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ASLA Presidential Candidates Forum Question 2: Gary Brown, FASLA

Question 2: What should ASLA’s top federal and state policy focuses be in the coming year?

Candidate Bio

ASLA’s highest priority should be to maintain professional licensure in every state. As ASLA increases public awareness of our broad impact on the environment, we help support the on-going need for licensure. This in turn creates jobs that we as landscape architects can serve on as the lead consultant, using our consensus building and public meeting facilitation skills along with our broad knowledge of how to manage and work with, not against, our ever-evolving environment.

Secondly, ASLA must continue to build on our current coalitions and partnerships with our allied professions while promoting and defending the laws and regulations that advance the design, planning, and stewardship of our natural resources. At the same time, ASLA must foster a business and regulatory climate that supports the profession and our members to the highest degree possible.

Specifically at the state level, protecting licensure will be key. We need to provide ASLA members and chapter leaders with the tools they need to assure professional licensure remains on the books in every state. We cannot be blind to the fact that on-going pressures to reduce government oversight and improve the business climate for all is important, but attacks on occupational licensure will likely continue into the foreseeable future. ASLA staff and our members have successfully monitored and reduced threats to licensure, but the debate rages on currently in over 35 states. We all have worked too long and hard to obtain these rights and we cannot let them be lost. Professional licensure protects all of our communities. It guarantees that we have demonstrated the competency to practice and secure the public’s health, safety and welfare. Licensure protects our clients and fosters competition, keeping all of our businesses healthy and productive. Limiting licensure only serves to limit expertise and stifle competition in our industry. We need you to stay active and engaged!

On a broader federal level, we need to continue to advocate for:
  • Innovative stormwater management and green infrastructure on all of our projects.
  • Continued support for the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Act funding.
  • Bold funding for resilient and forward thinking transportation planning and design.
  • Consistent and reliable funding for our community, state, and national parks systems.
Finally, all these issues suggest we must advocate for on-going climate resiliency. No matter on which side you stand on this issue, we all must stand together to fight for our planet. Scientific evidence continues to show that climate change is a serious threat. ASLA provides us with the education, training and skills to lead us through this unfolding crisis to assure a sustainable and bright future for all.

I encourage everyone to stay engaged with ASLA in advocating for our profession. Participate in the iAdvocate network. Track your own state legislation on the ASLA website. Stay informed by educating yourself on the issues. Then go out and be bold. Join ASLA as we advocate for what you know is right for our community. ASLA will be there for you every step of the way.

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