REALTORS® Stand Up for Housing at Democratic Convention

When Paul Yorkis was young, his mother took him to the Democratic Party headquarters and asked him to stuff envelopes in support of Adlai Stevenson who ran for president twice during the 1950s.

“It was fun and people were happy I was there,” said Yorkis, president of Patriot Real Estate in Medway Mass., a member of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee, a Democratic National Convention delegate, and national chair of the non-NAR affiliated REALTORS® for Obama.

That experience as a child was formative for Yorkis, who continued to explain that politics is deeply rooted in the lives and culture of those living in his home state of Massachusetts. “In Massachusetts, there’s a few sports – the Red Sox, the New England Patriots, the Bruins, the Celtics, and the other sport is politics.”

Yorkis decided to become a delegate representing Massachusetts at the DNC in Charlotte, N.C., last week, because real estate – among other issues – needs to be represented and addressed at the federal level. He knows how important it is to keep housing front and center when talking to lawmakers – especially the accessibility of the American dream of home ownership, as Yorkis himself experienced homelessness for a short time as a child.

“REALTORS® do amazing things. The reason I’m at the convention is because I believe it’s the little stuff that has the ability to impact politics,” Yorkis said.

Yorkis did leave his mark at the DNC. He submitted testimony to the drafting and platform committee of the Democratic National Committee. Part of the platform deals with housing and the last sentence of the approved platform was adapted from Yorkis’s testimony. It states: “The president remains committed to creating an economy that’s built to last, where home ownership is an achievable dream for all Americans.

Yorkis was one of approximately 20 REALTORS® who served as delegates at the DNC this year. This video looks at how members of the National Association of REALTORS® had an impact that the convention and why political involvement – whether it be Republican or Democratic – is vital to the real estate industry.

Erica Christoffer

Erica Christoffer is a multimedia journalist and contributing writer and editor for REALTOR® Magazine. She can be reached at

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  1. Anne Meczywor

    Paul Yorkis is one of the most conscientious, big-hearted people you will ever meet in the business. Regardless of party affiliation, he is someone who shows us all how to stand by our convictions, while being respectful of all others, and to take action to make our communities better places to live. He is a problem solver and a do-er. What a great example of a Realtor who does not just sit back and watch, but gets in the driver’s seat and takes the high road to where he wants to go! BTW, be sure to ask him about buying a MA license plate to benefit the MAR Charitable Foundation.