Advocacy

Randi Mixdorf Melissa Bynum Larry Crane.jpgWe are more than the buildings we produce; we are members of a greater community, and we can affect change with our skills and expertise. Our objective is to promote good design within our profession and community by way of positioning our chapter in the local and regional conversation. We will also strive to educate and inform our members on issues relating to our metropolitan area and beyond.

Locally, we have been meeting with city officials throughout the region in an effort to introduce what the AIA Kansas City can offer communities in terms of public support and/or design expertise. We have a large organization that can help inform priorities for our communities, and can provide a vision for our shared future.

If you are interested in learning more, or getting involved in our Advocacy Committee, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

 


AIA Kansas City Strongly opposes Missouri HB580

 

Dear State Representative:

The American Institute of Architects Kansas City Chapter strongly opposes HB580 and we are calling upon you, the elected officials, to do so as well.  As a professional organization of architects who care about the health and well-being of our community and neighbors, we want to see better buildings across Missouri that save us all money while ensuring we stay healthy.

The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act has massive amounts of funding only for communities across Missouri that have that adopted the 2021 IECC or stronger.  It would make Kansas City eligible to pursue some portion of the $1B.  If Missouri cities and counties adopt anything less than IECC 2021, they will not be eligible for any portion of this funding and Missourians will lose out on having their tax dollars brought back and invested in their communities.

Building codes are a critical component of local actions that reduce bills for residents, and other government entities are mobilizing resources to support cities like Kansas City, Missouri who act.  As decisions about buildings impact the built environment for decades to come, this is an opportunity for our cities to lead the country and support the health and well-being of Missourians now and in the future.

In addition to supporting healthy homes and responsible use of resources, adopting better codes, like the 2021 IECC and appendices will protect the financial health of residents by helping lower utility bills because of vastly increased energy efficiency. Studies have repeatedly shown that the 2021 IECC will support lowering costs, and many jurisdictions in the nation are taking advantage of this benefit by adopting unamended or strengthened versions of the 2021 IECC.

As Kansas Citians face some of the highest energy bills proportionate to income in the country, the state must support local jurisdictions who enact strong energy codes now for new buildings. Doing so would have great benefit in the long term and have only minor impacts on the short term as new buildings account for a small portion of home sales. This is critical for ensuring we conserve energy to avoid higher bills impacting residents and businesses in Kansas City.

In Missouri, a Home Rule state, we value local autonomy, and HB580 doesn’t - Home Rule means cities are tasked with leading in developing policies that are right for them, while being spaces for innovation that help our state thrive. This bill flies in the face of long-standing policy in Missouri and principles of good governance by placing undue regulation on local authorities from adopting their own standards and codes that make sense for them through democratic and fair processes.

It is very difficult to change the energy efficiency of a building after it is built. The only chance we get to do it the right way is when it is first constructed. Every building built under an outdated code is a missed opportunity that residents pay for every year for the life of the building. The required changes are not that difficult or costly to implement. It’s time to take action to improve our built environment. We need you as an elected official to take a leadership position and reject HB580 so that Kansas City’s adoption of the 2021 IECC code will not be undermined.

Sincerely,

Michael Gekas, AIA
Board President


AIA Kansas City Strongly Supports Kansas City, Missouri Ordinances 230613 and 230618 for safer road experiences

 

Mayor Quinton Lucas and
  Members of the KCMO City Council
City Hall
414 E. 12th Street
Kansas City, MO 64106

Dear Mayor Lucas and Members of the City Council:

I am writing on behalf of the board of directors of the Kansas City chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Kansas City). Our chapter supports Ordinances 230613 and 230618. Both ordinances align with our efforts to create environments that enhance quality of life, as well as support the health, safety, and welfare of our community.

We support Ordinance 230613, which would allow a pedestrian, cyclist, and vehicular traffic safety plan to move forward. Enhancing our city’s quality of life requires us to advance the policies, plans, and projects which make our city safer. New developments and buildings in Kansas City can benefit from alternate modes of transportation, as we’ve seen along the streetcar line, and help members of the Kansas City community have safer access to places to live, work, and play. This ordinance will allow Kansas City to do that.

We also support Ordinance 230618, which directs city staff to begin a citywide road diet analysis and to begin drafting preliminary designs. AIA Kansas City advocated for Vision Zero when it was initially enacted, and we continue to be proponents for what it aims to do. Road diets are proven traffic safety countermeasures which help to reallocate public space and save lives. A collective future with zero traffic deaths and serious injuries is not only possible, but a stated goal of Kansas City. This legislation will allow us to move further down that path.

It is for these reasons and more that AIA Kansas City asks the City Council to adopt Ordinances 230613 and 230618.

Respectfully submitted,

Dawn Taylor
Executive Director

Committee Co-Chairs

Phil Perkins, AIA
Anastasia Huggins, AIA

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Questions About Advocacy

Contact Dawn Taylor at (816) 979 3180 or dtaylor@aiakc.org

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