Architects in Action: Advocacy & Impact at AIA|LA Legislative Day(s) at City Hall

Architects in Action: Advocacy & Impact at AIA|LA Legislative Day(s) at City Hall

A Personal Perspective from Darnell Parker II, Assoc. AIAPresident & Founder, Global Youth Camp AEP, Inc.

I want to express my sincere appreciation to the AIA Los Angeles Chapter for orchestrating Legislative Day(s) at City Hall and extend my gratitude to those members who collectively made each day impactful with their advocacy for our profession.

Throughout Legislative Day(s), the concerns of every attendee were not only heard but acknowledged. For instance, streamlining plan check procedures for permits to sharing challenges we may face for the LA 2028 Olympic Games, the discussions were both dynamic and engaging.

The experience was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Being in the same room with influential executive government officials who actively shape decisions for our city was a unique and eye-opening opportunity. It allowed me to witness firsthand the concerns architects share about the city’s processes and their sincere desire to collaborate constructively. The chance to engage with leaders—Architects, City Department Heads, Councilman/Councilwoman, Developers, and the President of the City Council—offered a rare glimpse into the decision-making sphere, empowering me with the knowledge of how to advocate for myself and our profession.

The atmosphere was charged with excitement, fueled by engaging discussions and a strong sense of camaraderie among professionals dedicated to advancing our field. Walking away from Legislative Day(s), I felt not only inspired but equipped with a deeper understanding of the importance of advocacy and the impact we can collectively make as architects. I strongly encourage other architects to attend Legislative Day(s) at least once and get involved in advocacy efforts to further the profession’s interest.

About Darnell:

Darnell Parker II is a strong professional with a Master of Urban and Regional Planning, focused on urban affairs and planning. In addition, he holds a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Architecture, focused on urban design. All degrees were obtained from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is an Experienced Specialist with a demonstrated history (more than 5 years) of professional work experience in the realm of architecture and community planning (2 years). As a practicing Design Professional in architecture, he has assisted firms in the Los Angeles area that focused on Healthcare, Multi-family Units, K-12, Institutions, Aviation, High Rise Residential, Transportation Planning, Regional Planning, and Urban Design. Darnell is a Returned United States Peace Corps Volunteer from the Republic of Moldova, where he independently worked side-by-side with the Mayor and his appointed staff, to achieve strategic planned outcomes for community development. He is an AmeriCorps alum who volunteered in Christiansburg, Virginia at Community Housing Partners.

He assisted their design studio that focused on achieving sustainable design for affordable housing. He is the Founder and CEO of a 501c(3) nonprofit Global Youth Camp AEP. His vision is to provide a globally inclusive platform that immerses youth in architecture, engineering, and planning so that every young person has the opportunity to achieve their potential in shaping a better world. His goal is to raise the awareness of architecture, engineering, and planning to young people around the world. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, the National Organization of Minority Architects, and the American Planning Association.