Our Advocacy Efforts
BATC’s mission is to help our member businesses grow through marketing, advocacy and industry connections. Advocacy, then, is a pillar of BATC’s activities as it is through this effort that we keep a healthy check on the regulatory and legislative burden on our members.
Our goal is to keep the ability to construct new homes and remodel existing homes as unencumbered as possible. We certainly support reasonable and sensible regulation, but all too often we see government in all of its forms overreaching what Minnesotans would consider common sense.
It is BATC that steps in to tell council members, mayors, legislators, regulators and policy makers what the true impact of their best intentions will be. We strive to keep market-based home building and remodeling affordable so Minnesotans can continue to achieve the American Dream of home ownership.
2016 Elections Update: Housing Champions Win!
The impact that our elected officials have on the housing industry cannot be overstated.
BATC’s Housing First’s goal this year was to elect pro-housing candidates that are committed to elevating housing. We are proud to report that of Housing First’s 18 supported Housing Champions, 15 were victorious on election night and that ALL 16 of the Housing First PAC endorsed candidates, have been elected to the Minnesota Legislature.
A Comprehensive Advocacy Program
The world of Association advocacy has changed dramatically in the past five years. Modern advocacy calls for the use of a wide array of tools and programs to create a comprehensive and therefore powerful position for an industry. The elements BATC employs in its comprehensive advocacy efforts include the following:
A sophisticated and experienced lobbying team.
BATC has an in-house public affairs director who is a 10-year veteran and a long-time lobbyist/attorney widely regarded as one of the leading land use experts in Minnesota.
An influential Housing First independent expenditure fund.
Housing First Fund, BATC’s independent expenditure fund, supports candidates who are committed to our industry and share our vision of a market-based approach to meeting housing needs. When candidates know that BATC can make a difference in their election, it matters greatly.
Engaged public policy committee.
BATC’s Public Policy committee has the elite leaders of our industry providing their expertise in some of the heady conversations about laws, regulations, strategy and brand. We greatly appreciate the substantial commitment our Public Policy Committee members make to our Association.
When candidates support housing, BATC wants them to know we notice and we care. In short, for those who support our industry, we’ve got their back. In the most recent election, BATC's Housing First PAC endorsed 16 Housing Champion Candidates. They tell us it’s of great importance to them and they proudly put BATC’s endorsement on their campaign literature, social medias, and websites.
A comprehensive advocacy program calls for recognition of those who go above and beyond for our industry. To that end, BATC names both a Legislator of the Year (or sometimes two) and an Advocate of the Year (from our membership).
2016 Legislator of the Year Award Winners: Representative Jim Nash (R-Waconia) & Senator Melisa Franzen (DFL-Edina)
We are busy building a caucus of legislators who share our vision of housing in Minnesota. These are legislators that we have endorsed, that the Housing First Fund has supported, and that we’ve presented awards to because they stand tall with BATC on housing issues. We use polling and other known tactics to move these candidates toward electoral success.
You may not realize that more than half of Minnesota’s legislative districts are in BATC’s geographic territory. BATC is committed to building out a potent Grasstops Network of key communicators in each of these districts who have relationships with their state Senator and Representative and will carry our torch to these policy makers. The Grasstops Network is aided by our Grassroots Action Center, which allows all of our members, their subcontractors and suppliers to contact legislators on key issues.
There are times when the threat of court action, or actual legal effort, are necessary. BATC has engaged in lawsuits regarding permit fees and is prepared to do so again, when necessary and appropriate.
It’s not enough to write an occasional media release and hope for the best. Today’s high-powered advocacy groups are engaged in a 365-day campaign to share their message and communicate. BATC has stepped into this space as well with the hiring of a full-time Press Secretary. We’re aided in this effort by support from our contract public affairs firm Himle Rapp. Our goal is to be proactive in telling the story of the economic impact of housing.
In today’s world of modern advocacy, coalitions play a vital role. To that end, BATC works closely with a variety of business organizations all seeking to ensure that Minnesota’s business climate is strengthened. We appreciate these partnerships and all share the mission of creating jobs in Minnesota.
All of these pieces fit together into an integrated approach to create maximum impact for our industry. BATC’s capacity is still growing and we’re always striving to have a greater impact on behalf of our members.