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Legislative advocacy is key.

This issue of UNITS is full of evidence that legislative advocacy is a central part of NAA and that it works.

Starting with Apartment Industry Advocacy Works: State & Local Grassroots Share Best Practices, on page 17, Rachel Arnold, NAA's Senior Manager of Public Affairs, tells how NAA affiliates across the country are having success in state and local politics. The experiences illustrated in this article can serve as models for other affiliates' political involvement.

The NAA/NMHC Joint Legislative Program achieved successes in many areas in 2003, as well. The top seven stand out as issues where NAA/NMHC took the lead and the savings to the apartment industry was substantial. On page 20, Seven Super Successes and Other Legislative and Regulatory Accomplishments of 2003 are detailed.

Lubbock Apartment Association member Randy Neugebauer represents Texas' 19th district in the U.S. House of Representatives. As a residential and commercial land developer, and former apartment property manager, his first-hand knowledge has brought awareness of multifamily housing industry issues to Capitol Hill. Read NAA Has a Seat in the 'House,' page 24, for details.

NAA's pinnacle legislative event is the Capitol Conference, just around the corner, March 20-23. The conference enables attendees to learn more about legislative issues that affect the multifamily housing industry and best practices used to deal with these issues.

In Make Your Voice Heard on Capitol Hill: Congress Wants to Hear From You, page 29, learn about the opportunity to network with other attendees and speak with members of Congress.

While we have recounted our successes of 2003, there is much to do ahead in 2004.

Republicans Aim to Build on Momentum: 2004 State & Local Outlook, by Rachel Arnold and Todd Cohn, NAA's State Policy Manager, looks at the upcoming legislative sessions which will focus on the political, fiscal and apartment industry specific issues that are expected to have a significant affect on the overall state and local landscape. See page 32.

On the federal side, Congress will discuss a variety of issues that concern the multifamily industry this year. A summary of these issues appears in NAA/NMHC Legislative Forecast, page 39.

One hot issue this year is certain to be methamphetamine labs. The buzz has already started, but There Is No Easy Fix ... Crystal Meth Cleanup Is a Costly Concern for the Multifamily Industry. The article by Alex Hecht and Jamie Glonek explains how clandestine labs cause many expensive problems for owners and managers of apartment communities, including loss of rent, decline in property values, civil penalties, dangerous and threatening residents, resentful and angry neighbors and loss of other valued residents. This must read can be found on page 44.

I hope to see you at the Capitol Conference in March, taking part in a very exiting endeavor for the multifamily housing industry.
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Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Observations
Author:Dolben, Deane
Date:Feb 1, 2004
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