Tag Archives: ArchiPAC

The BIG Ask

By Jerome Leslie Eben, AIA
AIANJ Member of the ArchiPAC Steering Committee

For those who do not know, ArchiPAC is the only federal political action committee (PAC) speaking up for members of the AIA. The mission has been and continues to be to support candidates running for the US House and Senate who support AIA’s initiatives to preserve the profession and promote positive solutions for the built environment. The Stearing Committee works with both sides of the aisle and this has been a key strategy for moving the AIA’s legislative agenda through Congress.

In one way or another I have been involved with ArchiPAC for over a decade. Back in 2006 we had jus 23 donations that totaled $3,351. Our numbers of donators and individual donations have steadily increased and by the end of last year, we had raised just over $10K.

With just two and one half months left we are some $3K short of that goal. Increasing our goal, which this year was to 10% above last year’s numbers, would elevate effectiveness and compete with our counterparts in the building and construction industry. By doing so we would in effect elevate the debate on Capitol Hill by bringing awareness to the issues that impact the practice of OUR profession from tax policies that affect cash flow to energy policies that impact how buildings are designed.

The above explanation leads to the BIG ask from me to all of you to make your donation before December 31st of this year.  It is easy to do so long as your check is not a corporate one. I am especially asking our entire current and past leadership to step up and make your donation and help with the ask so others will also contribute.

You can make your donation by visiting the contribution website ArchiPAC.org or mail a check payable to ArchiPAC to AIA Headquarters at 1735 New York Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20006

Meet ARCHI

Meet ARCHI

Thank you
Jerry

[email protected]

ArchiPAC Update- Race for the ArchiCUP!

ArchiPac_2015AdvocateThe Convention in Atlanta was a great success for ArchiPAC and I wanted to thank those AIANJ members that contributed while there!  Thus far ArchiPAC has raised $24,000 and recruited 225 members.  This year at Convention to make things interesting there was a competition amongst the Chapters and team ArchiAdvocates, which included AIANJ, took 4th place and raised $4,326.50 with 31 contributors!  It was a very close race and was all in good fun!  I wanted to provide AIANJ members with a legislative update to understand that AIA Advocacy is working hard on your behalf and we continue to need your help so that AIA can continue to lobby on behalf of its members with our legislators.  Here is the latest update from AIA headquarters:

  • Design-Build reform: Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that takes steps to improve the design-build process federal procurement process.  A similar bill, Design-Build Efficiency and Jobs Act of 2015 (HR 1555) was introduced by Representative Sam Graves (R-MO).  AIA has been a critical factor in the emergency of Sen. Portman, Rep. Graves and others as champions for reforms within the federal procurement arena.
  • Small Business Administration size standards: Ron Reim, AIA, testified on June 4th before the House Small Business Committee on the issue of SBA’s size standards.  Ron spoke in favor of a bill introduced this year by Representative Mike Bost (R-IL) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA), the Stronger Voice for Small Business Act (HR 1429), which would allow small firms to appeal size standards they see as unfair directly to the SBA rather than having to go through the costly federal courts.  Standards established by the SBA defines a “small business” and firms fitting that description are eligible for SBA loans and set-aside projects from the federal government.
  • Tax Reform: as the debate over tax reform continues, members of Congress are looking everywhere for possible ways to trim the tax code, including a number of provisions that directly benefit architecture firms.  An example of this is Section 179D-Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings (passed as part of HR 5771) which allows building owners and tenants who make expenditures to cause new or renovated commercial buildings to be more energy efficient will be eligible for a tax deduction up to $1.80 per square foot.  Currently this deduction expires annually but efforts are currently under way to introduce legislation that would make the deduction permanent.  That push is being led by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD).
  • Student Loan Forgiveness: Legislation was introduced last Congress as the National Design Services Act of 2014 by Rep. Earl Perlmutter (D-CO) and Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) that would provide some level of student loan forgiveness for architecture students who volunteer design services within their community. The program would mirror ones in the medical, legal, and even veterinarian professions.
  • Building Codes: Rep. Diaz-Balart (R-FL) recently reintroduced bill HR 1878- Safe Building Code Incentive Act incentivizing states to strengthen their building codes, mitigating the various negative impacts of disasters.
  • 2030: Both chambers of Congress are contemplating language to repeal the 2030 fossil fuel reduction targets for federal buildings as part of comprehensive energy legislation. AIA is working with allies to advocate against a repeal of the 2030 targets, a critical issue for the design industry.

I am happy to speak with any members that have any questions regarding the issues above and/or how members can get involved as “Architects in Action”.  Please visit the ArchiPAC website to become an advocate as well as to INVEST in ArchiPAC!ArchiPAC_Invest Sincerely, Justin A. Mihalik, AIA 2015 ArchiPAC Steering Committee Member