April 27th, 2023 Update:
The Potomac Chapter of ASLA wrote a draft bill, which exempts licensed landscape architects’ services from taxation. We are thrilled to announce that the Landscape Architect Services Sales Tax Clarification Amendment Act of 2023 was introduced on April 27, 2023 by Councilmember Charles Allen, with Councilmembers Matthew Frumin and Robert C. White, Jr. as co-sponsors. Click here for details.
Landscape architectural services have been subject to taxation in the District of Columbia since 1989 per this DC Code (§ 47–2001. Definitions. _ D.C. Law Library) and these DC Municipal Regulations. Landscape architects were not licensed in the District when this rule was published so landscape architectural design services were considered taxable in the same category of landscape construction and installation. Landscape architects became licensed professionals in the District in 2017 so the Potomac Chapter is advocating for the DC Council to remove the taxation on our services to better align with our industry peers and the majority of other states.
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A Message from Potomac ASLA on March 24, 2021:
Standing in Compassion
We are shocked and saddened by recent attacks on members of the Asian American community in Atlanta and nationwide. We condemn these acts of violence and erasure. We remember the names of the victims: Soon Chung Park, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Hyun Jung Grant, Xiaojie Tan, Delania Ashley Yaun, Daoyou Feng, and Paul Andre Michaels. Sadly, countless others have been targets for hate crimes, and we denounce these acts of bigotry, which have escalated since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
There is no room in a just society for acts of intolerance and hatred, or for the fear left in the aftermath.
Each one of us can help to address the hatred and intolerance. We can start by simply asking our Asian American and Pacific Islander friends, neighbors, colleagues, and contacts how they are doing and let them know that we care.
Asian Americans are a vital part of our nation’s tapestry of people and a cornerstone of our profession and Chapter. We stand in solidarity and compassion for our community.
With concern and humility,
Matt Johnston, PLA, ASLA, President
Annie Varma, RLA, ASLA, President-Elect
Kerri Blackman, ASLA, Immediate Past President
A Message from Potomac ASLA on June 9, 2020:
Change is Needed
Let’s Be Part of the Solution!
At last night’s meeting of our Executive Committee (our Chapter’s governing body), we discussed not only what to say to show our support of the peaceful protesters calling for an end to systemic racism, but also what we can do to contribute to accomplishing this important and necessary goal.
We acknowledge that our profession and ASLA membership do not reflect the United States population and that this needs to change: according to US Census and ASLA data, about 14 percent of the population identifies as African American, but only 3 percent of landscape architects and just over 1 percent of ASLA members do. What can we do collectively, as a Chapter, as well as individually, to make our profession and association more inclusive and reflective of the communities in which we work?
While our Chapter has taken some steps in recent years, such as participating in school STEM fairs and career days and adopting a DC public school, we recognize we have a long way to go. If your firm is promoting diversity/inclusion in your practice and/or specific projects and we can share that with our membership, please tell us about it.
Like many of our members, we want to do something, and we are still figuring out how best to help. If you have an idea, please share it with us. We need more ideas and voices to help us create a meaningful plan: email us if you’d like to volunteer to help.
We pledge to continue to pursue strategies toward the important goals of ending systemic racism and creating a more diverse and inclusive community of landscape architects and look forward to your ideas and help.
Kerri Blackman, ASLA
2019-2020 Potomac Chapter President
Led by Potomac Chapter member, Glenn LaRue Smith, ASLA, BlackLAN was founded in 2012 and is a communication platform open to students and professionals of African ancestry. The goal of BlackLAN is to foster mentorship and dialogue around issues relevant to the African-American community. One of the Network’s primary goals is to increase the number of African-Americans in landscape architecture.
You can read their June 2020 statement about the protests, systemic racism, and their work to bring recognition to the importance of black landscape architects in society here: BlackLAN Statement-1.
Their most recent newsletter is here: BlackLAN Newsletter Vol. 1-6.8.2020-1.
The Chapter has adopted ASLA’s Advocacy Checklist and will follow it when other issues are brought to the Chapter’s attention. You can review the document here: Chapter Checklist for State Federal Issues