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May 31, 2017
by Justin Pascone

On 05.17.17, AIA New York State held their annual “Architects in Albany Advocacy Day,” which brings volunteer architects from across the state together at the Capitol for an intense day of meetings with legislators. AIA representatives met with top State Senators, Assembly Members, and their teams to advocate for some of the most pressing issues facing the architecture profession.

This year, over 60 architects from around the state held 72 meetings with the most influential lawmakers and champions of the architecture profession (more than one-third of the State Legislature). Representatives from AIANY and the other borough chapters met with 28 legislators and their teams who represent the NYC region.

The day-long event provides a prime opportunity to establish a presence at the Capitol and acts as a springboard to elevate our agenda for the remaining months of Legislative Session. We were also able to use this as an opportunity to ask legislators about their interests and those of their constituents, and to offer insights into how architects can advance their causes.

Some of the important proposals and bills that were discussed included: Design Liability Reform, the Historic Preservation Tax Credit, Construction Manager At-Risk as an alternative project delivery method; Interior Design Practice Expansion; and the Emergency Responder Act.

These issues pack an extra punch given the need to make architects’ voices heard in Albany and at City Hall. From environmental policies that shape how buildings are designed to changes in tax laws that impact a firm’s bottom line, issues affecting architects are on the table almost daily.

Pulse Points

  • On 05.19.17, AIANY hosted NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora at the Center for Architecture. Peña-Mora covered DDC’s recent achievements, their upcoming capital program, Design and Construction Excellence 2.0, and new Guiding Principles and Handbooks for Libraries and Police Stations.
  • On 06.15.17, DDC is hosting their annual “Consultants Open House.” DDC will introduce their Project Pipeline as well as highlight new contract processes and procedures. Topics include Project Pipeline; Design Excellence Program; Site Safety; Changes Orders; and Deliverables. Register Here.
  • On 05.23.17, representatives from AIANY attended the New York State Board of Architecture Meeting to discuss the recent announcement from AIA regarding the new titles for professionals pursuing licensure, ‘architectural associate’ and ‘design professional.’ The State Board reiterated their stance that these title changes do not meet the guidelines of New York State and are therefore not appropriate. According to the State Licensing Board, the terms are confusing to the public and could result in the endangerment of their life, safety, and welfare.
  • Registration is now open for the Hyper-Efficient Building Workshops, AIANY and Urban Green Council’s in-depth training on the design of hyper-efficient buildings and compliance with Local Law 31/32. The two-day workshops are limited to 25 participants and open to all architects, designers, engineers, and construction trade professionals. The first workshops are being held on 06.14.17-06.15.17 at the Center for Architecture. Register here.
  • Registration is now open for SpeakUp 2017, AIA’s premier advocacy training event in Denver, CO. Running from 07.19-21.17, SpeakUp will unite you with other engaged AIA members to develop the skills you need to advocate for your profession and your community. Use your passion to advance positive change for the profession! Register for SpeakUp 2017 today.

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