Know Before You Go 2013

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PDF Factsheet
PDF Factsheet

Each year, ASLA advocates travel from across the country to Washington, D.C. to advocate for policy issues important to the landscape architecture profession. During their congressional visits, landscape architects strive to raise the visibility of the profession with legislators and key staff to educate them on the many ways that landscape architects provide solutions to a myriad of problems facing our nation. 

This year, ASLA's Advocacy Day will take place on Thursday April 25th when ASLA advocates will meet with their legislators and key staff to discuss how landscape architects, many as small businesses, provide innovative solutions to a range of issues facing communities across the country.

Small Businesses: Big Solutions
Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy and are helping with our nation’s economic recovery. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, small firms accounted for 67 percent of net new jobs created in the United States between mid-2009 to 2011. In landscape architecture, 97 percent of all firms are small businesses and they are doing their part to help jumpstart the nation’s economy – from creating jobs, and planning and designing critical infrastructure to fostering economic development.

Small Business Issue Brief
Small Business Summary
Small Business Talking Points

Investing in Our Water Infrastructure Systems
For decades, landscape architects have utilized green infrastructure solutions to address problems related to stormwater.  Landscape architects use natural landforms and techniques that replicate the natural hydrology of the landscape, which allows more water to remain on-site, reducing the burden on stormdrain systems and minimizing combined sewer overflows.

Green Infrastructure Issue Brief
Green Infrastructure Summary
Green Infrastructure Talking Points-House
Green Infrastructure Talking Points-Senate

Fixing Our Transportation Networks for All Users
Using expert planning and design, landscape architects are helping to create communities with transportation systems that match the needs of those neighborhoods, with more transit-oriented development , walking and bicycling paths and trails that lead to schools, work, shopping, and other daily destinations, and better access to public transportation.  Landscape architects are particularly adept at designing these multimodal projects in a way that is safe for all users regardless of age and abilities.

Complete Streets Issue Brief
Complete Streets Summary
Complete Streets Talking Points-House
Complete Streets Talking Points-Senate 
Bike Ped Safety Letter to DOT Secretary LaHood
List of Congressional Signatories to Bike Ped Safety Letter

Community Revitalization Through Parks
Landscape architects are perhaps best known for the design of parks across the nation, whether creating new parks and recreational facilities or helping rehabilitate and maintain existing ones.  Utilizing their expertise, landscape architects design parks in a way that, attracts local economic development, increases nearby property values, addresses stormwater management needs and helps Americans achieve more healthy lifestyles.

Community Parks Issue Brief
Community Parks Summary
Community Parks Talking Points-House
Community Parks Talking Points-Senate

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If this is your first time visiting a Congressional office, you have no need to worry. Your friendly government affairs team has assembled a wealth of resources to help you make the most out of your visits. If you complete your "homework assignments"and attend the 2 Advocacy Day training webinars you will be well on your way to becoming an effective advocate. 

Home Assignment #1—Know Your Legislator

Home Assignment #2-Complete Streets

Home Assignment #3-Small Business

Home Assignment #4-Green Infrastructure

Home Assignment # 5 Community Parks

After your meetings are over, your job is not done! Don't forget to follow up with the offices on any items you discussed, and most critically, don't forget to send a thank you note to the legislator and staff with whom you met!

Advocacy Day Thank You Template-U.S. House
Advocacy Day Thank You Template-U.S. Senate 

The ASLA Advocacy Network has a wealth of tools available including tips on visiting your Representative’s office, contact information, guidance on the legislative process and more.

Legislator Profile Worksheet 
Telling your Personal Story
Learn more about your U.S. Representative, House Committees and the entire House of Representatives  
Learn more about your U.S. Senator, Senate Committees and the entire U.S. Senate  
Research the thousands of bills that Congress introduces each year  

For more information on advocacy day, contact ASLA's Manager of Government Affairs, Kevin O’Hara, or 202.216.2370.