A Message from MD Architects PAC Treasurer – December 2015

By Allen E. Neyman, AIA, Treasurer Maryland Architects PAC

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While attending Grassroots several years ago I was stunned by statistics of the support (or lack of) that architects gave to the national architects’ PAC. It was humorous too, because it placed the ArchiPAC just below the national Chicken Pluckers Association!

It’s a good thing elected officials know us and know what the issues are……I thought.

Whether or not my memory serves me well about elected officials know, I’m not certain I ever knew. The fact then, and now, was the architects’ low level of support compared to others. More to the point today, for the 2014 election cycle, Maryland Architects contributed 0.04% (that’s 4/100 of 1%) of $16,693,681 of donations to Maryland PAC’s. Either we are very small players, or, are playing a very small game.

However diminutive our profile in the community, construction matters. Among the top 5 PAC contributors in Maryland, four were in the construction trades. Maryland architects are just not serious players in that game.

If anyone ever notices, surveys show that architects have respect in the community. I don’t believe this has anything to do with their lack of participation in politics. It’s not because they have gained respect for not contributing to political candidates. Our respect in community is deserved. Not being involved in the political process, in any way, merely conceals our identity. And we struggle for recognition – even for the buildings which we design and for which we are responsible. No one outside the club could care about the problems the quiet, silent profession faces. When bills are proposed in Maryland that shouldn’t have, sponsors are just surprised that their bills contain issues detrimental to the public for their effects on architecture.  A backward stance diminishes presence, undermines hard earned respect.

It’s essential that we recognize our supporters and friends in Maryland. There are not many, and probably not enough, who have been “enlightened” to our cause. But we know who they are, and they have asked for our help. The demands for 2016 have already started, and we expect them to be overwhelming. But we started to deny more than we have rewarded, there are only so many ways to cut the pie.

Some of you have already contributed, but overall, too few have contributed. While you leave it up to AIA leadership to get it done, your participation is essential. Another interesting fact: participation of your AIA leadership in giving is significant, while the participation of membership leaves the organization embarrassed. You and your colleagues need to step up now, and again later. Please join me to make a good showing and imprinting our identity on the minds.  Send your contribution to the Maryland Architects PAC through AIA MD by cash, check, or by credit card online.

Regards,

Allen E Neyman, AIA

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