AIA LA Legislative Day at City Hall 2021
December 3 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm PST
AIA LA Legislative Day at City Hall: Connecting Architects & Designers with Civic Leadership
This year we will be meeting virtually with our civic leaders at City Hall, which will help streamline connectivity and make these meetings more accessible and inclusive.
The annual AIA LA Legislative Day at City Hall, our premier advocacy event, began in 1999 when Michael Lehrer, FAIA was President-elect of AIA Los Angeles.
The primary objective of this annual event is to elevate the leadership role of architects & designers and to ensure that we have more seats at the decision-making table. We also organize these meetings as opportunities to listen more closely to our civic leaders and identify pro-active ways to advance our shared priorities.
The architecture community is an essential voice to help shape policies that impact planning, land-use, zoning, and the building code. Because most local policies and regulations impact the the built and natural environment, including the perspective of architects & designers earlier in the process will achieve more optimal outcomes.
In December we will be meeting with our civic leaders to ensure that we are able to build more housing opportunities for all Angelenos while preventing further displacement. These meetings will also help ensure that neighborhoods are complete, healthy communities with a well-balanced housing-to-jobs ratio, inclusive, equitable, and integrated with a diversity of incomes and cultures.
Available to join us?
Register to each meeting that you’d like to join.
AIA LA Legislative Day at City Hall
Our annual Legislative Day at City Hall is scheduled for Friday, December 3rd and will be transformed into a virtual event this year. We will also be organizing additional meetings on December 2, 6, 7, 8 & 10.
Wednesday, December 1
4:30pm — The 2021 AIA LA Advocacy Platform & Legislative Day at City Hall Orientation
Join this meeting to learn more about the The 2021 AIA LA Advocacy Platform and what to expect during our upcoming meetings for our annual meetings at Los Angeles City Hall.
Thursday, December 2
10:00am — Osama Younan – General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Building & Safety
11:00am — Office of Councilmember Mike Bonin – Council District 11, City of Los Angeles
Friday, December 3
8:00am — Office of Council President Nury Martinez – Council District 6, City of Los Angeles
8:30am — Councilmember Joe Buscaino – District 15, City of Los Angeles
9:00am — Commissioner Mike Davis – Board of Public Works, City of Los Angeles
10:00am — Vince Bertoni, AICP – Director of Planning, Los Angeles City Planning
11:00am — Jose “Che” Ramirez – Deputy Mayor, City Homelessness Initiatives & Claudia Monterrosa – Chief Housing Officer, City Homelessness Initiatives at Office of Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti
12:00pm — Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson – Council District #8, City of Los Angeles
1:00pm — Councilmember John Lee – Council District #12, City of Los Angeles
1:00pm — Councilmember Paul Krekorian – Council District #2, City of Los Angeles
2:00pm — Greg Good – President, Board of Public Works, City of Los Angeles
3:00pm — Kevin Keller, AICP – Deputy Mayor of Economic Development, City of Los Angeles & Christopher Hawthorne – Chief Design Officer, City of Los Angeles
4:00pm – Gary Lee Moore, P.E. – City Engineer, Bureau of Engineering, City of Los Angeles & Deborah Weintraub, AIA, LEEDAP – Chief Deputy City Engineer, Bureau of Engineering, City of Los Angeles
Monday, December 6
1:00pm — Office of Councilmember Monica Rodriquez – Council District #7, City of Los Angeles
2:00pm — Marta Segura, M.P.H. – Director, Climate Emergency Mobilization Office & Rachel Malarich – City Forest Officer, Board of Public Works, City of Los Angeles
3:30pm — Barbara Romero – Director & General Manager, LA Sanitation and Environment (LASAN)
Tuesday, December 7
1:30pm — Councilmember Nithya Raman – Council District #4, City of Los Angeles
Wednesday, December 8
1:00pm — Councilmember Gil Cedillo – Council District #1, City of Los Angeles
Thursday, December 9
10:00am — Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell – Council District #13, City of Los Angeles
3:00pm — Ann Sewill – General Manager, Los Angeles Housing Department & Tricia Keene – Executive Officer, Los Angeles Housing Department
Friday, December 10
9:00am — Commissioner Jessica M. Caloza – Board of Public Works, City of Los Angeles
10:00am — Matt Szabo – City Administrative Officer, City of Los Angeles
1:00pm — Office of Council District #10
1:30pm — Councilmember Bob Blumenfield – Council District #3, City of Los Angeles
2:30pm — Councilmember Kevin de León – Council District #14, City of Los Angeles
3:30pm – Commissioner Aura Garcia – Board of Public Works, City of Los Angeles
4:30pm — Councilmember Paul Koretz – Council District #5, City of Los Angeles
Monday, December 13
11:00am – Commissioner Teresa Villegas – Board of Public Works, City of Los Angeles
1:00pm – Greg Spotts – Assistant Director, Streets LA & Shirly Lau – Assistant Director & Chief Technical Officer, Streets LA
and more meetings to be announced….
If you’d like to get more involved in helping to shape our biggest advocacy event of the year, then please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adopt The Zero Code To Achieve Carbon Neutrality
On October 19, 2021, Los Angeles City Council passed a motion (CF 21 – 1042) to direct numerous city departments to report back by the end of 2022 with “a robust, world leading plan to achieve the goal of carbon neutrality without offsets in Los Angeles by 2030.”
As an integral part of that goal, we request to have City Council officially adopt the 2022 Zero Code For California. At present, 52+ cities in California have adopted all-electric reach codes and the City of Los Angeles has the opportunity to go one step beyond. The Zero Code For California expands on the 2022 energy efficiency standards adopted by the California Energy Commission by:
+ requiring on-site or off-site renewable energy,
+ eliminating the direct use of fossil fuels in buildings, and
+ specifying beyond-code energy efficiency
Adopting the Zero Code will also directly benefit LADWP’s renewable energy programs with both on-site generation and/or off-site procurement of 100% clean energy.
We look forward to collaborating with the Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance, the Climate Emergency Mobilization Office, and the LA Cool City Challenge Team to integrate the Zero Code and other building decarbonization strategies into the plan.
Streamline, for real this time!
It takes too long to get housing built and it’s too expensive to navigate City of LA’s complex and unwieldy permitting process. Delays, lack of accountability, and technical uncertainties are also impacting site-feasibility and further impacting our affordable housing and homelessness crisis.
For LA City Council to champion and financially support a comprehensive audit of the inter-departmental clearance process with the aim to:
+ Streamline the process to clarify outcomes, save time, and lower the cost overhead of city personnel
+ Sunset clearances that are either no longer socially relevant and/ or at cross-purposes to our larger goals for housing affordability and community resilience.
+ Optimize a technological interface (Build LA) to quicken interaction and improve customer service
+ Update and modernize the policy & regulatory outcomes that City Council is hoping to achieve and re-assign the policy agenda upstream so that goals and objectives do not rely so heavily on project-by-project feasibility.
This request aligns in support of the recent motion (CF 21-0658) from Councilmembers Nithya Raman and Marqueece Harris-Dawson to expedite the approval process for affordable housing and a motion (21-0054) Councilmembers DeLeon, Price, Rodriguez, and Blumenfeld to streamline the permitting process for permanent supportive housing.
With more architects at the table, we will be able to share on-the-ground insight about how the existing departmental clearance process is causing severe snags, delays, and uncertainties that damage our ability to deliver housing to all Angelenos.
Invest & Prioritize Trees for Resilience, Shade Equity, & Environmental Justice
AIA LA is grateful for the leadership of the City Forest Officer, City Plants, and Streets LA and applaud their recent initiatives: The First Steps Report, Los Angeles Urban Forest Equity Assessment Report, and the Urban Forest Equity Streets Guidebook. These resources serve as a framework to advance more robust, catalytic opportunities for a healthier urban forest.
However, City of Los Angeles currently does not have a Capital Improvement Expenditure Plan and we are currently not doing enough to protect and maintain our existing street trees or plant new ones. In fact, empty tree wells are rampant on every street and its a strident reminder that more must be done.
The motion (CF 21-0039) to develop a Capital Improvement Expenditure Plan from Council President Nury Martinez and Councilmember Curren Price is a positive next step. In addition, we need to advance the motion (CF 19-0302) from Councilmembers Buscaino, Cedillo, and Martinez for a ballot measure to provide funding for capital improvements, land acquisition for new parks, and tree planting & maintenance.
AIA LA requests that City Council update its Capital Improvement Expenditure Plan to ensure more equitable, safe, and healthy communities, and to establish a viable funding source to expand tree canopy, especially in underserved neighborhoods.
Furthermore, to ensure that we are prioritizing our investment in trees, AIA LA recommends:
+ Prioritize urban forest equity at the front-end of reviewing development projects and analyze its relationship to trees at the inception of the permitting process.
+ Create a “save/protect the tree” & “grow the canopy” culture
+ Integrate the concepts of LASAN’s 2020 Biodiversity Report across all city departments.
+ Fully fund a street-level prioritization plan with an inventory of each street in Los Angeles.
+ Maximize space for larger trees by re-designing our streets, sidewalks, and parkways.
+ Expand the equity framework to include parks, expand tree canopy in existing parks and on all public facilities), and add additional park space in underserved communities.
+ Update the Street Tree Space Guidelines to optimize flexibility and ensure more locations for street trees.
+ Collect GIS data for all infrastructure (such as utility meters, pipes, poles, overhead power-lines, street signs, etc), consolidate their placement/ impact on the public right-of-way, and optimize more space for trees.
EXPAND ACCESS TO HOME OWNERSHIP FOR BIPOC COMMUNITIES
For more than six-decades, government policies and regulations and business practices segregated access to homeownership, severely impacting people of color. This caused generations of poverty and low-income impaction. Followed by the ‘war on poverty’, which led to more than five-decades of building affordable housing limited to elderly and/or very-low-income households added to the existing low-income impaction.
To reverse these inequities, Los Angeles needs a public-private ecosystem that advances a community-based neighborhood vision and combines capital, professional services, and facilitates land assembly at scale.
Specifically, community development must be driven to target home ownership for Black and Brown people, with development of commercial, industrial, technology and retail facilities adjacent to and in proximity to transit stations of underserved communities. Achieving this will create the economic chemistry necessary for a community to thrive and grow into self-sustaining environment that makes a safe, healthy place to raise children, live, work and play.
AIA LA requests to have City Council support the “Accelerated Equity Housing and Transit Development” Pilot Program.
The program will create a 65/35 loan ratio for Black and Brown people to afford a home, plus 3-income units. If adopted, the program will create nearly 300,000 rental units, improves the quality of life around transit stations, and generates $2 billion in new county tax revenues.
The pilot program will create a new business model and advance urban design solutions for underserved communities. This model will occur through a facilitations team in a public-private partnership with local and county government that serves as a master developer. The master developer can utilize existing Metro TOD visioning and strategies for underserved communities combined with scattered site developments of four-plexes as new homes for Black and Brown first-time home buyers. It includes existing single-family homeowners who wish to add accessory dwelling units, along with first-last mile corridor improvements, development of commercial, industrial, technology and retail facilities adjacent to and in proximity to transit stations.
This pilot program aims to: (1) replenish the culture of communities of color, (2) grow household incomes safely, (3) bring a new generation of the existing culture home to create a new vibrancy along the commercial corridors and be role models for the young children, and (4) provide affordable rental units for family and friends of the existing neighborhood and most important, (5) for government and banks to make amends and correct economic damages caused though historical redlining practices.
To create success in the absorption of Black and Brown families to afford a four-plex or remodel Mom’s house and add 3 ADUs, the pilot program seeks a 30% federal subsidy for each buyer and/or remodeler. This enables a person or family to make a low-down payment of approximately $50k. In addition, we are making a business transaction that is mutually beneficial to community, government, and business market. It generates new revenue and grows local market economies while mitigating the impact of gentrification, creating vibrant diverse communities that still reflect the local culture.
Strategic objectives include:
- To change the nature of the architecture profession and inspire architects to become more civically engaged, i.e., to be a designer and a citizen are one and the same.
- To change the culture of our City and our civic leadership: architects and system-wide design-thinking needs to become a more integral aspect of their mental landscape.
We aim to achieve this by creating:
- An open and inclusive initiative that is strategically programmed with relevant and progressive action-items and policy platforms, which will further connect the shared values of a multi-disciplinary group of architects, urban designers, city planners and policymakers to help make a healthier, more beautiful and more highly functional Los Angeles region.
- A committed group of task-force member volunteers (Political Outreach Committee) comprised of architects that establish an annual slate of issue briefs and policy recommendations.
- Targeted ‘virtual’ meetings with council members, deputy mayors, general managers, and commissioners. We aim to schedule the critical mass of these meetings on one day (December 3, 2020) at Los Angeles City Hall. However, additional meetings will be coordinated throughout the year with more public agencies throughout the region, such as METRO, Los Angeles County, LAUSD and the cities of Culver City, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Inglewood, Beverly Hills, etc.
Will you join us?
To be successful, AIA|LA Legislative Day at City Hall will rely on a committed group of AIA members to serve as a critical leadership resource. If you’re interested in getting more involved, please RSVP to email@example.com to receive more details.
To prepare for December 3rd, we will organize a virtual de-briefing roundtable discussion in advance to share our annual advocacy platform and bring everyone up to speed on how to best prepare for our annual Legislative Day at City Hall.
To discover which City Council District you live in, check online HERE.
Please note: this is an exclusive opportunity for AIA members, AIA Associates, and AIA Allied Affiliated Members. If you’d like to join the AIA, then please CLICK HERE for more details.
The Leadership of the AIA|LA Political Outreach Committee:
Sarah Lorenzen, AIA – Principal, TOLO Architecture & Professor, CPP ARC
Sarah maintains one foot in practice and one in academia. She is a partner at TOLO Architecture (previously Peter Tolkin Architecture), architecture professor and former chair at Cal Poly Pomona (2013-2017), and resident director of the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences.
Sarah spent her first eighteen years living in Mexico City. At 18 she left Mexico to attend college in the U.S. to pursue a BFA in Drawing at Smith College and at the Atlanta College of Art. After graduating art school, she broadened her interest to architecture, receiving an M.Arch I from Georgia Institute of Technology and later an M.Arch II in Metropolitan, Research & Design from Sci-Arc. During her early career, Sarah worked on the design of research and technology buildings at Lord, Arch and Sargent Architecture in Atlanta and at MBT Architecture (now Perkins + Will Architecture) in San Francisco. Sarah has taught urban design and architecture courses at Cal Poly Pomona (2005-present) and at Georgia Tech (in 2000). In 2011-12 Sarah spent a sabbatical at TU Delft in the Netherlands conducting research on the influences of technology on mapping and urban development. In 2015 Sarah was honored by AIA LA with educator of the year.
Casey Shenton Hughes, AIA – Principal, Casey Hughes Architects (CHA)
Casey Hughes is the Principal of Casey Hughes Architects (CHA). He has worked on a wide range of architectural projects including design, construction management, and documentation of single and multi-family residences, retail and restaurant spaces, as well as educational and cultural facilities. CHA’s work has won numerous awards, including the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Henry Adams Medal for Excellence in Architecture and an AIA Merit Award for Residential Architecture.
Hughes received a Bachelors of Architecture from Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), graduating valedictorian. He holds a Masters of Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD), and the work of CHA work was selected to appear in has been featured in various book and periodicals such as Dwell Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times.
Hughes is a committee member of the Los Angeles Planning and Land Use Committee, reviewing planning projects in Mt. Washington, Montecito Heights, Monterey Hills, and Sycamore Grove. He was also appointed to the SCI-Arc Alumni Council, where he is spearheading a publication that celebrates Alumni achievements for SCI-Arc’s 50th anniversary.
Jose Herrasti, AIA – Principal, MUTUO
Jose is one of the principals at M u t u o, established in Los Angeles in 2014. Jose’s professional experience includes work in small studios & large corporate firms both in Mexico & the United States, including the office of Roberto Sheinberg in Mexico City, HOK in Mexico City & San Francisco, and Eric Owen Moss Architects in Los Angeles. Jose moved to Los Angeles in 2001 to work at Eric Owen Moss Architects where he participated in several international cutting-edge projects, competitions & exhibits.
Jose is interested in blurring the lines of our profession’s boundaries to proactively create meaningful impact through architecture. Through M u t u o, he has been searching for opportunities to foster collaborations and expand the traditional roles of the architecture firm into a more dynamic role with bigger influence on creating built environments and solving complex city challenges.
One of Jose’s interests is to use design as a catalyst for social impact, believing that small, organic interventions have the potential to alleviate big social challenges.
Jose graduated with a Master in Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University, New York in 1997 and Bachelors of Architecture from Universidad Cristobal Colon, Veracruz, Mexico in 1993.
Jose is a registered architect in Mexico, California, and Texas and taught at Cal Poly Pomona from 2015 to 2017.
For more information, please contact:
Will Wright, Hon. AIA|LA
Director, Government & Public Affairs
American Institute of Architects | Los Angeles Chapter
3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 701
Los Angeles, CA 90010