GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: WANT TO HAVE ONE?

by 29 Oct 2009

 

I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.  ~Charles de Gaulle, 1890 – 1970,  French president, general and statesman
 
 
 
Want to have a great year as chairperson of your government affair committee? Here are some suggestions to create a great year. The author was the former Government Affairs Chairman of the Florida Association of Mortgage Brokers.
 
PRESS RELEASES – Provide press releases with appropriate information on a timely and consistent basis to the general public and the association. Set a goal to release two press releases a month. Write press releases on behalf of your public officials to publicize their accomplishments. This will establish a greater relationship with elected officials at a very cost effective price. You can send press releases to highlight:
 
  • Your Government Affairs Goals for the upcoming year
  • Your President’s new direction for lobbying
  • Your elected officials attendance at your meeting
  • Your legislature agenda
  • Your lobbying accomplishments
 
 
LEGISLATIVE UPDATES – Provide your membership an update approximately every two weeks as to what is happening at the Federal and State level regarding legislation that is important to mortgage brokers. The update ideally should be two (2) to three (3) pages.
 
BOARD MEETING – At each board meeting, provide a program that is interesting, enlightening and entertaining regarding the legislative process. Some easy programs are:
 
·        Have an expert speaker speak on “How to Lobby in Your State Capital,” “How to Lobby in Washington,” “How to Lobby at a Local Level” or/and “How to Create a Grass Roots Program”
·         Have public officials as speakers
·         Have an event (reception/breakfast/lunch/cocktail party) for elected officials at each meeting 
·        Have your regulators update the attendees on regulation issues
 
FUNDRAISERS – At each meeting organize a fundraiser for a candidate or several candidates.
 
REGULATORS ATTENDANCE – Invite your regulators to each local chapter event. Each chapter should establish a relationship with all regional offices. 
 
PUBLIC OFFICIAL ATTENDANCE – Invite your Federal, State and Municipal public officials. Each chapter should establish a close personal relationship with key legislators. 
 
KEY CONTACT PERSON – Identify and develop a key contact person for each member of the State House of Representative, the State Senate, The United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate.  Target banking, finance, appropriations and regulating committees.
 
CONSUMER PROGRAM – Have frequent programs to the appropriate target market for mortgage education.  Contact a legislator and ask him or her to contact faith-based organizations to provide audiences for the program. This would expose consumers to a wide range of topics, such as, first time home buyer education, how to refinance a house and how to avoid predatory lenders, etc. Your organization will gain an increase in public exposure and would show your effort to stamp out abusive lending..
 
INCREASED INTERACTION – The Executive Committee and the association’s key contacts should have regularly scheduled interaction with public officials.
 
A DAY IN THE LIFE - Several brokers should shadow multiple elected officials for a day and write articles regarding their experiences.
 
NAMB LEGISLATIVE EVENT – Have your state send its’ largest contingency to the annual trip in Washington.
 
REGIONAL AND COUNTY DELEGATIONS – Create a program to present to your county and/or regional legislation delegations.
 
REGULATORS – Each chapter should host  at least two or more programs per year with your regulators as guest or speakers. 
 
HUD – Aim High! Invite the Secretary of HUD to speak at a meeting.
 
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER/COMPTROLLER – Invite your top regulator to speak at a meeting.
 
A THEME – Develop a multiple year consistent theme so that people will recognize your organization. This will establish you in the minds of public officials, even though you may not have the financial resources of other organization. It will also differentiate your organization from other similar organizations.
 
LOBBY DAYS – Have a dynamic speaker from either the Legislative Branch or the Executive Branch speak at your lobby day. Teach attendees how to lobby prior to attending this important day. 
 
SUMMARY - You do not have to implement all these ideas and suggestions at once to have a great year in Government Affairs. You can implement a few and continue implementing programs as your association gains experience and confidence. Email me if you have any other great ideas or suggestions. Good luck! 
 
Gary Opper is President of Approved Financial Corporation, Weston, Florida. Approved Financial Corporation is a licensed mortgage lender. Mr. Opper has been a Mortgage Lender and Note Buyer since 1984. Opper is president of Levie-Opper, a mortgage fraud litigation support firm and is also a mortgage consulting.  Opper has a CPA and a CFP license.  Opper is past President of the FAMB - Miami Chapter and the FICPA - Gold Coast Chapter and is a member of the NAMB, FAMB, AICPA and the FICPA.  Mr. Opper has been the NAMB’s Writer of the Year and Featured Writer of the Year.as well as the FAMB’s Broker of the Year.   Mr. Opper is available to speak to your group. Please contact him to arrange a speech for your event. He may be reached at (954) 384-4557, fax: (954) 384-5483, or e‑mail: opper@approvedfinancial.com.
 
© Gary Opper. All Rights Reserved.

 

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