Several Washington Planners Selected to be the APA

By Steve Butler, FAICP

The planning profession has long sought to increase diversity among its membership. In an effort to achieve this goal, the American Planning Association (APA) recently launched a year-long APA Ambassador Pilot Program. The program’s objectives are to:

  • Expand the diversity of APA’s membership;
  • Promote planning to the broader public; and
  • Provide more opportunities for volunteerism.

The APA solicited volunteers during this past summer. For Washington State, Dee Caputo, Jason RadtkeJacqueline Reid, AICP, Gwen Rousseau, AICP, Darryl Eastin, AICP, and I were selected in late August to become Ambassadors. While most of us are from the greater Puget Sound region, Jason hails from Pullman.

The basic commitment of each Ambassador is to conduct at least two presentations or workshops during the year, either at: an elementary, middle, or high school; a university (to non-planning majors); a community fair or public forum; and/or a comprehensive planning update or rezoning project, to name some examples.  

With its emphasis on reaching out to students, the APA Washington Chapter’s Youth in Planning Task Force (which focuses on promoting planning in K-12 classrooms and of which I am a Co-Chair) will be partnering with the APA Ambassador Pilot Program on some activities, in order to help reach future planners with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

While there is a minimum of two activities during this pilot year, we intend to aim higher. And this is where we could use your help!

If you have ideas for workshop topics or know of an interested teacher, and perhaps even want to help an Ambassador with his/her activities, please contact me (at 206-625-1300 or, or any of the other Ambassadors. If you are interested in learning more about the APA Washington Chapter’s Youth in Planning Task Force, please go to our webpage or feel free to contact me.

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