Architecture and Advocacy
Given that almost all the parameters for architectural practice are established by state government, the Texas Society of Architects, on behalf of its members, maintains an active government relations program to know and influence contacts with all three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. TxA is the only organization that represents the interests of architects at state-level policymaking.
All Politics Are Local
While staff maintains a regular presence at the Capitol and at TBAE meetings, the Society’s members must recognize that individual architects also play an important role in protecting the profession from bad legislation. Elected officials may listen to lobbyists, but they vote on issues that align with the interests of their constituents back home.
The Connection Between Advocacy and Architecture
While the Society maintains an active presence at the Capitol and regulatory meetings, individual members’ actions and meetings with local legislators are the strongest influences for the profession. Elected officials vote on issues that align with constituents in their local districts.
Individual members must develop relationships with their local elected officials to protect the profession from bad legislation, as well as to promote “good” legislation of public benefit.
If the Texas Legislature received no message or input related to the architectural profession, it is very possible that laws could be passed that would hinder the practice and maybe cause failures to occur.
How Can Architects Become Advocates?
- Get to know your state senator and state representative, as well as other local elected officials.
- Become a key contact for a local legislator. To confirm your elected officials, visit the Who Represents Me? website.
- Stay informed of laws that impact your practice and share your views or experiences of how they affect you or your practice.
- Become involved with an advocacy-focused committee of Texas Architects.
- Contribute to TAC online.
- Serve as a legislative bill analyst (proposed statute reader).
- Serve as a regulatory analyst (proposed rule reader).