AIA East Bay heads to Capitol Hill to advocate for design freedom and resilient communities

AIA East Bay President Ursula Currie and Executive Director Mike Wilson traveled last week to Washington, D.C., to advocate for members of their organization as part of the AIAs National Leadership Conference. The purpose of their trip was to meet with lawmakers and promote policies that would support the architecture industry. 

Currie and Wilson had a busy schedule during their trip, meeting with numerous members of Congress and their staff and representatives from government agencies. They discussed various topics, including funding for infrastructure projects, policies to promote sustainable design, and efforts to make buildings more resilient to natural disasters. Their advocacy efforts were well-received, and they were able to make a positive impact on behalf of AIA East Bay members.

Architects from all over the country met with legislators to discuss the Democracy In Design Act (S.366), to ensure that communities across the country maintain a voice in the design of federal buildings consistent with their preferences, culture, topographies, and design traditions. Architects also advocated for the Resilient AMERICA Act, which would make significant changes to the federal government’s ability to prepare communities for future natural disasters. The bill accomplishes this by increasing federal funding for pre-disaster mitigation through FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program.

“Improving building and community resilience to future climate-related natural disasters is a key component of AIA’s goal,” said AIA 2023 President Emily Grandstaff-Rice, FAIA. “Additionally, it remains critically important that our country retain the flexibility to choose between a variety of design styles in our public buildings, not have those decisions dictated at the outset.

AIA’s Lobby Day provided architects with a platform to directly advocate in support of legislation impacting the profession. AIA Lobby Day is one component of this year’s AIA Leadership Summit.

Grandstaff-Rice added, “As trained problem-solvers and natural facilitators, architects have the skills to help legislators develop policies that create more resilient, sustainable, and equitable communities.”

Visit AIA’s website to learn more about its advocacy efforts.

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