“Small businesses and REALTORS® play a vital role in the economy,” said Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush of Chicago during a virtual Let’s Talk Real Estate meeting with REALTOR® constituents. “You are one of the largest employers of the American people.”

Illinois REALTORS® facilitated four virtual Let’s Talk Real Estate sessions in late July, featuring U.S. Reps. Rush, Lauren Underwood of Naperville, Mike Bost of Murphysboro and John Shimkus of Collinsville. Frankfort-area REALTOR® and Federal Political Coordinator (FPC) Matt Persicketti led the discussion with Underwood, while Chicago-area REALTOR®-FPC Nykea Pippion McGriff interviewed Rush, Harrisburg-area REALTOR®-FPC Ayn Bartok talked with Bost and Collinsville-area REALTOR®-FPC Doug Hartmann, Sr., spoke with Shimkus.

Underwood said she was encouraged that the number of June home sales in Illinois were more than May’s. Bost noted that about 70 percent of the financial assistance distributed through the Payroll Protection Program went to companies with low monthly payrolls.

Other discussion topics included:

  • support for the Secure Notarization Act of 2020,
  • financial relief for tenants facing eviction,
  • more financial relief for businesses,
  • more financial assistance for cities,
  • larger supplies of affordable housing and
  • the importance of consumer confidence in the economy.

These FPCs are involved

Persicketti works for Oak Leaf Realty in Frankfort and has served on numerous committees for Illinois REALTORS® since 2016. He is the vice chair of the association’s 2020 Local Government Affairs Committee and a member of its 2020 Leadership Development Group.

Pippion McGriff works for Coldwell Banker Residential in Chicago. She is the State Legislative Contact for state Sen. Robert Peters of Chicago, a member of Illinois REALTORS® Board of Directors and was a part of the 2015 Illinois REALTORS® Leadership Development Class. She was 2017 chair of the State Legislative Contacts Working Group and the 2019 RPAC Trustees chair. She is president-elect for the Chicago Association of REALTORS®. For the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), she is chair of the REALTOR® Party Member Involvement Group and a member of the NAR Board of Directors.

Bartok is the designated managing broker for All in One Real Estate Company in Harrisburg. She is a member of the Illinois REALTORS® Board of Directors and the vice chair of the RPAC Fundraising Working Group. For NAR, she is a member of its Board of Directors and part of the Risk Management Issues Committee.

During his more than 40 years of real estate experience, Hartmann has served on numerous Illinois REALTORS® committees, including the REALTORS® Political Involvement Working Group, the Major Investors Working Group and the Spring Conference Working Group.

“The Let’s Talk Real Estate series is a unique members-only benefit that allows REALTORS® to engage directly with their member of congress,” says Illinois REALTORS® Manager of Political Programs Neil Malone. “They talk about public policy issues and help lawmakers understand how those issues affect the real estate market and people who buy, sell, rent or develop property in the communities they represent.”

What do FPCs do?

Each FPC is a REALTOR® member, appointed by NAR to be the face and voice of real estate for one federal lawmaker. Each of the 535 FPCs (435 matched to representatives and 100 matched to senators) work in every district and every state.

They play a pivotal role in REALTOR® advocacy, he says. They interact at least quarterly with their member of congress and report back to NAR on their meetings.

Their responsibilities include:

  • Responding to NAR Calls for Action,
  • Attending annual REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expos each May in Washington, D.C.
  • leading meetings on Capitol Hill,
  • delivering RPAC support by attending in-district fundraisers and
  • developing strong grassroots contact teams of REALTORS® that provide expertise in all facets of the real estate industry and reflect the geographic, gender and racial diversity of the district.

REALTORS® should watch for an email invitation to a “Let’s Talk Real Estate” discussion in the coming weeks. Members will receive email invitations about a week before the event with their U.S. representative is scheduled, Malone says.