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      Congressional Recess Approaching: We Need You!

      By Amanda Stratton, Manager, Grassroots & Advocacy Outreach

In just a few short weeks, Congress will recess for their longest break of the year, but just because members of Congress are coming home doesn’t mean that they aren’t working. Both houses are working on key bills concerning the architectural profession that can be passed this year, and we need your help to make sure architects are remembered when decisions are made. The August congressional recess offers you the perfect opportunity to do so by meeting with your legislators in person!

Face-to-face communication with members of Congress and their staff is the most effective way AIA members can advance our issues. Legislators bring your stories back to Washington and take them into account when considering policies that could impact architecture firms and the built environment. The recess runs from August 1 – September 7, which gives architects over one month to make sure that their voices are heard.

During this recess we will be focusing on meeting with legislators about design-build reform and the renewal of the 179D tax deduction. Both of these issues have a good possibility of being passed this year, but it will only get done with help from you. To assist you in meeting on these issues, AIA Advocacy staff have prepared talking points for you to use.

We encourage every AIA member to work on scheduling a meeting with their member of Congress – the more meetings, the better! Emerging professionals: we certainly encourage you to conduct meetings in support of the NDSA. If you are interested in scheduling an NDSA specific meeting, contact Amanda Stratton to get set up with the correct materials.

You may be concerned that scheduling a meeting with your legislator’s office is more than you can handle, but AIA Advocacy is here to help. The AIA team here in DC has prepared tools and resources to quickly and easily get your meeting scheduled, including a draft scheduling request. Think you don’t have the time to set up a meeting? It is easier than you think – we have created the 7 easy steps to setting up an in-district meeting. Follow these steps and you will be at your meeting in no time!

Even though the recess is not for another few weeks, you need to submit your scheduling request to meet with the legislator or a member of their staff ASAP. You can even meet with your legislator at already-scheduled events, such as town hall meetings or Labor Day events. Check your legislators’ websites and your local paper to see when they will be in your hometown.

Once you have set up the meeting, 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 schedule a meeting during this recess. If you have any questions about how to set up a meeting, Advocacy staff are here to guide you through the process. Contact Amanda Stratton, and she will help you get started today!


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