President’s Message JAN19

Ah, it’s my favorite time of year. Everyone is shaking off their holiday hangovers and making their New Year’s resolutions. And the promise of new legislation is in the air! For 90 days each year, beginning on the second Wednesday of January, your elected senators and delegates sift through thousands of requests, recommendations and meetings to put forth legislation that will have real and lasting impact on your lives and your profession.

Every election is impactful, and this past November was no different. A couple of our most ardent supporters are no longer in the State House and still others have changed committees and therefore subject matters. While AIA Maryland values all our lasting relationships, we currently have a great opportunity to build new connections and share our goals, vision and knowledge with an entirely new group of legislators.  Sure, right now, they may be unfamiliar with the value that architects provide…but they won’t be for long! Over the next 90 days, AIA Maryland will demonstrate that value and build those bonds in multiple ways; writing letters in support or opposition of bills, testifying in front of committees, meeting with legislators and administrators on specific issues and, hosting our annual legislative luncheon and State House visits.

Our lobbyist, Joe Miedusiewski, does a great job of helping us navigate the political landscape and keeping us informed of potential legislation in which we need to engage. Hopefully you joined the webinar on January 7th as Joe gave us a sneak peak of some of the changes and issues of which we should be aware. As session gets into gear, that list will be constantly evolving, so look out for his updates on the AIA Maryland website and in the monthly newsletter.

This year, the Board is also embarking on a significant strategic planning effort to help clarify our vision and our mission. This is a great opportunity to take stock of our successes and failures and plot a course for the future that reinforces that mission. Look for updates on that in upcoming newsletters as well.

It is a new year, so make a resolution to find an issue of interest to you and get involved! Reach out to me, Sandi or anyone else on the Board to find out what opportunities are out there. We look forward to hearing from you!

Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019!

Joel Fidler, AIA