Affiliate Spotlight: Patricia Baumer, GBREB
Patricia Baumer is the Director of Government Affairs for the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, Rental Housing Association (GBREB). She’s been with the association for nine years and previously worked as Legislative Aide and for the Massachusetts Association of Realtors and the Massachusetts Nurses Association. NAA caught up with Baumer as she discussed how she got into politics, the Red Sox and what’s on her bucket list.
NAA: What are your association’s state legislative priorities this year?
PB: The Massachusetts Legislature operates on a two-year cycle which ended in July. We are currently deciding what bills to file for the 2015-2016 legislative session.
NAA: What are the local legislative/regulatory priorities for this year?
PB: In Boston we are excited to be working with a new mayor, Martin Walsh. There are new ideas like the housing production plan and streamlined permitting. The emergence of shared housing (such as Airbnb), climate change and rental registries will likely touch all the cities and towns we represent.
NAA: What races are you watching this year?
PB: Governor and Attorney General -- both are open seats.
NAA: How did you get involved in politics?
PB: I grew up in a small town in Maine where they still hold town meetings. My parents were always very civically involved. As you can imagine, my dad’s barbershop on Main Street was the hotbed of local politics. I learned to be a good debater at an early age!
NAA: What is the most challenging aspect of your job and what is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
PB: The most challenging part is working for the parent company of five associations. Integrating the perspective of the various groups to ensure alignment of interests, goals and activities can be time consuming. I also cover Boston City Hall and the State House which means there is no shortage of issues! There are a number of rewarding parts of the job including the diversity of issues, working with very bright and talented industry leaders and being in a town where our love/hate for politics is similar to our relationship with the Red Sox.
NAA: What are the top three issues that association members consistently throw at you?
PB: Development/building codes, energy and environment and inspections.
NAA: What do you think are the biggest threats to the industry?
PB: Stigmatized property and new mandates at the time of the transaction.
NAA: What was the last “non-political” book that you’ve read?
PB: “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg.
NAA: What do you do during your down time?
PB: Red Sox games, golf, and last year I started rowing on the Charles River.
NAA: What is your favorite restaurant?
PB: I live in Boston’s North End neighborhood, which is home to some of the best Italian restaurants in the city. It’s hard to pick just one but I love Monica’s.
NAA: What is on your bucket list?
PB: I’ve checked quite a few off the list -- skydiving, a trip to Paris but the list of places I want to visit is endless.
NAA: Is there anything else about your job, association or personal bit of information that you would like your colleagues across the country to know about?
PB: This year GBREB celebrated our 125th anniversary. GBREB was founded over a century ago by a small group of businessmen in Boston with a shared interest in real estate and the community. We have a long tradition of being engaged in both advocacy and philanthropy.