It has been my honor to serve as your Government Affairs Director for 2020 and 2021. Although a unique and trying time, we were able to initiate significant advancement for our region and the building industry. In fact, last year’s Association efforts won four Association Excellence Awards from our National Association for the innovative work we did, even during the early stages of the pandemic. This year was just as impactful with local advocacy and political wins, including three SHBA members winning elected office!
I am proud of the accomplishments these past two years. As your advocate to government, we were effective in dealing with building department permit delays, prompted an Energy Code Performance Method memo, negotiated Housing Action Plan amendments, and defeated a natural gas ban. We did this by testifying at meetings, talking directly with elected officials, writing press releases and op-eds, hosting the Builders Series, and more. Not only did we protect the home building industry, but we fought to provide homeownership opportunities for our community.
We also led efforts to support the best leaders to build our community. The SHBA PAC put your resources to good work in 2021. From our first ever Virtual Candidate Training School, to seeing all our endorsed candidates through the Primary Election, to raising over $100,000 for candidates and the natural gas and hydroelectric power protection initiative, we led the way on local campaigns.
Housing continues to be a top need for our community and better housing policy must a priority of our Association’s advocacy efforts. Knowing that, I am comforted that Jennifer Thomas will be shifting her focus from SHBA Membership and Communications to now lead Government Affairs and Communications. She is a capable leader well acquainted with the issues and ready to tackle the needs of the industry. She will continue the work of establishing our Association as THE leader on local housing issues and has a strong fundraising background that will be vital to supporting candidates in key races in 2022 and 2023.
While I must say goodbye in my official capacity, I will still be a part of the Spokane community and hope to see each of you in the near future. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at Isaiahpaine@gmail.com or 509.992.6684. Happy Holidays and I look forward to seeing how the Association continues to grow in the new year!