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Architects Action Day 2017
Dana Rice and Nana Biney representing emerging professionals at Architects in Action 2017 in Harrisburg had a front row seat to democracy in action. Every year in Harrisburg Pennsylvania, the AIA PA convenes members from across the state to lobby the for bills and issues that are not only important to architects but for which they are in a unique position to speak with authority on. As we traversed through the labyrinth of hallways and grand staircases of the State Capitol building we petitioned lawmakers from across the state about issues ranging from building codes to affordable higher education. As some of the few emerging professionals who attended Action Day this year, we were more often than not the youngest people at the table. However, these meetings provided valuable experience that we rarely get everyday at the office, speaking with lawmakers gave us the opportunity to practice articulating and advocating for the issues we care about. While we were mostly speaking from pre-written briefs provided to us by the AIA, one thing that perhaps surprised many of the people we spoke with was the range of issues we touched on and expertise we were able to offer on them. This highlighted the need for architects and other design professionals to be brought into the conversation as policies that affect and are affected by the built environment are created. As emerging professionals it is particularly important that we stay involved and continue to support the architect’s role as advocate, as we stand much to gain and to lose as future stewards of our profession and the built environment in general. In the future we would like to see more young architects attend Architect’s Action Day and lend their voice in any capacity to promote the issues they care about.