Issues & AdvocacyGet Involved
Architects and the AIA have a long tradition of advocating for improved public safety and health in the built environment before appointed and elected officials in the government, at the local, state, and even federal level. Advocacy 101: Advocating for Public Safety & Health delves into the "nuts and bolts" of how architects can use their skills and training to be better advocates for the profession. In this Webcast, architects learn new skills to improve their abilities as activists for issues related to public health, safety, and welfare.
The opportunities to lobby and advocate for these issues are often very brief and finite, and many often find it difficult to communicate complex ideas or information in such a short time span. This training is designed to offer members key techniques to quickly and effectively engage planning commissioners, city council members, state representatives, or members of the U.S. Congress.
The webcast panel includes moderator Don Brown, AIA, Chairman of ArchiPAC, the AIA’s political action committee, and Board Director from the Gulf States region; Mike Rodriguez, AIA, 2007-2008 AIA Vice President; Clark Manus, FAIA, 2008-2009 AIA Vice President; Walter Hainsfurther, AIA, 2009-2010 AIA Vice President; and Stephanie Vance, an association advocacy expert.
Originally broadcast live, viewers were able to send in questions that were answered throughout the broadcast.
The Panel: Experienced Architects and Professionals
Don Brown, AIA
Brown is a current member of the AIA Board of Directors representing the Gulf States region. He also sits on the AIA’s Board Advocacy Committee and chairs ArchiPAC, the AIA’s federal political action committee. He is an Alabama representative on the AIA's State Government Network (SGN), a position he has held for the past 10 years, and has been instrumental in developing the AIA's Grassroots Leadership Network (GLN), a group of members focused on assisting the federal advocacy staff. He is also a past member of the AIA Licensing Committee from 2000-2003.
Brown is the past chair of Alabama's task force on proposed interior design legislation, has lectured on practice overlap issues at SGN, and is currently coordinating the passage of significant revisions to the Alabama architects' registration law. He is now the architect serving on the Alabama Legislature's task force to create energy-reduction legislation for the next session, where he has introduced the sample legislation authored by the AIA.
Brown has owned a medium-sized architecture firm in Montgomery, AL, for more than 30 years. In the past, he served as Chair of the Auburn University School of Architecture and now chairs the Alabama Architectural Foundation, which has just produced its second major book on Alabama architecture. He received the Accolade Award in 2005 as the outstanding AIA architect in Alabama.
Don is a board member of the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce, and currently serves as the legislative chair for another large national association. He is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and combat commander.
Mike Rodriguez, AIA
A past president of both the Florida and Miami components of the AIA, Rodriguez has served as the regional director from the Florida/Caribbean Region to the AIA Board and as Vice President for Advocacy and then Knowledge for the AIA from 2007-2008. He was instrumental in developing Continuing Education guidelines for the state of Florida and chairs the AIA's Continuing Education Quality Assurance Panel. Mike also represents the AIA on National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) accreditation teams and has been a part of several school accreditation processes.
Rodriguez recently completed a term on the state of Florida Board of Architecture & Interior Design and continues to chair the Board's Probable Cause Panel. He was the Board's representative to the National Council of Architecture Registration Boards (NCARB), where he served as Southern Conference treasurer and vice chair.
Rodriguez is the president of Rodriguez Architects Inc., a full service architectural firm founded in 1990, in Coral Gables, Florida. A lifelong resident of south Florida, Rodriguez has had a keen interest in disaster mitigation and response since 1992, when Hurricane Andrew swept through the area. He is currently serving on the NCARB Disaster Response Task Force, which is dealing with the regulatory role of disaster relief. He also co-chairs the AIA Florida Disaster Response Task Force, which is developing a response mechanism for Florida architects.
Among his other activities, Mike has served on the city of Coral Gables Board of Architects and the state of Florida's Capitol Center Planning Commission. He also served as the AIA's representative on the Tri-National Committee on Architecture and NAFTA, a joint committee studying reciprocity between architects in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.
Clark Manus, FAIA
Manus is active on advocacy and community design issues at the local, state, and national AIA component levels. He is a founding board member of the Capitol Forum, an advocacy-based research initiative formed by the AIA California Council (AIACC), and has served on the AIACC's Board of Directors. He is the past president of AIA San Francisco and was chair of the Fellowship and Nominating Committees. In 2007, Manus completed his term as the California regional director to the AIA Board and began his two-year term as AIA Vice President (2008-2009). In his role on the national board, Clark was immersed in the AIA150 Blueprint for America Mosaic and helped to nurture the Google Earth partnership.
Clark is the CEO and a design principal of Heller Manus Architects, a San Francisco-based architecture firm nearing its 25th anniversary. After its initial regional focus on office buildings, Heller Manus expanded to a broader diversity of building types, including municipal, multifamily residential, and commercial structures in the San Francisco area. The firm has also designed significant projects beyond San Francisco, including projects in Orlando, Detroit, Sun Valley, ID, and even Shanghai, China.
Beyond his practice, Clark has been involved in other civic endeavors, advocating for policies and plans that have helped to preserve the urban fabric of San Francisco, focusing on the unique history and natural beauty of the Bay area. Nearly 20 years after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, he continues to lead the civic efforts in directing the long-range planning of the evolving high-density Transbay/Rincon Hill neighborhood.
Clark is also recognized for his extensive community/urban design leadership in San Francisco. Since 1992, he has been chair of the Mayoral Citizens' Advisory Committees for the downtown Transbay Terminal District and the Rincon Hill residential neighborhood, as well as the instrumental Citizens' Advisory Committee for the Central Embarcadero. As chair of the AIASF Urban Design Committee, he has orchestrated influential design assistance teams, including the precedent-setting Embarcadero Freeway.
Walter Hainsfurther, AIA
Hainsfurther has been actively involved in legislative advocacy efforts throughout his professional life. He learned early through his involvement in social service agencies the results that a well-organized advocacy campaign can affect.
On the national level, Walter has been an active participant in the Board Advocacy Committee. In 2007 and 2008, he headed the Legislative Initiatives subcommittee. This group is charged with developing and implementing the specifics to the AIA's legislative agenda. As President of AIA Illinois, Walter also created the first Illinois Board-level advocacy committee and initiated many successful advocacy initiatives. In 2009, Hainsfurther will begin a two-year term as AIA Vice President.
Under his leadership as president of AIA Illinois, the new Illinois Advocacy Committee was charged with creating a positive legislative agenda through the creation of AIA Illinois' Public Policies. The group also developed a plan for successfully implementing these positions. Walter and the group also created AIA Illinois' first lobby day, Prairie Grassroots. The event, along with a program of year-round communications, led to unparalleled legislative success that continues today.
Professionally, Hainsfurther holds degrees from the University of Illinois. He is president of Kurtz Associates Architects, an eight-person firm in suburban Chicago. The 48-year-old firm specializes in retail and commercial projects.
Vance is the author of Government by the People: How to Communicate With Congress, the fabjob.com guide, and Get a Job on Capitol Hill. She has 15 years of experience in congressional affairs, working for a prominent D.C.-area law firm, with National Public Radio, and in various congressional offices as legislative director and staff director. Her work on congressional communications stems from a deep and abiding belief that government is effective only when citizens are active participants in the process.
Vance has presented the concepts behind How to Communicate with Congress at seminars and workshops around the country, including the Brookings Institution's Government Affairs Institute. She has also appeared on DC radio station WAMU's "Public Interest" show to discuss the basics of congressional communications. Her website, www.advocacyguru.com, has won a number of awards, and her work has been the subject of a variety of print media stories, including an interview with the National Journal's Cloakroom publication.
Stephanie holds a masters degree in legislative affairs from the George Washington University and was a 1999 German Marshall Fund Fellow.