GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: Advocacy is the Foundation of HGAR

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: Advocacy is the Foundation of HGAR
HGAR Chief Executive Officer Richard Haggerty

For those of you who regularly read my monthly columns in Real Estate In-Depth (and I know it’s a massive number—I say tongue-in-cheek), you will note that I often return to common themes. This is one of those times when I revisit a topic that I have written about often—advocacy. The reason is simple: Advocacy is the foundation of HGAR.

We provide many services and products at HGAR, but from my perspective, advocacy is the most vital, and it comes in different forms. I’d like to focus on three forms of advocacy in which HGAR engages.

First, we have legislative advocacy, which is perhaps the most widely recognized. We advocate for our profession, for real property rights, for fair housing for all, among many other issues, and we advocate at the federal, state and local levels. Two weeks ago, HGAR leadership traveled down to Washington, D.C., meeting with the congressional staff of U.S. representatives Sean Patrick Maloney, Mondaire Jones, Jamaal Bowman, Ritchie Torres and Adriano Espaillat, discussing fair housing and the creation of more affordable housing.

On May 10th more than 70 HGAR members made their way to Albany for NYSAR’s Lobby Day, the largest delegation we have ever sent to the Capitol, where we met with more than two dozen State Senators and Assembly members, discussing our support for co-op transparency legislation and our opposition to so-called “Good Cause Eviction” legislation. We also had a very productive meeting with Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins while in Albany.

At the local level, we have now achieved the passage of significant co-op transparency legislation in both Westchester and Rockland counties in the last two years. We also advocate at the city and town level, having succeeded in our opposition to an increase in the transfer tax in the City of Yonkers several years ago. None of this would be possible without the ongoing support and dedication of our HGAR Legislative Committee!

In addition to legislative advocacy, we also advocate for our members’ success. Our organization’s mission adopted several years ago, which is still serving us well, is: “HGAR creates opportunities for members to grow their businesses and succeed in their communities.” Our organization’s vision is equally direct: “HGAR empowers REALTORS to be their best.” Our Strategic Plan is laser-focused on developing and delivering programs and services that help our members succeed.

Lastly, HGAR, in concert with our members, advocates for the communities and neighborhoods where we live and work. Our Hudson Gateway Foundation raises monies to benefit countless charities that do vital work in our communities, and the Foundations Project Committee coordinates volunteer opportunities for our members to work with these charitable organizations to provide them with volunteer support and promote community engagement.

All of these advocacy efforts fit together like pieces of a puzzle, creating opportunities for growth at both the personal and professional levels. However, the lynchpin of these efforts will always be you, the members of HGAR. It’s your commitment to participating in these advocacy efforts that help us collectively succeed, and I challenge you to continue to step up to the plate and avail yourself of the many opportunities to make a difference. Thank you!

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