Lobby Day Rewind

Advocacy in Action for California’s Interior Designers

Ahead of the March 11th California Architect’s Board Sunset Hearing, a group of IIDA advocates took to the capitol to educate legislators on the profession of commercial interior design and the occupational barriers this profession faces in California. Representing the profession were Adam Newton, VP of Advocacy; Melissa Pesci, President-Elect; Tamara Roth, Sole Practitioner and Advocacy Committee Member; and Ellon Brittingham from Full Moon Strategies.

Lobby Day: A Gathering of Passionate Voices

Lobby days are an important tool in educating the legislature on any topic of advocacy. Lead by our lobbying team Full Moon Strategies, the team spent the day explaining the broad scope and powerful impact of commercial interior design projects, from restaurants to hospitals and everything in between. As a women and queer lead profession it was essential to educate our lawmakers on the importance of making change to improve equity throughout the construction industry. Additionally, Tamara Roth shared her experience as a sole practitioner who is regularly economically impacted by the outdated and inconsistent structure currently in California. Without updating the governance for commercial interior designers to be a state entity, sole practitioners will continue to be disproportionately impacted.

In total, IIDA met with nine legislative offices during the Lobby Day, making a grand total of thirty separate meetings with legislators and staff in the last two months alone. This high degree of engagement is only possible with the support of thought-leading firms and an active community of members.

Ellon Brittingham, Adam Newton, Melissa Pesci, Tamara Roth
Helping educate our lawmakers about Commercial Interior Design and what we’re trying to accomplish with our advocacy. Download your own copy →

The Hearing: From Discussions to Decisions

On March 11th IIDA represented commercial interior designers to the Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee for the California Architects Board Sunset Hearing. We appreciated the comments from Senator Roth, a long-time and esteemed member of the committee, and our colleagues at the American Institute of Architects California Chapter. This hearing was a very preliminary first step as we ramp up for more robust conversations so we are looking forward to collaborate more with stakeholders as this process progresses.

“I just want to thank you all for your time and interest in the issues, very well outlined in the background, that interior designers are facing in California. We’re really excited to collaborate with you all, and with CAB, to bring some consistency to our practitioners, our clients and our building officials.”
Melissa Pesci, AIA, NCIDQ, LEED AP, IIDA Northern CA President-Elect