Advocating for Architecture in 2020 Elections

The field of architecture is a highly legislated profession. What goes on in Congress and the Statehouse affects the work of every architect. AIA advocates at the local, state, and federal levels for the architectural profession. Having advocacy efforts reaching all 50 states in the country, and all 88 counties in Ohio is important for AIA Cincinnati members who practice outside our nine county region. Regulations vary from state to state, and zoning ordinances are unique to each municipality. AIA’s three-level advocacy outreach works to support architects across jurisdictional boundaries.

Federal Elections and Advocacy

AIA National has just announced their policy platform for the 2020 Presidential Election on issues including the economy, climate action, and healthy communities. At the start of the election cycle, they asked candidates for their stance on a range of issues and created searchable Presidential Candidate Profiles. If you have any questions about AIA’s national advocacy efforts, Timothy Hawk, FAIA from AIA Columbus serves as Chair of the AIA Government Advocacy Committee.

State Legislation and Opportunities to Participate

AIA Ohio, through supplemental (aka firm) dues, lobbies for Registration Board amendments, lien bills, and building code issues. AIA Ohio provides updates on legislative activities on their website and an annual Statehouse Day to meet with elected officials (typically in February). AIA Members from across the state are invited to participate in Statehouse Day. This past February, AIA members met with state legislators to discuss Senate Bill 136 (Payment Assurance Legislation) and House Bill 402 (Interior Design Licensing). If you’re interested in getting more involved with AIA Ohio advocacy efforts, contact Kate Brunswick, CAE Hon. AIA with AIA Ohio.

Local Election Advocacy and Ways to Get Involved

AIA Cincinnati is ramping up our local advocacy efforts, starting with the November election. We’re gathering information on races and issues in our nine counties and will work to get position statements from candidates. We hope to set up some virtual forums to help our members get to know candidates and elected officials, and vice versa. Our goal is to start building relationships with decision makers. 

If you’d like to get involved with a particular county, ballot issue, or other issue (i.e. zoning) please join our Local Advocacy Working Group on August 20. We would also like your help in identifying issues impacting architects in your community; whether it’s tear downs, historic district guideline changes, or infrastructure investment, please help AIA Cincinnati monitor these issues by updating our staff.

As Election Day approaches, with candidates and ballot issues impacting every level of government, you can check your registration status, see sample ballots, and get assistance requesting an absentee ballot through the new AIA Voter Registration Center. If you’re interested in serving as a poll worker on November 3, check your county board of elections for details.

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