|Originally published in the 2006 newsletter of the American Institute of Architects, Westchester Mid-Hudson Chapter.
by Michael Shilale, AIA, LEED - May, 2006
Last month I wrote about many of the benefits, (over 60) AIA provides to us at the national, state and local level. Advocacy for Architects and for our communities may be the most important thing AIA does. In May your president and other members of our chapter will be heading to Albany for our New York State Lobby Day called Architects in Albany.
Governmental advocacy at the national and state level is a major effort of our organization. At the New York State level we breakdown our advocacy efforts into two major categories. One is architects advocating for more sustainable, livable and beautiful communities. The second area, more important to our daily practice is our advocacy efforts towards improving our abilities as architects to provide our services more productively, profitably and with an appropriate level of risk.
This year Advocacy for our Communities include support for Smart Growth and Sustainable Development, Affordable Housing, Historic Preservation and School Facilities. There are many bills in the Senate and Assembly that we support and our mission is to get as many of our elected officials to co-sponsor or vote for this legislation.
Architects as Advocates for Improving Design and Construction Practice issues include our support of seven Assembly and Senate proposals. These bills include: funding for prosecution of illegal practice, Wicks Law reform, and Design-Build consumer protection. AIANYS has listed all the bills we architects need to support in their Spring 2006 newsletter. Call your local Senators and Assemblypersons and let them know what is important to you. You can make a difference.
Our efforts at the national level seem to have made a difference in the area of small business health care insurance. A new study shows that Senate Bill 1955, The Health Insurance Affordable Act of 2005, will reduce employers’ premiums by 12% representing a savings of about $1000.00 per employee. We have been advised that this bill has a chance of passage this year and encourage all architects to call their senators in Washington and remind them of this vote and its importance to architects and all small business owners.
All that aside, if architects do not lead the world towards the development of more livable, beautiful, safe and sustainable communities, who will?