Developing our LEAD Program

By Josh. D. Peters, AICP, APA Washington Chapter Vice President

To better prepare for the 2016 Legislative Session and future sessions, the Chapter is embarking on a process to develop our Legislative Education, Advocacy & Direction (LEAD) program. You may be familiar with the LEAD e-blasts that the Chapter sends out periodically during legislative sessions. (Here is an example.) The program concept is to expand the range of activities to include outreach beyond our membership with an eye towards influencing the development and adoption of public policy, laws, rules, and budgets at the state level. APA Washington would be better positioned to run a bill via our Legislative Committee in a future session, as well as coordinate with APA National on policy and advocacy matters.

Short-term tasks include updating our Legislative Agenda, last adopted by the Board of Directors in 2012. The Agenda update will be augmented by an implementation strategy to guide how we get our message out to decision-makers and the broader community. This work will incorporate the Ten Big Ideas Initiative and follow the Chapter’s Strategic Plan update, scheduled for consideration/action at the September 2 Board of Directors meeting.

An ad-hoc LEAD program task force has initiated the project through conference calls in August and a kick-off meeting in early September. So far we’ve touched on the following points:

  • Our target for having materials ready for initial distribution is the GMA 25th Anniversary Event November 13 in Tacoma.
  • We hope to schedule meetings with legislators, legislative staff, and/or staff from the Governor’s office for the period leading up to and around the November 13 event and the start of the 2016 Legislative Session in January.
  • To meet those targets, we should complete our Legislative Agenda update and implementation strategy by the middle of October.
  • There are discrete tasks and each should have a coordinator:
    • Manage the Legislative Agenda update – me
    • Prepare/review outreach materials – task force, Communications Committee
    • Integrate the Ten Big Ideas into the Legislative Agenda – Jill Sterrett (Big Ideas for Washington)
    • Develop outreach strategy and schedule – Joe Tovar (Past President) & Mike Shaw (Chapter Lobbyist)
    • Compare/relate Agenda update to new Chapter Strategic Plan – Paula Reeves (Chapter President)
    • Compare Agenda update to bills dropped in 2015 Legislative Session and expected in 2016 – Esther Larsen & Yorik Stevens-Wajda (Legislative Committee Co-Chairs)
    • Compare Agenda update to platforms of other organizations – Holly Gadbaw (Legislative Committee) & Hiller West (Allied Professions Liaison)

 If you are interested in this effort, a place to start is to review the following materials:

If one of the tasks above appeals to you, you could get in touch with the coordinator. Or you can email me to ask how to get involved. If you’d like to participate in the Legislative Committee, contact the Co-Chairs, Esther Larsen and Yorik Stevens-Wajda.

Return to September issue of The Washington Planner