CAI leaders at the international, national, and local levels are constantly meeting to discuss ways to help community associations solve the new and recurring challenges homeowner leaders, community managers, and business partners face. Earlier this month, teams from CAI’s eight California chapters and the leaders from the California Legislative Action Committee met in person to collaboratively problem solve.
Chapter executive directors and board leaders from San Diego and Sacramento to the Pacific Ocean, the Sierra Nevada, and everywhere between discussed the new issues communities are facing—rising insurance rates, supply chain delays, and safety concerns—to the recurring such as drought, wildfires, and legislative issues. The Golden State has the most community associations (50,010), estimated number of residents living in those communities (14.3 million), and estimated number of community association units or homes (4.94 million) in the U.S., according to the Foundation for Community Association Research’s 2021-2022 U.S. National and State Statistical Review.
The gathering also was a chance to celebrate each other’s work and discuss future goals and priorities.
“This strategic meeting of our state leadership is significant,” says Erik Rivera, AMS, PCAM, president and CEO of Manhattan Pacific Management in Beverly Hills, Calif., and president of the CAI Greater Los Angeles Chapter. “We forged a deeper understanding of each region’s needs and an authentic call for collaboration. Together, we will ensure forward innovation. Together, we elevate our profession.”
Considering the size and span of the state, varying geographies, and unique community features, CAI’s California chapters have a lot of responsibility in a state that faces increasing challenges from weather and the economy. The chapter and legislative action committee leaders developed lists of priorities for the coming year that cover virtual and technology developments, government and legislative topics, financial and economic issues, and social and cultural concerns.
Virtual and technology developments. Participants discussed their interest in hybrid meeting schedules, paperless transactions, digital marketing, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity.
Government and legislative topics. The chapter and legislative action committee leaders agreed that their top priorities in the new year will be making election and voting systems run smoothly, advocating for environmental legislation and infrastructure repairs, employing virtual meetings and electronic voting systems, fire and flood insurance, building inspections, and educating legislators on the factors affecting communities statewide.
Financial and economic issues. Wildfire insurance ranks as one of the top concerns, but California’s leaders also are watching construction and labor costs, home affordability and interest rates, economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, homelessness, accessory dwelling units, and low-income housing.
Social and cultural concerns. Safety of board members and managers has become a new focus, and CAI is placing a high priority on bringing community members of all ages, values, and identities together in what seems like a divided society. Part of that includes upholding a diverse and inclusive board, handling social media discourse with care, and resolving conflict productively.
“Collaboration between CAI’s chapters and the legislative action committee is so important, and everyone lent their expertise to the conversation,” says Crystal Wallace, CAE, CAI’s senior vice president of membership and chapter relations. “It was a great day together in California. It is also representative of the ways CAI chapters and committees around the world work every day to support their members.”
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