Ask Us About… Advocacy
The Nobel Laureate and author Maya Angelou wrote, “If you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.”
AIA California’s advocacy work is such a legacy program. It encompasses not only the legislative agenda but also informs the implementation of our strategic goals and objectives across matters related to practice, climate action, licensure, education, equity diversity and inclusion and membership: https://aiacalifornia.org/architecture-advocacy/
We have Mark Christian, Hon. AIA CA Director of Government Relations to thank for a broad, deep, and lasting advocacy program. Developed over the more than two decades of his substantial tenure, his investment in our professional imperatives spans the years and generations of political leaders in California government and professional leaders on our Board. It addresses the imperatives and professional requirements needs of all architects in California.
The advocacy program encompasses all of the priority initatives of AIA California. Working with the AIA California Board of Directors, with Robert Ooley, FAIA, the current Vice President of Government Relations, and numerous committees, Mark has provided expert leadership in continuous partnership and collaboration with the Governor’s Office, executive branch agencies such as the Department of General Services, the Division of the State Architect, with the California Energy Commission, the California Building Standards Commission and the California legislature.
Our robust advocacy work on legislation led by Mark with the Board’s Advocacy Advisory Committee includes diligent and thoughtful development of recent proactive legislation on such issues as protection of architects’ intellectual property, continuing education and naming of architectural general corporations.
Mark also leads ongoing oversight and reactive review with Advocacy Advisory, Urban Design and Climate Action Committees, he screens and reviews hundreds of bills in each legislative agenda. He leads study and work with expert consultants and board members on other matters of critical importance to practice ranging from a potential sales tax on services, registration by architects with the Department of Industrial Relations, work permitted by unlicensed individuals under the Architects Practice Act, to adoption of a zero code and proposed revisions to the California Existing Building Code to achieve climate action goals through improved and updated codes and regulations.
The value of Mark Christian’s leadership of AIA’s government relations program is inestimable as a model of successful and sustainable approach to professional advocacy. We will continue to work closely with him in the coming months to transition his vast institutional knowledge, generous leadership and wealth of expertise to a talented successor when he retires in October.
Active advocacy outside and within the profession for architects matters. All architects in California have surely benefitted from AIA California’s substantial advocacy program. I know that carrying on the government relations program developed and led by Mark Christian and Board leaders is an investment in future generations of architects in our state, for the benefit of the public through the power of safe, accessible and resilient design.