Pennsylvania Realtors® join national rally in Washington
Kim Shindle
May 18, 2012
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Pennsylvania Realtors® rally for home ownership. Photos by Diana Dietz

More than 13,500 Realtors® rallied in Washington, D.C. yesterday to send a message to Congress that the American dream of home ownership must be protected for current and future generations.

Realtors® from across the country gathered in front of the Washington Monument to make their voices heard and to ensure that housing is a priority on the nation’s public policy agenda. Creating a sea of blue wearing Realtor® T-shirts, members attending NAR’s Mid-Year Meetings and thousands arriving via bus heard how housing makes a difference in America.

Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia spoke to cheering crowds during the Rally saying home ownership is the “cornerstone of our country and the freedom we all enjoy.” Isakson, a third generation Realtor®, noted that housing is important to the economic recovery because it accounts for 15 percent or $2 trillion of the U.S. gross domestic product.

Congressman Steny Hoyer of Maryland told Realtors® their visits to legislators are important. “Nothing is as effective as having your hometown constituents visit your office and explain what they are experiencing everyday.” He added, “Realtors® make a difference in growing our economy.”

Realtors® Cathy Tsao, president of the Asian Real Estate Association of America, and Gerardo Ascencio, president of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, told moving stories about how the American dream of home ownership affected their immigrant families.

Several Pennsylvania Realtors® said it was important to participate in the Rally.

“It was great to be part of the Realtor® Rally with so many other members,” said Jim Helsel, a past PAR President and 2016 Candidate for NAR President. “Showing our dedication to home ownership will certainly help in moving housing forward.”

PAR President-Elect Bette McTamney said, “We had nearly 300 Realtors® from Pennsylvania join the Rally to Protect the American dream. These members left in the early hours of the morning to be part of this historic rally and stand up for home ownership. I know that our participation in this event will show Congress that we believe everyone should have the opportunity to pursue the American dream of home ownership and that we’re willing to fight against obstacles that make it more difficult for people to buy, own and invest in real estate.”

“It’s so important that we show Congress that home ownership matters for many reasons,” said Kim Skumanick, PAR vice president. “Homes are important to our families, where we make our memories. And increased home ownership strengthens our communities and supports the economy.”