Credit: Martin Falbisoner/Wikimedia.
Credit: Martin Falbisoner/Wikimedia.

Policy Pulse: 300 Architects, Advocates and Leaders Attend AIA Grassroots Conference

Policy Pulse by • 03/22

Earlier this month, over 300 architects, advocates, and leaders from across the country came to our nation’s capital to say, in one voice: “We are architects. We build your homes, your schools, your hospitals, your offices and your houses of worship. We are concerned.” The context for this great chorus was AIA’s 2017 Grassroots Leadership Conference, this year held on March 8-10, 2017. The annual gathering brings together AIA leaders from chapters and components around the country, allowing members and staff the opportunity to provide input on AIA initiatives, share information and ideas, and agree on best practices with their peers from around the country. It also provides a unique forum for the AIA and its members to speak directly with their representatives in Congress.

Collectively, the AIA held over 150 meetings with members of Congress during the three days in Washington. 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. In a time of increased polarization and partisanship, it is important for architects to build these relationships with lawmakers and help ensure that the profession remains strong.

Guided by AIA’s Federal Agenda for the 115th Congress and the new administration, the AIA met with representatives on both sides of the aisle, including the offices of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Dianne Feinstein, Marco Rubio, Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, and Lindsey Graham. The agenda reflects the opinions of thousands of AIA members who answered last fall’s Call for Issues survey, and speaks to the values that define the profession.

On behalf of New York membership, meetings were held with our local representatives, including Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, as well as Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Hakeem Jeffries, and Daniel Donovan. Members spoke to issues that affect the profession on a national scale but are particularly relevant locally, including supporting the preservation of historic buildings and spaces through the Federal Historic Tax Credit, how we invest in our nation’s infrastructure, and helping young architects serve their communities through the National Design Services Act.

These issues pack an extra punch given the need to make architects’ voices known on Capitol Hill, in state capitals, and in city halls across the country. From environmental policies that shape how buildings are designed to changes in tax laws that impact a firm’s bottom line, issues affecting architects are on the table almost daily.

Pulse Points

  • On p3.19.17, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his support for tearing down the Sheridan Expressway and replacing it with a boulevard that stitches Bronx communities together. He intends to include $700 million for the first phase of the work in the state budget.
  • On 03.16.17, President Donald Trump released his proposed federal budget. AIA President Thomas Vonier, FAIA, released this statement after reviewing the federal budget proposal. At the forefront of Vonier’s concerns are massive cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and National Endowment for the Arts, which threaten efforts to address urban growth, community development, and sustainability.
  • For New York City, President Trump’s proposed budget would cut $140 million from city schools, $190 from Homeland Security grants, and $370 million from the New York City Housing Authority, in addition to the $76 million the agency was anticipating, according to top officials. The budget’s proposed transit cuts could also imperil the Second Avenue subway’s next phase.
  • On 03.16.17, federal and city prosecutors announced their decisions not to press charges against Mayor Bill de Blasio and aides Ross Offinger and Emma Wolfe, as well as major donors, regarding their fundraising activities. The announcement essential clears the path for de Blasio’s re-election later this year.
  • On 03.15.17, a federal judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide order last night blocking President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban on visitors from several predominantly Muslim countries. The revision was designed to pass legal muster, after the initial order in January ignited similar judicial rulings. As discussions on immigration continues, the AIA has joined with many American businesses, industries and universities in calling for fair and impartial immigration policies, and expressed deep concern about policies that restrict immigration from specific countries or regions based on overly broad factors, including religion.

2 Responses to Policy Pulse: 300 Architects, Advocates and Leaders Attend AIA Grassroots Conference

  1. Elisheva Levi says:

    This article contains several typos. It is unprofessional. Please proofread before sending out. But more importantly, how can I find out about these types of initiatives before they happen so I can participate? Was there an emailed invitation for the Grassroots Conference? I would have loved to attend.

Waterproofing of the facade system and roof at 540 West 26th Street for Savanna. Design Architect: Morris Adjmi. Rendering: Morris Adjmi.
Featured Member: Howard Zimmerman Elevated to AIA College of Fellows Featured Member
From left: Signe Nielsen, RLA, FASLA; Cynthia Rosenzweig; Susanne Desroches; Jeffrey Raven, FAIA, LEED BD+C; and Jee Mee Kim, AICP. Photo: Center for Architecture.
Climate Change in NYC: Bridging Science and Practice At the Center for Architecture
From left: Peter Lampen, AIA; Luke Surowiec, LEED AP; Steven Winter, FAIA; John Lee, AIA. Photo: Center for Architecture.
A Closer Look at 80×50 Initiative’s NYC Retrofit Accelerator Program At the Center for Architecture
Courtesy of the Center for Active Design.
Policy Pulse: FitCity 2017 Lands in Queens Policy Pulse
Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Astoria, Queens, NY. Somvanshi’s role: Associate, Project Manager and On-site Supervisor. Firm: Ennead Architects (previously Polshek Partnership). Photo: Jeff Goldberg/Esto.
Featured Member: Kalavati Somvanshi Elevated to AIA College of Fellows Featured Member
Robert Michael Kliment, FAIA. Courtesy of Kliment Halsband Architects.
Robert Michael Kliment, FAIA (1933 – 2017) In Memoriam
Museum of Modern Art  east section renovation by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler. Credit: Iwan Baan
In the News In The News
Names in the News Names in the News
09.17.17: Call for Entries: 2017 AIANY COTE Awards
New Deadlines New Deadlines
Lurie House by Kaneji Domoto, featured in "“Kaneji Domoto at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonia,” opening 06.22.17. Credit: Thad Russell
On View On View
Classifieds Classifieds
New York City Police Academy by Perkins + Will. Photo: Courtesy of Perkins + Will.
Featured Member: Michael Plottel Elevated to AIA College of Fellows Featured Member
AIANY Opposes Paris Climate Accord Exit From the Desk of the President
Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage and Salt Shed by Dattner Architects and WXY architecture + urban design, 2016 Building of the Day. Credit: Center for Architecture
Call for Archtober Buildings of the Day New Deadlines
Upper East Side residence by Gabellini Sheppard, New York. Photo: Paul Warchol.
Michael Gabellini, FAIA, Delivers AIANY 2017 Gil Oberfield Lecture At the Center for Architecture
AIANY representatives at AIA New York State's "Architects in Albany Advocacy Day." Credit: Center for Architecture
Policy Pulse: 2017 Architects in Albany Advocacy Day Policy Pulse
Families make collages of their dream playgrounds. Credit: Center for Architecture
Draw, Design, Build! NYU Teams Up with the Center for Architecture for Family Programming Learning by Design
Weill Hall at Cornell University, Ithica, NY. Photo: Scott Frances.
Featured Member: Renny Logan Elevated to AIA College of Fellows Featured Member
The Shed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group.
In the News In The News
Names in the News Names in the News
New Deadlines New Deadlines
Siegel House by Kaneji Domoto, featured in “Kaneji Domoto at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonia,” opening 06.22.17. Credit: Thad Russell
On View On View
Classifieds Classifieds
AIANY 2017 President David Piscuskas, FAIA, at the National Summit on Design and Urban Mobility. Credit: Center for Architecture
Are We Ready for Autonomous Vehicles? From the Executive Director
Reflections at Keppel Bay in Keppel Bay, Singapore. Photo: Keppel Bay Pte Ltd.
Featured Member: Daniel Libeskind Elevated to AIA College of Fellows Featured Member
Join us for FitCity 2017! Hunter's Point South Waterfront Park by Thomas Balsley Associates and WEISS/MANFREDI. Credit: Albert Vecerka/Esto.
Policy Pulse: FitCity 2017 Policy Pulse
Speakers of "Hesitation and Constraints: Barriers to Social Research in Practice." Credit: Center for Architecture
Social Sciences, Good for Your Bottom Line and Society At the Center for Architecture
The Quad Cinema, renovated by Projects Design Associates with rebrand by Pentagram. Credit: Marion Curtis / StarPix.
In the News In The News
Names in the News Names in the News
New Deadlines New Deadlines
"Architecture of Independence - African Modernism" closes on 05.27.17. Credit: Sam Lahoz
On View On View
Classifieds Classifieds
Claremont University Consortium, Claremont, CA. Photo: Michael Moran.
Featured Member: Paul Lewis Elevated to AIA College of Fellows Featured Member
Diane Lewis at a Design IV review, Fall 2008
In Memoriam: Diane Lewis, AIA In Memoriam
Photo courtesy of Aaron Burson via Unsplash
Policy Pulse: AIANY Launches New Civic Leadership Program Policy Pulse
Ben Prosky, Assoc. AIA (AIA New York and the Center for Architecture); Medal of Honor winner Dr. Sharon E. Sutton, FAIA; Award of Merit winner Fiona Cousins, PE; and David Piscuskas, FAIA (AIA New York and 1100 Architect). Photography: Samuel Lahoz.
Industry Gathers at 2017 AIANY Honors and Awards Luncheon Around the AIA + Center for Architecture
AutoPound in Queens, NY. Credit: Alex Severin.
Featured Member: Jane Smith Elevated to AIA College of Fellows Featured Member
Obama Presidential Center by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners and InterActive Design Architects. Credit: Obama Foundation
In the News In The News
Names in the News Names in the News
New Deadlines New Deadlines
"El Helicoide: From Mall to Prison" opens 05.09.17. Image credit: Pietro Paolini, 2012
On View On View
Classifieds Classifieds
The Medical University of South Carolina, Ashley River Tower, Charleston, SC. Credit: Frank Ooms.
Featured Member: Timothy Johnson Elevated to AIA College of Fellows Featured Member
Image courtesy pixabay
Policy Pulse: AIA Urges Policymakers to Keep Carbon Neutral Goals Policy Pulse
Students at IS 234 present their scale store models to their peers. / Image credit: Dustin Atlas
Store Design Program Engages Students in Real-World Design Problems Learning by Design
Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, Biloxi, MS. Credit: Francis Dzikowski.
Featured Member: Daria Pizzetta Elevated to AIA College of Fellows Featured Member
The Arab City: Architecture and Representation
Oculus Book Review: The Arab City: Architecture and Representation Book Reviews
Never Built New York by Greg Golden and Sam Lubell
Oculus Quick-Take: Never Built New York Podcast
David Ginsberg, FAIA / Image credit: ©Alex Kaplan
In Memoriam: David l. (Dave) Ginsberg, FAIA (1932-2017) In Memoriam
75 Kenmare by Andre Kikoski Architect / Image credit: Redundant Pixel
In the News In The News