AIANY PAF Releases Voter Guide for 2021 New York City Democratic Primary

March 16, 2021

The guide provides information on candidates running for Mayor, Comptroller, Borough President, and City Council who strongly support issues that matter to AIANY members.

New York City, March 16, 2021 – The AIANY Political Action Fund (AIANY PAF) has developed a voter guide for the 2021 New York City Democratic Primary, featuring candidates who strongly support architectural issues. The guide is available online and as a PDF that users may print out and bring to the poling booth on Election Day.

The upcoming elections will have a major impact on the architectural evolution of New York City. With term limits forcing out a significant portion of local elected officials—the mayor, comptroller, borough presidents, and much of the New York City Council—it is particularly important that incoming officials support the issues that matter to architects and design professionals. In our heavily Democratic city, most of these races will be determined during the June 22 Democratic Primary.

The AIANY PAF, which was formed to amplify the voice of New York City architects around issues important to the profession, evaluated candidates for city office based on their policy positions, the strengths of their campaigns, and responses to a questionnaire, which was circulated to candidates in late 2020. Because New York City will be using ranked choice voting for the first time this year, AIANY PAF’s voter guide includes multiple “Highly Rated” candidates for some races. The chapter is not suggesting how members should rank these candidates, only that multiple candidates in a race are worth ranking. In addition, AIANY PAF did not name a “Highly Rated” candidate in every race, instead choosing to focus their attention on the candidates that focused most explicitly on architectural issues.

“A voter guide of candidates who strongly support architectural issues is much needed for the pivotal June 2021 NYC Democratic primary,” said David Leven, FAIA, and Chair of AIANY PAF. “Architecture is heavily impacted by the decisions of elected officials, yet architects often have trouble discerning who is most supportive of the issues that matter to them. We also hope that by developing relationships with candidates prior to the elections, we can better educate them on the technical nature of architectural issues, which are difficult for many non-architects to discern.”

Because few candidates for office have worked in the design and construction industries, it is particularly important to AIANY PAF that the chapter build relationships with elected officials as early as possible to enhance their understanding of the impacts and importance of architecture and the built environment on New York City’s diverse communities. Because of the tremendous turnover in this year’s election, AIANY PAF has an opportunity to build these relationships, and greater levels of trust, with officials even before they are elected for office.

AIANY PAF will continue to work on educating the chapter’s members, as well as those candidates they are supporting. As we move closer to the elections, the chapter will continue to provide members with updates of AIANY PAF’s activities.

Explore the AIANY 2021 Voter Guide.

Steering Committee
The following Steering Committee members oversee the operation of AIANY PAF:

David Leven, FAIA (Chair)
Suzanne Mecs, Hon. AIANYS (Treasurer)
Scott Briggs, AIA
Guy Geier, FAIA
Eric Goshow, FAIA
Hana Kassem, AIA
Regina Myer A
dam Roberts (Director of Policy)
Ayo Yusuf, AIA

About AIA New York
Founded in 1857, AIA New York is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The Chapter’s members include 5,600 practicing architects, allied professionals, students, and public members interested in architecture and design. AIA New York is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach, and professional development.


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