Public Policy Board

Architects care about the places they live and have the knowledge and tools to make a difference through design.

Through advocacy, AIA Seattle promotes a well designed, sustainable city and creates opportunities for architects to prosper. Our advocacy agenda spans all scales of design in our city. AIA Seattle’s Public Policy Board (PPB), appointed by our Board of Directors, leads our advocacy efforts. Each fall, the PPB seeks member input on advocacy priorities, then selects a handful of issues as the focus of our work for the coming year.

What we do

  • Select a limited number of priority issues for direct advocacy
  • Recommend positions on issues for consideration by the AIA Seattle Board; the AIA Seattle Board issues new position statements on behalf of the organization
  • Seek input from other design and allied professionals

What we are working on

Ongoing advocacy priorities include:

  • Housing: Seattle’s HALA & MHA processes; housing availability; homelessness
  • City Design: Design Review process; urban design plans; Seattle’s comprehensive plan; mass transit
  • Sustainable Design: energy codes; high performance buildings; carbon pricing; materials transparency
  • Seattle Central Waterfront: support Seattle’s ongoing design and funding processes

For more information on the PPB’s priorities, please review AIA Seattle’s Advocacy page.

The Public Policy Board Steering Committee and AIA Seattle do not endorse political candidates or take positions on specific building projects.

Committee members are appointed by the Board President. If you are interested in participating in one of the current policy issue groups or would like to raise an issue for consideration by the Public Policy Board, please send an email to the Committee Chairs.


Committee Chair(s):

  • Rick Mohler AIA
  • Osama Quotah AIA
  • Contact the Committee Chair(s):

    [email protected]

    Updates from Public Policy Board

    Advocacy Update – October 2019

    NATIONAL NEWS ICC vote on AIA’s Zero Code Renewable Energy Appendix AIA National submitted a Zero Code Renewable Energy Appendix to become part of the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). If approved by the International Code Council (ICC) voting

    Advocacy Update – September 2019

    NATIONAL NEWS AIA Makes Big Move on Climate This month AIA National launched an initiative to drive climate action within the architecture profession. As part of this effort, AIA called on architects around the world to support humanity’s collective call

    Climate Partner: Shift Zero

    Its aim is to form a collective voice to advocate on behalf of zero net carbon buildings; inform policy solutions; and educate policymakers at all levels of government. Shift Zero’s diverse membership of local, regional and statewide organizations unites a

    Seattle Proposes Speeding Up Oil to Electric Heating Conversions

    Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced a plan to speed up the conversion of homes that burn oil for heat to cleaner electric heating as part of the city’s 2018 Seattle Climate Strategy. The City Council with consider legislation that would

    Seattle Enacts ADU Legislation

    Two ADUs will now be allowed on each lot, either two attached ADUs or one attached ADU and one detached ADU. The maximum DADU size will increase from 800 to 1,000 square feet and the minimum lot size for DADUs

    Advocacy Update – August 2019

    STATE NEWS Residential Energy Code Update Washington’s State Building Code Council (SBCC) is in the process of reviewing proposed amendments to the 2018 residential energy codes as approved by the SBCC’s Energy Code Technical Advisory Group. The proposed residential energy

    Mayor Durkan Announces Housing Seattle Now

    Mayor Durkan announced her Housing Seattle Now initiative outlining various strategies and policies to address housing and homelessness. This initiative rebrands the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda, which AIA Seattle previously endorsed. Durkan outlined four priorities for Housing Seattle Now:

    Advocacy Update – June 2019

    STATE NEWS State Legislative Session We are reposting AIA Washington Council’s final report on this year’s legislative session, which can be found here. AIA|WA encourages members to attend their state legislators’ in-district open-houses over the summer and fall. These are

    Advocacy Update – May 2019

    STATE NEWS State Legislative Session The Legislature adjourned minutes before midnight on April 28, marking the first time in 10 years that a legislature has ended a budget-writing session on time. The state budgets were pushed through in the final

    Advocacy Update – April 2019

    FEDERAL NEWS AIA Pledges Support for the Invest in America Act AIA National is supporting a newly-introduced federal bill, the Invest in America Act (HR 2210), which was introduced on April 10 by Rep. John Larson (D-Connecticut) and Rep. Kenny

    Advocacy Update – March 2019

    FEDERAL NEWS AIA Grassroots An AIA Seattle contingent attended AIA’s Grassroots conference in Washington, D.C. this month and participated in Hill Day, where AIA members from across the nation head to Capitol Hill to meet with their legislators. AIA Seattle

    Advocacy Update – February 2019

    FEDERAL NEWS Virtual Capitol Hill Day AIA members not attending AIA National’s Grassroots conference in DC next month are invited to participate in a Virtual Capitol Hill Day instead. On March 6, AIA members will be able to use this

    Advocacy Update – January 2019

    STATE NEWS 2019 Legislative Session The 2019 state legislative session began this week in Olympia and will run through April 28. AIA Washington Council is already participating in hearings on bills related to the Governor’s clean buildings climate package and

    Advocacy Update – November 2018

    NATIONAL NEWS From AIA National: ICC Voting Open The ICC has concluded its Public Comment Hearings for Group A of the 2021 ICC, and registered members may now vote on proposals that will directly impact the next edition of the

    Advocacy Update – October 2018

    NATIONAL NEWS AIA Secures Language to Better Utilize Architects for Disaster Recovery Efforts Congress and President Trump enacted the Disaster Recovery Reform Act in October, paving the way for AIA to advance opportunities for architects to better serve communities when

    Advocacy Update – September 2018

    NATIONAL NEWS AIA Seattle Director Represents AIA at Global Climate Action Summit AIA Seattle Executive Director Lisa Richmond joined the AIA National delegation at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in mid-September. The Summit was convened by the

    Advocacy Update – August 2018

    NATIONAL NEWS AIA Adds Voice in Opposition to Asbestos AIA National issued comments to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Acting Administrator this month on asbestos, opposing a proposed new federal rule that would create a pathway to consider new uses

    Advocacy Update – July 2018

    STATE NEWS I-1631 Reaches Ballot, Endorsements Sought The signature gathering effort for Washington Initiative 1631, which would establish a carbon fee to reduce incentives for fossil fuel use, generate funds to invest in renewable resources and promote energy efficiency, was

    Advocacy Update – June 2018

    STATE NEWS Mass Timber AIA Washington Council submitted a proposal to the State Building Code Council (SBCC) in May to permit the use of mass timber in the construction of taller buildings. Proposals are currently being reviewed by the SBCC’s

    Advocacy Update – May 2018

    STATE NEWS AIA Seattle Endorses I-1631 AIA Seattle’s Board of Directors has endorsed Washington Initiative 1631, the Protect Washington Act, which would establish a carbon fee to reduce incentives for fossil fuel use, generate funds to invest in renewable resources

    Advocacy Update – April 2018

      STATE NEWS Carbon Ballot Measure This month a Thurston County judge approved the ballot title language for I-1631, this year’s carbon initiative aimed at reaching the November ballot. Ballot titles can make or break an initiative, and the judge’s

    Advocacy Update – March 2018

    STATE NEWS Legislative Session This year’s 60-day legislative session was characterized by significant movement on several Democratic priorities that had been stalled in recent years. As a result of the Democrats taking full control of state government in 2018, bills

    Advocacy Update – February 2018

    With the 2018 Legislative Session in full swing, it continues to be a busy time in advocacy for the built environment. Read on to learn more about the bills AIA Washington Council is following most closely, as well as updates on Shift Zero, Seattle’s search for a new Seattle City Light CEO, and ways to get involved locally. Read more

    Advocacy Update – December 2017

    Interested in receiving advocacy information straight to your inbox? Take this short survey to sign up to receive our periodic Advocacy Update Enewsletter and let us know your advocacy interests. Read more

    Architects asked to respond to EPA’s assault on the environment

    EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced on Oct. 10 that his agency will withdraw the Clean Power Plan which requires states to meet specific carbon emission reduction standards based on their individual energy consumption. Architects Advocate is asking members to take

    Being an Effective Advocate: A Guide for AIA Seattle Members

    Legislators look to their constituents to bring information to their attention and to let them know how they want to be represented. Architects can play a key role in public policy debates and decisions on issues important to the built

    AIA Seattle Reaffirms its Commitment to Combating Climate Change

    AIA Seattle opposes President Trump’s move to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen the world’s ability to deal with the impacts of climate change. We stand with AIA President Thomas

    Join AIA Seattle’s Committee on Homelessness

    AIA Seattle’s public policy advocacy efforts span all aspects of a well-designed, livable city. Our concept of a livable city includes one where everyone has a home. AIA Seattle’s Public Policy Board has been exploring issues related to homelessness and

    Champions for Change: AIA Advocacy Opportunities

    Opportunities to Comment ADUs/DADUs Comment on the scope of Seattle’s proposed ADU environmental impact statement, comment period extended to Nov. 16: Opportunities for Action Urban Design Transform downtown Seattle by volunteering your time on the Lid I-5 project Climate

    Summer 2017 Advocacy Updates – Mayoral Forum, Capital Budget & More

    AIA Washington Council’s Spring Advocacy Conference prepares members for the next legislative session AIA Washington Council held its Spring Advocacy Conference in June to make preparations for the 2018 state legislative session.  Although the 2017 session remained stuck in budget

    Built Environment Mayoral Candidate Forum

    Seattle will have a new mayor next year, and the built environment of our city is under stress like never before.  How do the candidates propose to accommodate the 3,125 new Seattleites who arrive each month while addressing the homelessness

    Mandatory Housing Affordability Draft EIS Available for Comment

    The Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) has issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that studies three alternatives for zoning changes needed to implement Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA). MHA was a key recommendation of the Housing Affordability

    City Council votes on HALA-related rezones for Downtown and SLU

    On Monday, April 10, the full Seattle City Council will vote to expand the City’s Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) rezone program to Downtown and South Lake Union.  MHA will require developers to build affordable homes or contribute to a City

    Federal, State and Local Advocacy Updates – and a new Advocacy Manager

    The past month has been an active one for advocacy on the built environment, at every level, from city to state to federal. As always, AIA advocacy is led by our members’ interests, and enhanced by the expertise and engagement

    HALA: What’s Happening Now

    The Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) is a set of 65 recommendations issued by the 28 member HALA Advisory Committee to address Seattle’s housing affordability crisis. Read more

    Advocacy Update: AIA Endorsement of I-732, Action on Transit, Living Buildings, and More

    Why AIA Seattle Endorses Initiative 732 The AIA Seattle Board of Directors has voted to endorse Washington Initiative 732, a plan to tax carbon emissions at their source over the next 40 years. We encourage AIA Seattle members to vote

    Design in Public

    Seattle Design Festival

    Seattle Design Festival

    Seattle Design Festival will connect designers, community members and civic leaders to explore the ways design improves our city and our lives - August 14-23, 2020. Read more