Eighteen members of AIA North Carolina participated in the orientation and meetings with state Senators on Tuesday, in our first sortie into their chamber to correct the misinformation provided to them in support of HB 590, the Interior Designer Registration Act.
What did we learn? From field reports of our members: “It is important to state our case, but equally important to listen.”
We have consolidated our position into a few specific talking points. But while trying to ensure the Senators heard our message, we also realized it was important to glean from them what they felt to be credible arguments in favor of HB 590.
There were comments that they understood HB 590 to be a bill to promote women owned businesses. They need to hear our message that women don’t need for standards to be lowered to fully participate in the design profession at the level needed to seal construction drawings. And as of 2013, while 51% of the people in the US were women, 41% of all architectural degrees were awarded to women, with parity in licensure and firm ownership being our profession’s goal.
We heard from a key Senate chair who wanted information on code violations and claims against interior design firms. So we will update our presentation to include information on why several sates including Florida, Virginia, Iowa and Michigan have or are considering rescinded Interior Designer license laws.
What is needed now?
We need more direct, face to face personal contact with our Senators. While we made many visits to offices, we were not always able to catch Senators at their desk. Those that were are telling us that emails and letters don’t make a difference when they have so many bills on their desk.
To that end, we need to hold another Orientation and visit with our Senators.
So if you were not able to attend this week, please sign up to meet on June 20 between 9:00 and 11:00 at CfAD, and schedule an appointment with your Senator afterwards.
We have added a number of resources for you to view that will inform you about the AIA's position on interior designer licensing:
1) AIA North Carolina's opposition letter
2) The interior designers talking points
3) AIA North Carolina's rebuttal to the IDs talking points
4) AIA Talking points on HB 590
5) List of support & opposition
6) Architect vs. ID Ed, Exp & Exam
7) Video on HB 590 Scope of Practice Overreach
And a special thanks to these members who attended on Tuesday and provided reports on their contacts;
Matt Messick, AIA; Danny Waters, AIA; Reid Saunders, AIA; Mike Cincala, AIA; Kevin Diamond, AIA; Shannon Rydell, AIA; Richard Alsop, III, AIA; Bill Highsmith, AIA; Glenn Parks, AIA; Hunt McKinnon, AIA; Taylor Hobbs, AIA; Sasha Berghausen, AIA; Ian Johnson, AIA; Matt Symansky, AIA; William Rakatansky, FAIA; David Liberatore, AIA; Erica Unger; and Richard Alsop, Jr., AIA.