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POLITICAL ADVOCACY: THERE IS NO “KEY.” IT IS A COMBINATION LOCK!

“If mortgage banking is your profession, then politics is your business.” Most of us have heard that statement, or something similar, for most of our professional careers. But how do you get involved appropriately, especially in the current political environment?

It helps to start by realizing that there is no “key” to political involvement or advocacy. There is not one particular action that makes all the difference. It is a “combination lock,” that includes several different components to be successful. The list of components includes personal relationships, organizational action, PAC giving, clear positions to support or oppose legislation, member involvement, and more.

TNMBA is very active in the area of political advocacy, but we expect in increase and strengthen our efforts in this area. Here is how:

Lobbying

TNMBA has retained the services of one of the most respected lobbyists in Tennessee – Tony Thompson. He works with TNMBA every year to establish our priorities for the state legislative session. He works with us, and with legislators, to advance TNMBA’s positions, using his relationships and influence on our behalf. But he needs our help.

Relationships

While our lobbyist has relationships with virtually all of the state legislators, we need those relationships personally, as well. You should know your legislator – and they should know you! Regardless of whether they are from your party of choice, they are in office and voting on issues of importance to our profession. The better your relationship is with them, the more likely they will be willing to listen to the TNMBA position on key legislation. Get to know your legislators.

Presence/Member Involvement

Individual relationships are valuable, but the voice of TNMBA is also significant. It is strongest when we speak as a group. That is why it is so important to have as many mortgage professionals as possible participate in Day on the Hill. Seeing actual members is impressive to elected officials, whether on The Hill or at their office “back in the district.” Our visible presence makes a powerful statement, one way or another. If we have a strong presence, that is noticed. And, the opposite is also true. Your presence matters!

Financial Support

Supporting TNPAC and MORPAC is critically important. Some people have questions about giving to a PAC rather than just giving directly to a candidate. When you give directly, whether it is $50 or $500 (or more), it is just that amount. When you give to a PAC that represents the interests of your profession, those funds are combined with funds from others, and a much more significant check can be given to the candidate. That strengthens the voice of the profession and helps us advocate most effectively. Give to TNPAC today – and encourage others in your office to do the same. Help us reach our $25,000 goal.The effectiveness of TNMBA’s legislative advocacy depends on us – all of us – engaging, giving, and doing our part to make sure legislation that helps our profession is passed, and legislation that hurts homeownership and our profession is kept from passing. You are part of the combination that opens the door to effective political advocacy in Tennessee.

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