AZ bill automatically removes BOD if law not followed

Some good news for restoration of homeowner control of the boards failure to act in violation of state law.  Arizona bill HB 2607, Sess. L. Ch. 111 added this subsection regarding the removal of the board of directors.

Section 33-1243 for condos and 33-1813 for PUDs:

“(d) If all of the requirements of this subsection for calling a special meeting are met and the board of directors fails to call, notice and hold a special meeting within thirty days after receipt of the petition, the members of the board of directors are deemed removed from office effective at midnight of the thirty-first day.”

Of course, the homeowners must have a set of directors ready to take over and establish the election/appointment of the new board as party of the BOD’s records.

Thanks to Dennis Legere for his many efforts before the Arizona Legislature.

HOA homeowners are ‘the forgotten man’

HOA homeowners are the “forgotten man” to use FDR’s characterization of the farmers and working-class citizens during the Great Depression of the 1930s. As Governor of NY running for the Presidency, FDR addressed the nation on April 7, 1932. The relevant parts are provided below.

It has been said that Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo because he forgotten his infantry . . . . The present administration in Washington provides, I think, a close parallel. It has either forgotten or does not want to remember the infantry of our economic army.  These unhappy times call for the plans of 1917  that build from the bottom and not the top down . . . that puts their faith in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid . . . .”

In short, the people count and have been ignored by the rich and powerful people and corporations. The Depression needs to focus on the unemployed people if this country is to survive the Depression.

Today our nation is facing the real possibility of the loss of our democratic principles  as set forth in the US Constitution. Yet, little attention had been paid the  authoritarian private government HOAs that have succeeded from the Union; the HOA legal scheme has become an institution and accepted as “that’s the way it is.”  (See The HOA-Land Nation  Within America).

Are the homeowners in HOAs the forgotten men and women of our times?  I think so.  The evidence is quite clear that today, as occurred some 90 years ago, they have been abandoned by special interest corporations and government posing as friends of the people.  And there is not nor has there been a protector of the people since FDR and JFK.

Media fails 1st Amendment free HOA speech

The media has failed its First Amendment prerogative of protected free speech. The Founding Fathers well understood the need for an informed citizenry for a healthy democracy and made free speech the 1st Amendment. However, America has become divided and the courts, including the Supreme Court, have adopted a policy that biased, personal agenda speech is OK because America has many channels for opposing speech. For example, FOX  News and MSNBC.

But the media has silenced the opposing views of HOA members themselves.

The Supreme Court (New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964),  with respect to newspaper articles, held:

“In the case of the newspaper that published inaccurate information, that form of speech would not be protected by the First Amendment if the newspaper published falsehoods knowingly and purposefully. . . . The Supreme Court ruled that the newspaper was constitutionally protected in this instance, despite the false allegations, since the newspaper did not knowingly and recklessly publish the inaccuracies.”

In response to a call for a media contact committee by HRLNG (FB) I wrote today:

“This has been a long-neglected point of power for advocates, realizing that the media is part of what I’ve designated as, “the unspoken alliance of NO HOA negative stories.” Ask yourself, recalling all the TV anchors telling you that they ask hard questions, they get to the facts, etc. yet nothing bad about HOAs that amount to substantial issues. Yes, they talk about this incident and that incident, but substantive issues go ignored. This must be the substance of your approach! Example: NAR and all state chapters claim they are here for you the home buyer and you can trust your Realtor (This term is the NAR members only). BUT HOA??? What’s that??

“The Homes Association Handbook, the 1964 “bible” for HOA-Land was supported by that version of NAR. AARP had some articles but no lobbying for its age 50+, members. Why not? This committee must not be afraid to ask these hard questions. What do you have to lose? They did very little for HOA reforms. CHALLENGE THEM and ask hard questions in pursuit of the truth!”

The Art of War and HOA Reforms War #1

While HOA reforms require new legislation in every state to restore lost rights and freedoms resulting from the adhesion, authoritarian CC&Rs “contract,” advocates need to understand that reform activity has moved from a social and political movement to a war against an entrenched enemy.  I have used terms like doing battle,  the enemy, attack, etc. not lightheartedly.

The common quote from The Art of War (the James Clavell version is easy reading), “If you know yourself and your enemy, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles,” is just one of many that are easily applied to any organized civil, contentious movement.  Just like we are facing in our attempts to reform the HOA concept and being faced with opposing forces led by CAI. 

We must all toughen up for success!

I have selected several statements from Chapter VI that can easily be seen as applicable to our efforts.  As a longtime student of history, especially military history, I offer my interpretations.  Alternate interpretations are possible. The numbering reflects the sentence number as used by Lao Tzu.

Chapter VI–

  1. Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted.

2.Therefore, the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy’s will to be imposed on him.

5.   Appear at points which the enemy must hasten to defend; march swiftly to places where you are not expected.

[Too often advocates have reacted to the CAI supported bills or positions rather putting their positions and bills on the “table” out first. They then need to catchup and defend against the allegations and not arguing their positions.]

[The following quotes advise the General (leader) to know the enemy — your opponent. Power negotiations is a two-party “game” and knowing the opposing teams’ strengths is important for success.]

10.  You may advance and be absolutely irresistible, if you make for the enemy’s weak points; you may retire and be safe from pursuit if your movements are more rapid than those of the enemy.

        [Taking some action regarding bills or any statements that need to be challenged.]

13.  By discovering the enemy’s dispositions and remaining invisible ourselves, we can keep our forces concentrated, while the enemy’s must be divided.

14.  We can form a single united body, while the enemy must split up into fractions. 

        [A failure of advocates to unite has hurt the reform movement. Each failure to unite allows CAI to boast, “See, they are nothing to be worried about.”  Legislators, like everybody else including lawyers, want to back winners, not losers.]

19.  Knowing the place and the time of the coming battle, we may concentrate from the greatest distances in order to fight.

22. Though the enemy be stronger in numbers, we may prevent him from fighting. Scheme so as to discover his plans and the likelihood of their success.

23.  Force him to reveal himself, so as to find out his vulnerable spots.

     [In summarizing these last 5 statements, advocates need spies, just like our military uses spies and sends out recon units in order to find out what’s happening. Lao Tzu stresses this aspect in his last chapter. With CAI closing ranks and restricting access to its websites, member spies must be recruited.  I did well using spies in my early activist days.]

Why CAI is the Evil Empire

Advocates, the public in general, the media, and especially state legislatures need to understand the power of the miniscule member CAI that has them conned.  CAI dominates the HOA institution, or as I designate the fragmented collection of HOAs, HOA-Land. My initial research was conducted in 2007 and updated 10 years later in 2017.[1]  I summarize my research on the size of CAI and its membership breakdown below.

The research was based on CAI data and the US Census at that time.  To the point, from the 2017 study:

  1. Being concerned about the frequency of fixed ratios found in (A), I came across data from the CAI Indiana chapter for 2015 and 2016.[2] The percent ‘volunteers’ per HOA for both years was 32.7% and 32.8%, respectively. Very consistent.
  1. Of the 69 M people in HOAs, CAI membership, at most, consists of a miniscule .05% (.00048).
  1. Of the 33,000 CAI members, a minority of some 10,800 are ‘volunteers’ and not attorneys or managers.
  1. ‘Volunteers’ (CAVL) represent a miniscule .016% (.00016) of HOA members.

In contrast, AARP is a tremendous national powerhouse lobbyist representing, as reported in the 2014 WSJ article, some 37.8 million members.   In contrast, 2010 AARP states membership of 35,700,000, and that’s  36% of the 50 plus population based on the US Census  estimate.

Analyzing CAI’s membership and governing Board of Trustees structure revealed  HOA “volunteers” are in the minority. “That’s about 14% representation by homeowners on the CAI governing body whose membership consists of 60% homeowner “volunteers.”[3]

So, who’s afraid of Virginia Wolf?  We should be!  Look what this miniscule minority managed to achieve over the years!  Please understand, though, CAI is vulnerable and has made adjustments in the past based on published criticisms by advocates.  We must not be afraid to call it what it is, using concrete documents and especially CAI’s own words.

FYI — Outstanding is a complaint filed with the antitrust division of the DOJ alleging that CAI is a monopoly.[4]


[1] See CAI miniscule minority dominates public policy (2007); CAI 2016 Factbook: looking into the ‘facts’.

[2] CAI Indiana chapter document.

[3] Who controls CAI and its 50 state HOA lobbying committees? (2012).

[4]  See The need to regulate CAI monopoly. (2023).