Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Are you willing to get involved?

Do you find yourself procrastinating and once you realize it, you are not quite sure why? I have noticed, in the past few weeks, when I talk to acquaintances and friends there seems to be a desire for improving their lives but a hesitation to move forward with action. Now many of my friends here are in the architecture profession and just coming of age in the beginning of their careers. I understand not wanting to upset an apple cart, but I find myself scratching my head and wondering what we are waiting for?

Notice, I put myself in this category because I recognize that I have procrastinated on some of the items that I am looking to accomplish in my life. And maybe I am the only one, but I don't think so. I have had many discussions with classmates and co-workers who wish the profession of architecture was different. I am assuming that they want better recognition and compensation for the work that they produce. Now that I think of it, I could be wrong because as things are now, the profession is changing. It is changing to a point where architects could be so marginalized they are legislated into a requirement for the building process and only asked to accomplish those tasks required by law.

One example of this was the limited involvement architects had in crafting the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The AIA and their federal advocacy team did an outstanding job of bringing architects' issues to policy makers on capitol hill, but at the end of the day, the relationships lawmakers had with their constituents ultimately decided the final legislation.

Architects have a role in the representatives' future in Washington. I can tell you I personally witnessed the desire for information by the staff members of the congressmen about well designed communities, the importance of light-rail transportation solutions, and sustainable construction assemblies as it pertained to stimulating the economy. These young professionals recognized the value of the education we on which pride ourselves requiring to be a part of the architecture profession.

Effective governance, in principle, is dictated by policy and budget. The people that craft the policy and set the budget are the true governors of the future. These people are the ones with which relationships must be built. As architects and professionals, we cannot wait for our elected officials to come ask us the tough questions. We need to have a relationship with them as their constituents who are capable and ready to support them as leaders in our republic. If we do this, we have the opportunity to design the work environment in which we will practice. Remember back when you were younger, wasn't it easier to win the made up neighborhood game when you were the one creating the rules? Now is the time for us to create the future.

What do you want the future to look like? How can you help the political process? Leave a comment and let me know, what is holding you back?

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