Advocacy Update – June 2020

This month in advocacy: social justice, codes, and movement on reopening offices and job sites.


AIA Seattle joins powerful community voices raised to condemn the murder of George Floyd and the broader system of racism, violence, injustice, and inequity that it represents. In the coming weeks, you will hear more about our broader actions to incorporate anti-racism into our design work, our intercultural understanding, our community leadership, and our workplace practices. On the advocacy front, AIA Seattle’s Public Policy Board has been discussing its work with heightened awareness of the need to make AIA’s policies and policy actions explicitly anti-racist. Initial discussions have centered around incorporating more member voices; inviting those doing the work at the intersection of urbanism and social justice to help us learn; and acting on our understanding that issues around community planning, Design Review, public spaces, transit, housing, sustainability and more must address, support, and offer wellness and safety to everyone in our communities. We welcome all members to join us in this process and invite your comments, questions, and ideas.

Read AIA Seattle’s Statement on Racial Justice and AIA National’s statement here. AIA Seattle’s Racial Justice Resources page can be found here.


2018 State Code Delay (Again)
The State Building Code Council (SBCC) considered a further delay to the 2018 state code update at its June 12 meeting. The update, originally scheduled to take effect on July 1, was previously delayed by an executive order from Gov. Inslee to Nov. 1, 2020. Builders and developers, concerned about the economic impacts of COVID, have argued that the implementation date should be delayed further, to Sept. 2021. Gov. Inslee denied a similar request from some state legislators in May, but the SBCC has the authority to enact a delay on its own. At its recent meeting, SBCC members voted against further delay, but because of an issue with the way the vote was conducted (one council member was not heard when he cast his vote), a revote will be conducted. A new vote is not yet scheduled, but, when it happens, there are expected to be enough votes to pass a further delay in the implementation of the new state codes to February 2021. AIA Washington Council sent a letter to SBCC members arguing against further delay. If the state code implementation date is delayed, Seattle will most likely also delay.


Construction Inspections
On Friday, June 5, King County received approval from the State Department of Health to move into a Phase 2 Restart for all private construction activities that are low-risk and adhere to strict COVID Job site Requirements. The City of Seattle also issued requirements for construction projects seeking inspections, available here.

Essentials for Reopening Architect Offices: June 19 Webinar
AIA Washington Council is hosting a webinar on the Essentials for Reopening Architecture Offices on Friday, June 19. The panel discussion will review the policies you will need to have in place, liability issues to address, and planning for keeping your staff, your clients, and you safe and healthy.

COVID Resources
View AIA Seattle’s full list of COVID resources and opportunities here. State and other resources related to reopening the workplace are here.


ADU Showcase
AIA’s ADU Showcase, the online version of our canceled ADU Tour, is now open for applications. Projects must be built, designed by an AIA member, and located in one of AIA Seattle’s operating counties. Firms/sole practitioners are limited to one entry each. More info is available here.


AIA Seattle Committee Meetings
The Center for Architecture and Design remains closed, but many meetings have been moved to an online format.  Check AIA’s events page for more details on specific events.

  • AIA Seattle’s Housing Task Force continues to meet monthly on the second Thursday at noon via Zoom. For info on how to access the meeting, contact Kirsten.
  • AIA Seattle’s Transportation Task Force is meeting on an ad hoc basis via Zoom. To be added to the Task Force’s email list, contact Kirsten.

Architects in Action – July 9
Formerly known as the annual State Government Network Meeting, Architects is Action is AIA’s premier policy and advocacy event. It offers an opportunity to discuss pressing legislative issues, explore advocacy techniques and tools, and learn directly from your peers from across the country. This year’s event will be entirely virtual and is open to all members. More info here.


We’d love to hear from you! To comment or for more information on these or any other topics, please contact:

Kirsten Smith
Manager of Policy & Advocacy
AIA Seattle & AIA Washington Council
206-957-1926 |

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