President's Message

Chapter President | Yorik Stevens-Wajda, AICP
June, 2022

I hope everyone is having a great start to summer. The APA board is working hard on its favorite summertime activity: planning an engaging, informative, and fun chapter conference. At the June 17 board meeting we heard updates on several important aspects of a great conference: 
  • The venue, logistics, and vendors are under contract and seeing green lights.
  • We've lined up two fantastic keynote speakers: Petra (Stieninger) Hurtado, PhD, who is the Research Director at the American Planning Association, heading APA’s research team, programs and initiatives, and Angela Brooks, FAICP, who brings decades of experience in planning and housing issues from the Pacific Northwest (a former native of Seattle) and Chicago, where she is a real estate development manager for the Chicago Housing Authority. 
  • The call for sessions has wrapped up and we have a great set of over fifty session proposals for the conference committee to work with, addressing four key themes: Bridging the Housing Supply and Affordability Gap; Planning for Inclusion and Equity; Tackling Transportation and Mobility Challenges; and Advancing Climate Change Resiliency.
  • We're excited to bring back to the conference program a Scholarship Benefit Auction, by popular demand and also reflecting the growing need to provide an accessible and open pathway for the next generation of planners, the auction will be a chance for you to snag a one-of-a-kind item, gift, or experience, while making a real difference for a young person, and for your profession.
So all told, with three months to go, things are looking great for APA-WA's premiere event and gathering. Registration will open soon, so be ready to jump on the early bird rate. We've seen high attendance numbers at other similar conferences this year so you may want to consider booking your conference hotel room and train tickets early.
Speaking of learning, I want to share an important resource offered by APA to help you with your research projects, professional growth, or to simply pass some free time with an interesting subject under a shady tree. APA KnowledgeBase Collections are curated collections of topically related resources including plans, regulations, model codes, guides, articles, reports, and multimedia files. Each collection provides commentary and thematic groupings of resource records with bibliographic information, short descriptions, and links to the resources themselves. It's almost foolhardy to pick a favorite collection, but I've found the collections on Social EquityAccessory Dwelling Units (see also a recent APA webinar on ADU reform), and Improving Development Review to be particularly helpful in recent months.