The NAR Accountability Project is determined to not let the National Association of Realtors off the hook for what they have called the trade group’s “indifference” to the sexual harassment allegations brought forth in the New York Times exposé.
On Monday afternoon, as part of the group’s “National Day of Action,” NAR Accountability Project leaders and local officials protested in front of NAR’s Chicago headquarters just ahead of a NAR board of director’s meeting. During the protest, the group held a press conference, in which the group’s founder, Jason Haber, a Compass agent from Manhattan, called for drastic change at the trade organization.
“The time for silencing women is over. Make the changes now, there is no reason to wait,” Haber said. “They have a meeting at 2:30 today in this building and they could enact these changes and by five o’clock it would be a different organization, if they have the will to do the right thing and that is why we are calling on them to act and to act now.”
In addition to urging NAR to act, Haber also highlighted that his group had successfully campaigned for NAR to lose its “Great Place to Work” designation.
Illinois State representative for the 14th District Kelly Cassidy, and Sharmili Marjmudar, the executive vice president of policy program and research at Women Employed, joined Haber at the press conference.
Cassidy called for NAR to end its use of non-disclosure agreements.
“I am here today to demand the end of the abusive use of non-disclosure agreements, which serve to silence victims and insulate abusers and have been a much used tool by this organization,” Cassidy said.
On the Monday following the Times exposé, Haber started a Change.org petition calling for former NAR president Kenny Parcell’s dismissal. (Parcell resigned from his position Monday evening.) By Wednesday, this effort had morphed into the NAR Accountability Project.
In a LinkedIn post, Haber wrote: “The original posts on Twitter/X and the online petition calling for his resignation were as far as I was prepared to take this. 48 hours after we started the petition, Mr.Parcell resigned. I could have stopped there. But once I heard directly from victims, I knew there was more work to be done. Mr. Parcell wasn’t the disease at NAR, he was a symptom of a toxic culture. That culture, the one that allowed sexual harassment to flourish, needed to change,” he wrote.
In addition to the resignation or dismissal of Goldberg and others, the plan calls for all former employees and independent contractors to be released from non-trade secret NDAs, for NAR to retain an independent law firm to conduct “a sweeping and comprehensive internal investigation,” and for NAR to implement a third party HR reporting system.
According to another LinkedIn post from Haber, the four-point plan is “designed to build NAR up, restore the faith of its staff, and to return back accountability to the organization. None were crafted to hurt NAR, to tear it down or diminish it in anyway.”
“In fact, our reform package does the opposite, and will put NAR on the path to great success. What happens at NAR has a ripple effect across our entire industry. This is not simply a NAR issue, it’s a reckoning for our industry. This is why so many are engaging with us,” he added.
Haber wrote that the ideas for the four-point plan came from over 1000+ industry professionals. According to Haber, they have sent the plan over to NAR, but no one has responded.
The petition had over 600 signatures as of Monday afternoon.