To our Members (and in response to the Presidential Election of 2016):
We live in a challenging time where some of us feel like we won last week with the election of president-elect Donald Trump and some of us feel like we lost. As you probably know, the National Institute issued a press release last week congratulating the president-elect and incoming congress and stating “AIA and its 89,000 members” stand ready to work with them. (http://www.aiasandiego.org/aia-national-architects-issue-statement-on-2016-election-results/). This was seen as particularly tone-deaf and has resulted in an apology that has been issued by Robert Ivy, CEO of AIA, and Russ Davidson, President of AIA National (vimeo.com/191580244).
As a bi-partisan organization, AIA New Mexico is committed to both furthering the discussion and making meaningful change. As Ed Mazria, founder of Architecture 2030, stated in his response to AIA National’s press release, “the U.S. Government must honor the Paris Climate Agreement if the country is to maintain its civic and moral obligation to combat climate change.” (See www.metropolismag.com/Point-of-View/November-2016/Architects-Respond-to-Trumps-Election-AIAs-Endorsement/). AIA New Mexico must work with Democrats, Republicans, the Green Party, Libertarians, and everyone in between – and we are bound to advance policies that benefit the practice of architecture and our shared built environment. As such we understand that what Michael Moore said about democracy remains more true than ever, “Democracy is not a spectator sport, it’s a participatory event. If we don’t participate in it, it ceases to be a democracy.”
If you are interested in getting involved, here are some of the ways you can:
1. AIA National will have their biennial “Call for Issues” next week which lays the groundwork for AIA’s 2017 Federal Agenda. You need to join the Advocacy Network to participate: www.aia.org/advocacy/getinvolved/AIAS078773
2. AIA New Mexico is having their first biennial Grassroots/Advocacy Seminar on December 9, 2016 (sign up here: aianmgrassroots2016.eventbrite.com/)
3. If you are an Associate Member, let your Associate Director on the National Board know your concerns:
Theodore Ferringer Associate AIA, LEED Associate
AIA National Associates Committee, 2016 Chair
If you have any questions, feel free to follow the ongoing discussion on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AIANational)/ or stay informed with www.Archinect.com. Keep in mind, if you have a leadership position, you are representing the Institute and refrain from posting personal comments with your title. We aren’t here to police your words – just want you to be mindful of the position from which you are responding. However, it seems clear our voices are being heard – and that is pretty powerful.
Barbara J. Felix, AIA, LEED AP
2017 President-Elect, AIA New Mexico