Action on Local Advocacy Issues

AIA Seattle has been the voice of our community this spring, advocating on behalf of our members on local issues that impact our members and our city. Advocacy efforts are led by our members through our Public Policy Board (PPB), and draw on our members' expertise to impact key policies and legislation at the city and county level.

Supporting Design Review Reform

Architects know that Seattle’s existing design review process needs to be improved in order to achieve better design outcomes for our city. In 2014, AIA Seattle advocated for an independent task force to review the current process and recommend improvements, which resulted in a comprehensive set of recommendations for Design Review reform. While the PPB doesn’t support every recommendation, we do support the process and goals, and believe it is urgent for reforms to be considered and acted on by the City Council, whose Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee recently decided to delay action indefinitely. We have submitted letters to all Seattle City Councilmembers, and have meetings scheduled with members of the Committee. AIA Seattle President Mary Johnston and PPB Member Mat Albores have also published an Op-Ed in the Seattle Times this week urging the city to act.


What you can do:

Opposing Initiative I-123

Initiative 123, on the Seattle ballot in August 2016, would create a new mile-long elevated public park on Alaskan Way, reallocating public funds and defunding the waterfront park currently in design by the city. AIA Seattle opposes I-123. I-123 would circumvent the city’s design process and hamper urban connections by moving activity away from the street level, de-accentuating the water’s edge in favor of long-distance views.  Most significantly, it would move a major public project into the private control of a non-elected PDA, moving funds currently dedicated to the city’s street-level improvements. AIA Seattle has joined with our colleagues at Friends of the Waterfront in opposing this ill-conceived initiative. More info about the No on I-123 campaign can be found online.


What you can do:
  • Endorse the No on I-123 campaign.
  • Donate to No on I-123.
  • Educate yourself by reading AIA Seattle’s Issue Brief and watch our enews for a panel discussion this summer.
  • Talk to your neighbors and friends; your opinion as an architect has particular credibility on this issue.

Additional Issues

AIA Seattle plans to comment on the waterfront supplemental draft EIS.  Comments are due May 18.


AIA Seattle supports the Housing Levy, on the ballot this August.


Working with our partners at AIA Washington Council, AIA Seattle has developed talking points about the value of carbon pricing to those working on design and construction of the built environment.


Seattle Design Festival

Kalidespace by CallisonRTKL and Bayley Construction at SDF 2021

Seattle Design Festival

Seattle Design Festival connects designers, community members and civic leaders to explore the ways design improves our city and our lives - August 20-26, 2022. Read more


  • We're excited to announce the launch of our Small Firm Series with @CharretteVG! These interactive half-day session… PM May 12th
  • The @AIANational Education Facility Design Awards recognize the best in today's learning spaces - and we're excited… PM May 11th
  • How is your Firm Building a More Equitable Culture? How will You Contribute to Change your Firm and in the Projects… PM May 9th
  • Don't miss out on Precedents & Possibilities Transforming Residential Practice on June 13. Sessions include 'The Po… PM May 6th