Issues & AdvocacyGet Involved
Architect need to get involved in the political process for three reasons:
Architects have a lot to give. Architects impact the lives of everyone in the communities they serve. The architectural profession employees more than 275,000 Americans and it is part of the design/construction industry, which represents 8 percent to 10 percent of the U.S. economy. Architects need a strong voice on a wide range of issues from community planning, housing, sustainability, building codes, project delivery, historic preservation, and a wealth of other issues.
Architects have a lot to lose. It is easy to take for granted what has already been earned – architectural practice acts, qualifications based selection for design services, tax provisions for historic preservation, to name a few – but all of this work can be undone by a legislator who is unaware of the purpose of these important victories of the past.
Through the AIA, Architects have a unified voice on the business and the design issues important to all of us. Members can identify ways to participate in that unified voice for the architectural profession. To find out the Seven Easy Steps to Make Your Voice Heard, click here. For additional resources, see below.
Grassroots Advocacy is what constituent democracy is all about. In fact, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution grants citizens the right to regress grievances with the government. The Government and Community Relations (GCR) team assists members with advocacy efforts through our on-line Advocacy Center and many other resources that help members become better advocates.
• On-Line Advocacy Center: Send a message on a key AIA legislative issue to your members of Congress or State elected officials.
• Tips on Communicating with Congress: These are 12 easy-to- remember tips on meeting with elected officials.
• Face-to-Face meetings: Meeting with your elected officials is the most effective form of constituent communications. Meetings don’t have to take place in Washington; AIA members and component can set up meetings in their districts. If you are interested in in-district meetings with members of Congress, please visit our Congressional Recess page.
• Congressional Calendar: This calendar shows when Congress is not in session and when your representative is most likely back in the district.
• Sample Appointment letter: This letter can help members as they set up meetings with their representatives.
• Current Grassroots Issues: The AIA Federal Relations team constantly updates the issues the team is working on in Washington. To review the latest issues briefs and related resources, visit the Advocacy365 page.
- Advocacy 101: In November 2007, a panel of AIA members and a grassroots advocacy expert discussed the importance of AIA member involvement government advocacy. Watch the webcast or visit the Advocacy 101 page for more information.
- Advocacy 201: As a follow-up to the Advocacy 101 webinar, members of the AIA Advocacy Committee conducted a four-part series, which focuses on the AIA advocacy efforts related to sustainability.
- Define Sustainability
- Year-Round Advocacy
AIA is a non-partisan organization but our advocacy efforts do extend into the political arena. AIA’s political advocacy efforts are primarily done through ArchiPAC; however in 2008, the AIA started DesignVote as an effort to bring AIA issues to the forefront of elections. This effort was continued with voter guides in the elections years following.
• ArchiPAC: ArchiPAC is the only federal political action committee that represents architects
• Register to Vote: The AIA Advocacy Center has links to your state’s voter registration Web sites. Log into the Advocacy Center to find information on how to register to vote.
Several architects are involved in leadership roles outside of the AIA in their local communities. For more information on these resources, please visit the Citizen Architect section of the Local Relations page.
Advocacy Issue Briefs
So what are the issues, and where can I get more information?
AIA Advocacy on Social Media
For questions on advocacy outreach efforts, please e-mail Adam Melis, Director, Political Affairs & Engagement or Amanda Stratton, Manager, Grassroots & Advocacy Outreach. For questions on ArchiPAC, please e-mail Wendy Perez Young, Manager, Political Action Committee & Compliance.