Advocacy Update | Advocacy = Impact
By Mike Davis, FAIA
During the last few months, the US House of Representatives has moved or issued several legislative proposals that are closely aligned with the AIA’s principal advocacy focus: climate action. These Congressional actions are evidence that effective advocacy has an impact.
“Solving the Climate Crisis, the Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America”, the 350-page report released by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, can be seen as one of the AIA’s biggest advocacy wins for 2020. AIA COTE members and AIA senior staff have been working with the office of the Speaker, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the committee’s Chair, Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), and other Select Committee members since Pelosi convened the group in 2018. The report – a road map that could frame the work of the federal government for years to come – includes many progressive policy recommendations that were supported by the AIA. These include encouraging state legislatures to adopt net zero emissions codes, promoting a national building energy use benchmarking program, continued investment in climate science and decarbonizing building technology, and subsidizing greater building energy efficiency.
Other new legislative initiatives the AIA and COTE Advocacy support and have endorsed include the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s “Moving Forward Act” (HR-2) that includes funding for school renovations, affordable housing, public transportation, and alternative energy production; and the “GREEN Tax Package” that would extend several renewable energy tax breaks and lifts restrictions against architects’ use of the 179d commercial building energy efficiency tax deduction. Both measures need to be taken up by the Senate.