The 2020 AIA|LA Advocacy Platform: An Open Call for Issue Briefs

The AIA|LA Political Outreach Committee (POC) invites all members to share ideas for Issue Briefs.  If selected by the POC and endorsed by the AIA|LA Board of Directors, up to five Issue Briefs will  be included in the 2020 Advocacy Platform, which will be presented to Los Angeles City Council during our annual Legislative Day at City Hall in October.

The Political Outreach Committee’s central role will be to collect and organize ideas coming from the membership and from the other AIA|LA Committees. We will then share the draft platform with the AIA|LA Board of Directors for their official endorsement. Your participation is essential to our effort to include all member’s voices and concerns.

Draft issue briefs should be about 600 to 800 words in length each and formatted as such:

The issue (the challenge): A paragraph that explains the problem or challenge (200 to 300 words).

The recommendation: A list of our recommendations for how to solve (or address) the challenge. (200 to 300 words).

The request: A specific and “actionable” request. Targeted, focused, and clearly directed to a decision-maker. (50 to 100 words).

Please submit your proposal by Friday, May 29th (5pm) via email to Will Wright.

For examples of previous AIA|LA Advocacy Platforms:

Designing Complete & Inclusive Communities
Los Angeles Architecture: Empower, Connect, Thrive
Design Thinking & Regional Awareness
Los Angeles: Designing Our Future

A Letter from the POC Chairs:

Hello everyone.

We hope you, your family and friends are well, in good health and staying safe at home.

We are in the beginning stages of understanding and adaptation to an unprecedented new normal that may last some months, and that will, inevitably, have long term consequences. Without minimizing the painful significance it will have for all of us, but especially for the most vulnerable, it also affords us time to pause and reflect, introspect, evaluate, change, and innovate.

After this is over, will we go back to the way things were before the pandemic? What are we learning and what will we learn in the coming months?

There is an opportunity to give more value to the people that will be instrumental in surpassing this crisis. Not just the doctors and nurses, but teachers, the people supplying and selling food, the people delivering essential items to our doorstep, etc.

There is an opportunity to center the impending economic recovery effort on a green economy.
There is also an opportunity to change the way the government operates, with new systems based on efficiency, efficacy & resilience.

Housing has been a focus of the Political Outreach Committee for the past years, and the current housing crisis will be exacerbated by job and income loss. It is foreseeable that more members of our most vulnerable population will become homeless.

We will continue the debate on state and local laws and programs that will allow for much-needed housing to be built faster.

We will advocate for a more efficient building approval process with a focus on adopting digital submittal and review for efficiency, efficacy and resilience. Besides the long and cumbersome approval process in place, the city is ill-equipped to operate during a crisis like this one with the current system.

We will advocate for the creation of inclusive, meaningful public spaces.

We will advocate for inclusive & smart procurement.

We thank you in advance for your involvement.

Kind regards,

Jose Herrasti, AIAPrincipal, M u t u o & Chair, AIA|LA Political Outreach Committee

Sarah Lorenzen, AIAPrincipal, TOLO Architecture & Vice-chair, AIA|LA Political Outreach Committee

More about the AIA|LA Political Outreach Committee:

The mission of the AIA|LA Political Outreach Committee (POC) is to establish a political voice for architects and perform leadership outreach to policymakers and elected officials on matters of importance to AIA|LA, its membership, and the architecture profession.

Jose Herrasti, AIAPrincipal, M u t u o & Chair, AIA|LA Political Outreach Committee

Jose is principal at M u t u o, an architecture studio established in Los Angeles in 2014.
Jose’s interests include the use of design as a catalyst for social impact, believing that small, organic interventions have the potential to alleviate big social challenges.
As the chair of the POC Jose is interested in pursuing ways to provide needed housing at a faster pace, in addressing homelessness, in the creation of inclusive and meaningful public spaces, and in using political advocacy as a tool for change.

Sarah Lorenzen, AIAPrincipal, TOLO Architecture & Vice-chair, AIA|LA Political Outreach Committee

Sarah Lorenzen, AIA is principal at TOLO Architecture and an architecture professor at Cal Poly Pomona (where she was chair from 2012-2016). Sarah has practiced architecture for more than 20 years, working on a variety of building types including residential, institutional, and arts-related projects. Prior to TOLO Architecture, Sarah worked as a project architect at a number of award-winning firms in Atlanta and San Francisco. She is on the Board of AIA LA and in 2015 she was honored by the chapter with the educator of the year award.