Ed Downs
2012 DCAR President
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April 2012 Newsletter
The President's Connection
From the Desk of Ed Downs
The Changes at DCAR Continue!

Now that our Association name has officially changed to the "District of Columbia Association of REALTORS®," we must also change our logo. After a spirited debate at the last Board of Directors meeting, we decided to form a Presidential Advisory Group (PAG) to handle the logo redesign in a responsible and orderly fashion. The PAG has developed several different possible designs, and is currently refining them with the assistance of several graphic artists.


The next step will be presenting the choices to the full Board of Directors for a vote. This should happen quite soon, so stand by for the unveiling!

Member Outreach Activities: Office Visits

I have realized that members are sometimes not clear on what their Association does for them, or how to get involved with the Association's work and activities. To address this, Ed Krauze (our CEO and Lobbyist) and I have started making "Office Visits." We come to your Sales Meeting to explain how things work, the political challenges currently facing the REALTOR® community, and answer any questions that come up. So far, we have been to three different brokerages, and the feedback is that our visits are helpful and informative.

If you'd like to have a visit from "The Ed & Ed Show," e-mail me at 2012president@dcrealtors.org.

Upcoming Events - DCAR Networking Happy Hour April 25th

So many events are on the calendar this spring, but the most immediate one is DCAR's Networking Happy Hour, to be held this Wednesday, April 25th! You may recall receiving a separate e-mail from me inviting you to come, but just in case you haven't (or if you're on the fence), let me urge you to show up! This is an excellent opportunity to catch up with your REALTOR® friends (and meet new ones) in a stress-free environment. We'll have complimentary hors d'oeuvres from Stewart Title, and reduced drink prices from our host restaurant.


Networking Happy Hour Details: Wednesday, April 25th, Level One Restaurant, 1639 R Street, NW, Washington, DC, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.  Register here.


Travel: If you're driving, it may be easier to find parking one or two blocks east of the restaurant, or you could use the commercial (market rate) garage on the corner of 17th & Q Streets, NW. Or from the Dupont Circle Metro, walk 3 blocks east on Q Street, then north 1.5 blocks on 17th Street to 17th & R Streets, NW.

Rebuilding Together®  Saturday, April 28th

It is not too late to help a DC resident in need! Our annual Rebuilding Together® project volunteers will be making repairs on a DC home on Saturday, April 28thIf you haven't already registered, sign up here. For details on the home location, contact Debbie Bell, Communications Manager at the Associations office, 301-590-8771 or dbell@gcaar.com.

Future Events

  • NAR May 17th, 2012: Rally at the Washington Monument
  • DCAR Cocktail Reception at the NAR Midyear Meetings, May 19th, 2012

Details on these future events will appear in DCAR's May newsletter.

Legislative Update - Budget Season!

Mayor Gray unveiled his Fiscal Year 2013 Budget. The Mayor's Budget closes a $172.1 million gap through expenditure cuts and revenue initiatives. Some key REALTOR®-related budget issues we are keeping an eye on are:

  • Central Collection Unit - The Budget embraces the "Delinquent Debt Recovery Act," which would establish a special non-lapsing fund to collect delinquent debts. The Mayor believes this will generate $28.2 million in additional revenue for the District. DCAR has been following this proposal and understands the District's desire to collect outstanding debts. However, we continue to express our concerns that delinquent debt collections do not interfere or significantly delay real property transactions in the District.
  • Increased Vacant Property Enforcement Initiatives - The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs' (DCRA) budget includes increases in the Vacant Property Enforcement. The proposal would include the hiring of more full-time employees to identify more vacant properties in the District. Given our past experience with implementation of this program, your state association is keeping a watchful eye on this increase in funding and employees and how it is implemented. 
  • HPAP (Home Purchase Assistance Program) funding - Cut by $5 million .
  • EHAP (DC Employee Home Purchase Program) - Remains the same.
  • Class 2 Commercial Property Tax Relief - Suspended for now.
  • Housing Production Trust Fund - Cut by $19 million and moved to the Local Rent Supplement Program. 
  • Interest on Real Property Appeals Escrowed monies reduced from 6% to 3%. 

Your Government Affairs lobbyists are working to ensure the implementation of this legislation does not slow real estate-related transactions. We will continue to work to make the District a better place for REALTORS® to do business.

Invest In Our Future - RPAC Funding

Significant Investors of the 2011 REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC) were invited to our 2012 Thank You luncheon at the Mazza Gallerie, where they were given an in-depth briefing by NAR's Political Director, Scott Reiter. We are planning more events to encourage DCAR members to become more involved and invested in  RPAC and your REALTOR® Party.

Of course, you do not have to attend an event to invest in the future of our industry: you can contribute at any time! DCAR members should contribute through your local association
; residential members should contribute through GCAAR; and commercial members should contribute through the Greater Washington Commercial Association of REALTORS® (GWCAR)


Invest in RPAC today! Your RPAC investment ensures REALTOR® voices are heard at ALL political levels.

The purpose of any Association is to benefit its members, and I urge you to enjoy our events and get involved with DCAR. After all, our success and happiness is largely dependent on our individual and collective efforts!

Your 2012 DCAR President,

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