2024 Advocacy Day in DC

SLAA News,

AE Corner – April 1, 2024

WOW! It is hard to believe that Q1 of 2024 is over already. It has been a remarkably busy and exciting time around the office at the St. Louis Apartment Association these past two months. In February, 174 Rising Star nominees participated in Zoom interviews, in-person judging, and property visits. This was my first year going through the nomination and judging on this side of things, and I have to say that I had no idea how much work really went into this process. For many years, Geri and Karen made it look so seamless. I want to thank all our volunteers who helped drive the judges around in person, as well as our volunteers from other apartment associations across the country who volunteered their time to complete the individual Zoom interviews. Also, a big “Thank You” to Chadwell Supply and Apartments.com for sponsoring the Nominee Week gifts. All nominees received delicious treats and gift cards (or cash) in recognition of their achievements. It was so great to see everyone who came to our office for their interviews. We really do have an amazing group of members at the St. Louis Apartment Association!

Education for our members has continued to be a focus at SLAA. In February, we had 16 Certified Apartment Manager (CAM) candidates complete their coursework and final exam. We had seven Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor (CAPS) candidates complete their coursework in March. They will complete their exams the first week in April. We had thirty-five maintenance professionals complete their EPA review and exam in March. We had nearly fifty maintenance professionals attend the two-day Certified Pool Operator (CPO) course and take their exam. We hosted a free one-hour online seminar for our members in February with Attorney Katharyn Davis to discuss the topic of landlord law, evictions, and other challenges. Nearly eighty members attended our 2024 Economic & Industry Outlook Presentation and Panel in early March where we had speakers from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and more.  At the end of March, we hosted a “Level Up” Leasing Panel Breakfast that consisted of a panel of speakers who are experts on their topic and who work for some of SLAA’s Property Management Company members. Nearly 130 people attended the panel breakfast to gain new ideas, meet new people, and leave feeling energized.  We are so fortunate to have so many great programs to offer our membership!

As you saw, the St. Louis Apartment Association sent out a call for nominations in January for our Board of Directors and our Product & Service Council. We received several great nominations. Voting concluded the first week in March. We will be announcing the new Board of Directors and the new Product & Service Council at the Rising Star Awards Banquet. Then, at the June Board meeting, we will swear in all new officers and complete Board Orientation. We are grateful to have a dedicated team of property management professionals and vendor suppliers who are willing to volunteer their time to be on the Board and the Council and to continue to move SLAA forward.

I was fortunate enough to attend NAA Advocate in mid-March which is the National Apartment Association’s annual advocacy conference. It is a prime opportunity to meet in person with our representatives by joining rental housing suppliers, property managers, owners, and operators in Washington D.C. I am happy to report that Missouri was well-represented this year. Thank you to Shawna Lipp from Banner Property Management, as well as other members of the Missouri Apartment Association, for guiding me through the process. This year, we had three main bills that we discussed during our meetings.

  1. Choice in Affordable Housing Fact Sheet
  2. Respect State Housing Laws Fact Sheet
  3. YIMBY Fact Sheet

It was interesting to see how much NAA does for our industry and our members. NAA researches and prepares materials to streamline the process when we meet with our representatives, Congressmen, and Congresswomen. A member from the NAA team even joined us for one of our meetings with a Congresswoman to help explain why the bills are important to us. It was an amazing experience, and we made a profound impact in Washington D.C.

Just last week, Angie Schulte, our lobbyist for SLAA, and Sam Wiles, the lobbyist from MAA, and myself attended a Fundraiser for a St. Charles County representative who is supporting our water metering bill, HB2531. We were able to thank him for his support and give a check to his campaign. Clearly advocacy for our members has been a big focus for the St. Louis Apartment Association at both the local level in Jefferson City and the national level in Washington DC. I would like to ask you to please consider donating to NAAPAC, which is the political action committee that supports Congressional candidates who understand the needs and concerns of the apartment housing industry. Our annual goal is to raise around $7,000 from SLAA, so every donation helps. You can learn more here.

As always, we welcome and value your feedback. You can reach me at the SLAA office at (314) 205-8844 or via email at mandi@slaa.org.