Given that almost all the parameters for architectural practice are established by state government, the Texas Society of Architects, on behalf of its members, maintains an active government relations program to know and influence contacts with all three branches: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.
All politics are local!
While staff maintains a regular presence at the Capitol and at TBAE meetings, the Society's members must recognize that individual architects also play an important role in protecting the profession from bad legislation. Elected officials may listen to lobbyists, but they vote on issues that align with the interests of their constituents back home.
What's the connection between advocacy and architecture?
While the Society maintains an active presence at the Capitol and regulatory meetings, individual members’ actions and meetings with local legislators are the strongest influences for the profession. Elected officials vote on issues that align with constituents in their local districts.
Individual members must develop relationships with their local elected officials to protect the profession from bad legislation, as well as promote “good” legislation of public benefit.
If the Texas Legislature received no message or input related to the architectural profession, it is very possible that laws could be passed that would hinder the practice and maybe cause failures to occur (or “happen”).
How can architects become advocates?
- Get to know your state senator and state representative, as well as other local elected officials.
- Respond immediately to Legislative Alerts from Texas Architects!
- Stay informed of laws that impact your practice…and share your views or experiences of how they affect you or your practice.
- Become involved with an Advocacy-focused committee of Texas Architects.
- Contribute to TAC online.
- Become a key contact for a local legislator. To confirm your elected officials, visit the Who Represents Me? website.
- Serve as a legislative bill analyst (proposed statute reader).
- Serve as a regulatory analyst (proposed rule reader).
Resources for Architects about actions and regulations:
- Sign up with the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners to receive e-mail notification of TBAE actions. Go to www.tbae.state.tx.us/listserve/ to sign up.
- Sign up with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to receive e-mail notification of TDLR actions. Go to www.tdlr.state.tx.us/newsletters/TDLRnotificationLists.asp to sign up.
- For school facilities standards and guidelines at the Texas Education Agency, go to www.tea.state.tx.us
- For current standards and guidelines in health care design, go to www.sos.state.tx.us/tac and select "Texas Administrative Code" at the far left. Then select "TAC Viewer" at far right to access relevant materials.