December 6, 2018 – A powerful array of City Hall figures committed to working with AIA|LA members on issues that impact architects and the built environment during Legislative Day 2018 (Leg. ‘Ledge’ Day).

Held on November 15, the event drew approximately seventy AIA|LA members, staff, and guests to City Hall and surrounding municipal buildings. There, they held more than twenty-five individual meetings with city councilmembers, general managers, deputy mayors, and the heads of departments such as the Director of the Planning Department. On the table for discussion were: the AIA|LA’s official platform, areas of interest to elected and appointed city leaders, and concerns brought forward by AIA|LA members as individuals.

We are pleased to report back with the following “wins” & next-steps resulting from these discussions:

1. As an outcome of our meeting with the LADBS leadership, we will be coordinating a quarterly series of roundtables where architects can further connect with plan checkers and building inspectors about various code-related questions and clarifications. LADBS would also like the AIA membership to share their concerns and recommendations for how to better the LADBS.

2. As an outcome of our meeting with the Office of Councilmember Mike Bonin, we have an opportunity to recommend architects to serve on both the San Vicente Design Review Board and the The Pacific Palisades Commercial Village and Neighborhoods Specific Plan Design Review Board.

3. As an outcome of our meeting with Dept of Rec & Parks, we will work to develop a pilot program that will facilitate “small, high intensity design contracts to help Rec and Park vision and move projects ahead powerfully.”

4. As an outcome of our meeting with Councilmember Curren Price, we have two big “wins” to share. The Councilmember and Sherilyn Correa, Director of Planning & Economic Development, have offered to draft a motion that matches our request to pursue a Housing Innovation Ordinance. More details on the motion will be announced shortly. We also have the chance to organize two ‘vision-quests’ to redevelop two key opportunity zones in South LA.

5. As an outcome of our meeting with Vince Bertoni, Director of the Department of City Planning, we will be coordinating some deep-dives to further establish planning policies on Density/Design, Climate Change, Olympics (inclusion long term/not displacement), DIR and equitable placemaking that will ensure all sections of the city receive needed components that support resiliency, etc.

6. After our meeting with Amanda Daflos (Director of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Innovation Team, City of Los Angeles) AIA will be asking architects to participate in an advisory board to provide design guidelines for ADUs.

7. As an outcome from our meeting with Grayce Liu, General Manager, Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (EmpowerLA), the AIA|LA will be launching an initiative in 2019 to inspire and encourage more architects to join their local neighborhood councils.

8. As a result of our meeting with City Engineer Gary Lee Moore, P.E. and Deputy City Engineer, Deborah Weintraub, AIA, the AIA and BOE will be organizing a series of workshops that will help share best-practices for how architecture firms can successfully navigate the Business Assistance Virtual Network (BAVN) system and become more competitive at bidding for RFPs/ RFQ’s.
BOE will also be opening up their bench-list for architectural services again in 2019, so we will be launching a program to help match firms together to better achieve small business inclusion goals.

9. After our meeting with CAO Richard Llewellyn, we now have access to a database of all city-owned parcels of land. For our next “Design For Dignity” roundtable in January, we will be looking at this list of parcels to further advance a conversation around opportunity sites.

Many more meetings are still being coordinated as we move forward into the new year. So, stay tuned!

“Leg. Day” was founded twenty years ago by then AIA|LA President Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA, as a mechanism for architects to engage in civic activities.


PHOTO: Banner: "Going Up," in the elevator at City Hall. AIA|LA member/LA City Planning Commissioner Renee Dake Wilson, AIA (L), Boardmember Clay Holden, AIA (C), AIA|LA Director of Public Affairs Will Wright, Hon. AIA|LA (R) photo: staff