Advocates Show Legislators that "Design Matters"
There was a great deal of quality advocacy taking place in Austin on Tuesday, January 29. Approximately 150 Texas architects stormed the Capitol to promote the profession’s legislative agenda as part of Advocates for Architecture Day 2013.
On Advocates for Architecture Day, architects from across the state visited every Capitol office to communicate the importance of architectural design for urban planning. The message that "Design Matters," and that architects not only care about energy and resource conservation but are also doing something about it, resonated with all the legislators and staffers with whom we met.
As a memento of their visit, the architects left behind a limited-edition screen print of a sketch of the Governor’s Mansion created by El Paso member Morris Brown, AIA. They also shared a copy of our 2013 Advocacy Brochure, which details the Society's position and the types of legislative bills we support and oppose this session.
A few of our members even got a chance to “lobby” elected officials when they had to stand — where else — in the lobby outside the senator or representative's office when the crowds were too large to fit inside.
The Society’s second Advocates for Architecture Day was every bit as successful as the first, which was held in 2011. This is important because, as Texas Society of Architects President Larry Speck, FAIA, pointed out in his opening remarks, "the benefits we realize are cumulative, growing with each visit we make.”
James Perry, our executive vice president and CEO, commented, “With so many new legislators — almost half of the Texas House members are in their first or second term — we either educate them early or pay later by having to fight off bad bills." He noted that the architecture community's success on Advocates for Architecture Day "should go a long way towards protecting both the profession and the environment.”
Texas Architects wishes to thank all the day's participants, both our local members and those who travelled in specifically for the event, as well as our generous sponsors, for your passion and support.