Elect Bryan Downer (Community Enrichment Center) is active with the Northeast Chamber of Commerce. AATC member attorney Jim Floyd (Padfield Stout) is a founding member and serves on the board of Justin's Place, a local non-profit providing affordable housing to low-income, single-mother-led households. AATC Past President Darnell Harris served on his city's Zoning Commission. 

The above are just a few ways AATC members use their leadership skills to serve our industry.

Last month, AATC staff received CPR and AED training provided by Living for Zachry—a non-profit started by one of our own, Karen Schrah (Harbor Group). AATC past Vice President Brenda Carpenter (MFI) was one of the champions for this amazing organization. Thank you, Karen and Brenda.  

Thank you to all serving at your church, coaching youth sports, donating to non-profits, and giving back.   

Advocacy tip: Consider serving on a city board, task force, or commission. These appointments often go unfilled due to a lack of citizen interest. Go to your city's website for board and commission openings that fit your skill set. Contact your city council members or mayor and let them know your willingness to serve. For other social service opportunities, just let Perry Pillow (ppillow@aatcnet.org) know your interest, and he will help get you on board!  

FORT WORTH HOUSING AFFORDABILITY STRATEGY– In September, the Fort Worth city council adopted an affordable housing strategy based on a Philadelphia-based consultancy InterFace Solutions study. The plan calls for 3,000 additional affordable housing units. This study estimates that the cost would be $300 million to develop these units.  

1ST ANNUAL AATC PAC PICKLE BALL EVENT – Last month's inaugural AATC PAC Pickle Ball event presented by Texas Southwest Floors at Chicken & Pickle in Grapevine was a huge success! We raised more than $14,800 for AATC PAC. Big shout-out to PAC Events Committee Chair Chris Jimenez, Renew Renovation, and her committee. Thanks so much to all the players and spectators. Special thanks to the court sponsors. Congratulations to the winners!

Just a heads-up: the Wonderly/Brandes team is already training to claim the championship next year!       

AATC PAC FALL GOLF CLASSIC AND This year's AATC PAC Fall Golf Classic, presented by Century HVAC on October 3rd at Bear Creek Golf Club, was sold out!! Thanks so much to Golf Committee Chair Lani Grant, Zumper, and the golf committee for selling this event out the earliest it has ever been sold out. Big thanks to the players and sponsors. Your generosity and participation make this event possible. Due to your efforts, we raised more than $39,000 for AATC PAC.   

REP. GRANGER MEETING – END CARES ACT 30-DAY NTV – On August 23rd, AATC members Sarah Turner, Nicole Zaitoon, and Jim Floyd, along with AATC Director of Government Affairs Perry Pillow met with long-time AATC friend and U.S. House of Representatives Appropriation Committee Chair Kay Granger (R – TX 12) to discuss ending the CARES Act 30-day notice to vacate. AATC asked Granger to include language in the upcoming federal appropriations legislation to abolish the CARES Act 30-day Notice to Vacate provision. This potential repeal will impact rental housing owners throughout the United States.  

CONTRIBUTE TO THE AATC PAC – AATC's advocacy efforts depend on all our members doing their part to support candidates that align with AATC's interests financially. Please contribute to the AATC PAC by clicking on the following link:  https://form.jotform.com/220464310148143

FY24 AATC MUNICIPAL FEE SURVEY AVAILABLE November 1ST- Texas cities and counties adopt their fiscal-year budgets, including taxes and fees, in October. Based on this information, AATC annually publishes on November 1st a Municipal Fee Survey for the twelve largest cities in Tarrant County. AATC's Municipal Fee Survey includes population, ad valorum (property) tax rate, inspection/registration fee, and water rates. AATC posts this information on the AATC website under our Advocate section. Click on the following link (https://www.aatcnet.org/local-fees-and-taxes) to view the results. 

BEDFORD MAYOR RESIGNATION & INSPECTIONS–Last month, Bedford Mayor Michael Boyter resigned. Boyter did not give a specific reason for his resignation. AATC is committed to working with the new mayor to resolve ongoing concerns with the city apartment inspection regime. In August, AATC invited Bedford city officials to meet with AATC members who own/operate apartments in Bedford. City officials, after agreeing to this meeting, chose not to attend. City officials gave less than 2 hours notice of their non-participation. City officials have ignored numerous offers since this meeting to facilitate a meeting to discuss the excess enforcement of non-life/safety inspection requirements. In 2016, AATC successfully litigated against onerous inspection fees in the City of Bedford. Until recently, Bedford officials adhered to the letter and spirit of the lawsuit settlement. Special thanks to American Landmark, Devonshire, and Unity Partners for bringing this issue to the forefront.

Perry Pillow is AATC's Director of Government Affairs. For more information, contact Perry at ppillow@aatcnet.org  or call 817-701-6353