Special Bulletin from Washington REALTORS®

Special Message from WR President Kitty Wallace and CEO Steve Francks

SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM WR PRESIDENT KITTY WALLACE AND CEO STEVE FRANCKS

The appalling and senseless death of George Floyd on a street corner of a great American city, captured on video for all Americans to see, is a terrible tragedy that has sparked a painful but necessary national examination of the systemic social injustice and institutional racism that continues to plague our nation. Washington REALTORS®, like so many others, has struggled to find words to express our sympathies for Mr. Floyd’s family and to make a meaningful contribution to the ongoing national conversation about justice and equity. We know that any words we choose will be imperfect, imprecise and inadequate. But we feel we must speak, and so with great humility and respect we add our voice of support to all those who are speaking up.

That said, we also recognize the need to act, especially in the areas we know best: housing and building communities. WR will continue acting on our dual commitments to fair housing and building an inclusive association that we began well before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Today, we have confirmed our partnership with the National Association of REALTORS® to make Fair Housing awareness and compliance top of mind for every broker in Washington. For example, we will be piloting several new programs designed to incorporate implicit bias training for REALTORS®, and to develop ways to better ensure accountability when interacting with consumers. We also expect to increase understanding of the role that federal, state and local governments have historically played in creating and maintaining housing discrimination in communities all over Washington. We hope these programs will become models for the nation, and we have committed the resources to advance them.

We appreciate that many in our minority communities see specific roadblocks to homeownership that others may not see. Homeownership helps bring financial security and generational wealth to families in our state and nation and the legislature must do more to expand those opportunities to our minority communities. WR will support those efforts in any way we can. In sum, our goal is to take tangible and meaningful steps to promote fair housing and racial equality in Washington State.

Kitty Wallace,
WR 2020 President

Steve Francks,
WR CEO


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