Pennsylvania Architects Lobby Congress to Kickoff Leadership Summit

AIA Lobby Day

Members and staff of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) from across Pennsylvania were among over 400 architects and AIA leaders that met with Members of Congress and their staff on February 15 for AIA Lobby Day, the kickoff to the 2023 AIA Leadership Summit, held February 14 – 17 in Washington, DC. The day gave the membership the platform to advocate for two bipartisan bills that benefit communities and their inhabitants: the Democracy in Design Act and the Resilient AMERICA Act.

  1. The Democracy In Design Act (S.366) would ensure that communities across the country maintain a voice in the design of federal buildings consistent with their preferences, topographies, and design traditions.
  2. The Resilient AMERICA Act would make significant changes to the federal government’s ability to prepare communities for future natural disaster by increasing federal funding for pre-disaster mitigation through FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program. The bill’s previous version from the 117th Congress can be found here as H.R. 5689.

AIA members and staff from across Pennsylvania met with the offices of the following Members of Congress representing Pennsylvania: Senator Bob Casey, Senator John Fetterman, Representative Brendan Boyle, Representative Madeleine Dean, Representative Chris Deluzio, Representative Brian Fitzpatrick, Representative Chrissy Houlahan, Representative Summer Lee, Representative Dan Meuser, Representative Scott Perry, and Representative Lloyd Smucker.

The AIA member and staff delegation from across the state that participated included:

  • Roger Williams, AIA – AIA Pennsylvania President
  • Scott Compton, AIA – AIA Pennsylvania Strategic Council Representative
  • Jeremiah Woodring, AIA – AIA Pennsylvania Government Affairs Committee Vice-Chair
  • Eric Booth, AIA – AIA Pennsylvania Treasurer
  • Elysia Mikkelsen, AIA – AIA Pennsylvania Director/Past AIA Central Pennsylvania President
  • Parva Markiw, AIA – AIA Pennsylvania Emerging Professionals Chair
  • Anastasia Markiw, AIA – AIA National Young Architect Forum Advocacy Director/Past Young Architects Representative (YAR) –
  • Joseph Phillips, AIA – AIA Bucks County President
  • Jacalyn (Jacie) Prasnikar, AIA – AIA Central Pennsylvania President
  • Rachel Haynes, Assoc. AIA – AIA Central Pennsylvania Director
  • Robert (Rob) Fleming, AIA – AIA Philadelphia President
  • Brian Smiley, AIA – AIA Philadelphia President-Elect
  • John Ryan, AIA – AIA Pittsburgh President
  • Stephen Swarney – AIA Pennsylvania Executive Director
  • Amal Mahrouki – AIA Pennsylvania Director of Legislative Affairs
  • Rebecca Johnson – AIA Philadelphia Executive Director
  • Michelle Fanzo – AIA Pittsburgh Executive Director

AIA members are a powerful voice for the values they uphold in their practices every day. As natural facilitators and problem-solvers, architects stand ready to support new policies that create a more resilient, sustainable, and equitable society.

Architecture’s Generations at Work

The Leadership Summit’s host and 2024 President-elect Kimberly Dowdell, AIA, and AIA’s CEO/EVP Lakisha Ann Woods, CAE, kicked off the first full day of programming dedicated to the theme “Architecture’s Generations at Work.” Their discussion drove home the importance of harnessing the architect’s leadership and skill set and the power of design to adapt to and embrace our rapidly changing world and industry to build greater resilience in our chapters, firms, and profession.

Generational change researcher and Summit keynote presenter Kim Lear echoed that architecture is a unique profession to examine through a generational lens because it demands architects “understand how the world changes and what people need out of their space and their communities.”