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Updates from ASLA

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Landscape Architects Needed for Federal Positions

Recently, the White House launched a new website inviting the American public to apply for political appointment positions. Every four years, just after each presidential election, about 9,000 federal civil service leadership and support positions in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government become available. These positions, commonly known as political appointments or “plum” positions (named after the color of the original book listing these positions – The Plum Book), must be filled by the incoming president and are subject to noncompetitive appointment.
 
The White House notes that our nation is facing some of its most challenging issues, including a pandemic, an economic crisis, a call for racial justice, and a plan to address climate change.  While these crises are certainly daunting, they are surmountable with landscape architects leading many of the solutions.  From deploying nature-based solutions and sustainable projects to address climate change, to creating healthy economically-vibrant communities, to providing open spaces as respites from COVID-related isolation, to working with communities to create safe equitable places to live, work, and recreate, landscape architects are uniquely suited to lead these solutions.
 
ASLA encourages its members who want to make a difference and want a seat at the table to use the White House “get involved” portal to apply for political appointment positions, including full-time policy positions and volunteer advisory boards and committees. Interested landscape architects should fill in the required fields, upload a resume, select a desired policy area of interest, including: agriculture; civil rights; environment; infrastructure; natural resources; and others. The portal also asks for desired department, agency, board, and/or commission.  While the Departments of Agriculture, Interior, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development are natural fits for landscape architects, the profession is also needed at the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (also known as the US Access Board), Council on Environmental Quality, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Commission of Fine Arts, and more.
 
You are able to select multiple policy areas and multiple boards when filling out your application. ASLA encourages you to select as many as you are interested in and/or qualified to participate in.  Having landscape architects serve in key federal departments, agencies, and commissions is critical to advancing the profession and the communities they serve.
 
ASLA is here to help. Once you have applied for positions, please let us know what you are applying for and how we can provide assistance.

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