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•  Local Government Affairs
•  Illinois REALTORS® Advocacy
•  Federal Advocacy
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• RPAC Resources
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Government Affairs Director: Neeley Erickson

Neeley has a strong background in legislative issues and civic engagement. She joined the Illinois REALTORS® team as a Government Affairs Director (GAD) in December of 2018. She also serves as the GAD for Heartland REALTOR® Organization, Rockford Area REALTORS®, REALTOR® Association of Northwestern Illinois, and Belvidere Board of REALTORS®.

Before joining the Illinois REALTORS®, Neeley worked six years as the Legislative Aide for State Representative Joe Sosnowski (69th District) helping local governments, advocacy groups, and constituents by answering their questions and assisting them with navigating state programs and services. Additionally, she has comprehensive knowledge of the local government process due to serving as an elected trustee (2012-2019) and Finance Chairwoman in her hometown. Additionally, Neeley worked as an Executive Assistant (certified ABA Paralegal) to the Boone County States Attorney (2009-2012).

Local Candidate Questionnaire

To request a local candidate questionnaire, send an email to Neeley at nerickson@illinoisrealtors.org.

Local Advocacy
  • REALTORS® Use $5K grant to Help McHenry County Nature Project

Thanks to the collaboration between the Heartland REALTOR® Organization and the McHenry County Division of Transportation (McDOT), a pollinator habitat and community garden has been created in Crystal Lake.

Located at the intersection of McHenry Avenue and Randall Road, the 1.7-acre commercially zoned parcel was reconfigured after traffic safety improvements were made, says Illinois REALTORS® Local Governmental Affairs Director Neeley Erickson.

McHenry County officials did not believe the land was adequate for commercial use and wanted to create a community space, so Heartland applied for - and secured - a $5,000 Placemaking Grant from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). McDOT has installed an ADA-compliant walkway from the shared-use path on the property's western edge, along with benches and an educational kiosk explaining the vegetation.

Since the parcel borders a bike and pedestrian trail, Erickson says it's likely that walkers, runners, and cyclists will stop at the habitat and relax on the benches. Also, the project's proximity to Crystal Lake South High School could make it a destination for teachers and students.

Residents are pleased the land will be used as an open community space, says Erickson. Additionally, McDOT is working with Pace Suburban Bus to install a bus stop pad and shelter at the site for transit riders.

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Picture Check Presentation with McDOT (L to R): Illinois REALTORS® Government Affairs Director Neeley Erickson, McHenry County Assistant Director of Transportation Scott Hennings, Heartland CEO Jim Haisler, Heartland 2022 President Tim Sebastian; and Heartland REALTOR® members Maureen Forgette, Melissa Kostelnik, Katie O'Neill, and Erin Bjornson.

  • Heartland REALTOR® Organization Donates to Paddle the Kish

[Pictured L to R: Heartland CEO Jim Haisler, Heartland Public Relations Committee Chair Dana Rasho, Pat Lawlor Paddle the Kish Project Director, and GAD Neeley Erickson]

Heartland REALTOR® Organization donated to the Paddle the Kish Project. Paddle the Kish is a volunteer group started 3 years ago to open access to the Kishwaukee River for paddlers. The Kishwaukee River in Marengo is a 14-mile river through the City of Marengo. There was no access for canoes or paddlers to launch at the river's edge, and the river is jammed with dead trees in many places. GAD Neeley Erickson was made aware of this group while doing outreach to different organizations and local governments about REALTOR® grant opportunities.

Paddle the Kish over the past 3 years has worked to clear 6 miles of logjams and underbrush to establish 2 paddle launches and a parking lot along the river. The first launch is at Siems Memorial Park in Union. The second is at Woodbine in Marengo. The Paddle the Kish members cleared acres of underbrush at both locations to create driveways, parking areas, and a walking path to the launch sites.

Paddle the Kish is fundraising to establish a third launch site in 2021 at Hwy 23 in Marengo. A National Association of REALTORS® Placemaking Grant did not align with the project. Even though Heartland REALTOR® Organization was denied a grant they knew this project was important to the community. Therefore, the local association donated funds to ensure the third launch site's success and looks forward to volunteering next Spring to help with construction.

  • A bike repair station was installed at Woodscreek Park, thanks to a $1,600 donation by the Heartland REALTOR® Organization (HRO)

The project is part of a partnership between the HRO Public Relations Committee, the city of Crystal Lake, the Crystal Lake Park District, and the McHenry County Division of Transportation, according to Illinois REALTORS® local Governmental Affairs Director Neeley Erickson.

"Biking is a top recreation activity in the area," says Erickson. "A public work stand, and air pump will help bike riders fix their bikes if they encounter a minor problem along the Prairie Trail."

The repair station includes an air pump and an assortment of bicycle repair tools to help adjust gears, seats, or brakes, she said. In addition to the bicycle repair station, a plaque has been purchased and a concrete base needs to be built. HRO's donation will cover the cost of the station and the plaque.

The HRO Public Relations Committee became involved in the project after Erickson noticed several McHenry County governments were planning to enhance local bike paths. REALTORS® worked with the McHenry County Division of Transportation and the Crystal Lake Park District agreed to handle the installation.

  • McHenry County Water Resource forum

Water forum was a tremendous community outreach success. Flooding is an advocacy issue REALTORS continue to strongly encourage the federal government to address. Especially assisting local and state governments with updating floodplain maps. McHenry has been a leader in mitigating flooding and Heartland REALTOR Organization stepped up to help educate and engage the public on the issue as a premier sponsor of the forum. The sponsorship was made possible through a partnership with the National Association of REALTORS by securing a Smart Growth Action Grant.






Heartland REALTOR® Organization  •  405 E. Congress Parkway, Suite A, Crystal Lake, IL 60014  •  Phone: 815-459-0600  • info@HeartlandRO.com
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