June/July President's Message

By Paula Reeves, AICP CTP

School is out for summer, but nothing is slowing down for APA Washington Chapter. 

Our joint Washington – Oregon APA Conference planning is in full swing. With the conference date of October 26-28, 2016 coming up quickly, everyone is working hard to finalize the agenda. The Conference Planning Committee, Chaired by Amanda Smeller, Southwest Section President and Josh Peters, Chapter Vice President, received over a hundred outstanding proposals for panels and sessions this year. This year’s conference is being held at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, and promises to be one of our strongest joint meetings ever with keynote speakers including Joe Minicozzi, AICP and Hazel Borys as well as sessions covering a range of important topics, mobile tours, the Chapter’s annual business meeting, our annual Legislator of the Year award, and more. Register for the Conference through our website soon. Space is limited! - http://www.washington-apa.org/2016-joint-wa-or-annual-conference

Our Legislative Committee, Co-Chaired by Esther Larsen and Yorik Stevens and supported by our lobbyist, Michael Shaw, is taking a proactive approach to preparing for the next Legislative Session. With assistance from Hiller West, our Allied Professions Liaison, they have reached out to partner organizations on a number of issues that you, our members, indicated were important to you. 

This year, we are taking a much more active role in building a coalition around the review of our state Growth Management Act. After our recent APA Washington Conference marking the 25th Anniversary of GMA, there has been a surprising groundswell of discussion and support among not only our traditional partners, but also many new and non-traditional partner agencies and organizations for a review and modernization of the Growth Management Act that has supported economic development and opportunity, environmental stewardship, provision of housing options, transportation and other important infrastructure development, and accomplished so much more since its inception. This is a very exciting time to be a planner in Washington and I am personally encouraged and optimistic that Washington’s approach to planning will continue to be one of the strongest, most successful and supported examples in the country due to our built-in flexibility and the collaboration that it generates.     

Regarding State Chapter Business, the APA Washington Board is meeting this month and will be taking up a number of important topics including potential expansion of our organizational management services, next steps in support of CarbonWA’s Initiative 732, establishing bylaws for the new South Sound Section of APA Washington, and possible support of a formal Legislative Review of the Growth Management Act. The Board and committees supported by members across the state are really making progress implementing our Chapter Strategic Plan.  If you haven’t reviewed our Strategic Plan, I encourage you to take a look at it and send me your ideas and input. You can find the latest Strategic Plan on our website at: http://www.washington-apa.org/strategic-plan

One last bit of good news, we have filled most of the vacant Board positions over the past few months.  However, if you have an interest in participating in a committee or other Chapter activities, we need and always appreciate your help! Contact me if you have an interest, and, as always, I invite you to drop me a line or call me with your ideas and suggestions at [email protected] or 360-701-1943.

All the Best – Paula Reeves

Return to the June/July issue of The Washington Planner