April/May President's Message

By Paula Reeves, AICP CTP

This month, after attending the National Meeting in Phoenix, I had the honor of traveling back to University of Florida, my Alma Mater, for a talk with students and receipt of an Alumni Award. This experience was really amazing, humbling, and incredibly energizing all at the same time. I didn’t realize how much the enthusiasm of the students for their newly chosen career path in planning could renew my own commitment to my work or how thinking of what I might say in my presentation to them would help me to recognize the value of planners on a new level. It also gave me a renewed confidence in the future of planning. I enjoyed talking with students and I am sure I learned more from this experience than they did. I strongly recommend reaching out to your planning schools. One of the most important things we can do as professional planners is to extend a hand to students, helping to make that connection between academia and practice.

Speaking of learning, the National APA Conference in Phoenix was great! This special April/May edition newsletter is dedicated to reports from the Conference and other related updates.

On the evening of the first Saturday of the Conference, we had a really well-attended (and fun!) Washington APA Chapter meet-up. It was great to see so many of you there and hear about your conference experiences.

Here is my short summary of some of the important outcomes from the Chapter Presidents Council meeting and other Leadership Meetings I attended at the National Conference on behalf of APA Washington…

  • CM credits are now available for pro bono work like participation in Community Planning Assistance Teams 
  • AICP members whose dues lapsed during the recession are eligible to re-join without taking the exam again
  • Lifetime members will have a reduced CM requirement
  • The AICP Commission is considering an Associate member credential or a credential that demonstrates eligibility and intent to acquire the AICP, similar to the Engineer in Training certification

Regarding State Chapter Business, the APA Washington Board also met this month, and made some important decisions. The Board voted to endorse CarbonWA’s Initiative 732. They felt that after years of discussion, support for other climate related bills in the State Legislature, and numerous member surveys pointing to climate change as a top priority for Chapter Members, the time was right to support this initiative. If you were unable to attend the March 4, 2016 event to hear about I-732, you can find more information on the APA Washington website or contact Justus Stewart, Chair of the Climate Committee with any questions at: justus@obrienandco.com.

The Board also approved the creation of the South Sound Section of APA Washington covering Thurston County. They believe this will provide much needed education and social networking opportunities to planners in the South Sound area who historically have had to drive significant distances to participate. If you are interested in getting involved in this new Section, contact Rick Walk, Section President at: rwalk@ci.lacey.wa.us.

Consistent with the Chapter Strategic Plan, I also kicked off a Diversity Task Force at the Board meeting that I think will be a great complement to the APA Ambassadors program that National APA has initiated. If you are interested participating or have specific suggestions for this Task Force, please let me know.

We still have several other Board positions and task force opportunities open and would appreciate your help and involvement! 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 PaulaReeves@hotmail.com or 360-701-1943.

All the Best – Paula Reeves

Return to the April/May issue of The Washington Planner