How AIA is helping you help the profession
Join the Legislative Action Network and speak up for architecture
On January 31, the AIA released its Federal Agenda for the 115th Congress and the new administration. The agenda reflects the opinions of thousands of AIA members who answered last fall’s Call for Issues survey, and it speaks to the values that define the profession. Through initiatives like the Legislative Action Network (LAN), architects can push to reinforce those values in the District and beyond.
This week, hundreds of AIA leaders and LAN members from around the country took to Capitol Hill as part of the 2017 Grassroots Leadership Conference. They came to speak up for the profession, sharing the AIA’s agenda with their lawmakers and making sure that when policymakers vote on issues that matter to architects, architects are at the table.
“It’s so important to make connections with our lawmakers,” said Chris Lujan, Assoc. AIA, a Grassroots attendee from Nevada. “By engaging with them, I feel that they now recognize our profession and know who we are. The fact that they ask us serious questions about how policies impact our work shows that they are engaged and willing to listen to us.”
In a time of increased polarization and partisanship, it is more important than ever for architects to build relationships with their lawmakers. According to Joseph Simonetta, executive director of AIA New Jersey, “Architects work hard to get their degree, and they work hard to get licensed. Getting involved in government advocacy helps ensure that the profession they worked so hard to enter remains strong.”
“By engaging with them, I feel that they now recognize our profession and know who we are.” - Chris Lujan, Assoc. AIA
Connecting architects to their elected leaders is a key role for the AIA. “The power of an association like the AIA is that we are able to get architects from every community in front of policymakers advocating for their values,” said Andrew Goldberg, Assoc. AIA, managing director of AIA government relations and advocacy. “There are countless lobbyists in Washington. But our strongest lobbyists are AIA members.”
Launched in 2016, the LAN is a grassroots legislative and political advocacy network that enables AIA members to find out what’s happening in Washington that affects them and how they can speak up for the profession. Joining the LAN gives AIA members access to the tools and information that will help them make an immediate impact for architecture.
These tools are more important than ever, given the need to make architects’ voices known on Capitol Hill and in state capitals across the country. From environmental policies that shape how buildings are designed to changes in tax laws that will impact your firm’s bottom line, issues affecting architects are on the table almost daily.
Headquartered in Washington just blocks from the centers of American democracy, AIA works with policymakers to advance our values. But it is the strength of tens of thousands of members across the nation, speaking with a unified voice, that gives the AIA its power. If architects don’t speak up for themselves, nobody else will.