August 14, 2012
A REGION’S RESPONSIBILITIES
By Jerome Leslie Eben, AIA
AIANJ Regional Director, ’11-‘13
Recently, I was in Denver, CO as member of the AIA Advocacy Committee. Within the structure of that committee, I Chair the subcommittee for AIA Public Policies and Position Statements (PPS). This year’s goal is to have better access and understanding of PPS after they have been reviewed by various stakeholders of the Institute. In addition we have installed a more manageable and coordinated numbering system so that these core beliefs will receive the appropriate attention from the entire membership, should you choose to comment. Locally, AIANJ through the L&GA committee led by David Del Vecchio, AIA are in the same process of review and will offer suggestions as the PPS apply to us and present them to the full AIANJ Board in the fall.
Along with our meetings and as part of our total advocacy effort, several of my fellow Regional Directors took to the phones and called their members to ask them to step up and donate to ArchiPAC. You may have seen me at AIANJ events or sectional meetings giving out preaddressed envelopes. More recently I have sent some E-mails to selected groups about our federal advocacy effort.
I do want to state here that I respect a small number of our members who do not believe in ArchiPAC or even our very own APAC. Certainly as your Regional Director, we can agree to disagree on why we need to donate to both of these political action funds. However, for the rest of you, the description below of why we neeed you to step up and donate follows:
Our initial ‘ask’ happens at AIA Grassroots Leadership Conference and I am proud to state that most of your leadership has in fact stepped up and made their donation at that time. A follow up fund drive was held at the National Convention in Washington. This event provides an opportunity for the Advocacy Team to expand the drive to AIA members that may not be on the leadership track. I am pleased to report that we did secure some donations from those individules.
Institute wide, the results so far are that we have raised $91,200. We are well into the second half of the year, trying to reach our goal of $201,000. A total of 900 members have stepped up to donate to date. The importance of raising this goes with the territory that this is a Presidential election year with the whole of Congress up for election and at least a third of the Senate.
Our profession is rich in history and accomplishments, yet it it seems to be very difficult to entice many of our members to give to ArchiPAC. Other professional organizations raise more, much more! This ultimately provides them with the legislative upper hand. So as your Regional Director what’s next and especially for us? Well, a challenge to help close the gap. Our Advocacy Staff in Washington can and are explaining to our legislators what it is that architects bring to the table and in turn that we make our country work better.
You can give on line by going to AIA.org, clicking on Advocacy and clicking again on make a donation, or you can see me at your next local section meeting and I will provide you with a pledge flap, attached to the self addressed envelope. Either way, think of your donation as a way to help protect our profession and what it is that we stand for.
Architects are skilled professionals who listen to you, interpret your wishes, help realize your building dreams, and add value at every stage of a project.