Rumble in the Jungle is Back

Does Your Component Want to Win $1,000 for 2022 Architecture Week? Win the RUMBLE in the JUNGLE for the AIA Virginia Political Action Committee Award

Like many professions, architects have interests that specifically impact our profession, practice, and our community. The legislative and regulatory environment is arguably the most important arena that impacts how we provide our professional services.  We, as architects, want to have an influential voice in this arena that allows us to control our destiny.  We can’t have an influential voice without having relationships. As such, the PAC allows us to build these necessary relationships.

The AIA Virginia PAC Award looks to celebrate the engagement and commitment of a local AIA component that supports the advancement and mission of the PAC.  The Award has historically been presented at Architecture Exchange East to the local component’s Board of Directors who will accept the award on behalf of its respective membership.  The award criteria are based on a point total calculation based on three areas: local component Board participation, percentage of local component’s membership who have invested in the PAC, and the total amount of money invested by the members of the local component.

Below outlines point allocations:

  1. Local component Board participation
    • Did 100% of the Board of Directors invest into the AIA Virginia PAC?
      • Yes = 20 points
      • No = 0 points
  2. Percentage of local component’s members who have invested in the AIA Virginia PAC
    • Component with highest % = 40 points
    • Component with second highest % = 20 points
    • Component with third highest % = 10 points
  3. Average investment per member from the total local component membership
    • Component with highest average investment/member = 40 points
    • Component with second highest average investment/member = 30 points
    • Component with third highest average investment/member = 20 points
    • Component with fourth highest average investment/member = 10 points
    • Component with fifth highest average investment/member = 0 points

The competition officially begins today and the scoring will be closed on Friday, October 22, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. EST.

Invest at www.aiavapac.org

Let’s Welcome Our New PAC Investors!

We cannot have an influential voice without having relationships with our state legislators. As such, the PAC allows us the opportunity to build these necessary relationships through attending various fundraisers. Since June 15, the following individuals and firms proudly invested in our PAC:

MG2 Corporation
Powe Studio Architects
Krystal Anderson, AIA
John Burns, FAIA
Kathryn Prigmore, FAIA
Stephen Wakeman, AIA

The Governor’s Office is Looking to Appoint an Architect to the State Building Code Technical Review Board

This year, AIA Virginia will be providing the Governor’s Office a slate of candidates for consideration for appointment to the State Building Code Technical Review Board. Our organization advocates for the Architect’s voice on these bodies to help shape policies and strengthen our communities. If interested in being considered for the slate, please click here to see submission requirements. 

Submissions are due to AIA Virginia Executive Vice President, Corey Clayborne, FAIA by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 12, 2021.

Below provides an overview of the State Building Code Technical Review Board (SBCTRB):

Purpose: The SBCTRB’s primary purpose is to hear appeals from enforcement actions under the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (VUSBC), the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code (VSFPC), the Virginia Industrialized Building Safety Regulations, the Virginia Manufactured Home Safety Regulations and the Virginia Certification Standards. Applicants for appeals are generally those persons or entities regulated under the building and fire codes and who disagree with an enforcement action.

A secondary function of the SBCTRB is to provide interpretations to the provisions of the VUSBC and VSFPC and make recommendations to the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development for future modifications, amendment, or repeal of such provisions.

In serving in this capacity, the individual will represent AIA Virginia during the code change development cycle in one or multiple workgroups.

Meeting Frequency: Estimated at 9-12 times per year for five hours each meeting for SBCTRB*. The code development review process consists of an additional 3-4 meetings per year per workgroup over a three-year period*.

Website: STATE BUILDING CODE TECHNICAL REVIEW BOARD (SBCTRB) | DHCD (virginia.gov)

*This is an estimate of meeting frequency and duration. The Board may have a need to meet more frequently or for a longer duration depending on the amount of business that needs to be addressed

Let’s Welcome Our New PAC Investors!

We cannot have an influential voice without having relationships with our state legislators. As such, the PAC allows us the opportunity to build these necessary relationships through attending various fundraisers. Since May 15, the following individuals and firms proudly invested in our PAC:

Architecture AF
Frazier Associates
Hanbury
KGD Architecture
LeMay Erickson Willcox Architects
PMA Architecture
VIA Design Architects
Ryan Alkire, AIA
Colin Arnold, AIA
Maggie Dunlap, Assoc. AIA
Robert Easter, FAIA
Mitch Rowland, AIA
Maury Saunders, AIA
Nick Serfass, FAIA
Elisabeth Sloan, AIA
Ed Weaver, AIA
Lou Wolf, AIA

Interested in Helping Us Elevate Our Voice?

The AIA Virginia PAC Board of Trustees is looking for members to serve who are interested in helping the organization elevate its voice in advocacy and community engagement. Click on the “service description” below that delineates what one can expect in serving on this Board. Those who are interested should submit a letter of interest to Corey Clayborne, FAIA, Executive Vice President at cclayborne@aiava.org.

View the Service Description>>

Make Architects Relevant in Our Community – Register for ARCHITECTS Speak Up!

If you are a member of AIA Hampton Roads or AIA Northern Virginia, we could still use your help in making architects relevant in your respective communities!

We are in the process of scheduling our final two meetings for ARCHITECTS Speak Up! which will be with Senator Mamie Locke (AIA Hampton Roads) and House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (AIA Northern Virginia).

Take part in a 1-hour virtual roundtable to discuss any of the following topics:

  • Energy Efficiency and Sustainability: Design to Combat Climate Change
  • Design of Healthy and Safe schools
  • Resiliency
  • The Preservation of Historic Structures
  • Design of Affordable Housing
  • The Voice of Architects in Policy   

Register at: https://www.aiava.org/architects-speak-up/

Note that all participants will be required to participate in the following two trainings that are now accessible through the ARCHITECTS Speak Up! registration page:

Advocacy 101: Becoming an Advocate in Virginia
Message Book Training: Strategies for Communicating Effectively

Make Architects Relevant in Our Community

Register for ARCHITECTS Speak Up!

Do you want to help make architects and architecture relevant in our communities?

Take part in a 1-hour virtual roundtable with a state elected official from your local AIA component to discuss any of the following topics:

  • Energy Efficiency and Sustainability: Design to Combat Climate Change
  • Design of Healthy and Safe schools
  • Resiliency
  • The Preservation of Historic Structures
  • Design of Affordable Housing
  • The Voice of Architects in Policy   

Register at: https://www.aiava.org/architects-speak-up/

Registration will be open through Friday, April 30.

Note that all participants will be required to participate in two trainings prior to their legislative meeting. The trainings are offered twice with the hopes that one of the options works with your schedule.

Advocacy 101: Becoming an Advocate in Virginia (1 LU)
– April 19 from 12:00 – 1:00
– April 26 from 12:00 – 1:00

Message Book Training: Strategies for Communicating Effectively (1 LU)
– April 21 from 2:00 – 3:00
– April 28 from 12:00 – 1:00

Statewide Legislative Meeting Schedule at a Glance
– Del. Chris Hurst (AIA Blue Ridge): May 7 at 11:00
– Del. Sam Rasoul (AIA Blue Ridge): May 7 at 2:30
– Del. Sally Hudson (AIA Central Virginia): May 7 at 1:00
– Del. Jeff Bourne (AIA Richmond): May 12 at 11:00
– Del. Lamont Bagby (AIA Richmond): May 19 at 10:30
– Del. Glenn Davis (AIA Hampton Roads): May 20 at 11:00
– Sen. Mamie Locke (AIA Hampton Roads): scheduling in progress
– Sen. George Barker (AIA Northern Virginia): Mat 21 at 2:00
– Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (AIA Northern Virginia): scheduling in progress
– Sen. Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (AIA Northern Virginia): May 11 at 2:30

AIA Virginia General Assembly Wrap Up

On February 8th, the 2021 General Assembly session adjourned sine die. Nearly immediately thereafter, the General Assembly convened a Special Session on February 10th which adjourned sine die on March 1st.  The General Assembly considered 1,476 pieces of legislation, which is well short of the 2,000-3,000 bills typically considered. This decrease was due to the bill limits set by each body, 7 bills for each House member, and 12 bills for each Senate member.

This General Assembly session was unique in other ways as well. For example, the House of Delegates adopted an entirely virtual format, which had members participating remotely from their home districts. The Senate of Virginia opted for a hybrid model and conducted in-person floor sessions and committee meetings at the Science Museum of Virginia. For both bodies, public participation in committee and subcommittee meetings was limited to virtual testimony. This means that lobbying consisted solely of communication through text messaging, calls, and videoconferences.

Week after week, you saw the bills that we were actively engaging and monitoring. As such, this article will focus on the three main legislative victories for our organization this session.

Defeat of HB 2259 – Governor; issuance of licenses to persons denied by regulatory board

This bill provides that the Governor may issue a license of the kind granted by a regulatory board under the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation or the Department of Health Professions to any person whose application for such license to such board has been denied. AIA Virginia believes that the process in place for regulating architecture should not be circumvented. It has successfully served in protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the general public as it takes into consideration the education, experience, and examination required for licensure. We actively opposed this legislation and it was successfully defeated.

An active stakeholder on HB 5002Establish Small Business & Women-owned & Minority-Owned Business Procurement Enhancement Programs.

Governor Ralph Northam announced the results of the Commonwealth’s disparity study, which demonstrate the need for the narrowly tailored race – and gender-conscious measures to increase equitable opportunities for women – and minority-owned businesses in state contracting. The outcomes of the study will guide the Northam Administration’s ongoing work with General Assembly leaders to increase supplier diversity and equity in the state procurement process. Read the executive summary of the 2020 disparity study here.

AIA Virginia supported this legislation, however it did not pass in its current form. Due to our support, the Administration has committed to giving AIA Virginia a seat at the table during the discussions to retool the legislation for reintroduction.

That’s right.

We will be at the table on this very important piece of the equity discussion.

Tax Conformity via HB 1935 and SB 1146

Each year the General Assembly decides which federal tax provisions the Commonwealth will conform to so Virginians know which provisions apply when filing their state income tax returns. Because of the pandemic, Congress passed numerous federal tax changes in the CARES Act and Consolidated Appropriations Act to provide immediate relief to struggling employers.

Specifically, two tax provisions were provided to PPP loan recipients 1) forgiven loans would not be taxable and 2) business expenses paid with those loan proceeds could be deducted.

Both bills included the income exclusion provision. There was a question regarding what to include regarding deductibility [$25,000 in one bill vs. $100,000 in the other bill]. AIA Virginia was part of a 43-Member Coalition that successfully advocated for the $100,000 deduction cap. This provides full deductibility to almost 80% of Virginia businesses who received a PPP loan.

These three victories are quite substantial in any legislative environment, notwithstanding a virtual General Assembly. Please continue to support our efforts by investing in our PAC at www.aiavapac.org.

Every investment matters!

If you have any questions, please reach out to Executive Vice President, Corey Clayborne, FAIA at cclayborne@aiava.org

The Governor’s Office is Looking to Appoint Architects to Boards and Commissions

This year, AIA Virginia will be providing the Governor’s Office a slate of candidates for consideration for appointment to two of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Boards and Commissions. Our organization advocates for the Architect’s voice on these bodies to help shape policies and strengthen our communities. If interested in being considered for the slate, please click here to see the submission requirements

Submissions are due to AIA Virginia Executive Vice President, Corey Clayborne, FAIA (cclayborne@aiava.org) by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 30, 2021. Please identify on the documentation which Board or Commission you are seeking our support for.

We will be submitting a slate of nominees for the following Boards and Commissions:


Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects (APELSCIDLA)

Purpose: The Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers and Landscape Architects (APELSCIDLA Board) examines, licenses, and regulates approximately 35,000 individuals and related business entities in Virginia.

Meeting Frequency: Estimated at 4 times per year*

Website: http://www.dpor.virginia.gov/Boards/APELS/


Board for Professional and Occupational Regulation

Purpose: The nine-member Board for Professional and Occupational Regulation is responsible for: monitoring the policies and activities of the Department; evaluating the need for regulation, if any, of unregulated professions or occupations; advising the Governor and Department Director on matters relating to professional regulation; recommending regulatory frameworks to the General Assembly, when professional regulation is necessary to protect the public interest; and providing citizen access to the Department and promoting education of the public about professional regulation.

Meeting Frequency: Estimated at 4 times per year* 

Website: http://www.dpor.virginia.gov/Boards/BPOR/


*This is an estimate of meeting frequency. The Board may have a need to meet more frequently depending on the amount of business that needs to be addressed.

2021 Architects Speak Up!

There is an old proverb in politics; if you are not seated at the dinner table then there is a good chance, you’re on the menu.

During the development of the current strategic plan, there was an overwhelming agreement that there should be a concerted effort made to invest and develop future generations of leaders for service for the AIA and the community. As such, the plan sought to launch a Virginia event that provides advocacy training and connects members with state legislators. Advocacy means taking the steps to make a difference. Good advocates organize themselves to take steps to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow. As architects, we engage in advocacy regularly during our practice, sometimes we do not even know when we are doing it.

Therefore, we want your participation in AIA Virginia’s first ever ARCHITECTS SPEAK UP! event.

Architecture practice exists at the crossroads of Policy and the Built Environment. Architects regularly advance solutions that directly address our social, environmental, and economic challenges of today and tomorrow. Architects do not see empty lots as just places to build rather we see them as places of dreams and hopes.

ARCHITECTS SPEAK UP! will consist of virtual meetings for AIA Virginia members to acquaint themselves with their in-district legislator(s) and effectively articulate the importance of architects and architecture in the community. The anticipated result is a structured and coordinated outreach event that can occur simultaneously within each of the five local components. We want you to advocate and introduce yourself and AIA Virginia as a resource for industry issues in a relaxed virtual environment.  AIA Virginia is looking for your participation in these scheduled meetings this May.

Join us for ARCHITECTS SPEAK UP! by registering here>>

PAC:
If you are not able to participate in ARCHITECTS SPEAK UP! that is OK. There are other ways you can support AIA Virginia’s legislative objectives. We are embarking on building up our PAC for 2021 and we really could use your help and financial support in closing our fundraising gap for Q1. Can you invest today? www.aiavapac.org