Advocacy Begins with You

For those who have been around AIA Ohio for even a few years, most know that one of the organization’s key goals is to engage in advocacy in support of our members, firms, and the profession. While the word “advocacy” can be interpreted to mean many things, AIA Ohio’s advocacy is about focusing on legislative and agency rules or regulations that impact the design and construction industry and more specifically, the practice of architecture in Ohio.

Some may think of advocacy as only an effort to maintain the status quo. While all of the bills introduced into the Ohio legislature are reviewed for the impact that they could have on the profession, AIA Ohio seeks to be both proactive and reactive in our advocacy efforts. As many know,  AIA Ohio has worked for many years to ensure that the profession protects the health, safety, and welfare of the public through appropriate professional licensing. The monitoring of legislation that would change current licensing laws is part of our reactive approach to advocacy. On the other hand, AIA Ohio’s efforts over the last few years to help ensure that design professionals are properly compensated for services during the initial phase of design, known as the Payment Assurance Legislation (PAL), is an example of proactive advocacy. Each type of advocacy is important to members of the profession and to the members of our communities. While bills are introduced throughout the term of the general assembly, few actually make it through the entire process to become law. Such is the case of the PAL. While unopposed during the last assembly, it failed to have the hearings necessary to advance in the Senate. Fortunately, the bill was reintroduced on February 4th and AIA Ohio is working to ensure that it receives the attention it needs to advance and become law.

While AIA Ohio works daily with our lobbyist to help ensure that the needs of both the public and the profession are protected, AIA Ohio needs each member to be an advocate for our needs and issues. Later this month, AIA Ohio is introducing a six-month program titled Advocacy Begins with You. Along with providing information on the legislative process in Ohio, this program offers an insight into how others have achieved success in their efforts to advance needs and concerns in their life, community or profession. In support of one of the key strategic goals of AIA Ohio, we invite you to join us for this program to learn how to be better prepared to be your own advocate.

Related in a significant way to the advocacy discussion is the need to support the AIA Ohio PAC. The PAC (Political Action Committee) is an important tool that the AIA, like others, use to help support our advocacy efforts. The PAC allows those who are sympathetic to our needs and who support our efforts to maintain their roles in the state assembly. Without the PAC, our efforts would be much less productive. We ask that each member contribute to the AIA Ohio PAC through the Resources tab of the AIA Ohio website. With many issues to address, both proactive and reactive, there has never been a more important time to contribute. Please make your contribution today.