Civic Engagement: AIA New Jersey Takes on Capitol Hill

April 25, 2019

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AIA NJ Regional Associate Director Megan Pritts, Associate AIA; AIA NJ President Judith Donnelly, AIA and AIA NJ President-Elect Steven Lazarus, AIA met with Senator Cory A. Booker’s Legislative Assistant, Nia Lesesne


Civic Engagement: AIA New Jersey Takes on Capitol Hill

Day 5 of National Architecture Week 2019 is recognizing Civic Engagement. Architects can make a huge impact on their communities through such efforts. Each year, AIA National hosts a Grassroots Conference, providing a primer for our local and regional leaders to become more civically engaged. AIA New Jersey and it’s sections sent 21 members to the 2019 conference, where over 600 AIA members from across the nation met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill on behalf of sustainability and school safety. 


Citizen Architects

These volunteers took as many as 5 days away from firm and family to advocate on behalf of all AIA members and the profession. AIA New Jersey attendees included: 

AIA Central NJ Immediate Past President Sean Cuddahy, AIA

AIA Newark & Suburban Representative Christy DiBartolo, AIA 

AIA NJ President Judy Donnelly, AIA

AIA NJ Past President Jerome L. Eben, FAIA

AIA NJ Immediate Past President and National Candidate Verity Frizzell, FAIA

AIA West Jersey, EPiC and WIA Representative Lauren Harris, Associate AIA

AIA West Jersey President-Elect Troy Harris, AIA

Architects League President Todd Hause, AIA

AIA Jersey Shore President Marissa Iamello, AIA

AIA Central NJ President Elect Lori Ann Jones, AIA

AIA NJ President-Elect Steven Lazarus, AIA

AIA New Jersey Past President Ben Lee, AIA

AIA NJ YARD Vin Minkler, AIA

Architects League of Northern NJ Treasurer, Ryan Moran, AIA

AIA West Jersey President Jessica O’Donnell, AIA

AIA NJ CRAN Representative Brian Penschow, AIA

AIA NJ RAD Megan Pritts, Associate AIA

AIA NJ EPiC Chair Matthew Pultorak, AIA

AIA Newark and Suburban President-Elect Andrew Thompson, AIA

AIA Newark and Suburban President Paul Tiajoloff, AIA

AIA Regional Representative Bruce Turner, AIA

Many members believe AIA Grassroots is the most rewarding event that AIA offers. Treasurer Moran felt privileged to have the opportunity to participate, as many members do on their first visit to Grassroots. Ryan met with three representative legislative aides, one of whom had a very positive response regarding the sustainability bill.  Later that evening, Ryan attended a reception at the Library of Congress and made valuable connections with architects from around the country, notably Lubbock, Texas, Ohio and Hawaii. 

While this effort is always valuable and rewarding, the very best form of civic engagement is regular and local; when each of our members’ volunteer to get involved with their local elected officials or seek appointment on a board. AIA’s guide to civic engagement can help you get started. Check it out here. If you are interested in attending a future Grassroots Conference, contact your local or regional AIA component to volunteer for an open position. 







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