2023 Legislator Awards

AIA Colorado recently presented our 2023 legislators awards to Senator Dylan Roberts as our 2023 Legislator of the Year and Representative Jenny Willford as our 2023 Outstanding New Legislator.

Despite representing very different districts, both Senator Dylan Roberts and Representative Jenny Willford share a number of the same qualities. They are smart. They focus on the needs of their constituents. They have the confidence to take on big issues. They have the courage to cast independent votes. They understand the connection between the built environment and the threat of global warming. AIA Colorado is lucky to work closely with them and have them as champions.

Jerry Johnson, AIA Colorado Lobbyist

2023 Legislator of the Year

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Senator Dylan Roberts, alongside representatives Elizabeth Velasco and Meghan Lukens, graciously agreed to meet with AIA Colorado West Section members in Glenwood Springs this past fall to discuss issues important to the architecture profession such as wildfire mitigation, affordable housing, and climate-related topics as they affect our mountain communities.

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Advocacy Engagement Director Nikolaus Remus, AIA, and our lobbyist, Jerry Johnson, joined our members to present our 2023 Legislator of the Year award to Dylan Roberts in recognition of his successful effort to include architects in the board created via SB23-166: Establishment of a Wildfire Resiliency Code Board. This important bill will better define wildland-urban interface areas in Colorado and the board will determine appropriate codes that buildings within these areas must be designed to.  As introduced, this bill lacked the perspective of an architect who could offer insight on how building codes are applied to projects and how they can effectively be used statewide in areas with varying types of fire risk. While similar to the typical building codes architects use on every project, codes such as the ICC’s International Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Code look more wholistically at building and site design solutions, construction techniques, defensible site maintenance, and fire suppression water supply availability.

2023 Outstanding New Legislator

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Representative Jenny Willford joined our Government Affairs Committee in February to be presented the Outstanding New Legislator Award. We first met Rep. Willford during her campaign in 2022 and were delighted to learn that she strongly supported broader adoption of the latest energy code versions. It’s not common to speak to a candidate who has any familiarity with building codes, but Rep. Willford had experience in both her capacity as a Northglenn city council member and in work she’s done for the Colorado Sierra Club. AIA Colorado supported Rep. Willford’s HB23-1005: New Energy Improvement Program Changes, which expanded the state’s C-PACE energy improvement financing program to apply to more project types. When local jurisdictions opt-in to C-PACE financing, building owners can pay back loans with favorable rates and no upfront costs through their property tax payments. This way, energy improvement projects can be quickly implemented and use new monthly energy-use savings to help pay back the project loan.

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Congratulations again to Senator Dylan Roberts and Representative Jenny Willford! AIA Colorado looks forward to continuing our strong partnership at the state capitol in the years to come.

© AIA Colorado 2024
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