Conference

Lobby Day 2023

February 15, 2023
7:15 am -5:00 pm

Overview

What is AIA Lobby Day?

AIA Lobby Day is one component of this year’s AIA Leadership Summit. Lobby Day provides architect members with a platform to directly advocate for legislation impacting the profession before Members of Congress and Congressional staff. For Lobby Day 2023, the meetings will be held in person at the House and Senate office buildings at the U.S. Capitol.

This year, AIA will be providing a line-up of training sessions, informational presentations, and Congressional speakers for AIA's advocate-attendees during the day of February 14. AIA advocates will be conducting Congressional meetings on Capitol Hill on February 15.

Why should architects lobby Congress?

AIA members are a powerful voice for the values they uphold in their practices every day. As natural facilitators and problem-solvers, architects stand ready to support new policies that create a more resilient, sustainable, and equitable society.

How were participants selected?

AIA members volunteer to participate in Lobby Day 2023 by selecting the option in their registration for the 2023 AIA Leadership Summit. No prior experience in advocacy is necessary to sign up; we’ll send you all the information you need to feel prepared on Capitol Hill.

Additionally, AIA is partnering with Advocacy Associates, a DC-area-based firm that specializes in organizing and supporting organizational fly-ins such as this event. Advocacy Associates staff will be supporting AIA’s participants through direct staff support, in-person and virtual-based support through their mobile app.

AIA Federal Relations staff will also be on Capitol Hill with multiple AIA participants during the Lobby Day event. AIA’s Federal Relations staff will serve as support if/when needed.

Which Members of Congress will AIA members meet with during this year's Lobby Day?

AIA members will engage with their Members of Congress as professionals and constituents. When more AIA members volunteer to participate in Lobby Day, it expands the number of Congressional offices AIA can meet. Where possible, we are prioritizing Congressional offices that sit on the following Congressional Committees, which have jurisdiction over both pieces of legislation: The U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Which legislation will AIA members support during Lobby Day 2023?

We are highlighting two bipartisan pieces of legislation:

The Democracy In Design Act would ensure that communities across the country maintain a voice in the design of federal buildings consistent with their preferences, topographies, and design traditions. Although Congress has not yet introduced a bill version for the Democracy In Design Act in the 118th Congress, the previous version of the bill from the 117th Congress can be found here as H.R. 5291.

The Resilient AMERICA Act would make significant changes to the federal government’s ability to prepare communities for future natural disaster events by:

  • increasing funding for FEMA’s pre-disaster mitigation grant program (the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Program)
  • supporting additional BRIC Programs set aside funding for resilient building code adoption and implementation.
  • The Resilient AMERICA Act is also pending reintroduction for the 118th Congress. The bill’s previous version from the 117th Congress can be found here as H.R. 5689.

Why does design freedom matter to architects?

No design style is inherent, more or less valuable than any other. AIA stands firmly against any federal mandate on architectural design.

Why do more resilient buildings matter to architects?

Reflected in both the AIA’s Policy Platform and Strategic Plan, AIA is committed to supporting federal policies that deliver climate action. Improving building and community resilience to future climate-related natural disaster threats is a critical component of AIA’s goal.

How do AIA members contribute to the campaign if they are outside the meetings?

AIA members can share their support for the Democracy in Design Act and the Resilient AMERICA Act by using AIA’s social media toolkit to amplify the message.

Materials

AIA-member use only

All Lobby Day 2023 participants should have received a direct email from AIA staff including resources to help advocates through their meetings, including the Congressional meeting guide, talking points, and background document. If any participants did not receive these resources, please contact AIA staff directly at karakempski@aia.org.

Resources for Congressional Staff

Image credits

US Capitol snow scene