The AIA|LA Advocacy Report
April 26, 2018
from the desk of
Will Wright - Director, Government & Public Affairs, AIA Los Angeles

Santa Monica Pico Library Photo credit: William Short

Citizen Architect

Santa Monica Architectural Review Board

Are you interested in applying to serve on the City of Santa Monica Architectural Review Board?

They will have two positions open in June 2018. 

The City of Santa Monica Architectural Review Board is extremely influential in shaping the projects that are developed in the City.  New members will be joining a high-functioning professional board with other well-known architects and landscape architects including:  Craig Hamilton, FAIA, Barbara Kaplan, Architect, Therese Kelly, AIA, Joshua Rosen, ASLA, and Patrick Tighe, FAIA.
Here’s a link to the application:

AIA Citizen Architect

The Citizen Architect uses his/her insights, talents, training, and experience to contribute meaningfully, beyond self, to the improvement of the community and human condition. The Citizen Architect stays informed on local, state, and federal issues, and makes time for service to the community. The Citizen Architect advocates for higher living standards, the creation of a sustainable environment, quality of life, and the greater good. The Citizen Architect seeks to advocate for the broader purposes of architecture through civic activism, writing and publishing, by gaining appointment to boards and commissions, and through elective office at all levels of government.


Accessing LA

As we develop more programs and initiatives to diversify the architecture profession and identify more opportunities to achieve greater business inclusion in government contracting for professional services throughout the region, AIA|LA will continue to highlight key opportunities for architects to get more involved in the programs currently offered by the City of Los Angeles.

On Thursday, May 24th (5:00 – 7:30pm), in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the City of Los Angeles is hosting its 3rd annual ACCESSING LA: Doing Business with the City, a PROFESSIONAL & PERSONAL SERVICES FORUM. This forum will serve as an opportunity to further engage with City Departments and prime contractors for upcoming professional service opportunities and to learn best-practices for how to do business with the City of LA.

Small-firm architects, designers and engineers are especially encouraged to attend.

Accessing LA: Doing Business with the City
Thursday, May 24th (5:00 – 7:30PM)
Los Angeles City Hall
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Click here to register = Advance registration is required.


AB 2162: Supportive Housing – Streamlining Approval “By-Right”

If passed, AB 2162 (Chiu) will allow affordable housing providers to build ‘by-right’ supportive housing. Local agencies can still apply objective standards as they review project applicants. Much in the way that the recently passed PSH Ordinance will help expedite the production of much-needed supportive housing throughout the City of Los Angeles, AB 2162 (Chiu) will help us build more supportive housing much more quickly throughout the region.

AB 2162 will allow non-profit developers to build supportive housing without the prolonged approval process typically required in these projects.

• Expediting approval of supportive housing will enable developers to create supportive housing without winning over every potential neighbor, and would free councilmembers/supervisors to approve projects without fearing retribution. 

• It will allow developers and local jurisdictions to use public dollars more effectively and quickly. 

• It will encourage developers to create more housing for people experiencing homelessness. 

If you’re passionate about providing more housing options for Californians most in need of affordable and supportive housing, then please consider sharing your input with AIA California Council, and contact your local Assembly Member with a letter of support and copy me and Lisa Engel at .

For your convenience, a Sample Letter of Support is below:


Assemblymember David Chiu
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814
Attention: Lisa Engel

Re: Support for AB 2162 (Chiu), Supportive Housing Streamlining Bill

Dear Assemblymember Chiu:

On behalf of [NAME OF YOUR ORGANIZATION], I am writing in support of AB 2162, the Supportive Housing Streamlining Act. [ONE OR TWO SENTENCES ABOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION]

From experience, we know that supportive housing is a cost-effective intervention in ending homelessness for our state’s most vulnerable residents, some of whom have been homeless for decades. It allows people with disabilities to live independently, provides a sense of community, and contributes to neighborhoods. Despite the documented benefits of supportive housing, local jurisdictions often reject or delay approval of applications for building supportive housing. Siting supportive housing has become a routine challenge among supportive housing developers.

AB 2162 will allow developers to build supportive housing “by right” statewide, including rural areas with little to no current supportive housing, commercially-zoned areas that allow for residential use, and property previously occupied and now blighted. It would promote siting of supportive housing without developers having to battle the stigma of housing people with disabilities. While local jurisdictions would be able to apply objective standards to reviewing an application to build supportive housing, streamlining supportive housing would allow non-profit developers to build supportive housing without the prolonged approval process typically required in these projects. It would allow developers and local jurisdictions to use public dollars more effectively and quickly. And it would encourage developers to create more housing for people experiencing homelessness.

For these reasons, we strongly support this important legislation, and appreciate your leadership on this issue.




2018 AIA Capacity Building Project

I am pleased to announce that I’ve been invited by AIA National to participate in their 2018 Capacity Building initiative, which will be a year-long stakeholder engagement and outreach process to build a lasting “Culture of Advocacy” by helping to expand the resources available to local components. The initiative is comprised of four activities:

1. To Develop and AIA program to build grassroots capacity at the state and local level.
2. To “prototype” the engagement & campaign processes by working with AIA Pennsylvania on their advocacy initiative related to interior design encroachment legislation.
3. To develop a report and provide data that will help components better defend qualifications-based-selection of architectural services. This data will help bolster the claim that QBS results in total cost savings.
4. Utilize AIA SpeakUp 2.0 as a forum to guide a robust legislative and political training program.

As I participate in this capacity building initiative, I will be sharing AIA|LA’s best-practices for how we achieve results through our local advocacy initiatives. I will also be looking to hear how we can continue to expand our engagement so that our local chapter become more effective influencing the policies and regulations that impact the built and natural environments of the Los Angeles region.

For more information, please contact:

Will Wright, Hon. AIA|LA
Director, Government & Public Affairs
American Institute of Architects/ Los Angeles Chapter
3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 701
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(o) (213) 639-0764
Last updated: 26-Apr-2018 01:48 PM
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