Executive Director's Update

May 2017

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There are a few things that are true when it comes to legislation—it is always a moving target, you never know what will pass until the vote is taken and the most important thing of all is that YOUR voices count. Each and every one of your voices counted. Case in point is AB 1506, the bill that would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act. This is a perfect example of our industry, along with the Realtors, CalRHA and all of our California partners making sure that the message regarding the oppo sition to this bill was heard. Now, this certainly does not mean that the fight is over, not by a long shot, and we will certainly see this effort again next year. So while we can take a breath that this bill was pulled for this year, let’s also take time to thank those who helped in this effort. But stay tuned—part two is still to come.

I also want to acknowledge the following members for taking their own time to attend and participate in our Sacramento Legislative visits in early April: Gary DeLong (VP and Chairperson for Statewide Legislative Committee), Steve Schiro, Curt Knabe, Keith Kennedy, Malcolm Bennett and Elaine Hutchison. Along with our other California partners, we had over 100 members who lobbied on behalf of the rental housing industry—THANK YOU!

I also want to thank Ron Kingston, our AACSC State Lobbyist, who organized and made all of our appointments, created the leave behind documents for our Legislators and provided us with the important facts and talking points to address at our meet ings. AACSC was professional and prepared — thank you Ron for making us look good.

In other news, AACSC showed support at the April 4th Long Beach City Council meeting and to Vice Mayor Rex Richardson as he proposed a few considerations to help landlords/owners who accept Section 8 Housing Vouchers. There is still work to be done on what that will ultimately look like, but AACSC was brought in to the discussion and provided much needed input and background regarding the issues that have long stifled the program. Working together we hope that we can come to some agreement on how we can work to make the program better, and we have worked hard to establish these relationships.

In a final note I want to thank all of our golfers and members who attended our 11th Annual AACSC Golf Classic. With Interval House as our charity of choice, it is always a great day on the links and a great dinner to end the day. Our vendors, golfers and members have supported this event, and each year it just gets better and better. So, hope you all had a “birdie” kind of day, were able to stay away from the “bogey”-man, and that you enjoyed the view along the way. See you next month.

April 2017

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16,422 steps—that’s how many, give or take a few, that I walked on our National Apartment Association (NAA) Lobby Day. Also attending were long-time AACSC member Malcolm Bennett, our California Rental Housing Association (CalRHA) President Larry Cannizzaro, other CalRHA members and more than 3,000 multi - family housing partners from across the nation.

The goal was to reach all 535 Congressional members either in person or by leaving our materials behind with senior staff or whomever was available in their office. Of course, the day we lobbied on the Hill was that same day that the discussion to make changes in our Health Care was beginning to heat up so many were back and forth to the floor to vote or were in meetings, so we took our meetings with the members where we could—in the hall, outside Committee Rooms, walking… it didn’t matter where, but one way or the other we were going to get our message out that housing matters, that appropriate Tax Reform was indeed important and that we needed to extend Flood Insurance across the states.

If you have never been to Lobby Day, either on the National level or within your state, I will dare to say that as a multifamily housing provider it is in your best interest that you, at the very least, let your voice be heard. Yes, I said it again.

There is nothing like beginning your day early in the morning in the very crisp air of Washington D.C. and all that entails. Senators, Congressmen and women, staffers, interns, and security personnel fill the halls of the marble buildings like the Rayburn, Longworth and Canon. Once you enter that door, the world outside is left behind and your world becomes different somehow. You are there to fulfill a purpose, not for yourself, but for each of you who own property and provide housing, who are selfless in your willingness to give back to your residents and community and provide a place to live, only asking to be fairly compensated for the privilege.

You want your message to resonate with each elected member. Your goal is to say the “perfect” thing that will help them understand how important this visit is to our industry. When you leave you can only hope that you told your story in a sincere and powerful way. Yes, they “get it”—then, it is on to the next appoint ment, down the elevator and into the tunnels that connect one building to the next. By the end of the day, you are familiar with the maze of tunnels and where to find the cafeteria where you can take a little time to reflect on how the day is going. Maybe it is time to change shoes, but soon enough it is time to move on.

By the end of the day you gather together with everyone else from across the country to say “Good job,” and “How did your meetings go today;” “Great,” is the reply. Each person leaves with a sense of accomplishment, a hug for friends you made along the way and a “travel safe back home and see you at the next meeting.” But no meeting as important as the ones you just left behind.

As I said my goodbyes, I decided to walk the final leg back to the hotel. Within just a few minutes I found myself passing another group of women in red along the side of the Capitol building for Women’s Day. It reminds me that each group who visits the Hill has their own purpose, goal and message. Then I arrive at my temporary home with 16,462 steps left behind in the ongoing effort to tell our own important message.

Multifamily owners matter. I will be back next year and the year after that until I know they “get it.” I do. Until then, thanks for the memories and be sure to support your PAC—remember that there are many who are walking the halls on your behalf and that they are the front line soldiers who go to bat for those who may not be able to walk those 16,462 steps. Your contribution makes that passion to support our industry an easy walk as each year we begin again with a crisp walk into those marble halls on your behalf.

March 2017

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Top of the morning to you all. It is hard to believe that we are already into our third month of 2017. By now we have learned about the legislation we will be facing this year. We also learned about the decision by the City of Santa Monica to uphold the anti-discrimination ordinance that was passed in May of 2015. This ordinance prohibits landlords from refusing to accept housing vouchers. As this plays out in the media, we can expect tenant groups to firmly latch onto the idea that they can place undue pressure on our members to accept these vouchers.

The reality is that we have many members who already accept housing vouchers, and we are working with our partners to also house veterans, mentally ill, homeless and low income. Similar ordinances already exist in Northern California: Marin County, San Francisco, Corte Madera, East Palo Alto and Woodland. This decision will have farreaching effects and if you have not been attending our Special Committee for Long Beach Legislation meetings, I highly encourage you to begin. Look at our weekly e-newsletter, The Beacon, for dates on the next meeting. We NEED your voice.

Which brings me to another topic—one about the landlord/tenant relationship. AACSC is looking for positive relationships and those who would be willing to come to the Association and talk about it.

If we leave it in the hands of our detractors, one would think that there are no positive interactions with tenants, and this is simply not true. So let’s begin to show the other side of the equation and share the upside of ownership. Call Jeannie in our office to let her know you are interested and would be willing to tell your story—we are sure there are plenty of you out there.

Another positive move is the unveiling of our NEW AACSC logo. You will be seeing the old and the new together, but we want to assure you that the only thing that will change is the addition of new events and new education classes. Our number one concern is customer service, and we know from time to time we make mistakes, but your membership and our attention to the value of your membership is our first priority.

By now you have had your 2017 Vendor Referral Sourcebook delivered, and we want you to take notice of the change that has been incorporated into this book. If you look at the bottom of the page you will notice a note that says: “Company names in blue are AACSC members.” We love our vendors and advertisers, but our emphasis are those who are members of our Association AND who are supporting our industry. We encourage you to use our members first and to let any vendor who is soliciting your business know that you prefer to use members of the Apartment Association, California Southern Cities. We also invite you to send us any testimonials you have when you use one of our members; they always appreciate the feedback and we love to share it with them, too.

In closing, have a leprechaun kind of day and I hope you find a pot of gold at the end of the month. Besafe, stay informed and get involved—it’s only YOUR investment we are protecting.

February 2017

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What happened to January? It appeared to pass quickly, which brings into play what is coming up in February.

We have been talking about three issues that will be leading our discussions over the next months, and if you have missed any of these, now is the time to reengage and get involved. What three issues are we talking about? (1) Trash; (2) Just Cause Eviction; and (3) Changes in the Pro active Rental Housing Inspection Program (PRHIP). AACSC has been meeting with our local Long Beach City Council Members to talk about each of these important issues.

The overall result has left us feeling good but with the knowledge that there is more to do. It is not time to relax, but time to become even more informed and involved. Look for survey questions to be posed in our weekly email newsletter, The Beacon—we need your feedback. I also want to thank our Special Committee for Long Beach Legislation for getting involved. The new faces and participation have been great!

We are beginning our new Education Calendar as well, and the first Certified Apartment Manager (CAM) class of the new year will begin March 15, so be sure you reserve your spot. The CAM certification is the premiere course that employers are looking for and the National Apartment Association (NAA) is focusing on highlighting their classes for all of our members as you continue on the path to improve our professional image. NAA has also updated the CAM class and has reduced the number of classes from 18 weeks to 15 weeks.

We hope you will join us for the February Membership Meeting on the 23rd to learn all about the rebates and ways to save money—we will have at least three companies on hand to answer all your questions and help you through the rebate process.

Finally, we have dedicated this issue to our former Executive Director of 28 years, Nancy Ahlswede. Her passing in December has left a hole in our hearts and a missing piece of the multifamily puzzle that had her name on it. AACSC honors her legacy, wishes peace for her family, and gives our thanks for all she contributed and gave to everyone she touched. She will be greatly missed.

January 2017

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As we say goodbye to 2016, I absolutely must begin this New Year by thanking you, our members, for a great year. As always, there were successes and challenges, and 2017 is sure to be no different; but when we asked you for your help—you were there. When we asked for your feedback and participation, you were there; and when we wanted to celebrate and give back to our community, you stepped up and gave from your heart.

Interval House is so grateful for your generosity, and as always, AACSC provided the bulk of the toys that were given out to those who are beginning a new life, free from violence. We also participated throughout the year in planting trees around the City of Long Beach and provided donuts to all the volunteers. It was amazing to see just how fast four dozen donuts can disappear—it was like a magic trick—POOF—Gone!

We enjoyed our 10th Annual AACSC Golf Tournament; our first steel drum band at the Summer Social, where we were honored to be host to our own Mayor Garcia; held our first Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor (CAPS) class—to rave reviews I might add; and we graduated more than 30 Certified Apartment Manager (CAM) students. As I attended our National Conferences, we heard loud and clear that NAA is committed to educating our industry on the value, time, and dedication it takes to achieve these credentials.

Now that 2017 is here, we want to make sure that you know AACSC is always in your corner and keeping our ear to the ground to listen and act on your behalf. We know that our industry is under attack, and it is important to us that whenever you hear something that you think might affect us, please call our office any time to alert me to any rumors you hear. We are in constant contact with our City Council members in Long Beach, and last year we began reaching out to our other sister cities so that we can remain aware of potential threats. When it affects one, it affects us all.

So welcome to 2017 at AACSC, and continue to look for all the new changes that will bring us into a new way of doing business. More connected, more active committees, increase in education, and don’t forget to tell your fellow owners why they should be a member, too.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2017 Board of Directors Installation Dinner on January 19 at the Virginia Country Club, and at the first Membership Meeting on January 26 at the Petroleum Club in Long Beach.

Make this the best year ever and get involved — there is still a lot to do!

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