Pillow Talk - Glad You Asked

Posted By: Perry Pillow Dimensions Online, Legislative Updates,

My current and former AATC colleagues know if they ask me a question, bring a snack because they will listen to my answer for hours! I get paid to talk—it’s what I do! Alexandra Rohloff can confirm!! 

Asking is one of the most challenging aspects of advocacy. The June 2023 Pillow Talk explored networking. This month, we discuss “the ask.” Advocacy requests can be grouped into three categories: 1) money, 2) policy, and 3) personal.

Money - Asking someone to contribute to your campaign or cause is one of the hardest things politicians and PACs do. Most folks running for office hate to ask friends, family, and acquaintances for money personally. This aversion to fund solicitation causes politicians to hire campaign consultants and proxies to do their bidding for them. One challenge for AATC is asking our members to donate to the AATC PAC personally. Even though we know that the money will be managed and distributed to candidates that align with AATC’s interests, it is hard to make those requests. 

Policy - AATC members and staff meet with local, state, and federal elected officials each year. Most meetings include an “ask” – something we need the elected official’s help with, to do, or vote a certain way. Getting to the “ask” is the goal of these meetings. Elected officials expect to be “asked”!  

Personal – Most importantly, it is critical that we ask our apartment industry colleagues to join us in advocating for our industry. Someone told you about AATC. Someone encouraged you to get personally involved. Someone asked you to attend a meeting, send an email, host a property tour, provide data, etc. First, thank that person, then think of an industry colleague to join you as a voice for our industry. Start with who you already know. Chances are, someone you know will have a contact, a connection, or a link to someone you need to know—a friend of a friend of a friend.  

Advocacy tip: You have not because you ask not. Start small. Ask your city council member to tour your property. Ask your NPO to stop by and chat about crime prevention in your area. Ask an industry friend to attend Business Exchange, Pickleball, or golf tournament. Buy snacks – nuts, trail mix, and scones are my favorites!   

SAGINAW ONEROUS $125 PER UNIT FEE - AATC members and staff are actively engaged in repealing an extremely onerous $125 per unit per year registration and inspection fee in the City of Saginaw. Under Saginaw’s ordinance, a 200-unit property would pay $25,000 to the city. According to city records, this fee generates more than $230,000 in revenue for the city. Saginaw is using revenues from the apartment properties to subsidize the city’s entire building inspection department. Special thanks to Teresa Alvarado with Cushman-Wakefield for bringing the Saginaw overreach to our attention.

BEDFORD INSPECTIONS –Last month, AATC staff met with Bedford code compliance officials to address excess non-life/safety inspection requirements enforcement. 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.

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

JUNE 10TH – FORT WORTH CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 11 RUN-OFF ELECTION – Jeanette Martinez won the June 10th run-off election for the newly created District 11 Fort Worth City Council seat. District 11 includes the Riverside, Meadowbrook, and Worth Heights neighborhoods in east and near southside Fort Worth. AATC does not endorse a candidate in this race.   

FWCC MACY HILL MEETING – AATC Government Affairs Committee Chair Nicole Zaitoon and staff member Perry Pillow recently met with the newly elected Fort Worth city council Macy Hill to discuss multifamily issues. Hill represents District 7, which includes west and northwest Fort Worth.

BUSINESS EXCHANGE – NAA PAC FUNDRAISER – AUGUST 8TH – Owner/operator and supplier registration is open for the 2023 AATC Business Exchange presented by Perma-Pier. This year’s event is Tuesday, August 8th, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon at the Hurst Conference Center. Click on the following link to register: https://www.aatcnet.org/events/2023-aatc-business-exchange-copy.

The Business Exchange is the nation’s premier multifamily networking event. The Business Exchange allows you to meet with DFW’s top multifamily supplier partners one-on-one. More importantly, your attendance ensures we can maximize our supplier donations to the NAA Political Action Committee (NAA PAC). NAA PAC helps to fight onerous federal legislation like the CARES Act mandatory 30-day Notice to Vacate. Do not wait; register today.

FORT WORTH CRIME FREE MULTIFAMILY HOUSING – AATC staff recently met with Fort Worth police officials to discuss renewed efforts to implement the Crime Free Multifamily Housing program. AATC looks forward to partnering with Fort Worth and other AATC-area law enforcement agencies on crime prevention initiatives. 

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