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2016 ASLA Advocacy Summit: Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis; a city designed by Alexander Ralston, who previously assisted L’Enfant to design Washington D.C., home of the Indy 500, the Colts, the Pacers, and destination for the 2016 ASLA Advocacy Summit.

The Advocacy Summit is an annual gathering with ASLA representatives from each state to review federal policy changes, recent licensure threats, and introduce new tools for state and federal advocacy.

The Summit kicked off with a social on Friday, August 12 with set the stage for our meetings and presentations Saturday, August 13. The ASLA National Government Affairs team pulled together speakers including the state director for U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, the government affairs director for the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, and the CLARB executive director. The presentations Saturday covered a broad range of topics by combining lots of short presentations into one very informative day.

The Advocacy Summit also included two breakout sessions which allowed chapter representatives to share experiences and work together to react to a hypothetical scenario.

The culmination of the Advocacy Summit was a showcase tour of Indianapolis with local officials led by local Landscape Architects. Despite the rain, we were able to tour sites within walking distance of Monument Circle including Georgia Street and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. The site visit was an excellent opportunity to see ways in which landscape architects have put their expertise to work connecting people, businesses and places to make Indianapolis a better place to live, work, and visit.

A note from the Author: This was my first opportunity to attend an Advocacy Summit. As a member of the current Hawaii Chapter Executive Committee, I have the opportunity to share my notes and report back to the members about my experiences and what I've learned. I feel better prepared to participate in grants or other advocacy events in the future. Should there be any local threat to Landscape Architecture Licensure, I feel equipped with knowledge and contacts to respond effectively and efficiently.

I'd like to thank ASLA National for the wonderful event, Indiana ASLA for hosting the Summit, and Hawaii ASLA for encouraging me to attend and providing the opportunity. As a Ball State Alumni, it was a nice 'homecoming' and a fun opportunity to get to play tourist in Indianapolis again. It was really interesting to meet all of the other ASLA representative and see just how many of them also have connections to Indiana and Ohio -- it really is a small Landscape Architecture world!

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