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By VCCAR Government Affairs, May 09, 2022

Some 2,000 REALTORS®, including a delegation of 20 from VCCAR, gathered in Sacramento in late April to participate in C.A.R.’s annual Legislative Day. There, they heard from C.A.R. leaders about pending legislation, listened to Gov. Gavin Newsom talk about the importance of housing, and fanned out to meet with their senators and Assembly members.

It turned out to be a great day for organized real estate, as lawmakers killed the one hot-issue bill C.A.R. was lobbying against and moved along the one issue C.A.R. was strongly supporting. Lawmakers defeated a bill that would have prohibited rental property owners from offering their property for sale unless they first offered it to tenants or non-profit entities. Senate leaders, meanwhile, moved to support including funding for homeownership in the state budget.

VCCAR members met with the county’s lawmakers, Assembly Members Jacqui Irwin and Steve Bennett and Senators Monique Limón and Henry Stern.

Governor Gavin Newsom

Two VCCAR members made their first trip to Legislative Day and found the experience exhilarating. Janet Sprissler, broker/owner of Rent 805 in Oxnard, and Jennifer Greule, an agent and office manager with Comfort Real Estate in Ventura, said the trip reinforced their belief that REALTORS® need to be involved in governmental affairs at both the local and state level.

“When my colleagues come back from Legislative Day, they rave about it. I knew it was important to participate,” said Greule, who was recently elected to VCCAR’s Board of Directors. “It’s our duty as REALTORS® to understand public policy, how it’s made and to have a voice. If we don’t advocate for homeownership rights, who will?”

Sprissler has been a REALTOR® for just three years but has been in property management for over 20 years and currently serves as VCCAR’s Local Government Relations chair. She said meeting with legislators feels different than engaging with local elected officials.

“I do a lot of work with city councils, but here you really feel like you make a difference,” she said. “It was gratifying to know you’re doing this and people are listening.”

The trip inspired Sprissler to seek to join a couple of C.A.R. committees, and Greule said she’s now hooked on the process.

“Just seeing how important these measures are and how quickly and easily they can go one way or the other is powerful,” Greule said. “Their actions can slam the door on our business or move it along, and someone has go be advocating for homeownership. I know we won’t get everything we want, but it’s important to see the legislation that’s coming out.”

Janet Sprissler and Jennifer Greule

And both Sprissler and Greule are encouraging other members to get involved in the process.

“Wyndi Austin said that advocating for homeowners’ rights is the only thing that separates us from other licensees. REALTORS® have to do it,” Greule said.