The Architecture Lobby is a member-driven activist organization devoted to raising the political consciousness of the design fields and organizing a more just profession. TAL is a workers’ organization. As long as architecture tolerates abusive practices in the office and on the construction site, it cannot insist on its role in and for the public good. Some of our primary goals include achieving workplace democracy through unions and worker cooperatives, as well as a Green New Deal to tackle the crises of climate breakdown and social inequity.
As architectural workers, our labor is inherently political. Our labor is also inherently collective. Today, following a decisive poll of our membership, we are making an endorsement for the Democratic Party nominee. With this endorsement, we invite architectural workers to rise in the vision of a movement. Whether you are a graduate student balancing work in school with work as a TA and watching your student debt climb, a junior architect anxious over climate impact but powerless to make your supervisor act, a business development professional enraged by an RFP for an immigrant concentration camp, or a firm partner watching healthcare costs balloon every year, there is a place for you in this movement. We see a profession capable of change. With that vision in mind, The Architecture Lobby officially endorses Senator Bernie Sanders as the 2020 Democratic Party Nominee for President of the United States.
We are the only organization in the U.S. that prioritizes the needs of rank-and-file architectural workers. Senator Sanders is a worker’s candidate. Freelancers, firm staff, architects, and designers in every workplace in the U.S. stand to benefit from Sanders’s universal policies, from single-payer healthcare to publicly-funded college to debt forgiveness and a Green New Deal. He has stood with the trade union movement his entire career, and as President he has promised to undertake a structural reshaping of the labor movement to double union membership and empower the entire working class. Sanders envisions a transformative Green New Deal that embraces decarbonization as a social justice issue and leverages federal funding to reorient the building sector away from private gain. We see all of these issues in Sanders’s platform as inextricably linked, just as they are in TAL’s core projects. After all, there can be no sustainable world without sustainable labor practices.
This is an endorsement of a movement that began generations before us, not just of an individual. We believe electing Senator Sanders, who aspires to be an “organizer-in-chief”, will be a crucial step towards creating a more just country. To contribute to a just transition, the design professions must be more than service providers. We invite our peers to join us in this professional transformation, this election, and the work that follows.