Why did so many people believe in Martin Luther King and support the Civil Rights Movement? Why did so many people resonate with Pope John Paul II’s words about the dignity of each person to forge solidarity and spark the fall of Communism? King’s speech that day in 1963 at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial was not a 10 point plan on how the Civil Rights Movement would work. John Paul II’s 32 sermons in nine days on his 1979 trip to Communist Poland did not focus on what needed to change. MLK and JP II inspired people to believe in their hearts why they should take action to pursue human rights by talking about what they believed in. MLK and JP II helped people see the incredible strength in numbers. Millions came to believe in why they did what they did and joined their causes.

The AIA Virginia Political Action Committee (PAC) is the primary tool Virginia Architects have to ensure our profession remains relevant and impactful for years to come. Why invest in the PAC? We all need an answer to that fundamental question before we open up our wallets. We believe:

  • Architects speak with a unified voice to support candidates who understand our profession, regardless of party affiliation, through the AIA Virginia PAC. When these candidates win, they bring that understanding to the General Assembly and into debates on new legislation.
  • Our PAC investments provide face-to-face opportunities to educate lawmakers about what we do. The General Assembly is comprised of members of varying backgrounds, professions, experiences, and cultures. Yet, they are called upon every day to make decisions that impact our profession and the built environment including procurement, liability, funding, zoning, transportation, preservation, taxation, licensing.
  • State lawmakers are caretakers of the built environment. They come from diverse backgrounds and careers. One might be a farmer, another an attorney, another a dentist.
  • Lawmakers need and want our advice. Architects are perfectly positioned to be the authoritative voice on all matters related to the quality of the built environment. If our voice is not at the table, lawmakers will get advice from others, who may, or may not support what is important to us.
  • The PAC supports all Virginia firms because it has established a solid legal framework for practicing architecture and is essential to preserving this framework so that it continues to benefit our profession in Virginia as a whole.
  • The PAC enables us to build relationships with other key influencers to elevate our profession. One such example, our relationship with the Governor’s Director of Appointments continues to facilitate the selection of Virginia Architects for Gubernatorial Appointments.

To ensure our voice remains strong, particularly in this election year, we need members like you to believe in the value of the PAC and support the cause. For only 10 cents a day, you can make a positive influence on the future of our profession. Please consider making an investment of $36.50 today. Visit aiavapac.org to learn more and make your investment. Participation at any level is the key, not the actual amount because there is considerable strength in numbers. Investing in the PAC is a relatively small individual step that collectively has a significant impact on our profession and the quality of the built environment.

Sean E. Reilly, AIA
AIA Virginia 2021 President
AIA Virginia PAC Board of Trustees Member