AIA NC Legislative Day 2015
This week, 2/3 of SPARC participated in AIA NC Legislative Day. We’ve always been advocates of AIA. Some of us are a bit more in the spotlight..ahem…Thad. Others like to help organize, fundraise and create graphics to help promote local events. It’s safe to say we like to participate and have found it rewarding both professionally and personally.
Enter Legislative Day. This might be a day that doesn’t get a lot of attention with our membership, but it really should. Along with Grassroots in DC, this is a direct way to advocate for our profession. Every spring, over a hundred architects gather in Raleigh and share our thoughts with local and state representatives as they relate to building, design, and construction policies. Incase you’re an architect out there that has been too introverted to try it, it really is worth doing. Here’s our quick run down of how the trip goes:
Mixer with Local Representatives
This year, AIA Asheville, decided to take advantage of the Center For Architecture and Design, and host a social hour for our local representatives. The spread was expertly selected with local beers, cured meats, cheese, trout dip and other tasty items. Already, the trip seems personally rewarding. Winning! We did have some visitors, unfortunately, photographs at that time eluded us.
Morning Debrief on Major Policy Items
The next morning, architects from all over North Carolina met at CfAD to learn specifics on the policies our organizations support. Support the Historic Tax Credit Bill. Vote in favor of Repair and Renovation Funds. Support Governers’ Bonds. To summarize: give developers & entrepreneurs incentives to work WITH incredible assets of older buildings that make our communities beautiful; and don’t ignore our existing inventory of infrastructure and publicly owned buildings. Makes sense to us!
One on One Talks with Representatives
After we had our facts and advice in hand, we walked across the street to the State Legislative Building. The building itself is a pretty fun example of 60s modern. It’s divided into four quadrants with central spaces full of daylight and opportunities to have informal meetings. We sat at a table and got a gameplan for our talk. We were prepped to only take about 30 seconds! Our Asheville group was able to sit down with a few representatives and share our statistics and personal stories of why these bills are important to support. Other representatives weren’t available so we left our ‘blueprint’ with statistics, reasons to support the bills, and contact information.
Here is the 2014 Blueprint and the 2015 was similar. While we’re not the biggest fans of the ‘city blueprint’ typeface, we do agree this is an effective leave behind.
At 3pm, we headed into the House Chamber to hear the opening announcements. We learned later that that House did approve the historic tax credit bill on that day; so now we’ll just wait and see what the Senate does.
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