Aug. 31, 2012
Illinois Association of REALTORS® President Loretta Alonzo leaves Monday for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., with a mission.
“I think it’s important that they know who we are and who we represent,” said Alonzo, CRB, GRI and broker-owner of Century 21 Alonzo & Associates in La Grange Park. “Housing is one of the big issues facing the country, and it is important that we are able to share our concerns and opinions.”
The trip will kick off nearly a week of meetings and receptions at the event, which will draw as many as 35,000 people to North Carolina.
As Alonzo prepares to depart, Michael Oldenettel, IAR’s president-elect will have just returned from his trip to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. He was joined by IAR CEO Gary Clayton and the association’s director of governmental affairs, Greg St. Aubin.
Alonzo said attending the convention provides a unique opportunity to get face time with politicians. Many times, political decision-makers have only a few minutes to talk to constituents, but at the convention there are many opportunities to mingle with them and present issues of interest to REALTORS®.
“I don’t know that you can get the one-on-one availability with them like you do there,” Alonzo said.
Alonzo will be joined on the trip by Julie Sullivan, IAR’s assistant director of legislative and government affairs. Sullivan was at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. This is the first trip to a national political convention for Alonzo.
“There’s a kind of excitement you really don’t get anywhere else,” Sullivan said.
What’s the best thing about going to a convention: “Being among all of the decision-makers in the state and the nation,” Sullivan said.
For the pair, being from President Obama’s home state has advantages. They will stay just blocks from the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. The IAR delegation to the GOP convention had to stay an hour away from the convention site in Tampa.
Among events Alonzo said she plans to attend is a reception hosted by Gov. Pat Quinn and sponsored in part by IAR. There’s no word if the president will visit with the delegation from his home state.