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ASLA Advocates AMPLIFY Their Voices

ASLA Amplify: Advocate. Be Seen. Be Heard.

ASLA’s State Government Affairs team recently hosted AMPLIFY—the first two-day virtual state advocacy summit. AMPLIFY brought together over 160 chapter leaders and representatives to learn about the current legislative environment of occupational licensure and to be inspired to increase chapter efforts on climate change advocacy.

Day One: 
AMPLIFY opened with a keynote address from ASLA CEO Torey Carter-Conneen who discussed why advocacy is important and how it fits into the vision and strategic plan for the organization. The remainder of the day focused on licensure and began with an update from ASLA National staff about state legislative actions on licensure reform, as well as ASLA’s involvement in the Alliance for Responsible Professional Licensing (ARPL) and their efforts to influence state licensure policy.

CLARB then presented its ReThink initiative, the goal of which is to build more consistent state licensure processes and requirements across all jurisdictions. Next, Mark Jirik, ASLA, Keven Graham, FASLA, and Ernie Wong, FASLA from the ASLA Illinois Chapter led a panel discussion of the many obstacles faced in order to reenact state licensure. The Illinois Title Act was recently signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker on August 6. Ending day one, ASLA state government affairs challenged each attendee to commit to meet with one or two state legislators in the coming year.

Day Two:  
Day two began with Pamela Conrad, ASLA, founder of Climate Positive Design and former ASLA President Vaughn Rinner, FASLA, providing an update on ASLA’s involvement in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Council of Parties (COP) 26 meeting in Scotland this November, and the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA)'s recent declaration.

Continuing the day’s focus on climate change, a panel of chapters, including ASLA Virginia Chapter, represented by Rob McGinnis, FASLA and Billy Almond, FASLA, and the ASLA Sierra Chapter, represented by Dalton LaVoie, ASLA, along with public practitioners, represented by Lauren Marshall, ASLA, discussed how their efforts have created and influenced positive climate policies – and what they’ve done to make that happen.

Attendees also heard remarks from three empowering women -- Joy Lyndes, FASLA, Karen Cesare, ASLA, and Stephanie Landregan, FASLA -- who discussed the need for landscape architects to become involved in local and state leadership roles in order to help create smart local and state policies and regulations.

Emerging professionals -- Madeline Kirschner, Student ASLA and Sarah Fitzgerald, ASLA -- also presented a short session highlighting ASLA’s forthcoming Climate Action Advocacy Guide. And finally, day two concluded with another challenge: a request for each Chapter to host at least one climate change focused site tour for state and local policymakers.

For more information on how you can become involved in ASLA advocacy, visit ASLA Advocacy FAQs, which offers all the tools needed to help chapters carry out an effective advocacy program. Also, be sure to search for #ASLAadvocates and #ASLAAmplify on Twitter for a recap of the event.

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