Message from APA-NYM President (10/03/17)

Chapter members and friends,

As we build up to our Chapter’s Annual Conference on October 27th (note: register by October 8th to receive early bird rates), there is much to reflect upon from the month of September.

First and foremost, we welcomed Ela Dokonal, AICP CUD, LEED AP as our new Vice President of Communications. Ela previously served as Long Island Section Director, during which time she devoted great time and energy to advance the goals of the Chapter. Moving forward, we are incredibly fortunate to have Ela join us as we look to build upon the hard work and notable accomplishments of the Chapter’s first Vice President of Communications, Jocelyn Dupre. There were several highly qualified candidates for the position, and we look forward to engaging interested Chapter members to advance our communications strategy.

In other news, the Chapter’s Sections and Committees remained active with multiple events throughout the month, and APA National hosted the Policy and Advocacy Conference in Washington, DC. In addition to a full program of training sessions and the Daniel Burnham Forum on Big Ideas, the Policy and Advocacy Conference included a Planners4Health meeting, convened a special Delegate Assembly, and culminated in Planners’ Day on Capitol Hill. For those who have never attended the annual event, I encourage you to do so in the future, as it was an energizing and inspiring experience.

Following the Policy and Advocacy Conference, our Chapter hosted the fourth annual joint conference with the New York Chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and American Institute of Architects (AIA). The theme of this year’s conference was “Public Spaces, Social Movements: How Planning and Design Can Shape Public Discourse,” and the event featured a wide range of inter-disciplinary speakers whose affiliations spanned the private, public, and non-profit sectors, as well as academia. The annual collaboration continues to thrive because we share complementary interests and areas of expertise, and I thank our ASLA and AIA partners for continuing to promote the cross-pollination of our respective members.

While the month of September was notable in large part for these uplifting events and updates, it was also unfortunately newsworthy for the devastation caused by multiple hurricanes. Our region was spared, but many communities in the affected area will be grappling with the challenges of post-disaster recovery for months and years to come, and we can certainly empathize given our ongoing storm recovery efforts. Until December 31st, the APA Foundation will match—dollar for dollar—individual contributions to its Community Assistance Fund, which will help affected communities, so please consider joining me in donating to this worthwhile cause for hurricane relief.

To conclude on a more positive note, October marks National Community Planning Month (as well as the 10-year anniversary of the Great Places in America program), and we are encouraged to “celebrate how planning improves lives and communities of lasting value.” The theme of National Community Planning Month is Innovation in Planning, which served as inspiration for the sessions at our Chapter’s Annual Conference. The conference is less than a month away, so register now to secure your spot at our Chapter’s flagship event. I look forward to seeing you there and also celebrating local accomplishments as we announce our Chapter’s annual awards.


Maxwell L. Sokol, AICP
APA New York Metro Chapter