CCASLA is the acronym for the California Council of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Its membership is comprised of two elected members from each of the four California Chapters of ASLA (San Diego, Southern California, Sierra and Northern California). Collectively, the members of CCASLA work together with the Executive Director, Tracy Morgan Hollingworth, and its Legislative Advocate, Terri Thomas of Thomas Advocacy, Inc. in Sacramento, to monitor bills proposed by the State Legislature, review regulatory changes at the State level, and advise on any proposed citizen initiatives that could impact the profession or licensure of landscape architects in California. The CCASLA's efforts to monitor all of these activities and advocate on behalf of the entire profession at the State level are funded through your dues as a member of ASLA.
Recently, CCASLA members discussed the importance of having more landscape architects appointed to, or elected to serve on local and state-level boards, councils, commissions or committees. Our education and professional experience as landscape architects provides us a unique understanding and skillset to advocate on issues and influence the development of public policies that revolve around the built and natural environment. Having more landscape architects in these leadership roles can only help to positively influence and grow our profession's position in the public eye and with legislators, and result in better public policies and programs for our communities.
Knowing that many of our local San Diego Chapter members already serve on planning boards, community groups, councils or other "traditional" community service capacities, the CCASLA has been working to explore "alternative" or not-so-obvious avenues for public service that are great opportunities for landscape architects to take a leadership role. Many of these alternative examples identified by CCASLA are made through an application and appointment process by state or local authorities, and include Climate Action Plan Working Groups, Arts Commissions, Parks and Recreation Commissions, Fire Protection Committees, Historic Resources Boards, Street Tree Advisory Groups, and many others.
For those of you have, or are currently providing service on a local, regional or state-level board, council, commission or committee, you know how rewarding (and challenging) it can be personally and professionally. Additionally, while you are "giving back" to your community through public service, you are also advancing and advocating on behalf of our profession by educating the public and others on the beneficial role landscape architects can play in addressing local issues and the development of public policy.
If you are interested in learning more about potential public service opportunities for landscape architects in the San Diego region, please email Tracy Morgan Hollingsworth at email@example.com, for a list of CCASLA identified opportunities for landscape architects on local boards, commissions and committees. A copy of the Local Boards and Commissions will be posted on the Resources tab on our website. Another list of State Boards and Commissions and how to apply for state service will be on the website sometime in February.