Written by Rodger Lentz, ACIP, APA Board of Directors, Region II
Sadly summer has come to an end. While fall is one of my favorite seasons, I really love the family time during summer. I hope you enjoyed your summer and are getting ready for the chapter conferences and the APA Policy and Advocacy Conference that come each fall.
This summer, the APA Board’s Development Plan and Budget Committee has been working on the updated strategic plan for our organization. We have revamped the way we are doing this process and I hope you have had an opportunity to participate. First, the Board had a strong desire to hear from members as well as chapter, student, and division leadership. As a result, we sought direct input from those leaders and used surveys and other electronic means to receive input from a wider audience. Several hundred people participated in various ways and that input drove the direction of the organization’s strategic plan. The second change has to do with the plan itself. The initial document is long-term oriented and looks beyond the two year window that had been the time horizon in the past. To complement this work, we have also developed an implementation document that lays out projects and initiatives for APA to take on over the next 1-2 years. As this is implemented, we will be able to track what we have accomplished and report back so members can see what has been achieved.
The other part of this work is developing a budget to implement the plan. The change members will see here is a more detailed and accessible budget document so you can see how APA financial resources are used to benefit members. We are also looking at the development of a dash board tool so members can track progress on issues important to them.
The APA Policy and Advocacy Conference is coming up at the end of September. If you have not made your plans to attend, I hope you will consider it. If you cannot attend, I encourage you to contact your legislative delegation at both the state and federal level to introduce yourself, simply reconnect with them, and share one or two issues of concern that you hope they can address. Please also consider joining the Planner’s Advocacy Network (www.planning.org/advocacy/). By joining the network you can:
- Learn about policy issues that affect planners
- Write letters, emails, make phone calls to, and engage legislators on social media
- Get special training and resources
- Post about the network on social media
- Share action alerts and information with your friends and colleagues
- Join calls and meetings with State Chairs and District Captains at state and national conferences
- Join in-district meetings and other events
As planners it is up to us to advocate for policies that will have a positive impact on the communities we serve. I hope you will consider joining the network.
Rodger Lentz, ACIP
APA Board of Directors, Region II