Executive Director's Update

December 2017

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Sometimes it is nice to just connect with others to help out in a pinch. This is just what AACSC did in light of the hurricanes in Puerto Rico and Florida. I must begin by thanking a very special member, Bonnie Stern, and Steve Shaw, who is a Board Member and Rotarian. Bonnie’s idea was born at the library, who said that even reading something to take your mind off of the devastation can be a good thing. She could not be more correct and now boxes and boxes of books, many for children, are headed to a new home. Thank you Bonnie, Steve and the Rotarians for helping us connect. And a BIG thank you to Sylvia Hopper from Friends of Signal Hill Library for the offer—it is a great way to give back.

As we end the year, this is also the best time to talk about how you are going to approach 2018. What are your goals, what NEW things do you want to achieve and how will you be a better owner, manager or supervisor at the end of 2018 than you are today? Moving forward in your career takes time and thought. I love a good journey, but I have always had in mind the direction I want to go. As the Cheshire Cat said, “If you don’t know which way you want to go, then it doesn’t much matter which road you take.” Well said, but you are still following a path—the question now is “to where”?

One determining factor to consider is this: do you want to attend live classes or do you want to take online classes? This is where our NAA Visto Courses can help you even when you cannot attend a live course. In fact, I mention this now because you can receive 20 percent off of online courses when you go to www.GoWithVisto.org. Use the code AFF20 to get your 20 percent discount. Buy one course or buy in bulk and start enhancing your career today. The offer can also be found in the NAA Units magazine.

But the final entry to this year is unfortunately not ending with a bang, that is, unless the words Rent Control are being uttered. We don’t know how this will end but we do know that this is not in the best interest of our tenants. Too bad that the tenant groups are sending an uninformed message. So it is up to us to make sure that our tenants know that a rent control ordinance will not help them but will do just the opposite. It is our responsibility as multi-family owners to protect our industry. NOW is the time to get involved, to support this industry — YOUR industry, YOUR investment and YOUR retirement. 2018 will be a year in which our industry will correctly inform and educate about the realities of and the cost of rent control. My wish for 2018 is that we bring EVERY OWNER to the table to fight this fight. It is not for others to do, but for each of us to contribute to the industry we love.

I wish you peace for the holidays, safety for your loved ones in their travels and the spirit of grace and understanding for those who are not as fortunate.

November 2017

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I cannot remember a time in history where we are faced with so much — from floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, rock slides, the destruction of entire Islands, the Las Vegas shooting and fires. There are so many thoughts that run through my mind, but the most frequent is one that cannot be answered. Why? What I want to do instead is to acknowledge and empathize with all of those who survived, who persevered and made the best of what are devastating events. I want to also encourage each of you to reach out and support in whatever way you can. The Red Cross is a good start. Here at AACSC we were asked to reach out to you to support them. AACSC wants to support an organization we knew would be better equipped to access the needs for all of these various disasters. Please do what you can and as the month of November represents—let’s be thankful for what we have, our families and our friendships. This month we are safe and we pray for those who are still struggling.

On another note, I want to say a big THANK YOU to our vendors. Thank you for all the encouraging and grateful comments regarding our new space at the Trade Show this year. We spoke to many of you who left with signed contracts and while we are always trying to get more people to attend, we appreciate those of you who said that the quality of our attendees is something that you don’t often get at other shows. I also spoke to many of you who enjoyed all the NEW products that were presented too. On behalf of Tom and Jeannie and the rest of our staff, Rachel, Sophia, Donna, Oliver, Terri and Brenda — thank you for another great year.

Next, at the end of September the Governor signed 15 bills just before the end of the legislative session.

Many of the bills will help streamline the approval and building process but not all of the bills signed were in our favor. Keep an eye out for the December magazine where we will be sharing a brief recap of these bills for you.

In closing this month I just want to remind you of a few things:

  • Make your reservations to attend our Annual Holiday Party and Toy Drive, Tuesday, December 5th, that benefits our charity, Interval House. Bring along an unwrapped toy ($25 value) and help us give the gift of a smile during the holiday.
  • AACSC’s Annual Installation will take place at The Grand, January 26, 2018. This evening celebrates our outgoing board members, installs our new and ongoing board members and is a great way to start the year. There are always surprises and it is a great way to meet and reconnect with the leadership of AACSC. Watch for more information on sponsorship opportunities and ticket information right here in the Apartment Journal.


For this month, I wish you well, and no matter how you celebrate this month, I wish you safety and peace.

October 2017

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It’s October and I can’t believe that there are only 86 shopping days left until Christmas. Of course, this does not include Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or other forms of holiday celebration. In the end, I love all the holidays—from Halloween to Thanks - giving to Christmas. Whether it is created by Hallmark Cards, made up to celebrate chocolate, our Administrative Assistants, grandparents, etc., I find joy in the celebration and reminder that there are so many things to be grateful for and that we should not take anything for granted. So enjoy the beginning of Fall and all the upcoming holidays.

Now on to some more pressing news. An update this month:

  • At the direction of the Los Angeles County Supervisors, staff have not yet returned with their report on Tenant Protections. Until this happens, a workgroup will not be able to be formed. Will keep you advised of any progress.
  • Legislature is on holiday recess until the first of the year. At this writing, the Governor still has an opportunity to sign bills and veto, so we will update you on this next month.
  • Tenant rights groups are beginning to protest at our Management Companies. Be aware as they may come anytime and are wearing black masks (that may change as well). These groups are hosting community training sessions to teach them how to be a community rights advocate.
  • Rent Control continues to ramp up and while things appear to be relatively quite right now, we also know that there is a continued push to take this Statewide.


At the Association, I need to give a BIG THANK YOU to the AACSC staff for making the Trade Show a GREAT success this year. Jeannie helped us up the ante on the look, Tom brought us over 30 NEW vendors. Our Board Members really stepped up and helped us meet and greet members, en courage new members to join us in our fight against Rent Control, and our PAC Trustees shared with everyone who came by about the value and benefit of contributing to the PAC. Sophia, Donna, Rachael, Oliver and Terri did everything else in our AACSC booth and as usual we enjoyed seeing all of you!

September 2017

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Ijust have one question this month? When did the beginning of school change from the day AFTER Labor Day to the end of August? And in Northern California in some districts, school started the end of July. My kids are back in school and as I watched the partial eclipse pass overhead I am now waiting for the end of summer cool down to take the place of the hot summer days. I enjoyed summer this year and spent some wonderful days with my family at the beach, but as with most parents, I am glad to have them back in school. Before I move on though I want to send out a HUGE thank you to all of you who once again prove to me that you actually read my article and respond to my requests. Why the thank you?

Because you have been talking to your fellow owners who are NOT members and sending them our way and we greatly appreciate it. Now keep it coming, keep talking and keep up the vigilance to fight our way, peacefully, to a place where our legislators and elected representatives really understand that Rent Control, Just Cause and any other form of control is not in the best interest for our industry or for our tenants.

Not only does any form of control fail to keep rents low, but did you know that almost 40 percent of costs are connected to maintenance fees? That is a staggering amount to consider but according to you, our members, this is the number that was shared with me. The rundown on these expenses includes interior, business related, exterior, landscape, regular maintenance, repairs andturnover expenses. It does not include the time it takes to fix and prepare for a new tenant, nor does it apply to any advertising expense. The average owner has between four to ten units and most rely on this as their retirement income. Hardly the lavish lifestyle our adversaries want to imply.

Next up, the Legislature recently returned from their summer break in August and AACSC is hearing that before the end of the year there will likely be an Affordable Housing bill that will be proposed. What that bill will look like should be seen shortly and we will more than likely be sending out a Red Alert for Action—so keep up with our weekly e-newsletter, The Beacon, and keep sending nonmember owners to us for membership.

On a more immediate front is the decision by our Los Angeles Supervisors to form a Task Force to study Affordable Housing and for staff to come back with some suggestions for solutions. We will keep you updated on this as well but needless to say, things are heating up and we need you to stay involved.

Finally, what a blast we had at our Annual Summer Social at the Hotel Maya. Great music, lots of fun and the food—yum, yum. Thank you to our sponsors who ALWAYS support our events. We look forward to seeing you September 28 at our Trade Show, and we hope you will join us for our Awards Breakfast, too. You don’t have to nominate someone to attend. Your attendance is a great way to support all of the staff members who support our industry. So start your day off with friends, show our employees how much you appreciate them and then enjoy a day at the Trade Show. Attend our free seminars and learn all about the new and innovative products and services available to you and our industry.

August 2017

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Are you ready? It will be here before you know it. What is it—you might ask? Well, two things are on my mind this month — our NEW location within the Long Beach Convention Center for the 22nd Annual Saluting Our Stars Awards Breakfast and the 49th Annual Trade Show. What is so special about the NEW location? You will have to attend to find out, but I can tell you that AACSC is the first to host a Trade Show in this spot.

We are also looking forward to honoring the best in the industry at the Awards Breakfast. Participation is open to both members and non-members. So if you know someone in the industry and they aren’t members, be sure to let them know about the opportunity to nominate someone special for an award. We can’t wait to hand out awards to the best in the business and there is no better way to show your appreciation for all that your employees do for our industry and your business. The deadline for nominations is August 9, so be sure to turn them in on time. Please call Jeannie in our office with any questions.

In other news, AACSC has been very busy over the past month making sure that we are staying in touch with our elected officials here in Long Beach, attending a NEW meeting in Redondo Beach, hosting Optimum Seismic informational seminars around our territory on the importance of the seismic retrofitting recommendations, working on Section 8 improvements, and attending homeless summit meetings to help arrive at positive programs that will help our homeless residents.

While AACSC continues to work on many fronts every day, it is just a part of what motivates me to work hard for you, our members. Why? Because when we have a call to action, you respond; when we need your voice to be heard, you call; and whenever I need feedback, stories or input, you are always gracious and help me tell your story. But the most important reason I am so passionate about your industry is simple—it’s YOU—EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU! However, the challenge that faces us now is membership. It is sometimes easy to forget that your Association is fully supported by its membership and so when there is not an immediate fire to put out, the urgency and purpose gets put by the wayside. So this month I am asking each and every one of you to make sure that it is not just you who is standing by our side, but that the owner who is next to you is a member, too.

Don’t wait until we are sending Red Alerts or emergency meeting notices to respond. I am asking each of you to bring us one new member to help boost our efforts and provide us with more members to help when the need is the greatest.

This year has been challenging and we fully expect that to continue. Without additional support we, as the saying goes, must go back to the same well to ask for help. With more members involved and informed, we will be able to make a bigger splash and show even greater impact. Shouldn’t everyone who owns multifamily property support YOUR industry? That is my wish — more members and more support so that AACSC can be even more effective.

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