AIANYS Wins ESSAE Government Relations Award

Michael Burridge, AIANYS Director of Government Affairs
accepts the Government Relations Award from
ESSAE at the Annual Awards Luncheon on March 21.

The Empire State Society of Association Executives (ESSAE) presented the American Institute of Architects New York State (AIANYS) with the 2023 Government Relations Award on March 21st at a ceremony packed with major state associations. The government relations award category sought to identify savvy development and implementation of an organization’s government relations project for grassroots lobbying, special campaigns, and ongoing efforts that created legislative or regulatory success.

Specifically, AIANYS won the award based on its campaign to raise awareness on the importance of design in school safety and its success in advocating for the Safe Schools by Design Act, which passed the Legislature unanimously and was signed into law on October 17, 2023. This bill directs the State Education Department to draft guidelines for the design and construction of safe, secure, and welcoming learning environments. Further, this law expands the School Violence Prevention Grant program to allow funding for a community design process for schools, similar to the process used by Sandy Hook Elementary in the aftermath of the tragedy in 2012.

Since 2010, AIANYS has won six ESSAE awards in the areas of government relations, education, professional development, and marketing/public relations.