Contributed by Hannah Engber

Grassroots advocacy generally is considered the backbone of modern democracy. When people organize and influence their elected officials to support issues that are most important to them, legislators can be more effective representing their constituents. CAI works year-round to help advocates support the community association housing model.

In the first three months of the 2022 legislative year, CAI has celebrated many grassroots successes. More than 6,000 total advocates have helped support CAI’s legislative priorities by contacting nearly 1,500 legislators about CAI’s top advocacy issues.

If you live in or work for a community association, join our network of 43,000 advocates. CAI’s all-inclusive platform allows our advocates to contact their legislators in just a few clicks. CAI’s state legislative action committees (LACs) use this platform to support, monitor, and oppose more than 1,000 pieces of legislation each year. The LACs rely on the grassroots network of CAI advocates to help. When an issue needs your attention, we’ll send campaigns right to your inbox.

Here are some of the most successful campaigns over the past three months:

  • Maryland HB 26 – Regulation of Common Ownership Community Managers
    • The situation: HB 26 was introduced early in the legislative session. It would have created a new, state-run board to regulate community association manager state licenses. According to estimates, this legislation would have cost taxpayers more than $100,000 annually. The Maryland LAC strongly opposed this legislation and launched a 30-day campaign to prevent it. More than 180 CAI advocates in Maryland connected with 20 of the top legislators.
    • The result: Due to these efforts, the bill was defeated. Advocates showed legislators that the cost and outcomes of this legislation would adversely impact community associations and taxpayers across the state. Read about CAI’s public policy on community association manager licensing.
  • Washington State HB 1660 – Concerning Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
    • The situation: Legislators in the Washington House of Representatives wanted to interfere in the ability of community associations to self-govern by prohibiting rental restrictions on ADUs. The LAC launched a campaign that led to drafting and sending 80 emails to 51 state legislators in eight days.
    • The result: Due to the work of the LAC and the amazing advocates in Washington state, HB 1660 died on the Senate floor. Read about CAI’s public policy on ADUs.
  • California Fire Insurance – Department of Insurance
    • The situation: Since 2016, more than 50,000 structures in California have been damaged in wildfires. Because of this devastation, community associations were hit by massive, unbudgeted fire insurance increases. The California LAC launched a campaign to urge Department of Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara to address this issue. In 62 days, California advocates sent 625 emails to Commissioner Lara.
    • The result: The California LAC created an unprecedented relationship with the Department of Insurance to work together to address concerns. LAC member Kimberly Lilley says, “A relationship that felt like a nonstarter now feels like one in which both sides are contributing and working toward a common goal. The benefits have already been felt. We have a lot of work to do, but now we are working together.” Read about CAI’s public policy for risk management and insurance for community associations.

CAI has a variety of resources for our members looking to become more active in the grassroots efforts:

Read CAI’s comprehensive list of public policies

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