The Importance of Group Political Action to Architects

One of my business partners Mattia Flabiano III, AIA, serves as the current American Institute of Architects (AIA) Vice Chair of the ArchiPAC Steering Committee so I’m close to the discussion on political action funding. We firmly support taking steps to overcome professional reluctance for political engagement. That mindset has put us noticeably behind our other AEC colleagues.

We also must better educate our membership on why it’s in our best interest to actively back candidates and legislation benefiting us as practitioners, taxpayers, and representatives of our communities. Our elected officials who serve us aren’t always aware how we’re affected by proposed changes to architects’ legal standing, federal tax credits for research and development, energy efficient buildings, historic buildings, S-Corp partnership pass-throughs, etc. These all are worthy of organized advocacy.  Working nonpartisan and within carefully prescribed legal limits, ArchiPAC is a means of amplifying our professional voice at the federal government level—yet currently only about one percent of members “opt-in” to donate to ArchiPAC through the annual membership renewal process.

I propose jointly reinforcing the importance of organized advocacy and generating nominal financial support to ArchiPAC by changing opt-in to opt-out in the annual membership renewal process.  This stops short of making contributions to organized political affairs efforts mandatory, but will improve AIA’s ability to lobby for our industry. 

To view James’s thoughts on other issues facing the AIA and the architecture industry, click the below links.

The Role of Architects and the AIA for the Public Good
Promoting Pay Equity, Gender Equality and Diversity Inclusion in Architecture 
Prioritizing Sustainability throughout the Architecture Profession
Engaging the Current Generation of Emerging Professionals
Promoting Architectural Innovation in the AIA
Influencing AIA’s Role in Influencing Architectural Education
We Need to Reinforce the AIA Pipeline
Live or Die: Overcoming the Architecture Industry’s Biggest Challenge
Striving for Greater Inclusivity in AIA of Non-Traditional Architects