I just returned from Sacramento where I along with some of my colleagues "stormed" the capital trying to have the ears of those in power who could help effectuate change regarding Real Estate.
I have to say it was a most amazing experience. A very well choreographed group CAR is. We represent a voice for home owners, and a loud voice we are. There were over 2000 in attendance.
Governor Jerry Brown opened our meeting with an informative and humorous speech. Le Francis James, the President of California Association of Realtors spoke to us, educated us on various topics and amused us. The collective energy in the Exhibit Hall was palpable.
There were some important updates and notifications and then we were given our guidelines on how to "behave" when in the presence of the Senators or Assembly folks. I guess there is a need to remind people to turn off their cell phones!
The big day came and it was an eye opener for me. Even though I went to George Washington University in Washington D.C., I wasn't totally hip to how the legislative process, from a lobbying standpoint worked. I'd never been witness to it in person. I was a Radio TV Broadcasting Major. But now I can say that I truly understand the process, and then some.
I had the pleasure of meeting with four important people at the Capital. Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthall, Senators Price, Lieu and Wright. Each individual meeting with them was completely different. With Assemblywoman Lowenthall, it was very quiet, serious and formal. The time spent with Senator Wright—well HE did most of the talking. Wright understood our positions on Foreclosure Reform; however, I sensed a bit of campaigning going on.
I learned a great deal in those very warm, close-quartered moments. There was a lot of laugher and casual banter. But the issues at hand were very serious. They matter.
Senator Price was gracious and more serious in his demeanor. He also seemingly supported our position on Foreclosure reform. I believe that our efforts will make a positive impact when it comes time for them to vote.
For an unknown reason our time with Senator Lieu had to be curtailed; I believe there was a change in scheduling. Saying that, as total coincidence, I was invited to a meet and greet with Senator Lieu in Beverly Hills the following week. I finally got my chance to have his ear and he was very supportive of our position.
What was fascinating was watching the other lobbying groups scurry about the corridors of the Capital. Everyone was looking for the room with their contact; liaison was waiting to initiate the meetings. The Capital was packed. There was so much activity.
After a full day of lobbying, Advocating for Real Estate, there was a grand reception where we could mingle further with the Senators as well as network amongst ourselves.
I had the honor of meeting Senator Bradford. Then around the corner came Senator Price! It was a veritable photo opp that never ended. The tenor in the hall was lively, happy, and full of hope for the future. Yes, there was some partying going on too. I feel sorry for those who really let it all hang out as the meetings, the committee meetings started early the next morning!
My committee was the Global Committee. I was part of the organizing team so much had to be done and we had a big Luncheon afterwards.
The information given at this Global Forum committee meeting was TRULY fascinating. The statistics bantered about regarding who buys, who buys where etc was just epic. The bill in discussion that has been in the news lately regarding Green Cards was also discussed. We had speakers from all over the globe and much was learned and shared. Our luncheon was a networking phenomenon too!
If you have not visited the State Capital, I urge you to do so. Learn about how Bills are passed; visit Sacramento—it's a beautiful city. I've not seen so many trees in a city in a very long time.
Whatever your passion, be active. Be proactive. And remember, enjoy life along the way.