Advocate corner brad gather: leading by example.
As 30-year veteran of the apartment industry, Brad Gather, CPM, HCCP, SHCM, has led the Greater Nashville Apartment Association (GNAA) and the Tennessee Apartment Association (TAA) to considerable successes.
Gather is constantly advocating on behalf of the industry, both politically and otherwise, says TM Director of Government Affairs Catie Lane Bailey. "He has an approach and a vision for the association to grow and be involved--especially in advocacy," she says.
Gather has been involved in property management with a focus on affordable housing throughout his career. He became involved with GNAA first as a committee member and then serving on its Board and Executive Committee. In 2008, he served as GNAA's President. Through his role with GNM, he became more involved with TM and currently serves as its President.
According to Gather, the Tennessee General Assembly is receptive to the apartment industry, as some legislators also are property owners, which makes for a more accommodating environment. This year, TM held its "Day on the Hill" Feb. 5 and had record attendance.
In 2014, TAA is tracking several bills, but its main initiative centers around the handling of personal property following an eviction. HB I.409/SB 1732 is the result of a proposed local ordinance that would have addressed the blight that is created as a consequence of evictions. GNAA members met with council member JacobLa Dowell (representing the Antioch area) and expressed their concerns and she agreed to withdraw the ordinance if TAA would pursue legislation at the state level that addresses this issue.
The bill requires that, upon removing such property as a result of an eviction, the property be placed in an appropriate area clear of the entrance of the premises and at a reasonable distance from any roadway. Additionally, the clarifies that the former resident's personal property must only remain on the property for 48 hours before it can be discarded. TM is hopeful the bill will pass. "The bill enjoys pretty wide support," Cather stys.
If the local .ordinance had passed, it would have been detrimental to property owners. By working together with the Dowell, Cather and other GNM and TM members were able to draw up a better solution for all. "It's important for people to be involved and to let legislators know your interests," he says.
One important thing Gather does is ensure he presents issues with utmost respect to residents, and indicates to. lawmakers how a hill in which the apartment industry is lobbying will benefit its residents. Cather notes that it's also important to be prepared, get your facts together and know what you are talking about before walking through the door of the legislator's office.
Just like NM's Lobby Day at the Capitol Conference on March 12, lobby days at state capitals are essential for getting your voice heard.
"To use a football analogy, it's important for people to get in the game. You don't have to lead, but you can shadow and get a mentor," Cather says.
We want to hear about your state lobby day. Share your experiences with Kathleen Gamble at firstname.lastname@example.org.--Cariy S'impson, NAA Manager of Stale and Local Government Vairs