Help Shape the Political Landscape - An Open Letter from ASLA President Mark A. Focht

Dear Members,

I encourage every ASLA member to complete the ASLA 2015-2016 Federal Legislative Priorities Survey that will help determine the ASLA Federal Legislative Agenda for the upcoming 114th Congress.

The Society’s mission is to advance the profession of landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education and fellowship. ASLA is an advocate for the profession at the local, state, and national levels on public policy issues including licensure, transportation, stormwater management, community design and development, community parks, small business issues, and more.

In recent years, ASLA successfully achieved licensure in all 50 states and staved off several attempts to eliminate core federal programs like the Transportation Alternatives Program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Community Development Block Grants, and others that landscape architects access to design healthy, resilient, and economically-viable communities.

Even as advocacy continues for these and other issues, the process is now beginning to determine which federal advocacy issues will be a priority for the Society in the upcoming 114th Congress in 2015-2016. First and foremost, ASLA wants to hear what is important to its members – we want to hear from you!

In developing the federal agenda, issues must meet a set of criteria. Legislative issues should be relevant to a broad segment of the ASLA membership – its relevancy may be due to an economic impact or because of the expertise held by the landscape architecture profession. There should also be some reason to believe that the issue is likely to be on the congressional agenda or active through the executive branch agencies.

Once ASLA receives your responses, the ASLA Government Affairs Advisory Committee (GAAC) will analyze, review, and vet the information to recommend a 2015-2016 Federal Legislative Priorities Agenda. During the ASLA Annual Meeting, the Board of Trustees will provide input on the recommended agenda, with the Executive Committee providing final endorsement in late 2014.

Recently, many of you have participated in a similar survey on state advocacy priorities, which is helping ASLA local chapters formulate their state advocacy agendas. Now we need your input on issues that need the attention of our federal legislators in Washington, D.C. So please take just a moment to complete the ASLA Federal Legislative Priorities Survey to tell us about issues that are important to you. Your responses are critical to the development of the agenda. Please complete your survey by Thursday, May 15.

Take this opportunity to shape ASLA’s future political landscape.


Mark A. Focht, PLA, FASLA,
American Society of Landscape Architects


Kevin Fry
Director, PR and

JR Taylor
PR Coordinator