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Bruce Sekanick, AIA with Senator Rob Portman (OH)

August Recess Brings an Unconventional Meeting

By Amanda Stratton, Manager, Grassroots & Advocacy Outreach

Last week, Board Advocacy Committee member Bruce Sekanick, AIA, had the chance to meet with Senator Rob Portman (OH) to discuss the fight to save the 2030 targets. However, this meeting was not held in a district office or architecture firm, proving that great meetings with your legislator can happen anytime, anywhere!

Rather than following the traditional process of scheduling a half-hour long meeting with the Senator and/or his staff in one of his designated offices, Bruce had the chance to converse with the Senator at a breakfast in Warren, OH. Before his planned speech, Senator Portman took a few minutes with Bruce to discuss the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, a bill on which he is an original sponsor with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NH). In particular, the two discussed the Hoeven and Whitehouse amendments to the bill, which specifically address the 2030 targets. After the conversation, the Senator even referenced his conversation with Bruce in his planned speech, thanking the AIA for their support in working to find the best solution!

Bruce’s meeting with Senator Portman made a huge impact, and is a great example of how an effective meeting can happen in short notice. Legislators don’t return to Washington until September 9, so you still have time for an unconventional meeting of your own! You can meet with your legislator at already-scheduled events, such as town hall meetings or Labor Day picnics and parades. Check your legislators’ websites and your local paper to see when they will be in your hometown. The AIA team here in DC has prepared tools and resources to help you navigate your meeting, including talking points.

If you get a meeting with your legislator, don’t forget to tell us about it. We want to hear your meeting summary and see photos. They may even be featured on our Facebook and Twitter sites!

Please let us know if you are able to attend an event with your legislator during the remainder of this recess. If you have any questions, Advocacy staff are here to help guide you. Contact Amanda Stratton, and she will help you get started today!

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This content is published by the AIA Government and Community Relations Department, 1735 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20006. To contact the AIA’s Government & Community Relations team, send an email to


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