March 16, 2015
Last week, AIA Cleveland representatives Aaron Hill, AIA (President), Jack Bialosky, Jr., AIA (President-Elect), Ted Ferringer, Assoc. AIA (Ohio Valley Regional Associate Director) and Mary Helen Hammer (Executive Director), traveled to Washington, D.C. for the annual 2015 AIA Grassroots Leadership & Legislative Conference. This three-day conference emphasized component leadership and included dynamic workshops designed to help component officers become effective chapter and civic leaders. The agenda allowed us to exchange information and ideas with other AIA leaders from around the country, provide input on AIA initiatives and advocate the AIA’s federal agenda to members of Congress and the Senate.
This year, the AIA is asking the following of legislators:
1. Protect and enhance the historic preservation tax credit. Historic preservation incentives help communities expand and prosper, while preserving their heritage and creating jobs. The AIA and its allies will work to ensure that these incentives are not lost in tax reform.
2. Cosponsor the Safe Building Code Incentive Act, which encourages states to voluntarily adopt and enforce nationally recognized model building codes for residential and commercial structures in order to qualify for additional post-disaster FEMA grants.
3. Cosponsor the National Design Services Act, which extends to architecture graduates student debt relief in exchange for work in underserved communities.
The AIA has declared 2015 as the Year of the Advocate. Every day, policymakers make decisions that affect the practice of architecture and the built environment. Advocacy must go far beyond our AIA leadership ascending on Capitol Hill on a single day in March. We must all be advocates, as decisions made from Washington to Columbus to your city hall affect you and the future of our profession. It’s up to all AIA members to make sure their voice is heard, which is what advocacy is all about.
Aaron Hill, AIA
AIA Cleveland President