Just when you think Silly Season has ended with the completion of the November general election, it’s time to get ready for another election that will likely have as great or greater impact on you: the New Jersey state elections.
Come Nov. 7, 2017, we’ll be asked to pick a new governor, a new lieutenant governor and a new state legislature – all 80 seats. It’s vital that candidates understand the importance of the home building in New Jersey and what we need to continue contributing to the state’s economy.
NJBA last night kicked off the 2017 campaign season with a fundraiser at the Park Avenue Club in Madison for BPAC, NJBA’s political action committee. The event honored Joe Riggs, group president of K. Hovnanian Homes and a former president of one of Metro’s predecessor organizations. Beyond the jokes and memories shared, there was a crucial message to all homebuilders and those who support them: It’s time to get politically involved.
“Regardless of one’s political persuasion, all of us are pro-housing,” said Riggs. “Let’s make it a big year to send a message.”
Riggs said homebuilders have a simple message for legislators and gubernatorial candidates: If people are unable to find quality homes that they can afford, they’ll move to places where they can find good homes. Businesses that need those people will leave New Jersey to follow them. That’s a message that everyone should deliver to candidates for state senate or state general assembly, said Riggs.
“It’s not that hard to understand,” he said.
So what can you do? First, keep in mind that although politics may not interest you, these people make the laws that most directly impact our industry. You simply can’t ignore it.
Second, make sure you’re registered to vote. If you voted in November, you’re all set.
Third, pay attention and ask questions. The races are still shaping up. At the gubernatorial level, many people think the governor’s office will change from Republican to Democratic. At the local level, everybody’s state senator and state assembly person is up for re-election. Learn about the issues by participating in events put on by NJBA and Metro. That will help you know what to say if you have the opportunity to talk with your local candidates. By the way, many events may seek donations to BPAC. Be generous.
In summation: Stay aware and participate. If you have questions, feel free to send us an email here at Metro. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll track it down for you.