In 2012 the composition of the North Carolina General Assembly shifted and the legislative climate become more of a challenge for many groups, including APA-NC. There were numerous bills intended to limit local government regulatory over-reach, and the speed with which these bills entered and exited Assembly review was unprecedented. Despite our best efforts, the Legislative Committee’s attempts at being involved in discussion or having impact on proposed legislative content were largely ineffective.
In 2018 the Chapter resolved to reinvigorate the Legislative Committee and try to find a way to increase its effectiveness. The first step in the process was submittal of an application for a grant from the Chapter Presidents’ Council of APA National to prepare a Strategic Plan for the Legislative Committee. The grant was approved and the Committee began its work later that year.
The plan identifies a vison statement for the Legislative Committee, its goals and objectives, and the actions to be undertaken by the Committee in pursuit of those goals. Emphasis is placed on building positive relationships with legislators, advocating for beneficial legislation with our partners, helping members of the public recognize the value of planning, and assisting local governments in adapting to changing legislation. The plan has a five-year horizon (until 2025), and will be supplemented by an annual work program (the 2020 work program is listed on Page 4 of the document, and is listed below).
- Item 1: Continue to track and report on pending legislation during twice-monthly chapter-wide conference calls (Actions 1A & 1C).
- Item 2: Start a legislation/legislator award for the annual APA-NC Awards Program (Action 2D).
- Item 3: Conduct a session (perhaps a workshop) that focuses on helping local governments adapt to new legislation at the APA-NC Annual Conference in Durham on Oct 20-23, 2020 (Actions 4A & 4B).
- Item 4: Conduct five face-to-face meetings with legislators (Actions 3B & 3C).
- Item 5: Prepare at least two 1-2 page information sheets explaining what planners do and how we have helped our communities (for use during our meetings and posting on the webpage) (Actions 2A & 2B).
- Item 6: Schedule introductory meetings with sister organizations (architects, engineers, landscape architects, land use attorneys, etc.) (Action 2D).
The plan was endorsed by the APA-NC Executive Committee on December 5, 2019 and is (or will soon be) available on the Chapter’s website under the Legislation tab.
Please take a few moments to examine the plan. In addition to details on the Committee’s goals and anticipated actions, it also includes the result of a chapter member survey conducted in 2019 about the importance of legislative advocacy and a review of several other legislative programs from other state chapters.
Please get in touch if you have questions or would like to get more involved with the Committee’s efforts and thanks to all who helped in the development of the plan. Contact information is on the Chapter’s webpage.