2020 Advocacy Actions
Through advocacy, AIA Seattle promotes a well-designed, sustainable city with opportunities for all and creates opportunities for architects to impact public policy and civic issues. Here are some of the ways we advocated for architects this year:
- We endorsed the Seattle Planning Commission’s Growth Strategy White Paper, Evolving Seattle’s Growth Strategy.
- We provided feedback to SDCI on the Seattle Services Portal.
- We organized architect focus groups for Seattle Public Utilities’ update on solid waste planning and solid waste storage, access, and collection design issues.
- We supported Mayor Durkan’s Green New Deal Executive Order requiring new city buildings to operate fossil fuel free.
- We supported legislation to make emergency changes to Seattle’s Design Review requirements during COVID-19.
- We monitored City of Seattle discussions to make refinements to the city’s Mandatory Housing Affordability program.
- We worked with Councilmember Mosqueda to adjust last year’s ADU rules as part of the SDCI Omnibus bill.
- We supported Seattle’s Safe Healthy Streets program by sending a letter to Mayor Durkan, SDOT Director Sam Zimbabwe, and City Council Sustainability & Transportation Committee Chair Alex Pedersen. We also endorsed Seattle Neighborhood Greenways’ proposal calling on the city to convert 130 miles of streets to Stay Healthy Streets and make other improvements to allow people to safely walk, roll, and use micromobility devices during COVID and beyond.
- We monitored the Seattle budget process for impacts to AIA Seattle’s core issue areas.
- We supported a resolution to require Seattle City Council staff to evaluate the carbon impacts of city projects starting in January 2021.
- We developed an online ADU Showcase in place of the in-person ADU Tour.
- We supported the Seattle Energy Code update with technical and advocacy support and sent a letter in support of SDCI’s determination of non-significance under SEPA. Our members advocated for the new code as part of AIA’s first ever Climate Advocacy Week.
- We monitored Governor’s Inslee’s proclamations on construction and professional service work during COVID-19 and provided resources to members.
- We held a Climate Comprehensive webinar to recap AIA’s work on climate issues across many policy levels – including AIA National’s Big Move on climate.
- We participated in rulemaking for Washington’s Clean Buildings Act (HB 1257, 2019), which required the Department of Commerce to develop a state energy performance standard for commercial buildings greater than 50,000 square feet. We provided a webinar session for members to learn about the program.
- We commented on the draft 2021 State Energy Strategy to support the state’s goals related to climate.
- We passed and supported the rollout of Washington’s C-PACER program, which will provide a private financing mechanism for building owners to complete deep green retrofits and resiliency improvements.
- We protected architect licensure from legislative attempts to weaken licensing requirements.
- We supported housing legislation to facilitate more ADUs, help increase housing affordability, and stem the tide of homelessness.
- We successfully opposed legislation to weaken predesign requirements in state contracting.
- We continued to advocate against the B&O tax structure for professional services with large subcontractor payments as part of the state’s overall taxation system reform.
- We supported efforts to address embodied carbon in building materials for state-funded projects.
- We defended the state energy code and the State Building Code Council’s mission and structure.
- We opposed a Trump Administration proposal to designate “classical” architecture as the preferred style for federal buildings.
- We supported the YIMBY Act (HR 4307), which passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would address the country’s affordable housing crisis by streamlining affordable housing production and zoning for high-density single-family and multifamily housing.
- We sent a letter to AIA National’s Board of Directors in support of a proposal by AIA’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct prohibiting members from knowingly designing spaces intended for execution and torture, including indefinite or prolonged solitary confinement.