Where do you need us?

A website, a survey, a forum or two.  We have a number of new tools this month to help our AIA Membership alert us to areas where we need to come together as a community, and new tools to educate each other about the work we are already doing.

The new Advocacy Website is up and running.  Thanks to Jana McCann (mission), Michael Hsu (commercial), Stuart Sampley (Residential), and Bart Whatley (planning) for putting together the content.  This month Jacqui Dodson will make updates to improve the usability of the Advocacy website.  Because we are linking to allegedly authoritative outside material, Matt Ryan will assist with crafting a disclaimer.

We are pushing to provide recommendations regarding the Commercial Design Standards as a part of the City's upcoming public input process.  Paul Detke has been meeting with other organizations and now we will present it to AIA membership to gather more input and workshop some of the promising ideas;  Michael Hsu reported on the progress of this Commercial Design Standards Forum in a couple weeks.  An email and print broadcast will be released in a few days to Membership, and we clarified the goals of the email and of the forum.

Stuart Sampley reported on the preliminary goals for the Subchapter F Residential Design Standards Forum, tentitatively mid-July.  He is working to build his team and lay out the AIA process before it kicks off later this summer.

Jacqui Dodson provided an update on the TSA TAC funding drive and the Historic Preservation legislation.  Preservation Texas was one of several items last month where AIA Austin was asked to establish a position on an issue within hours.  In the past, a fast response to a hot issue has not been one of our strengths, but we are excited to begin building toward this capability.  Richard Weiss will follow up regarding a submittal form for the website that would clarify the process for triggering a position statement from AIA Austin.

Jana McCann, Steve Oliver, Richard Weiss, and Sally Fly have developed an online Advocacy Survey that asks our Membership what issues are helping/hurting their profession, and where they most need committees to get involved.  We will roll that out in the next few days so that we can have preliminary feedback ahead of the retreat.

The mid-year Retreat for Committee leadership is upon us. Michael Cowan is building the agenda, and Bart Whatley will help him develop an Advocacy portion that will start to build connections between committees.  We often have multiple AIA committees coming at the same issue (affordable housing, sustainability, etc) from different angles, and we need a better way to share information and resources.

My goal this month was to get all of the fires assigned to someone other than me.  You guys are great and I am honored to be in the same room with such passionate, experienced professionals.