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Dear Member, To all of you who attended C.A.R.’s Legislative Day in Sacramento earlier this month, thank you all for making it a great success! More than 2,300 of you turned out to hear California Gov. Jerry Brown discuss such topics as California’s economy in relation to the global economy, the state’s education and employment outlook, and the improvement in the California housing market. We then headed over for a photo opportunity on the steps of the Capitol and, later in the afternoon, returned to the Capitol to discuss with our state legislators the issues of importance to the real estate industry. In fact, thanks to your direct efforts at Legislative Day, we scored a big win with AB 905, a private transfer tax to fund environmental improvements to a property. C.A.R. opposed AB 905 because it forced a financial burden on future owners of a property with no oversight, no accountability and no limit on how long the tax can be imposed, even years after the improvement has been paid for or the useful life of the improvement has passed. Following Legislative Day, the bill’s author decided to make AB 905 a two-year bill, essentially tabling it until 2014. At Thursday’s Mid-year Luncheon, C.A.R. CEO Joel Singer discussed the current housing market conditions and how the transforming real estate industry will impact your business. He also touched on the housing policy environment and how changes to the mortgage interest deduction will affect the housing market. He closed by discussing the long-term future of the real estate brokerage industry and how the disintermediation that has changed such businesses as travel agencies, bookstores, and stock brokerages may eventually alter the real estate industry as well. View the complete presentation. While we were in Sacramento, we also commemorated the 100th centennial of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, which was established in 1913. The Code is a living, dynamic statement which guides REALTORS® in their daily professional lives and is what makes the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®. Show your pride in abiding by the Code of Ethics by visiting NAR’s Code of Ethics site to find radio interviews, shareable social media content, and other information about the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. And view a video shot in Sacramento of C.A.R. members who “Live by the Code.” This week, C.A.R.’s leadership team and I were in Washington, D.C., meeting with California Congressional members to further advocate for important housing policy issues on your behalf. We discussed such issues as preserving the mission and purpose of the FHA program; reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; and tax reform. Ensuring our lawmakers understand the importance of these important housing issues is essential for a full housing market recovery. If you’re a REALTOR® working in Southern California, you’ll want to send your clients to C.A.R.’s free “Endeavor to Achieve Homeownership Home Buyers Fair,” which will help prepare prospective first-time home buyers enter the California housing market and assist previous homeowners who have suffered economic hardships regain their footing. Held on Saturday, May 25, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the California Science Center, home of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, the fair will feature free sessions on topics including repairing poor credit, recovering from a short sale or foreclosure, accessing down payment assistance, and learning what it takes to become a homeowner. A key highlight of the fair focuses on teaching consumers how to obtain $30,000 down payment assistance grants offered by Wells Fargo. Prospective home buyers who want to take advantage of this once-in-a-generation home buying opportunity should attend this one-stop shopping event to obtain the valuable information needed to help them take the first step toward homeownership. For more information. I’m happy to inform you that C.A.R. has developed the next evolution of zipForm® 6 Professional. zipForm® Plus Beta is a Java-free, web based application that can be used in multiple browsers (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, etc.). This beta release is a vital stage of product development, and we’d like you to give it a spin and provide us with your feedback before it’s launched in its final version. We’ve received feedback through a national users group that the zipForm® Plus Beta user interface is intuitive, modern, and very easy to use. Nevertheless, we strongly encourage beta test users to watch a brief video that provides an overview of the new user interface, highlights differences between zipForm® 6 Professional and zipForm® Plus beta, and shows how to move between the two options and what to expect from the beta test program. For complete information. Finally, the Mid-year meetings may have just wrapped up, but it’s never too early to start planning for CALIFORNIA REALTOR® EXPO 2013, held Oct. 8-10, at the Long Beach Convention Center. EXPO has a new look this year, and even more opportunities for you as an attendee. This year’s event offers three days of free content, and will offer brand new ticketed events including specialty bootcamps, targeted workshops, and focused education created for those looking for a particular emphasis. Our luncheon speakers are all set and will include real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran from ABC’s Shark Tank and Kenneth Cukier, data editor of The Economist and co-author of the New York Times bestseller “Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think.” Lastly, our ever-popular C.A.R. Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young will give her outlook on the 2014 housing market. EXPO is free for all C.A.R. members, but you must register. Registration opens next Tuesday, May 21, so remember to come back and register here. Sincerely, Don Faught President CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®