Letter from President McKenzie: A’19 Wrap Up

Last week was definitely a whirlwind at the A’19 Convention in Las Vegas. Vice President Cynthia Williams and I attended the convention, including the annual business meeting, on behalf of AIA Cincinnati. I must admit that Las Vegas is not one of my favorite places. It can certainly be fun for a day or two, but the excess and extravagance played an interesting backdrop to this year’s convention, which focused significantly on climate change and the impact that architects can, and must, play in both combating it as well as adapting to the changes it is already causing.

In fact, climate change took center stage at the business meeting on Wednesday, the day before the conference officially started, when a passionate group of AIA, AIAS and FAIA members brought forth a resolution calling for “Dramatic and Sustained Climate Action.” The full text of the resolution can be read here, but, in short, the resolution calls for AIA to make the decarbonization of buildings a priority until net-zero carbon is achieved. The resolution does offer a few specific steps for achieving this, but it mostly acts as a signal of intent and a mandate for future action. The resolution passed overwhelmingly with a vote of 4860 YES, 312 NO, and 28 ABSTAIN. So, now the real work begins. Every component will need to play a part to make this mandate actionable and significant. How would you like to see AIA Cincinnati participate in (or lead) in this area?

In other A’19 business meeting news, two national bylaws changes were approved. One modifies how Allied and Affiliate AIA members can refer to themselves, and the other modifies the AIA National budget policy to allow the national board to spend a certain amount of their reserves annually to pursue initiatives instead of always requiring a balanced budget.

Finally, three elections were held for three national positions with Peter Exley from Chicago winning AIA First President over Bruce Sekanick, Evelyn Lee being elected as Treasurer, and Britt Lindberg being elected as Director at Large.

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