Legislative Committee – Updating our agenda, reading the Road Map, and other Summer Fun

By Yorik Stevens-Wajda and Esther Larsen, Legislative Committee Co-Chairs
Help Shape the Chapter’s 2020 Legislative Agenda

To guide Washington APA’s advocacy programs on state legislative policies, laws and budgets, the chapter develops and maintains an annual legislative agenda document that lists the chapter’s priorities for action in the upcoming state legislative session. The legislative agenda generally undergoes a full refresh prior to the start of each legislative biennium, which starts with a new long session (odd-numbered years), and a more limited update before each short legislative session like the upcoming one. The chapter may also occasionally take a lead role in running a bill, using its bill proposal process.

The chapter’s legislative committee takes the lead on developing the legislative agenda document with input from chapter membership and consideration of the policy direction set nationally through APA Policy Guides and APA Policy Principles. Three new policy guides were adopted following the national conference in San Francisco this year, addressing Planning for Equity, Surface Transportation, and Housing. The chapter board of directors then considers the legislative agenda document for approval each year, and board or chapter president approval is also sought before the legislative committee engages in particularly important or contentious advocacy efforts.

It’s very important that the chapter’s legislative advocacy efforts represent the priorities of the chapter’s membership, and the only way that’s possible is through your input and involvement. The legislative committee is asking chapter members to engage via a short (4 questions) comment form. The comment form will be open until September 5, after which the legislative committee will gather the comments, develop a draft legislative agenda, and submit it to the board of directors for consideration at the board’s October meeting in Tacoma.
2019 Legislative Agenda Comment Form

If you’re interested in doing more to help advocate for the tools to make great communities happen, email legislative committee co-chairs Esther Larsen or Yorik Stevens-Wajda, or even better… join the legislative committee!

We have a Road Map to Washington’s Future!

The much-anticipated comprehensive Road Map to Washington’s Future report was released at the end of June, after two years of prep work, listening around the state, and diligent work compiling what was learned and identifying highlights, common threads and areas of broad agreement. The report features a series of recommendations – 9 areas of broad transformational and systemic change and 28 more specific key reforms (see pages 81-102 of Volume 1). Weigh in on how the chapter could respond to this important review of Washington’s planning framework through the 2019 Legislative Agenda comment form. The Road Map report will also almost certainly be a topic of discussion at this year’s conference (Shaping Communities that Thrive) in Tacoma on October 16-17.

Help out!
The legislative committee is always looking for planners with an interest in learning about our state’s planning framework and helping to shape it by advancing good planning. Read about the legislative committee’s work, or reach out to Legislative Committee co-chairs Esther Larsen ([email protected]) or Yorik Stevens-Wajda ([email protected]) for information or to join the committee.


Return to the July/August issue of the Washington Planner