February has been a quick but busy month for the Association! We kicked it off by marking Lunar New Year and our entrance into the Year of the Tiger. This seems quite fitting as the Tiger symbolizes courage and bravery -- two qualities which we as Realtors® have needed as we’ve navigated the pandemic and San Francisco’s frenetic real estate market of late. I am hopeful we will continue to leverage our resilience and have a prosperous and productive 2022.
We also celebrated Black History Month and our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee shared a beautiful timeline of milestones related to Black history, real estate and San Francisco here, along with ways you can participate in supporting black businesses and joining in community events for celebration and awareness. Watch for our 2022 Fair Housing Video and Discussion series to kick off in the weeks ahead which will explore the history of racial discrimination in lending, home sales, and urban planning through a monthly film series.
A huge THANK YOU to everyone who attended our successful 2022 Inaugural Gala on Saturday, February 5th! It was a wonderful evening full of reconnections and merriment. See fabulous photos from the Gala here and photos from the fun step-and-repeat here. Our program that night was filled with terrific speakers, including State Treasurer Fiona Ma; Chair of the California State Board of Equalization Malia Cohen; State Senator Scott Wiener; City Administrator Carmen Chu; San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu; Supervisors Myrna Melgar, Ahsha Safaí, and Catherine Stefani; Betty Taish; Eugene Pak; Vince Malta; CEO Walt Baczkowski; National Association of Realtors® First Vice President Tracy Kasper; California Association of Realtors® 2022 President Otto Catrina; and California Association of Realtors® 2022 President-Elect Jennifer Branchini. The California Association of Realtors® new CEO John Sebree also joined us. Congratulations to John Yen Wong for receiving the 2021 Richard Sax Distinguished Service Award! And our appreciation to our generous Presidential Sponsor Kaufman Dolowich and Voluck, Platinum Sponsor Guaranteed Rate, and Gold Sponsors Compass, Corcoran Global Living, Guaranteed Mortgage, PNC Bank, Rapattoni, Sequoia Real Estate, Vanguard Properties and Zillow for making the event possible. Last but not least, my sincere gratitude to the 2022 Board of Directors. I am so excited to be working with you all this year!
If you haven’t already, please take a look at the videos we debuted during the Inaugural Gala on our Association’s YouTube channel here. Notably, you can learn more about the Association’s wonderful staff and the important work of our Welcome Home Project nonprofit.
Also this month, our DEI Committee released the first set of data from last year’s survey of the Association’s 4,500+ members. The aim of the survey was to better understand our membership and inform the events and programs we will develop related to diversity, equity and inclusion. In this first release, we see that 42% of member respondents identified as Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC), and 49% speak a language in addition to English. Review the full report here. Additional data and short webinars will roll out in the coming quarters.
This year a priority of mine is to leverage our Association’s membership to further promote homeownership, protect the rights of homeowners, and improve fair access to affordable housing through public policy. An immediate and specific way we can have an impact is through participation in the California Association of Realtors®’ Virtual Legislative Day this Wednesday, March 2nd. I encourage you to join me! It's an opportunity for you to speak directly with our policymakers in Sacramento and hear from real estate policy experts. See the schedule and registration information for the various meetings here.
On a personal note, as the veil of COVID appears to lift in San Francisco and we return to many pre-pandemic activities we enjoy, I can’t help but think of the people of Ukraine and the tragedy occurring there. Our Association wishes safety and freedom for the people of Ukraine and for peace in the region.