Architects Action Day 2018: Advocating for Architects, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Nearly 50 AIA Pennsylvania and AIAS Drexel student members descended on the Capitol to advocate for architects on Tuesday, April 17th

Architects Action LEGO set posing at the Capitol

Eleven groups of AIA Pennsylvania members met with over 40 legislators/legislative staff and dropped off over 200 educational materials including issue briefs breaking down our key issues and a lego set “leave behind”, the evolution of 2017’s cube.

AIA Pennsylvania members were joined by two special guests: Bill Bates, FAIA, 2018 AIA National First Vice President from Pittsburgh and Seattle native Donald King, FAIA, Director-At-Large of the AIA National Board and Chair of the AIA Government Advocacy Committee.

The key issues that were advocated for as outlined in the Architects Advocacy Blueprint were Mandatory Continuing Education, School Construction, Safer Schools by Design, High-Performance Buildings, Statute of Repose, and Student Loan Forgiveness.

From left to right: Bill Bates, Rick Beattie, Don King, Gwen Dakis, Chip Desmone

AIA Pennsylvania worked with Representative Ed Gainey to introduce House Resolution 836 recognizing the efforts and contributions that the architectural community and AIA Pennsylvania have made to celebrate and promote equity, diversity, and inclusion within the profession of architecture and in workplaces throughout the Commonwealth. The resolution acknowledged the challenges the profession faced in creating a path for minorities and women to become architects but also recognized the progress that AIA Pennsylvania has made, such as the formation of the AIA Pennsylvania Strategic Council and the Paula Maynes Architect Registration Examinations (ARE) Grant for recent graduates pursuing licensure. The resolution passed unanimously. The co-sponsor memo and resolution can be found here and was highlighted by AIA National here.

Senator John Gordner gives members a tour of the Senate Chamber

On the eve of Architects Action Day, the AIA Pennsylvania board of directors and local chapter membership mingled with legislators outside the Lt. Governor’s office. Senator John Gordner, Majority Whip, was among the reception attendees and led members on an insightful, impromptu tour of the Senate Chamber, his office and Senate meeting rooms.

Many thanks to our legislative reception sponsor: The General Contractors Association of Pennsylvania (Keystone Contractors AssociationMaster Builders’ AssociationGeneral Building Contractors Association). Additional thanks to sponsor and corporate partner, Fenner & Esler.

AIA Pennsylvania members tour the auditorium of the Forum Building

AIA Pennsylvania members were also treated to a tour of the Forum Building courtesy of the Department of General Services’ and the State Library’s Supervisor for Public Services and Government Documents Librarian, Kathy Hale. The Forum houses the Pennsylvania State Library, the State Law Library, and the offices of several departments of state government.