Talk About It

About 8 months ago: Anonymous

Excuse me. This about me and all persons who live in our 'free' society.

'Discretion' and 'valor' are not the issues that you ought to be so concerned with here. The issue here is the dignity of your constituency - something that you (not a licensed architect and, therefore, not required to be fingerprinted) appear hold in low regard. Far below your personal access to politicians.

If your excuse is that it applies to all professions, then why not partner with the advocates of the other licensed professions to resist this? Have you thought of that?

It's a very poor excuse to tell me that 'everyone is doing it'. As my mother used to ask, 'If everyone jumped off the bridge would you do it too?'

One last question: I pay annual TSA dues for this sort of advocacy?

About 8 months ago: David Lancaster

Dear Anonymous,

I treasure the 24 years that I’ve been working with—and for—Texas architects. Please accept that I would never hold in low regard your dignity or the dignity of any other architect just for the sake of legislative access. Having said that, I’ve been a political animal for all my adult life and, as Kenny Rogers said, “know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.” Since far larger professions (i.e., law, medicine, etc.) are being fingerprinted already, they had no reason to jump on a bandwagon to exempt design professionals. We’re not the last group to this dance; the number of potential partners willing to stand with us in opposition to the requirement was small—and it’s getting smaller every session.

Without taking a side in the much larger “freedom vs. security” argument currently raging nationally, your lobbyists exercised our collective professional judgment, with the advice and consent of the Society's Government Affairs Steering committee and elected leadership, not to swim against this (very strong) tide because doing so would cause more harm than good to the profession. “Politics is the art of the possible,” which is why advocacy carries with it a degree of responsibility for the exercise of reason and judgment.
Once again, we argued against the fingerprinting requirement when it didn’t hurt us to do so but, in the end, we knew this wasn’t the time to draw a line in the sand. Once we saw we couldn’t stop it, we’ve focused on trying to mitigate the cost and inconvenience (in some cases outright hardship) to comply.

Anonymous, I’m sorry you’re upset; you’re not alone ... but I wish you wouldn’t shoot the messenger. My self-worth is tied to the profession’s growth and success just as much as yours. It has been for a quarter of a century, and, hopefully, will be for some time yet to come.

About 8 months ago: Tara Imani

Thanks for the info.

I assume this will be a one-time event: each architect will provide his/her fingerprints in the presence of the DPS where they will be kept on file. Or, is this going to be done yearly for licensure renewal?

Thanks, in advance, for your answer.

About 8 months ago: Kraig Becker

Hi Tara,

The fingerprinting process is a one-time affair. You won't have to go through with it on a yearly basis.

About 7 months ago: Melissa Douglas

David,

I appreciate your working on our behalf, but am also saddened that we weren't informed of this all along, so that we could as a group of professionals make our protests known. THAT I would happily have left work and made a trip to Austin for, and I will be contacting my State representative and register my displeasure. But its kind of too late - like a prenuptial agreement...it kind of ruins the marriage after that and runs roughshod over mutual trust and respect, which is one of the pillars of our societal relationships.

My husband and I strive every day to provide great services to our clients and to do so with the utmost amount of integrity. I am a Christian, so my standards for behavior are a bit higher than the State's, as I have to answer to a far greater Authority, but Who is also, amazingly, far more gracious.

I am personally offended and appalled that the State of Texas is requiring this of Architects - and Engineers, too, having worked with so many. For crying out loud, our Liability Insurance alone is enough to keep us doing the right thing. I can kind of see it for Doctors and Lawyers, because they deal more directly with people to whom they can cause real bodily harm on a more frequent basis, and for Bankers and Financial Advisors because of the temptation to pilfer money.

But Architecture is not lucrative enough a field for most and is frankly too much work for the reward to attract many scoundrels. There is easier money to be made elsewhere. Most don't do as many projects over a lifetime to warrant a check and also have to pass City Permitting reviews, so it is easy to catch unlicensed folk. We do what we do for the love of the profession and to create, and we take our jobs seriously. This requirement will keep even more Interns from ever sitting for the exam. Its hard enough to find young licensed architects as it is. And the slow economy has already removed at least a rung or two off of the "architectural apprenticeship ladder" as it is.

Also, how much will this cost and who benefits? How secure will these records be? Who will have access to them? If its just a way to get revenue, there are easier ways without seriously offending hard working, job creating, tax paying professionals.

Do Barbers, Dentists, Beauticians, Real Estate Brokers, Insurance salespeople, etc. all have to get fingerprinted? What about Ministers or Veterinarians? That will be simply amazing to witness.

I agree with "Anonymous" as to this additional encroachment on our freedoms. We are now essentially guilty of something, I don't know what, but I feel so totally let down. This is a very alarming sign of the times and it makes me deeply sad for Texas and for the US. We are on a rapid descent as a nation and are quickly becoming "a People of the Government, by the Government and for the Government".

This stinks.

About 7 months ago: Bosko

Personally, I think it should be required of all citizens, not just professionals, along with DNA sampling and the insertion of RFID chips into all Americans.

We have become overpopulated and there is simply no other way to keep track of unsocial and criminal behavior.

About 7 months ago: feeling kicked when when down

When I found out this was to happen in an email a few weeks ago from TBAE and that it would be done by a private company NOT DPS the first thing I looked for was who was going to profit from this. It is a privately owned company called (this week) MorphoTrust USA. It has changed its name several times in the past few years (Not suspicious at all).

I just looked up nurses on their licensing site- they will are to be randomly selected over the next TEN YEARS. Seems to me it is much more important that they be identified as dangerous.
By the way attorney's only have to pay $9.95 I wonder how much we will have to pay.

Again our lobbyist have failed us.

We are the only ones who can lose our livelihood because of TDLR violations... Not the owner. sorry still pissed about that one.

Wish I could have stayed AIA, but paying over $700 for 3 letters seemed excessive when my income had dropped 60%.

About 7 months ago: Architect

America had a good run there. Are there any other freedoms in the balance we should know about in advance? To be or not be a dues paying member......that is the question.

About 7 months ago: SB204

Similar sentiments on the engineering boards as well.

http://engineerboards.com/index.php?showtopic=21764

Anyone concerned about this new law and the creation of another big brother database should contact the sponsors listed below. It's hard to believe these gentlemen are Republicans that claim to be conservatives fighting for limited government.

Texas Senator Nichols
http://www.nichols.senate.state.tx.us/

Texas Rep Four Price
http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/?district=87
www.fourprice.org/‎

and Governor Perry that signed it
http://www.governor.state.tx.us/

About 7 months ago: Texas Society of Architects

Comments on this post are now closed.