Hello WCR Texas Members,

3 Items of interest for our members:

(1) Election Day is Nov. 8 (download reminder). Find your Election Day polling place now.

Early voting runs through Friday, November 4 (download reminder),

A proposition (or three) for you
The association is endorsing three of the 10 propositions on the November ballot: Propositions 1, 2, and 8. Read more about what these proposed constitutional amendments would do.

Most of the association’s efforts are centered on passing Proposition 2—find out why (video).

In addition to reaching out to Texas REALTORS®, the association is running a targeted multimedia public-awareness campaign in support of Proposition 2. This effort will include a 60-second radio spot, content on TexasRealEstate.com, print ads and fliers, editorials, and more.

There’s also a social media component to the campaign. As early voting begins, check the association’s Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages and help get the word out.

Texas REALTORS® can make a real difference
In some parts of the state, Texans will be voting on local ordinances, city council races, and other elected positions, but in many areas, the constitutional amendments are the only thing on the ballot … and that typically means low turnout.

While low voter turnout is not a good thing, it does mean that Texas REALTORS® can make a huge difference on Election Day.

(2)  Incorporation of Local Chapters– in answer to questions regarding whether or not local chapters should be incorporated, from National WCR office:

Only a handful of chapters are incorporated. It’s not required. When it’s a good idea is when a chapter has a lot of resources, to include the ability to keep up with annual state reporting requirements, usually by having a CPA or attorney take care of it.

What you definitely don’t want is to go through all the paperwork and expense, only to lose the status because no one followed up in subsequent years. This has happened a number of times regarding IRS exemption, where the chapter receives federal tax exemption but then loses it, permanently, for failing to file annual 990 information returns.

The upside to incorporating is that it introduces another level of distance between board members and liability. Professional Liability insurance covers this nicely. That is, if a member is sued in the course of work on behalf of the chapter, insurance covers up to $1 million per instance.

(3)  Endorsing Candidates– in answer to questions of local Chapters endorsing a political candidate, from National WCR office:

There is no policy on whether of not a chapter may endorse political candidates.

That said, politics is a tricky business. People can have strong feelings one way or another, and if a small majority endorses the candidate, that can leave the others feeling that the chapter is less open to diversity. This is why we recommend that chapters do not endorse candidates or, for that matter, particular religious viewpoints. It ensures openness, with no one feeling left out.

This does not mean that the chapter cannot celebrate their own, I’m just not sure that it needs to lead to an endorsement.

The governing board should weigh all these factors when it deliberates on the question.

We hope you find this information helpful.

Sharon Eddings

2011 WCR Texas State Chapter President