Social Engineers needed in HOA-Land and all America. Are you one?

The following material is primarily based on the Charles Koch (billionaire and philanthropist) book, Believe In People [note 1]. Quotation marks and italics have generally been omitted but are used within sentences to distinguish quoted material.

The theme of Believe is developing ‘Social Engineers.’  It’s a term used by Koch by which he means a person

finding new ways to break the barriers and overcome the injustices that prevent others from realizing their potential.’ He continues, ‘These individuals  disrupt the status quo to help others, especially the less fortunate rise’ (p. 7).  

They’re concerned citizens, mobilizing neighbors to support good policies and oppose bad ones.  They’re elected officials — of any party — enacting laws that secure for everyone the opportunity to realize their potential and contribute to society’s progress (p. 7).

You are a social engineer when ‘fighting a harmful public policy that’s affecting your family, friends, or neighbors’  (p. 7).  Homeowners in HOA-Land  are ‘less fortunate’ and are subject to top-down authoritarian governments.  Read on!

. . . .

With this preface material, what is the social and legal task before homeowner rights advocates and other concerned citizens?

A properly functioning government is a precondition for individual success and a thriving society (p. 13).     You’ll see the widespread assumption that those at the ‘top’ know best and that the people they consider beneath them can’t be trusted. This can be summed up as a top-down or one-size-fits-all approach  (p. 5).

If we are to go beyond fighting injustice one person at a time, then the core institutions of community, education, business, and government must be transformed (p. 243). Transforming these institutions so they consistently empower people to succeed is the job of Social Engineers (p. 10).

With respect to HOA-Land, see on Amazon [note 2], my Commentary [note 3].

Notes

  1.  Believe In People, Charles Koch & Brian Hooks, St. Martin’s Press, 2020.
  2. A Plan Toward Restructuring the HOA Model of Governance.
  3. Plan to Restructure HOA model.

CA’s SB 407 is another law providing constitutional rights

I was reminded of  my oversight in not mentioning California’s SB 407 (law in 2018) when referring to California’s constitutional rights legislation.[1]  SB 407 dealt directly with free speech issues while SB 323 dealt with extensions to fair elections.

Thanks to Marjorie Murray, President of the very active homeowner rights organization, Center for California Homeowner Association Law (CCHAL).[2] CCHAL has long fought CAI-CLAC, the voice of the collective CAI legislative action committees in California. (CAI-CLAC opposed SB 407).

CAI-CLAC is very slick in presenting a positive face to naïve homeowners and those seeking info on HOAs in California, known as CIDs. The title of its CAI Government Affairs Blog email release of March 2, 2021 reads, “Grassroots Advocacy Initiatives Are More Essential Than Ever.”  But many readers may miss the important appeal as stated in the email:

“Each year, CAI advocacy leaders engage with and encourage members across the country to connect with their elected officials and advocate on behalf of the 73.9 million Americans currently living in community associations.”.

This is a misrepresentation and a misleading assertion that CAI speaks for all persons living in an HOA in California. NOT SO!  (See HOA homeowner membership in CAI is a mere 36%).  As I’ve repeatedly urged others to do, such statements must be challenged and rebutted.

Notes


[1] See Substantive HOA member rights advances in Arizona.

[2] Murray commented: The California legislation that re-affirmed the First Amendment rights of association owners was SB407, sponsored by the Center for California Homeowner Association Law and carried by Senator Bob Wieckowski. 

Now law, it affirms the rights of homeowners to assemble peacefully, to communicate freely with their neighbors on matters of mutual concern, and to invite others onto the association campus.  It was signed into law in 2018.  CCHAL organized a public forum on the bill after it became law and videotaped the forum. Here’s the link to the text: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB407;

Substantive HOA member rights advances in Arizona

A big step forward for HOA homeowners in AZ, that restores lost constitutional rights, as the Senate GOV committee passed the bill, HB 2052, in a 7-0 vote with 1 no-vote.  On its way to a full Senate vote and then Final vote.

It should also be seen by HOA BODs as treating their members as first-class citizens.  It follows in the footsteps of California’s SB 323 —  passed into law in 2019 — and several court opinions upholding HOAs are public forums that provide free public speech on governing matters.

Read the summary carefully for it spells out your rights to be heard on an equal basis to the BOD’s actions and views. FACT SHEET FOR H.B. 2052.  Here are some important excerpts:

“Prohibits an HOA from prohibiting door-to-door community activity on property normally open to visitors within an HOA.

Prohibits an HOA from prohibiting or unreasonably restricting an owner’s ability to peacefully assemble and use private or common elements of the community, if done in compliance with reasonable restrictions for the property adopted by the HOA’s board of directors.

“Allows an owner or group of owners to organize to discuss or address condominium or planned community business, including a) HOA board of directors elections or recalls; b) potential or actual ballot issues or revisions to the HOA documents . . .  or d) any other community business or action.  

“Allows an owner to invite a political candidate or other non-owner guest to speak to an assembly of owners.”

Now of course, your BOD will turn to its legal advisors to get an opinion.  If you’ve read my commentaries here you got a good idea of what many of the national lobbying member attorneys will probably telling your BOD.  Under the bill, when it becomes law, members will have a better chance to challenge BOD decisions and get to the facts of who really runs your BOD.  You might say, the bill will Make HOAs Great Again!

CAI Manifesto – white paper

{Originally published in 2016].

This CAI ‘white paper’ cements the position that CAI is the sole competent voice for HOA matters. For those who took the time to read all four of these papers, [note 1] what should stand out is the absence of any discussion of HOAs as de facto private governments, as de facto political entities, or as quasi or mini governments both of which imply a political entity.  The reason why the authors of these papers, the elitist would be Philosopher Kings, cannot address the question of violations of the Constitution is that they would be “Defending the Indefensible.”

So, as expected of politically motivated actors, ignoring the controversy makes it go away, especially when there’s only one voice of any merit and strength.  Facts that are inconsistent with the views of CAI are dogmatically dismissed and ignored. And to this end CAI has been very successful with respect to state legislatures and the cooperating media.

“For more than 40 years, CAI has educated, advocated, published and informed people living and working in common-interest communities. Thanks to those ongoing efforts, we have a strong and valuable understanding of community associations today.[note 2]

CAI will use these papers to further indoctrinate the legislators, the media and the public that CAI is the only competent, informed, knowledgeable, educational and credentialed organization with 40 years’ experience to conduct HOA affairs and to deal with HOA issues.  “Homeowner rights advocates” are ignored and dismissed as an opposition movement.  Instead, following the lead of Arizona Rep. Ugenti who in 2013 made the following statement to the Arizona Government Committee:

Ugenti stated that each year there was “a plethora of personal HOA legislation” and tried “to spare the [committee] members the constant agony of many personal pieces of HOA legislation,” as contrasted to the industry legislation. (See video of Ugenti speech here https://youtu.be/REt_TJD-6UQ).

CAI speaks only of “individual constituents” and “isolate incidents” that do not measure up to a policy that the legislature could act on[note 3] (my emphasis):

“Lawmakers have been, and will continue to be, called upon to address concerns expressed by individual constituents who share an isolated incident that has made them unhappy with their community associations. In an effort to help constituents, lawmakers may introduce legislation addressing association governance that may increase and undermine the well-established and proven model of community association governance.

“This trend is expected to continue as long as a legislative response is considered necessary to respond to negative perceptions produced by media out of lone circumstances. Legislative responses to individual constituents contribute to community associations being perceived as over-restrictive micro-governments focused on covenant enforcement. This perception may accelerate legislative efforts aimed at greater oversight of community association governance and require greater transparency.”

They make an accurate assessment of conditions. This failure to present a unified national voice backed by credential authorities will continue to persist into the future.  If you stop CAI Central, you destroy all local CAI state chapters’ reason for being. They become just another self-serving special interest.

These papers also contain CAI attempts to influence other dominant organizations like AARP and NAR (National Assoc. of Realtors).[note 4]  Furthermore, CAI calls for not only influencing legislatures, but the judges, too.[note 5]

References


[1] Links to these papers can be found on the CAI web page, Community Next: 2020 and Beyond(May 5, 2016).

[2] Id

[3] Supra, public policy link, p. 6.

[4] Supra. n. 1, external influences link, p. 4-5.

[5] Id, p. 13-14.

HOA Reformers needed to educate

 [Selected commentaries are available as audio podcasts on SPOTIFY and GOOGLE PODCASTS. ]

HOA Reformers are needed as educators to spread the facts about HOA-Land to the public in general; especially to the legislators, the media, the HOA boards, and to the universities and high schools.

As HOA Reformers we must look past our mindset that placates our wants, needs, and fears. Wrongs must be righted; one nation undivided under the Constitution must be upheld. We must step out of the cave with its shadow reality and into the light {Plato allegory) to discover the realities of the HOA-Land culture. It is not an easy task to reject longtime beliefs but one that must be taken.

My Plan Toward Restoring the HOA Model of Governance  called for both a systemic restructuring of the HOA legal scheme and the need to reorient the BODs and legislators. (View at https://tinyurl.com/sr27yq3). The long ignored and inexcusable questions of constitutionality that continue to harm members and the greater communities across this country must be exposed, understood, and accepted.

The Plan first requires addressing the attitudes and views of BODs, the members, and the public in general.  The conditioning and indoctrination by the biased views of the national pro-HOA special interest entity must be de-conditioned by a program of reorientation.  The commonly found guidelines of the  special-interest, pro-HOA lobbyist speak to an authoritarian government with member interests and concerns being secondary to the survival of the association. It’s an unacceptable deviation from the intents and purposes of our constitutional government.