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 Advocacy Day will take place on Thursday, May 19th when ASLA advocates will meet with their legislators and key staff to discuss critical transportation design and planning legislation including: Transportation Enhancements; the Safe Routes To School program; and a national Complete Streets policy. Advocates can also discuss legislation to create more urban parks across the country.
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS: DESIGNING OUR STRONG COMMUNITITES
As America continues to recover from the worst economic recession in nearly a century, it is critical that we invest in our communities in a way that creates jobs, fosters sustainable development, encourages healthy lifestyles and creates livable, economically-vibrant places to live, work and recreate. Congress can help our communities by supporting new infrastructure development that includes sound planning and design that is cost-effective, strategic and sustainable. Good design and planning is a smart investment in achieving our stronger communities. Landscape architects are part of the solution. Because of our extensive expertise in site planning, land use, grading, drainage, and environmental sciences, landscape architects are well-suited to lead projects on urban design and revitalization, multi-modal transportation corridors, parks and recreational facilities and stormwater management. During the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Advocacy Day 2011, ASLA urges Congress to support legislation that utilizes long-standing landscape architectural techniques, including sustainable design, to address our nation’s infrastructure needs, create livable communities, and help manage our resources, while putting more Americans back to work.
Providing More Transportation Choices for Our Communities
Today, far too many communities across the nation have limited transportation options. Because of past development patterns, many families are forced to use a car for all of their daily trips, even to destinations that are close to home. Many schoolchildren must take lengthy, expensive bus rides to and from school because their communities do not have safe walking or bicycling paths and trails to their neighborhood schools. Many seniors and persons with disabilities have no safe transportation options at all. Increasingly, communities want more transportation choices including, walking, bicycling and access to public transportation.
As Congress works to craft our nation’s surface transportation law, it should include a robust Transportation Enhancements program, Safe Routes To School language, and a national Complete Streets standard, all of which lead to safe, reliable and cost-efficient transportation choices for all users.
Community Revitalization Through Parks
By creating new and rehabilitating existing parks, H.R. 709, the Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act (URLC) would help communities achieve economic revitalization and provide much-needed recreational opportunities for its citizens. Landscape architects have the expertise to plan and design new parks and recreational facilities and to help rehabilitate and maintain existing parks. ASLA urges Congress to pass H.R. 709 so that landscape architects can help create healthy livable communities.
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 webinars listed above you will be well on your way to becoming an effective advocate.
Thank You Letter-House Meetings
Thank You Letter-Senate Meetings
Watch the April 26 "What to Know Before You Go" webinar.
View the April 26 "What to Know Before You Go" presentation (PowerPoint).
Watch the May 11 "Legislative Priorities 101" webinar
Home Assignment #1—Know Your Legislator
Home Assignment #2—Learning More About Urban Parks Policy
Home Assignment #3—Learning About Transportation Policy: Transportation Enhancements
Home Assignment #4- Learning About Transportation Policy: Complete Streets
Home Assignment #5 Learning About Transportation Policy: Safe Routes to School
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 Legislative Analyst Kevin O’Hara at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.216.2370.