A Proactive Approach to 2019

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As last month’s “President’s Message” pointed out, a bit of reflection is good, but it is equally important to prevent ourselves from lingering in the past. The entire rental housing industry faced difficult challenges in 2018, and many of those challenges will continue to confront us during 2019. In 2018, we were presented with rent control on both state and local levels, a growing tenant’s rights movement (which seems to be gaining momentum) and state legislators who do not appear to understand the difficulties endured by housing providers in the wake of onerous anti-landlord laws. Nonetheless, looking back long enough to review the lessons we learned from both our successes and failures should be viewed as nothing more than an opportunity to revise our strategies and return even stronger.

If we want to move our interests forward, we need to adapt to changes in our industry by anticipating the challenges we will face and developing proactive strategies to deal with them. Other than extrapolating and learning from our experiences and lessons, what occurred in 2018 will be of little consequence, but what is ahead of us will be shaped by it. With that in mind, I want to take this opportunity to briefly address 2019, and where I see AACSC going during that year.

As with years past, our greatest focus in 2019 will be legislative matters. AACSC has always been known as the preeminent apartment association, especially when it comes to our knowledge and activity on the legislative front; 2019 will be no exception. AACSC is set to implement a more robust legislative affairs approach which includes increased lobbying on the Federal, State and local levels, increased involvement in the decision making process at city hall, increased levels of communication with our members regarding those legislative matters affecting their properties and businesses and, hopefully, even greater member involvement as a result.

At the time I am writing this, we are slightly more than two weeks into December, 2018, and the legislators have already put forth at least three bills which will place undue burdens on the day-to-day business activities of landlords. One such bill is SB 18 (Skinner) which, if passed, will provide free legal counseling to any residential tenant facing an eviction. We also anticipate new bills in 2019 involving assistive and/or comfort animals, criminal background checks, and increased occupancy limits. With that insight, AACSC is already reviewing the bills presented and will be presenting the members with information about those bills shortly.

Furthermore, we will provide the contact information for those in Sacramento who support the bills, as well as talking points to guide your communications with those representatives. In fact, it is our intention to provide you with some legislative updates more frequently so you can track the legislative session as it moves along in 2019. In addition to advancing our legislative presence, AACSC is raising our commitment to our members.

While AACSC members have always been active, engaged, and committed to improving the housing industry, the past few years have demonstrated a surprisingly new level of awareness and involvement on the part of landlords. In fact, never before have I seen so many housing providers who got involved, played a role, and made their voices heard. And what was the result of all of that increased involvement? We beat rent control in Long Beach, Sacramento, and virtually every other city in California on whose ballot it appeared in 2018. In short, we won.

In addition to increasing our legislative efforts in 2019, AACSC will also increase our involvement and efforts to work closely with our membership.

Rather than allowing the energy of our members to go underutilized, AACSC intends to capitalize on their increased involvement by providing you with a greater depth of information and services in order to continue the forward movement. Specifically, we will be broadening our communications, increasing your access to key industry leaders and service providers, increasing our Board Member presence at the member meetings, increasing our members’ educational opportunities, and deepening our relationships at the local city council level so we can effectively present and protect your position on topics of interest. We recognize your efforts and want you to know we appreciate you. We will be there with you to promote, protect and enhance the rental housing industry, while fighting to preserve your private property rights.

Finally, before concluding this message to our members, I should address the Association’s change in leadership for 2019. Each year, some Board members leave, and some Board members remain. Sometimes it feels like a revolving door exists on the Association through which the same Board members go around and around, never really exiting. However, the December 2018 election of Board members gave the Association a new group of Board members who appear to have a fresh way of seeing things and a level of energy and passion for this industry that few people know. When you take into consideration those leaving the Board in 2018 and those newly elected for 2019, the makeup of the Association’s Board of Directors changed significantly, and I am excited to work with this new group of people. While I don’t have enough space to provide you with the level of information I have about these individuals, I can provide you with a bit of insight about them.

Niki Coleman retired as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps (USMC). While on active duty she was stationed at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. where she oversaw the budgeting and expenditures of aviation accounts for the USMC to the tune of billions of dollars. She also owns property in Long Beach, both as a private investor and with partners.

Julie Haff, a licensed real estate agent, owns and operates her own and clients’ residential rental units throughout the State and sits in leadership positions on multiple other Boards of Directors.

Jesse Howard is a local business man and graduate of U.S.C. who owns and operates a local footwear company while managing his own portfolio of properties in the Long Beach area.

Rocky Madan is a local landlord who brings a tremendous amount of practical business know ledge and experience to the Board.

Marjorie Masters has been a Long Beach apartment owner for more than 30 years, who also just happens to have an MBA from the Stanford School of Business and has worked for some of the largest corporations you may have heard of, including Star-Kist, Heinz, and Proctor & Gamble.

In all, this is a very bright and energetic new group of individuals with a lot to offer the Association and its members. Each has already volunteered to sit on one or more committees, and each of whom appear to be sincerely concerned about the health and well being of our industry and Association. They have already changed the energy and enthusiasm of the existing Board members, and I am looking forward to working collaboratively with them to further the interests of the Association and our industry as a whole.

As the 2019 President of the Association, I want you to know that the leadership of AACSC (including both the Executive Committee and our Board members) has a clear vision of our goals for 2019 and a tremendous amount of confidence in our ability to achieve that vision. We appreciate that you allow us to serve you, and we hope you will continue to partner with us to make 2019 an exceptional year.

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333 W. Broadway St., Suite 101
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 426-8341

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