Advocacy Starts Fast This Year

in: Government Affairs / 0 Comments

Usually The AIACC does not ask members to contact state legislators to say “support this” or “oppose that” until April or May, given how the legislative calendar works. This year is different. Because the Governor is asking for an early adoption of the State Budget, a couple of issues important to the profession popped up in the beginning part of the year as a part of the State Budget.

The first issue was the Governor’s proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies. Most members are aware of this proposal and should have received an email from The AIACC asking them to send an email to their legislators in support of keeping redevelopment assistance. Additionally, several AIA Chapters organized meetings between members and legislators in the district offices of the legislators. While many members responded with emails and legislator meetings, it appears at this time the Legislature will pass, and the Governor will approve, the elimination of redevelopment agencies. The battle over redevelopment agencies will move to the courts if that happens; the California Redevelopment Association and the California League of Cities believes Proposition 22, approved by voters last November, constitutionally protects redevelopment agencies.

The second issue involved how the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) can procure construction services for its multi-billion dollar capital program. A proposal to require the AOC to use the Design-Bid-Build project delivery method instead of Construction Manager at Risk made its way to the Budget Conference Committee and was being seriously considered against the wishes of the AOC. Most, if not all, of the firms working on AOC projects prefer the CM at Risk method over Design-Bid-Build because it allows the contractor to be selected early in the process, helping create a collaborative relationship between the architect and contractor. After being contacted by AOC staff on a Friday evening, AIACC staff sent an email to most of the AOC firms that evening, followed by another email Saturday asking them to fax a letter to the 10 legislators on the Budget Conference Committee in support of the AOC and its choice of CM at Risk. Most of the AOC firms responded and faxed letters by Monday afternoon. Our quick response, along with the responses from trade unions and contractors, helped keep this language out of the budget bill that currently is before the Legislature and could be voted on this week.

There is no way to know how many more times this year The AIACC will ask you, the member, to contact your legislators on a particular issue – the issues can appear out of nowhere and with little notice. Do know if an issue does come up and your involvement can make a difference, AIACC staff will contact you and ask for your help.

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About Mark Christian

Mark Christian, Hon. AIACC, is the Director of Legislative Affairs for the AIA California Council, a position he has held since 1999. In this position, Mark is responsible for monitoring the CA State Legislature, identifying bills of interest to the profession, developing and implementing strategies for the positive outcome of legislation of interest to the profession, and representing the profession before the legislature. Prior to joining the AIACC, Mark worked for the State Assembly for nine years in several capacities, including as a policy consultant on several significant environmental laws. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the California State University, Sacramento.

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