Grassroots advocacy lies at the heart of a thriving democracy, empowering individuals, and communities to shape society actively. Grassroots advocacy is an effective form of activism where passionate individuals connect with elected officials to impact legislation and create the best public policy through in-person meetings, emailing, writing, calling, and social media. In the first half of the 2023 legislative year, CAI achieved and celebrated several grassroots victories.
In the first six months of 2023, over 14,000 advocates supported CAI’s legislative priorities by contacting more than 1,100 local, state, and federal legislators to advocate for CAI’s top issues. If you live or work in a community association, you’re invited to join our network of more than 44,000 advocates. With CAI’s all-inclusive platform, contacting legislators is just a few clicks away. CAI’s state Legislative Action Committees (LACs) support, monitor, and oppose over 1,000 pieces of legislation annually. LACs lead outreach efforts via email and social media to provide information to members. When action is needed, LACs rely on members to ensure the voice of community associations can be heard on important issues.
Here are some significant advocacy campaign victories from the first half of 2023:
Kentucky: The passage of SB 120, the Planned Community Act, was made possible by the dedicated efforts of the CAI Kentucky LAC and a team of 40 advocates who sent 78 personalized messages to elected officials. After nearly a decade of effort, the Kentucky LAC ensured this law will empower homeowners associations to amend documents, enhance financial transparency, set appropriate fees, and enforce compliance with deed restrictions.
Louisiana: In the absence of a Legislative Action Committee, the Louisiana Chapter-In-Organization stepped in to mobilize over 70 new advocates who sent an impressive 1,500 messages opposing HB 15, which would to mandate an annual independent financial audit for all community associations consisting of 25 or more homes. Their collective efforts led to the withdrawal of the legislation, sparing more than 2,000 community associations the potential financial burden of thousands of dollars every year.
Tennessee: In response to the tragic partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Fla., in the summer of 2021, condominium safety legislation emerged as a pressing national priority for CAI. In 2023, the Tennessee LAC spearheaded efforts to pass significant legislation addressing reserve studies and funding. Reserve studies are useful financial tools to help community associations understand and prepare for the restoration and replacement of critical infrastructure and common elements. The Tennessee LAC led the charge to introduce SB 863 and HB 750 – Real Property. The bill mandates reserve studies every five years for condominium associations. With the support of 30 dedicated advocates the bill became law, ensuring the long-term financial stability of Tennessee’s condominium communities.
Washington: The WSCAI LAC strongly opposed SB 5727, which aimed to grant the attorney general the authority to investigate civil action claims against associations. The WSCAI LAC organized 250 advocates to participate in a virtual hearing, leading the Senate Law & Justice Committee to halt further consideration of the bill.
West Virginia: CAI’s advocates, along with the West Virginia Organization of Homeowners Associations (WVOHOA), mobilized over 100 new advocates to oppose HB 3558, which would dismantle the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act (UCIOA) in the state. Alongside the efforts of these grassroots advocates, CAI developed a strategic alliance with a broad coalition of organizations, including the WVOHOA, to stand against this legislation. The bill was withdrawn, protecting the stability and integrity of West Virginia’s common interest communities. The partnership created plans to continue to champion advocacy efforts in the future.
These achievements highlight the impactful role of grassroots advocacy in shaping legislation and safeguarding the interests of community associations. CAI commends its members for their dedication and encourages support of the community association housing model in all states.
CAI has a variety of resources for members looking to become more active in grassroots efforts:
- Find your state’s legislative action committee and read about the work they do.
- Sign up for CAI’s advocacy campaigns.
- Already an advocate? Ready to take the next step? Join our dedicated network of Advocacy Ambassadors.
Read CAI’s comprehensive list of public policies.