Watching all of the New Year’s Eve celebrations around the world on TV this month made me reflect on two things: 
First, that the optimism of a new year is a world wide celebration with no social, political, or religious boundaries, limitations or qualifications. It’s truly a globally unifying event! 
Secondly, I realized that I’m home watching TV on that night when the rest of the world is out having a great time. Ugh. 
I suppose that’s the trouble with optimism – it tends to set up the cynical “yeah, but…” side of the issue. 
So to get back on track, I ask myself – Do I have a 2018 New Year’s resolution? Well, let me state that I do have a great deal of enthusiasm for this coming year as President of The Rental Housing Alliance Oregon. And yes, I am optimistic about who we are and what we do. So let’s consider: 
• Since 1927 RHA Oregon has set the standard for community participation by landlords providing Affordable, Quality and Fair housing. 
• Our Board of Directors is 18 people strong and committed to serving our nearly 2,000 members. 
• Our monthly education classes are taught by industry leaders on topics beginning with Fair Housing and Landlording 101 to protecting the property, understanding the tenant relationship, and one-on-one mentoring to help members become quality rental housing providers. 
• Our monthly dinner meetings provide a forum for speakers that have included the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Labor and Industry, Mayoral candidates, top tier legal panels, recognized economists and tax specialists, as well as vendors and services that run the gambit from fire prevention and plumbing problems, to bed bugs, energy savings, handyman tips and
even exit strategies for those who have spent their lives as rental property owners and facing retirement. 
• Our state lobbying efforts have won praise and respect from both sides of the aisle and from other housing and trade associations. RHA Oregon has participated in crafting housing policies and laws for decades. Nothing could be more important going into 2018 than building on the integrity of these years of efforts to help promote the rights of individual property owners. 
• Our Owner Services include rental housing forms and tenant screening. These are accessible on line and used throughout the State of Oregon. 
• Our building is owned by the membership and open from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday. We have a large conference room used to house classes and meetings and it is available to rent out for private business events. 
• Our Vendor Services platform is crucial to our success and it is an expanding asset that
allows our members to stay ahead of the curve and learn from the industry itself. Meeting the owners, operators, technicians and executives of services that cater to the needs of rental properties and investors is a specialty benefit that cannot easily be duplicated through any other venue. 
• Our Community Involvement has raised literally thousands of dollars to help put homeless families into safe housing, clothe and feed thousands of individuals, provide Christmas gifts to children around the state, and assist Veterans in need. Service is a core value of The Rental Housing Alliance of Oregon. 
• Our annual picnics and “Starry Night Celebrations” and our holiday parties and Happy Hours are all times when we get a chance to meet one another and have special moments to enjoy ourselves in welcoming environments. They are never dull and always fun. 
So what is my New Year’s resolution for 2018? It’s this:
If you find yourself at home, reading my message while on the couch and watching TV when we are all engaged in meaningful activities that support our association, industry and community at large, I resolve to meet you at our next meeting and invite you to join us to get more involved. 
We need you this year more than ever! See you then. 
Ron Garcia,
RHA Oregon President