RPAC Extraordinary Service Award Recipients

 Joe Murray  |    November 08, 2021
RPAC Awards

At the WRA’s annual convention last month, four longtime Wisconsin REALTORS® and one local association executive received the highest award possible for their dedication and support for the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC). REALTORS® Terry Hilgenberg, Becky Merwin, Mike Pietrek and Joan Seramur as well as La Crosse Area REALTORS® Association Executive Officer Char Glocke were the 2021 recipients of the RPAC Extraordinary Service Award.

What makes these five individuals extraordinary is their many years of dedication to raising funds for RPAC and educating REALTORS® across Wisconsin on the importance of political advocacy to their profession. They help others understand that an industry that shies away from politics is 
an industry with an unstable and uncertain future.

Given the current legislative and political environment, it is critical for REALTORS® to come together and speak with one voice about the stability that a sound and dynamic real estate market brings to Wisconsin and our country. From city hall to the Statehouse to the U.S. Capitol, elected officials are making decisions that have a huge impact on the bottom line of REALTORS® and their customers.

For more than 50 years, RPAC has been one of the strongest and most successful advocacy tools in Wisconsin, thanks to contributors like Glocke, Hilgenberg, Merwin, Pietrek and Seramur. Through their hard work, and the help and support of many others as well, the WRA has been able to secure many legislative victories over the years, including: 

  1. Time of sale requirements prohibited
  2. Liability protection on two-year statute of limitations
  3. “One-strike” evictions for drug-related or criminal activity
  4. Supermajority vote to downzone property
  5. Unauthorized practice of law codified
  6. Property tax freeze/levy limits maintained
  7. Cooperation with out-of-state licensees
  8. Prohibited development moratoria for counties
  9. Opinions of value protected
  10. Status as independent contractors protected
  11. Right to complete state-approved forms protected
  12. No liability for fraudulent third-party misrepresentation 
  13. Landlord-tenant law reform
  14. Health savings accounts now tax-deductible
  15. Presumptive approval of DNR permits
  16. Real estate transfer tax increase defeated
  17. State preemption of local regulations to brokers
  18. Naming real estate an “essential” business during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown

These victories were made possible because RPAC supports candidates for public office who support our issues. We also thank all the local board volunteers, fundraisers and staff who make our success possible. And we can’t thank Char Glocke, Terry Hilgenberg, Becky Merwin, Mike Pietrek and Joan Seramur enough for their many, many years of “extraordinary service” to all members of the WRA.

Joe Murray is Director of Political and Governmental Affairs for the WRA.

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